From zoos and aquariums to farms and parks with live animals, New Jersey is home to plenty of attractions for animal-loving families. While all of these great destinations are educational, one special zoo in Forked River takes things a step further by teaching visitors about compassion. Popcorn Park Zoo is made up entirely of animals that have been rescued. The zoo was established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for wildlife that were sick, elderly, abandoned, abused or injured, and could no longer survive in their natural habitat. As time went on, the zoo expanded to include domestic and exotic animals. My kids and I recently visited Popcorn Park. From lions, tigers and bears to parakeets, monkeys and peacocks, this little zoo's inhabitants were definitely worth the trip.
Latest posts by Stephanie
The Jersey Shore is made up of many distinct towns, each with its own vibe. Everyone has their favorite. Some folks love the eclectic Asbury Park while others prefer the family-friendly Victorian beauty of Cape May. I thought I'd seen every stretch of sand the state had to offer, but recently, I discovered the charming, seaside town of Bay Head. This quaint destination features tree-lined streets, uncrowded beaches, gorgeous homes and independently owned shops and restaurants. Just one mile south of Point Pleasant, Bay Head is the perfect spot for a relaxing shore getaway. And for more great little NJ towns, check out our Guide to Great Small Towns in New Jersey.
If you have children, you know the hours between 4pm and 6pm are particularly difficult. Referred to as "the witching hours" by many parents, this stretch of time (after naptime, but before dinner and bath time) can be hard to fill, leading to bored, whiny kids and grouchy moms and dads. If you're tired of wracking your brain for late afternoon activities, it might be time to take advantage of your local eateries Happy Hour specials. Enjoy a cocktail and some kid-friendly appetizers with a few friends. The kids will love the change of scenery and parents will enjoy the discounted treats and time to socialize. We've put together a great list of family-friendly restaurants where you can turn the "witching hour" into a happy hour for the entire family.
If you're a new mom, you've probably noticed that the "lazy days of summer" aren't quite as relaxing as they once were. Beach bags stocked with little more than sunscreen and a good book have been replaced with wagons full of swim diapers and baby gear. Finding things to do that are fun for both mom and baby on a hot, sticky summer day can be tough. Luckily, we've come up with a list of great activities that will make your babies first summer a memorable one.
Folks across the Nation fell in love with the majestic sport of horse racing when American Pharoah clinched the Triple Crown earlier this spring. Home to three race tracks, the Garden State draws racing fans from around the world and one arena has come up with a great way to teach horse-loving kids about life at the track. Monmouth Park's Dawn Patrol is an early morning, behind-the-scenes tour of one of the states most beautiful racing venues. Offered on weekends in July and August, this FREE event provides a great opportunity for families to learn all about the world of thoroughbred horse racing. I recently enjoyed the tour with my daughter's girl scout troop. Read on to learn why this special event is worth getting up early for.
During the summer, New Jersey parents are constantly on the lookout for day trips that are both entertaining and educational. The Garden State's great zoos and aquariums are always lots of fun, but if you're looking for a unique experience for your wildlife-loving kids, consider a trip to the Raptor Trust. Located in Millington, the Raptor Trust is primarily a medical facility for injured birds; however, it's also a permanent home for birds that cannot be safely returned to the wild. Visitors are given the opportunity observe these gorgeous creatures up close. I recently took my two children, ages 11 and 7, on a tour. Read on to see what this special destination has to offer.
It's spring! After months spent indoors, kids can finally head outside and get their hands (and everything else) dirty. The best part? When they're done playing, simply turn on the hose and wash away the muck. We've come up with a list of fun, messy ways to spend a warm day outdoors. From making mud pies to body painting, these ideas are sure to please your little ragamuffin. And if the weather just won't cooperate and you're stuck inside, check out our list of 50 indoor activities for a rainy day.
New Jersey is known for its rich musical history. Birthplace of both Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, the state has deep rock n' roll roots. It's no surprise that New Jersey kids love to rock out too. We've found some great New Jersey kids bands and performers that are sure to entertain your little music lovers. From rock to pop to folk our picks know just how to keep your little ones jamming. Whether you're looking to book some entertainment for a birthday party, or just catch a great public performance, our list below has you covered. If your child is a budding musician who wants to be the star of the show, check out our post on the Best Music Classes for NJ Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers.