Beat the summer heat at one of New Jersey’s spectacular water playgrounds, known as spraygrounds. On a hot summer day, my kids last 10 minutes on a conventional playground. Add some water play to the mix and we have a low-cost, low-maintenance day of fun. Spray parks and splash pads are popping up all over the state. Most of these water playgrounds are free or inexpensive and can be enjoyed by all ages. Get wet at these Central and Southern New Jersey spraygrounds, including some newcomers. For more water fun throughout the state, check out the Best Water Playgrounds in NJ and 6 Awesome New Jersey Water Parks.
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Who says there’s no such thing as a free meal? Restaurants throughout Central New Jersey offer free kid meal promotions nearly every night of the week. You’ll never cook again. Dining out is a fun way to spend time with the family, but the bills can eat into your budget. Visit your favorite establishment on a kids-eat-free night, and you won’t have to worry overspending on kids’ entrees, especially the ones that are barely touched. Check out some of these Central New Jersey restaurants that feature free kid meals on certain nights of the week.
Complimentary meals are with the purchase of an adult meal, unless otherwise noted.
Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s tasty, easily accessible and comes in varieties that’ll satisfy the pickiest palates. Pizza night at your favorite pizzeria makes for a fun and inexpensive family outing. With tomato sauce and perhaps a veggie topping, you can even count it as somewhat nutritious (I do). The following are family-friendly pizza joints in Central New Jersey. Aside from yummy pies, these places offer child-friendly options like kid portions, quick service or gimmicky fun, without noise being a factor. Grab a slice and enjoy!
It’s official- summer kicks off this weekend! The kids are done with school, camp’s around the corner and parents need some warm-weather fun to fill the gap. Look no further. Mommy Poppins has the recipe for a jam-packed weekend. Blast off the summer at the Meadowlands energetic New Jersey State Fair. Brighten up the weekend at Terhune Orchards’ Firefly Festival. Put on your party hats and Celebrate New Jersey’s 350th Birthday at the New Jersey State Museum and Planetarium. Chill out at the theatre with family-friendly performances of The Little Engine That Could or the Frozen Movie Sing-A-Long, where it’s okay for kids (and adults) to belt out “Let It Go.” Check out the full list of weekend activities on our Event Calendar.
What's more fun than visiting a playground or zoo on a warm, sunny day? How about a zoo within a playground? Get the best of both worlds at New Jersey parks that have awesome play areas plus farm animals or mini zoos. Even better, these zoos are all free. Visit some furry friends and spend the day without spending a dime on admission fees.
Every time we visit Point Pleasant, our favorite summer destination, my kids declare that they will throw their next birthday party in the amusement area (sorry October girls!). Lucky for summer celebrators, New Jersey’s amusement parks provide the backdrop for an unforgettable, warm-weather birthday bash, with rides, games and fun. With so much built-in activity, party hosts can sit back and enjoy the ride without worrying about details. Most outdoor theme parks offer party packages from Memorial through Labor Day and require a backup rain date. Have a thrilling birthday celebration at these great New Jersey amusement parks. And for more fantastic party ideas, check out Mommy Poppins NJ's Birthday Party Guide.
Nothing says weekend mornings like a big stack of fluffy pancakes. When else can you get away with chocolate and whipped cream for breakfast? Although a morning staple, pancakes can be eaten any for any time of the day. New Jersey is home to many delicious and family-friendly pancake restaurants, with varieties that range from sweet, like chocolate chips and fruit, to savory, like bacon and cheddar cheese. With portions as big as your plate, you won't leave hungry, nor empty-handed. Pancake restaurants are often a road-trip destination for my family. From diners to specialty houses, here’s how New Jersey’s best pancake joints stack up:
Westfield, NJ is a Union County town that brings together small-town charm and metropolitan appeal. The downtown area is home to well-known retailers, trendy boutiques and an abundance of restaurants, from fine dining to casual eateries. Westfield is a family oriented community, and there’s no shortage of family restaurants to choose from. With popular chains as well as neighborhood establishments, there’s always something to satisfy hungry little ones. Here’s a taste of the many kid friendly dining options in Westfield.