For many families, cutting down a Christmas tree is an annual tradition that marks the beginning of the holiday season. For kids, the experience can be downright magical: you're set loose in a forest of trees, with a mission to find the perfect one. If you're thinking of going the cut-your-own route this year, start your tree search by checking out our extensive list of Christmas tree farms. Once you've checked that off your list, be sure to visit our Holiday Guide for even more ways to celebrate the season.
Shari Simpson has Anna Fader and Mommy Poppins to thank for learning to appreciate her own state. Before she started editing Mommy Poppins NJ, Shari dragged her spawn into NYC for any type of "culture"; now she knows all the good stuff to be had in New Jersey and is not so fast to hop on that PATH train. In her other life, Shari is a comedic playwright ("Maybe Baby, It's You", Dramatic Publishing, Inc.), a humor blogger ("Earth Mother just means I'm dusty"), and a freelance writer. She is mother to four (two human, two pug) and resides in Hoboken, where she can be found jogging along the waterfront or dragging her Brownie troop of 30 crazy little girls around town.
You can also follow Shari on Google+.
Latest posts by Shari
Halloween and hayrides go hand in hand, but if you really want to up your game this year, take a trip on a Halloween train! If you have a junior conductor in your family, don't miss out on one of these four seasonal NJ railway adventures. From spooky to scenic, these rides offer a unique bit of fall fun for the whole family: passengers can take a seat in a vintage caboose, travel through gorgeous fall foliage, visit a pumpkin patch, and even trick-or-treat onboard. After the ride, round out the day with autumn activities like corn mazes, crafts, and a costume party.
Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal family fun around the state.
Whether you're looking for an alternative to traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, or you just want to have a little extra Halloween fun in the days leading up to the big event, the zoo just might be the place for you. Visiting with the animals is always an enjoyable way to spend a family day, but throw in some candy, costumes, and spooky activities, and you're bound to have a howling good time.
Looking for something a little different for the kids this summer in Jersey? A half-day or full-day spent indoors in a cool art museum or outside at a lively zoo may just be the ticket to an unusual summer experience. Here are the best museum and zoo camps we found in New Jersey. You can find many more New Jersey summer camps in our Camp Guide and Full Directory of Listings.
Now that my oldest child is a 'tween, I understand that phrase I heard often during those difficult baby/toddler times, "The days are long, but the years are short." Thankfully, filling those short years with quality bonding time is even easier with our top 100 not-to-be-missed family activities right here in New Jersey.
From indoor play to awesome zoos, and from quiet fun to thrill-seeking adventures, there's tons of incredible stuff to make memories that will last forever! We have beautiful forests for hiking, beaches for lounging, and cool playgrounds and parks—all of which make for a great day trip with Jersey kids.
Read on for our 100 best things to do right now in NJ.
For those of us who remember dashing into the video arcade with our permed hair and stirrup pants to see who had the high score on Frogger, there are two pieces of good news: First, all those vintage games are cool again, and secondly, they're right around the corner in New Jersey—and we don't mean down the Shore on the boardwalk.
The Morristown Game Vault opened earlier this year with Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Q-Bert, and 85 other classics, and it's quickly becoming the hot spot for both nostalgic parents and their hip kids. My family recently spent a happy afternoon pinballing, joysticking, and button-pressing at this wonderful new family fun zone. Read on for the highlights.
I love board games, so imagine my excitement when I spied a new venue in Hoboken: a cafe devoted entirely to sitting around and playing Scrabble. And Pictionary. And Clue. And... well, you name it, and the Aether Game Cafe has it. Read on for my review of this delightful spot for gathering, eating snacks, and playing Monopoly. And Dominion. And Dungeons and Dragons. And... well, you get the idea.
For those of you with train-loving kids, an afternoon at Whippany Railway Museum will float their boats (or kick their cabooses, maybe?). We spent Father's Day riding the rails, looking at cool old train stuff in a tiny, wonderfully packed-to-the-gills museum, and generally stepping back in time, sans electronic devices.
Read on for the highlights of our fun day spent in the company of Southern Railway steam locomotive No. 385 and friends.