The pools and beaches may be closed, but there's still plenty of outdoor fun to be had. Fall is the perfect time to visit one of New Jersey’s top family farms, which offer year-round activities that blend agriculture with entertainment. Whether your kids want to meet baby barnyard animals, pick their own fruit, or take a hayride, each of these 10 "agritainment" centers guarantees enough fresh air and playtime to tucker out your mini farmer by the end of the day. So get out your fall-to-do list and plan a fall day trip for an ideal farm outing. New Jersey isn’t known as the Garden State for nothing!
Latest posts by Margaret Hargrove
You may have spent a spring break (or two) in Panama Beach City, Florida, or lived vicariously through the revelry broadcast on MTV Spring Break, which drew thousands of college kids to this beach town for a decade. But now that you’ve traded shot glasses for strollers, this classic spring break locale has luckily grown up right with you.
Today, families with young children flock to its sandy shore, and with an international airport just 20 minutes away, it’s easy to get to. We visited this 27-mile stretch of beach along the Gulf of Mexico this summer with a toddler in tow and were impressed with the entertainment options. Read on for 25 things to do with kids in this Florida haven, including where to eat and play on your family’s next vacation.
Point Pleasant Beach has long been a family-friendly Jersey Shore destination, and with good reason. About an hour's drive from New York City and Philadelphia, this picturesque stretch of sand lies between the beaches of Monmouth County and the craziness of Seaside Heights. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk plays host to many kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium, arcades, mini-golf courses, a ropes course, and an amusement park with a whole section that’s just right for toddlers and preschoolers.
I spent many summers here in my youth, and this summer, with my own 4-year-old in tow, I headed down to exit 98 to spend the day at this popular Shore spot.
After months of construction, the highly anticipated Watsessing Park Spray Park opened on July 20. Located on Glenwood Avenue near Dodd Street in East Orange, the 3,000-square-foot addition to the 69-acre park provides deep sea–themed water adventures to keep your kids cool this summer.
While New Jersey residents are no stranger to the cheap thrills provided by local spraygrounds, those living in Essex County have been forced to drive to neighboring communities for free water fun. But thanks to this new spray park, now you can cool off not too far from your own backyard.
Making its debut right in the middle of a string of 90-plus-degree days, I couldn't think of a better place to take my 4-year-old daughter to beat the heat. With her swimsuit on and beach towels in tow, we were excited to check out this cool new spot.
Not your typical suburban playground, Hoboken’s Pier C Park has a decidedly urban vibe that will delight little and big kids alike—and adults, too! With the Manhattan skyline as a gorgeous backdrop, this amoeba-shaped oasis sits on a two-and-a-half-acre pier off the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway, between Third and Fourth Streets in downtown Hoboken.
The park is separated into two playgrounds and also offers sand and water play. You won’t find any of your standard, primary-colored play equipment here, nor any swings. The landscape has an old-fashioned feel, with lots of rustic wood and metal touches. The promenade, along the eastern edge of the pier, provides grassy lawn areas for families to picnic, play games, and soak in the sights. Use this day trip–worthy park as a launch pad to enjoy all that Hoboken has to offer.
Take a break from the beach and cool down at Coney Waffle, home to the best milkshakes in New Jersey. This Shore staple has locations in Asbury Park and Belmar, and it recently opened a third shop, at Pier Village in Long Branch, just in time for the summer season. Your kids will go crazy for the jaw-dropping super shakes towering with whipped cream, baked goods, candy, and other sweet toppings. With homemade waffles, fudge, and ice cream also on the menu, there's something for every sweet tooth at this beach-side spot.
Celebrate that special dad in your life with our list of 25 awesome events happening this weekend. Monster trucks, camel rides, festivals and boat cruises are just some of the fun to be had on Father's Day weekend, which also happens to be the last weekend of spring. Speaking of summer: Now that temps are on the rise, it’s time to plan that family day trip or visit a park or playground your kids haven’t been to before.
New Jersey families, you have spoken! We asked you to weigh in on New Jersey's Besties—the best family businesses and resources in categories that range from best restaurants, parties, activities, and more. With all the great family fun experiences and resources in New Jersey, it was hard to choose just 24, but you were up to the task! Each winner was selected from a competitive crop of 10 nominees in each category.
A special thank you to the Bestie Sponsors, and congratulations to the four lucky voters who were picked at random to enjoy some amazing prizes!
Without further ado, here is your guide to the best of family-friendly New Jersey, the 2017 New Jersey Besties!