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SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 08:04 AM
We have two DD's - 3 and 1 1/2. We are looking for fun places to take them that don't cost to much. Towns/places that we are totally bored of:

Red Bank
New Hope
Smithville
Pt. Pleasant
Seaside Heights
Popcorn Zoo


We are looking for fun places to go this weekend, but can't seem to come up with anywhere that we haven't already been 1000 times. Any suggestions??? We are not limited to NJ, we will travel to NY & PA too - maybe even CONN. We were thinking about going to Baltimore for a day trip, but that would be 6 hours there and back, a bit to much.


TIA!!!

kphwus
04-16-2008, 08:08 AM
Try Sesame Place. It's just north of philadelphia.

Mkrop
04-16-2008, 08:18 AM
Since your kids are young how about Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster.

South Jersey shore towns, Ocean City?

We love Hershey too.

ryka
04-16-2008, 08:24 AM
http://www.njcm.com/index.htm

My daughter's class went 2 years ago and the kids loved it.

SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 08:25 AM
Great ideas, but none of them are open yet - they don't open till May.
Plus I've heard a lot of bad things about Sesame Place - very dirty!

minniebeth
04-16-2008, 08:26 AM
What about the Crayola Factory? I think it is near Easton, PA.
The NJ Aquarium in Camden (not a good location other than the aquarium) is supposed to be really good.
The Liberty Science Museum in Jersey City is supposed to be great.

I used to live in NJ but that was pre-kids so we haven't done these but my nephew and neices have.
I'll try to think of some others!

Mkrop
04-16-2008, 08:27 AM
Great ideas, but none of them are open yet - they don't open till May.
Plus I've heard a lot of bad things about Sesame Place - very dirty!

Sorry about that I thought those place did some spring hours. Maybe try them later then.

How about Adventure Aquarium in Camden, Please Touch Museum in Philly?

Crayola Crayon Factory

I have not heard good things about Sesame Place either

ryka
04-16-2008, 08:28 AM
What about the Crayola Factory? I think it is near Easton, PA.
The NJ Aquarium in Camden (not a good location other than the aquarium) is supposed to be really good.
The Liberty Science Museum in Jersey City is supposed to be great.

I used to live in NJ but that was pre-kids so we haven't done these but my nephew and neices have.
I'll try to think of some others!

I like the Liberty Science Center but I think the kids might be to young for that.

pixiepower1971
04-16-2008, 08:30 AM
Cape May County Zoo. It is beautiful, perfect for young kids and best of all it is free(they ask for a small donation when oyu drive into the park). If you head down that way I can give you a few other things to round out the day.


http://www.co.cape-may.nj.us/cit-e-access/webpage.cfm?tid=5&tpid=442

gillenkl
04-16-2008, 08:31 AM
Lancaster Science Factory
Lost River Caverns
Brown Cow Country Market
Ringing Rocks Park

PrincessNoelle'sMom
04-16-2008, 08:38 AM
How about Allaire State Park - great train ride for little ones.
Storybook Land (AC area)
World of Disney Store in NYC

donac
04-16-2008, 08:39 AM
How about StoryBook Land near Atlantic City and while you are there you can see Lucy the Elephant in Margate just south of Atlantic City. How about Land of Make Believe in Hope. These are just some of the place we have been too with the boys years ago. I do second the Cape May Zoo. It is charming little zoo.

pixiepower1971
04-16-2008, 08:46 AM
Storybook Land is AWESOME fun for little ones but it is $20 a person to get in. Not exactly a cheap day!

donac
04-16-2008, 08:58 AM
The Entertainment book always has coupons for Storybook Land and Land of Make Believe

JeremyGNJ
04-16-2008, 09:08 AM
If you want a quicky-thing to do, there's a drive-through sculpture museum just outside of Trenton. (though might have to wait til the kids are a little older)

There's a place in Philly that would be GREAT for your kids called the "Please Touch Museum". It's just a big place of "stuff to play with". DD was 4 when we took her, and she LOVED the kid-sized supermarket which includes shopping carts, food items, etc.

PatricenPete
04-16-2008, 09:20 AM
The Crayola Factory in Easton, PA was a great time! What about the Bronx Zoo? The Aquarium in Camden? Great Adventure - they have a great kids' section!

We have 2 toddlers so we are always looking for great places to go. Sesame Place can be fun, just don't go on a weekend - it is jam packed!

SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 09:55 AM
Ya know, everyone could have responded a little faster!!! :rotfl2: You guys are great!!! I really like the Touch Museam in Philly - we were thinking of going there (to Philly that is). We are really looing for outdoor things to do because it is getting so nice! Thanks for all the really great ideas! Keep them coming!!!!!

JeremyGNJ
04-16-2008, 10:04 AM
Ya know, everyone could have responded a little faster!!! :rotfl2: You guys are great!!! I really like the Touch Museam in Philly - we were thinking of going there (to Philly that is). We are really looing for outdoor things to do because it is getting so nice! Thanks for all the really great ideas! Keep them coming!!!!!

If you like outdoors stuff, here's somethign simple to do.

In East Brunswick on Ryder's lane, Rutgers has a big area of garden/flowers that you can spend a few hours at.

PrincessKsMom
04-16-2008, 10:05 AM
How about the Philadelphia Zoo? I'm not sure how much it is, but we took my DD there when she was 3 and it was wonderful.

Ariel8676
04-16-2008, 10:17 AM
NOt sure exactly where you are located, but when the weather warms up Dorbrook park in Colts Neck is aweome...they have a great playground and awesome Sprayground..you can have a picnic and walk te trails..It is a lot of fun!!

AnnaS
04-16-2008, 10:19 AM
Rocking Horse Ranch, Upstate, NY

Willow Valley, Lancaster, PA

Cape May - have not been, on my list (my brother and sil tell me they love it but have only gone during the summer months.

SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 10:27 AM
NOt sure exactly where you are located, but when the weather warms up Dorbrook park in Colts Neck is aweome...they have a great playground and awesome Sprayground..you can have a picnic and walk te trails..It is a lot of fun!!

Oh yes, Dorbrook is about 20 minutes away, we go there all the time. The first time we went we didn't know how wet the kids would get with the sprayground and didn't bring any bathing suits or towles..... but they had fun!!!

Ariel8676
04-16-2008, 10:30 AM
Thats awesome..we are in Marlboro so not far either...we should meetup at Dorbrook sometime :)

Eeyore4me
04-16-2008, 10:32 AM
I highly recommend Storybook Land and the Ocean City Boardwalk and The Cape May Zoo. They are all age appropriate & relatively close to each other if you wanted to plan a few days :)

I live close by if you have any questions about any of them.

Lauren

Gillian
04-16-2008, 11:25 AM
If you want a quicky-thing to do, there's a drive-through sculpture museum just outside of Trenton. (though might have to wait til the kids are a little older)
Probably you mean Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton. It's not drive through, and there is an admission charge. Fun place for the kids to run around, even if they don't really appreciate it.

We like Storybook land too. I think they are open now, but with shorter hours.

RMulieri
04-16-2008, 01:48 PM
Here in pa there is..DUtch Wonderland( great for little ones) Hershey park, Hands on House ,Crayola factory,Sesame Place, Dorney Park.

minniebeth
04-16-2008, 02:02 PM
I keep thinking about this thread! I know I did a lot growing up in NJ, just can't think of exactly what!
Sometimes I think we all think "grand" and overlook the little places that bring lots of fun and joy to little ones. If you are looking for more local, more low key, I have no idea what the ammenities of these places are like today, but what about The Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange (Essex Co.)
or Van Saun Park in Paramus (Bergen Co.) Van Saun Park had pretty grounds, nice playgrounds, a train ride and pony rides. It would be a nice day, at least as I remember it.

jjhardy
04-16-2008, 02:14 PM
We just did the Cape May Zoo this weekend with DD 1 1/2! It's GREAT! It's the best zoo ever! You can also drive down to see the Cape May Lewis ferry pull in and out of port and take a walk on the beach at the bay right there where the ferries pull out.

I agree with the Please Touch Museum too but it is indoors. Another cool thing we did a few summers ago before DD came was the USS NJ which is in Camden next too the aquarium. It is an old battleship and you get a tour of it given by a WWII vet. We enjoyed it very much!!!

wishtdream
04-16-2008, 02:21 PM
My dd likes the cape may zoo, she also likes the safari at six flags in jackson. we have season ticet and she asks to go at least once a week.

SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 04:13 PM
The verdict is in.....
We are doing the Please Touch Museum, and then just walking around Philly. We didn't really want to do anything indoors because its going to be so nice out, but we figure if we do both (indoor and outdoor) it will be ok. I looked up Please Touch on the internet - it looks so great. I espically like the food store where the kids can "buy" things and then check out - so neat! Thanks to everyone for all the great suggestions - I will keep the rest in mind for other weekends!


PS - We would love to do the Cape May Zoo, but its like 2.5 hours each way. We usually go to the Bronx zoo, but we will save that for a later date - my girls just LOVE their animals!

ruadisneyfan2
04-16-2008, 04:24 PM
Not to try to sway you but for future ideas:
1. Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill. Great for 10 and under.
2. Funplex in Mt. Laurel, we had such a blast with the lazer tag with all black lights.

We've given up on Six Flags Great Adventure. After a few years of dealing with that nasty, rude, ghetto crowd, we actually trashed our season passes last year. There's enough litter in the parking lot at the end of the evening that you need a bull dozer to clean it all up. It's really pathetic. I'd rather pay the extra $700 to fly to Orlando.

kacaju
04-16-2008, 04:27 PM
this is a really fun day for next Sat. the 26th.

http://agfieldday.rutgers.edu/

justwinnie
04-16-2008, 04:56 PM
Don't forget the NJ Folk Festival at Rutgers too!

http://www.njfolkfest.rutgers.edu/

Same date, just walk over. :)

The Folk Festival has a lot of children's events too-- music, face painting, etc.

We always walk through Cook Campus to look at the animals and then buy some plants... Then go to the Folk Festival for food (carnival type food), buy some crafts, watch the performers and just have an overall great day.

Arrive early, bring a wagon or stroller for the kids, and be prepared to spend a great day outdoors! Free admission, parking is not (abt $10?-- changes year to year)

ruadisneyfan2
04-16-2008, 05:58 PM
forgot to mention this too:

http://www.northlandz.com/

Haven't been there yet but my brother raved about it. looks really great if you like trains.

kacaju
04-16-2008, 06:10 PM
check this site out. We ahve done lots of stuff on this list!!
http://www.fieldtrip.com/nj/index.html

GoinToDisney
04-16-2008, 06:52 PM
Great ideas, but none of them are open yet - they don't open till May.
Plus I've heard a lot of bad things about Sesame Place - very dirty!

We go to Sesame Place all of the time. It's not Disney clean, but it's definitely not dirty. There is someone in the bathrooms cleaning them about every other visit, and we visit the bathroom quite a few times in a day. The park in general is pretty clean as well. I swear the residents in that area start those rumors because they don't like the extra traffic, especially on the weekends, but it really isn't true.

GoinToDisney
04-16-2008, 06:55 PM
I highly recommend Storybook Land and the Ocean City Boardwalk and The Cape May Zoo. They are all age appropriate & relatively close to each other if you wanted to plan a few days :)

I live close by if you have any questions about any of them.

Lauren


Oh! I agree. and the pier at the far end of the OC boardwalk has a ton of indoor kiddie rides that my 3 yo just loved last year. They were open on weekends in mid-September. She still remembers and talks about that more than our Feb. Disney trip lately. Not that she didn't love Disney, but I'm just glad she is asking to go some place we can afford right after a Disney trip!

dspads
04-16-2008, 06:56 PM
Sorry to sort of hijack, but I have a few questions as I am going to a wedding in Tinton falls NJ and we are looking to do a day trip....


-what is in Red Bank, I think we are near there
-tell me about Storybook land, sounds interesting!
-how about Great Adventure

my kids are 3.5 & 5

TIA!!!

donac
04-16-2008, 07:20 PM
Hi there I am right next to TInton Falls.

If you have a couple of little kids Red Bank is not for them. It is more of a teen hangout.

YOu could you to Brookdale Community College and on the campus is Monmouth Museum which has a children's section.

YOu could go up to Middletown and go to Poricy Park and go fosil hunting.

Or you could go to Holmdel and go to Longstreet Farms which is a working farm at Holmdel Park.

South of Tinton Falls is a place called Allaire State Park which has buildings from the 1800's.

Next to Tinton Falls is Eatontown and a large mall with a big movie theater if all else fails. It has a nice food court
Out in Freehold is Mounmouth Battlegrounds where there was an important battle from the revolution.

I hope I got the names of these places right. YOu could always take the kids to Seaside and let ride some rides but that gets expensive.

SharpMomOfTwo
04-16-2008, 07:24 PM
Sorry to sort of hijack, but I have a few questions as I am going to a wedding in Tinton falls NJ and we are looking to do a day trip....


-what is in Red Bank, I think we are near there
-tell me about Storybook land, sounds interesting!
-how about Great Adventure

my kids are 3.5 & 5

TIA!!!

I can answer yor Red Bank question.... Its a pretty good place to walk around if you've never been. The main part of the town has a lot of neat stores, and if you have a Silent Bob fan in the family he has a comic store there as well. There are many places to eat, from cheap to expencive, and it also has a nice park (if theres no one smoking pot!). There are so many great kids stores, adult clothing stores, jewlery stores... really everything. We do enjoy going there, but I've been going since I was 14 - the only thing that doesn't get old after going so many times is DISNEY!

Disneytwinz
04-16-2008, 08:37 PM
I realize you have already decided on a destination, but if you do happen to get down to Cape May to the zoo (which I agree is beautiful) I wanted to mention, they also have whale watching cruises off Cape May that are fun. We've gone on the Cape May Whale Watcher a few times and had a blast seeing dolphins and whales. Also the Cape May Lewes Ferry is a nice trip and sometimes you can see dolphins if the season is right. You can take the car or go on foot for a cost right over to Lewes Delaware. From there, they have shuttles to the beach.

tmatthews
04-16-2008, 09:19 PM
I love hearing you all talk about the cape may county zoo....I live really close and hate the fact that sometimes I forget about it being here!! It is a great place and FREE (donations accepted) Lots of shore towns are opening up now...wildwood boardwalk starting to open now on weekends. I am sure time is limited.

Please touch museum is the best. My kids LOVED the supermarket. They would spend hours there if they could! We usually walk to a Fridays (or something like that) that is pretty close.

In lancaster, willow valley is awesome for the kids....you have strausburg railroad close and dutch wonderland.

have a great time!!! I think the circus is coming to Philly...is that this w/e?

Eeyore4me
04-16-2008, 09:30 PM
Storybook Land is GREAT! It is minutes off of Parkway exit 37. It is pretty much a Nursery Rhyme based amusement park geared toward 10-under. The last 2 yrs we got season passes as I am just 5 minutes down the road. There is free parking, you can take in food and there are TONS of picnic tables. A lot of the park is trees, so even in the heat of the summer you're pretty good. It's very clean and even when it's crowded, it's not bad. Our schools do class trips there for the 1st grade :) It's definitely worth the trip! Check out their website too. And it's very close to AC & the beach.

Lauren:flower:

katemomto3
04-16-2008, 10:12 PM
We moved to NJ in August with our three kids, DH and I are both teachers so we have not had much time to explore....Just wanted to say thank you for the list of where to start looking for stuff to do! Kate

donac
04-17-2008, 07:03 AM
Kate Where did you move to. I live in monmouth county but dh has family in Ocean county , ds1 goes to school in atlantic county and my parents are in bergen county. Dh also does a lot of camping in the state so we have been to many places in the state. If you have any questions please ask. Also dh and I are both teachers too.

LisaNJ25
04-17-2008, 07:53 AM
If you want to head up my way:

http://www.turtlebackzoo.com/
http://www.wildwestcity.com/
http://www.lomb.com/
http://www.fieldtrip.com/nj/13470900.htm
http://www.communitychildrensmuseum.org

bellebud
04-17-2008, 08:05 AM
Van Saun Park in Paramus (Bergen Co.) Van Saun Park had pretty grounds, nice playgrounds, a train ride and pony rides. It would be a nice day, at least as I remember it.

Van Saun is awesome! It also has a zoo, which is small and perfect for little kids. There's buffalo roaming where you take the train ride. There's also a carousel. We live an hour from there and have gone for the day many times. Sometimes we picnic, sometimes we use their indoor cafeteria (not overly nice, but it's food). Don't know if it has only summer hours though.

mom2aredhead
04-17-2008, 08:05 AM
PS - We would love to do the Cape May Zoo, but its like 2.5 hours each way. We usually go to the Bronx zoo, but we will save that for a later date - my girls just LOVE their animals!

Longstreet Farm in Holmdel Park is good for animal lovers...

It's an "old fashioned" working farm that(small) that you can wander around the animals and see how life used to be. Sometime in the afternoon, the kids are invited to help milk the cows. The park that its in is also beautiful in its own right...duck pond, 2 different playgrounds and lots of running arond room.

Best part, you can stop at Delicious Orchards on the way home and pick up lots of great stuff!

bellebud
04-17-2008, 08:21 AM
there's also Space Farms Zoo outside of sussex, NJ (i don't know what town it's actually in, but it's northern NJ). Kind of old, but still neat because of the animals it has (an alligator, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, kangaroo (we saw the baby in the pouch last spring - very neat!), emu's, etc. It has many antique collections, including cars, horse drawn sleds, old dolls and toys, etc. We go a couple of times every summer because it's not too far.

Disneygirl26
04-17-2008, 10:00 AM
We go to Sesame Place all of the time. It's not Disney clean, but it's definitely not dirty. There is someone in the bathrooms cleaning them about every other visit, and we visit the bathroom quite a few times in a day. The park in general is pretty clean as well. I swear the residents in that area start those rumors because they don't like the extra traffic, especially on the weekends, but it really isn't true.


I have to agree we go a couple of times during the summer and I've never seen it dirty. I thinks its a great place for kids.

tmatthews
04-17-2008, 10:01 AM
Kate Where did you move to. I live in monmouth county but dh has family in Ocean county , ds1 goes to school in atlantic county and my parents are in bergen county. Dh also does a lot of camping in the state so we have been to many places in the state. If you have any questions please ask. Also dh and I are both teachers too.

Teacher from cape may county here!!! Welcome!:teacher:

SharpMomOfTwo
04-18-2008, 06:10 PM
We went to Please Touch in Philly today - wasn't to impressed. Getting into Philly was the worst thing in the world!!!! SO MUCH TRAFFIC! Then DH made me make a wrong turn, and I had to go back and sit in the traffic again! The museum itself was cute, but not worth the long drive up there. The lady was nice though and only made us pay for once child - its $10.95 for anyone over 12 months! I don't see us going back ever, but the kids did have some fun, it was just to small for us. We did walk around South street when we were done - its a great street if you don't have 2 kids and a stroller! You can't go into any stores! Oh well, next big trip will probally be out to the Bronx Zoo - DD18m LOVES her animas!
Thanks again to everyone who replied with all your great suggestions!!!

ricochett
06-27-2009, 03:18 PM
Does anyone know of a sprayground other then monmoth counth parK, in North Jersey or North east PA?

SharpMomOfTwo
06-27-2009, 03:59 PM
Does anyone know of a sprayground other then monmoth counth parK, in North Jersey or North east PA?

Check out Dorbrook Park in Holmdel, NJ We were just there today and its great!

justwinnie
06-28-2009, 12:34 AM
Does anyone know of a sprayground other then monmoth counth parK, in North Jersey or North east PA?

In North (East) Jersey, you can try Lyndhurst Town Park, Lyndhurst, NJ.

Here's more info:
http://www.njplaygrounds.com/blog-n-photos/?p=176

meriface11
06-28-2009, 05:55 PM
Hi there I am right next to TInton Falls.

If you have a couple of little kids Red Bank is not for them. It is more of a teen hangout.

YOu could you to Brookdale Community College and on the campus is Monmouth Museum which has a children's section.

YOu could go up to Middletown and go to Poricy Park and go fosil hunting.

Or you could go to Holmdel and go to Longstreet Farms which is a working farm at Holmdel Park.

South of Tinton Falls is a place called Allaire State Park which has buildings from the 1800's.

Next to Tinton Falls is Eatontown and a large mall with a big movie theater if all else fails. It has a nice food court
Out in Freehold is Mounmouth Battlegrounds where there was an important battle from the revolution.

I hope I got the names of these places right. YOu could always take the kids to Seaside and let ride some rides but that gets expensive.


omg. I'm sure it was a lot different now than it was in the early 80's, but i used to LOVE field trips to the Monmouth Museum when I was a kid.

DeeCeeSW
06-28-2009, 10:26 PM
omg. I'm sure it was a lot different now than it was in the early 80's, but i used to LOVE field trips to the Monmouth Museum when I was a kid.

Went to the Monmouth Museum a couple of months ago with my DS and his 2nd grade class. The staff is very friendly and knowledgeable. They have a "blow-up" planetarium (a little freaky for me) and lots of activities for the little ones.

Dorbrook Spraygrounds is great and the playground next to it is awesome. Not a lot of shade there, tho, so make sure you have plenty of sunblock.

njplaygrounds
06-29-2009, 05:43 AM
wow you guys have some great suggestions, glad to find this board! I second van saun, you should definitely check out Watchung reservation The Loop Playground and Trailside, Turtleback zoo is great as well, with train, carousel and little playground. Pine Creek Railroad in Allaire was fun for my boys.. I'm going to go to Thompson park soon to check it out, hear you can feed the deer..