Named for its location at the top of the Watchung Mountains, the town of Summit, NJ is definitely worth the climb. The six square miles that make up this great town offer the perfect mix of city chic and outdoor fun. Summit boasts an eclectic downtown that is home to more than 200 unique boutiques and restaurants. In addition, the town's great parks, recreational facilities and unique outdoor attractions make for a fun day trip for the entire family. Check out some of our favorite Summit destinations below. For even more great North Jersey towns check out our Guide to Great Small Towns in Northern NJ or our posts on Bernardsville and Chester.
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My daughter has tried everything from dance lessons to cooking classes, but the one activity that has kept her interest for the past 6 years is being a Girl Scout. We started the scouting journey together when she was in kindergarten. She was an adorable Daisy Scout and I became an enthusiastic troop leader. For the past 6 years I have had the pleasure of watching a group of girls mature from wild 5 year olds, who spent meetings crafting and giggling, to enthusiastic young ladies who have learned the values of friendship, the outdoors and community service. Just this year, the girls in our troop earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award for creating an organic garden and donating the crop to the local food pantry. In addition to teaching valuable lessons, Girl Scouting is just plain fun. Who doesn't love earning patches, selling cookies and making new friends? Read on for some great information on getting involved with Girl Scouts in New Jersey. For more great after school activities, check out our Classes and Activities Guide.
Imagine an overnight camping adventure without the worries of bugs and bad weather. Our list of camp-in destinations offers memorable adventures that are sure to please the entire family. From sleeping with sharks to bunking on a real battleship, these overnight getaways will create memories that will last a lifetime. For even more nearby camp-in destinations, check out our post on Museum Sleepovers in Long Island.
It's no surprise that the Washingtonian named Avalon the "chicest beach in the Mid-Atlantic". Occupying the North end of Seven Mile Island in Cape May County, Avalon is known for its quiet, upscale atmosphere. Perfect for families, Avalon and the entire barrier island sit a mile seaward than any other shore towns, making it the perfect place to enjoy cool ocean breezes on those hot summer days. Below we have highlighted a few great reasons to visit this beautiful small town. For more small towns on the Jersey Shore, check out our posts on Stone Harbor and Cape May.
Summer is upon us, and while the younger kids are off at camp, our tweens and young teens are often looking for ways to earn a few dollars. It's the perfect time for them to launch their own babysitting business and take advantage of the many moms and dads who are looking for a summer babysitter or mother's helper to keep their little guys happy. There are some great local babysitting courses available that will guarantee that your kids are prepared to handle any situation. Whether your son or daughter is ready to start their own babysitting business, or if you just want to make sure they are confident when keeping an eye on their younger siblings, these courses are worth checking out. If you happen to be looking for a new sitter, check out our post on organizing a babysitting co-op in your own neighborhood.
A summer in New Jersey would not be complete without a trip to the Garden State's family-friendly, barrier island known as Long Beach Island. "The Island", as it is called by locals, is home to some of the best beaches on the east coast. When the family grows tired of playing in the sand, LBI is choc full of kid friendly destinations as well. From amusement parks to museums, Long Beach Island has something for everyone. Check out our list of "must-do" family attractions. For more barrier island fun, check out our posts on Seven Mile Island's small town, Stone Harbor.
When the grass turns green and the temperatures warm up many New Jersey moms and dads grab their golf clubs and hit the links. This summer, why not get the kids in on the fun? The game of golf teaches skill, logic and honesty, and it happens to be a great way for kids to pass the time during the summer months. With some of the best golf courses in the country, New Jersey is the perfect place to introduce kids to this fantastic sport. Start them swinging by enrolling them in one of these great kids golf programs. Check out our post on the Best Miniature Golf Courses in New Jersey for more fun golf options this spring and summer.
A few weeks ago I let my daughter bring a pair of binoculars on our weekly hike. She is not always the most enthusiastic hiker so I was pleasantly surprised when she immediately perked up. The next week I picked up a birding book and she started checking off all of the different birds we saw. Turns out, bird watching can instill a real appreciation of nature in children. New Jersey's wide variety of distinct habitats and location on the Atlantic Flyway make it a great place for bird watchers to enjoy over 400 different species of birds. Kids naturally gravitate toward nature when given the chance, so give them a pair of binoculars and open their eyes to the wonders of birding at one of these great birding spots and sanctuaries. For more outdoor fun, check out our post on family friendly hikes in Central New Jersey.