ICE SKATING RINKS IN AND AROUND JERSEY CITY

They say we are having a mild winter so far, but I feel like it is pretty cold out! More cold means less park time and outdoor activities. Or does it? Looking for a cold weather activity that will suit the whole family? Take them ice skating! There are some really great ice skating rinks in Jersey City.

I recently tried ice skating for the first time with my 4 year old (I know…where have I been?!) at Pershing Field and it was a great experience. But I learned a few things…

Tips:

  • Bring your little one’s bike/scooter helmet. I didn’t realize this one until we were there. A lot of these places offer helmet rentals, but if you have one, bring one!
  • Dress appropriately!Some of these rinks are outdoors or partially covered, so it’s cold in there! Dress little one’s in a snowsuit with layers. If they fall on the ice (which they do…a lot) they will start to get wet, so snow pants are best. But, don’t forget about you. Try double socks to keep your feet warm in the rental skates.
  • Leave your bag at home or in the car.I know this one seems obvious, but I found myself at the ice skating rink with a bag and nowhere to leave it. Try just taking the essentials in your pockets or lock your bag in the trunk of your car while skating.

NEW JERSEY 

Newport Skates, 95 River Drive, Jersey City  (Not Open )

skating rinks in Jersey City

 

Admission is $7 and skate rentals are $6. Newport Residents and tenants get a discount of half price daily admission with proof of residential or employee ID card. Once you pay, you can skate all day, which is nice if you live locally or have kids that need a lot of time on the ice! Their hours of operation are:

  • Monday – Friday from 4pm to 9pm
  • Saturday from 11am to 9pm
  • Sunday from 11am to 7pm

Pershing Field Ice Rink, 807 Summit Avenue, Jersey City

This local favorite is in Jersey City Heights. They offer a parking lot, so it’s very convenient from downtown if you have a car. This rink is covered, but open to the outdoors. Admission for residents of Jersey City is $3 for adults and $2 for children under 17 years of age. Non-residents is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Skate rentals are $4 for the figure and $5 for ice-hockey skates. Public skating hours are:

  • Thursday 3:30pm – 6pm
  • Friday 3:30pm – 5pm / 5:45pm – 7:45pm / 8pm – 10pm,
  • Saturday 1:15pm – 3:15pm / 3:30pm – 5:30pm / 5:45pm – 7:45pm / 8pm – 10pm
  • Sunday 1:15pm – 3:15pm / 3:30pm – 5:30pm / 5:45pm – 7:45pm

There is a small snack shop located inside the rink offering cookies, candy, hot chocolate and more. Plus, skating lessons are offered for children 8 – 17 and adults, which are free with paid rink entry. Click here for more information.

Richard J. Korpi Ice Rink, 669 Avenue A, Bayonne

If you like the indoor and temperature controlled ice skating experience, this rink is for you. This rink offers public skating sessions just on weekends.

  • Friday nights from 5:45pm to 7pm
  • Saturdays from 2:15pm to 3:30pm and from 6:45pm to 8pm
  • Sundays from 2pm to 3:15pm

The cost for non-residents is $10 per session and includes skate rental. Bayonne Residents are $3 for kids, $5 for adults and $4 for skate rentals. There is limited free public parking offered.

Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain, West Orange

This fantastic, recently renovated, indoor rink is only about a 30 minutes drive from downtown Jersey City. It boats two rinks, a skate rental area, food concession area, locker rooms and more! It is located not far from the Turtle Back Zoo. Public skating session hours vary, so be sure to check the calendar here. Rates are $8/adult and $6/child. Skate rentals are $4. Pass cards are also available to buy for 12 admissions for the price of 10. They offer skating lessons, hockey lessons and various programs, check their website for details. On-site parking is available.

NEW YORK

The Rink at Winter Village, Bryant Park, NYC

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This 170’ x 100’ outdoor ice rink is located in the center of Bryant Park and skating is FREE! Skating hours are 8am – 10pm daily through March 6, 2016. Of course, if you don’t have your own skates you will have to rent them there. Rental fees are $20 per rental. They also offer helmet rentals for $6, skate aids for $20 . You can even check your bags for a fee. Lockers are available for use for free, but you must bring your own lock or purchase one there for $10. FastPass is an option to skip the line and pay for your family in advance, check the website for details. Skating lessons are offered, but they suggest you schedule the lesson in advance. Private lessons are $60, semi-private lessons are $80 per group and group lessons are $120 per group. All lessons are 30 minutes in duration. Winter Village offers many things including Ice Bites to get some treats during your skate, the Holiday ShopsCelsius restaurant, a fire pit at Southwest porch and even Le Carrousel. Getting there is easy just take the B, D, F, M, 7 to 42nd Street.

Wollman Rink, Central Park, NYC

skating rinks in Jersey City

 

Located in the southeastern section of Central Park, Wollman Rink has been open to the public since 1949. At this outdoor rink, skating is available through early April seven days a week, with limited hours on:

  • Monday and Tuesday from 10am to 2:30pm
  • Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 10pm
  • Friday and Saturday from 10am to 11pm
  • Sunday from 10am to 9pm

Monday – Thursday rates are $11.25/adult and $6/child 11 and under. Friday – Sunday and Holidays rates are $18/adult and $6/child 11 and under. Spectator’s rates are $5/person. Skate rentals are $8. You can rent locks for $5 with a $6 refundable deposit. The rink is cash only, so come prepared. The nearest subways are: A, B, C, D, 1 at 59thStreet/Columbus Circle; N, Q, R at 5th Avenue/59th Street; F at 57th Street and the 4, 5, 6 at 59th Street.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center, NYC

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Perhaps one of the most famous ice skating locations in NYC, this outdoor rink is visited by people from all around the globe each winter. The rink is open daily with 8 sessions from 8:30am through midnight. The rates varied from $25 to $32 depending on standard, holiday or peak time, and $15/child under 11 years of age. Skate rentals are $12. You can take skate lessons daily from 9am – 6pm for $50 per 30 minutes private lesson (this also includes general admission to the rink). They also offer group rates with a 15 person minimum and advanced reservations required. Group rates are $15/adult and $10/child, with skate rentals being $8. There are so many things to do once you are there including great food, hot chocolate, shopping and so much more! Take the B, D, F to Rockefeller Center/47-50thStreet.

Sky Rink, Chelsea Piers, NYC

skating rinks in Jersey City

 

This indoor ice skating rink is open year-round. Skating sessions are:

  • Monday and Friday from 1:30pm to 5pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 5pm
  • Saturday – Sunday from 1pm to 3:50pm

They are closed on Wednesdays. Rates are $10/person for all ages and $5 per skate rental. Helmet rentals are available for $4.25. Various classes and programs are offered including private skate lessons, hockey tots, adult skate night and more. Check the website for details. Once you are there, Chelsea Piers offers so much including great food, drinks, shopping and more! On-site parking is available for a fee. You can also take the M23, M14-D or M12 buses.

The Rink at Brookfield Place, located on the plaza in front of Brookfield Place Winter Garden

skating rinks in Jersey City

 

Located on the Hudson River Waterfront, it is open from Monday – Friday from 1pm to 8:30pm, and Saturday and Sundays from 10am to 10pm. The rink offers programs such as Learn to Skate, Mommy/ Daddy & Me, Kick Ice Hockey Fitness and Corporate Skating Events. Single sessions of 90 minutes are $15 and skate rentals are $5.

Best Children’s Apps for Traveling

Picture It: Later this month. Your family is in the car or on the plane on your way to  Grandma’s house when the first kids sighs “I’m bored” and it hits you…your bag of children’s entertainment is sitting on the kitchen counter at home and  have nothing to occupy your kids for the next 4 hours (AHHH!). You begin to panic. You start to feel sweat stains on your sweater form. You don’t know whether to cry or run. All hope is lost until you remember this article and you breath a sigh of relief. In a few minutes, you have successfully downloaded a bunch of new apps to your phone that are both entertaining AND educational. You are now in the running for Mother of Year.

Tozzle & Tozzle Words: My kids have always enjoyed these puzzles. They help children identify shapes and matching. Now, with Tozzle Words, your kids are asked to spell words that coordinate to a particular scene. Very helpful with the beginning reader crowd. Tozzle – $1.99, Tozzle Words – $2.99

Monkey PreSchool Lunchbox, Explorers & Fix It: An Oldie but goody, Preschool Monkey apps teach kids everything from counting and numbers to colors, shapes and size. Plus, kids love that they earn stickers after each activity. My son is especially enamored with the Fix It app as it is overflowing with cars and tools. A word of caution: make sure your kids have the volume down on this one as the monkey noises could drive you and everyone else around you bananas. $4.99 for the bundle.

Peekaboo Barn : This app is popular with kids because the animals make sounds, but are not overly obnoxious for the parents to hear. They’ve recently added several new apps, and while we currently do not have them, they would be on our list to download next. Peekaboo Barn – $1.99

Endless Series: With some of the most adorable monsters on the planet, Endless offers apps that run the gamut of education…letters, numbers, reading and Spanish just to name a few. These guys know how to make education fun. Endless apps are free, but there are in-app purchases, although our kids have never needed any of those purchases. If you plan to purchase in-app, consider the school edition versions (Endless Learning Bundle) which would be cheaper in the long run.

Mickey Video: While not necessarily educational unless you go to Micky U, this series of new Mickey cartoons designed to look like the old Mickey cartoons is super cool. But…you have to have a wifi connection to use the app. The videos can’t be downloaded. App is free.

LetterSchool: LetterSchool is a cool app that helps kids learn how to correctly write their upper case & lowercase letters and numbers. Once the letter or number is formed correctly, a cool animation appears. $4.99 for the app.

Bugs & Bubbles: So much bubble popping in this app, kids have no idea they are learning patterns, colors, shapes and sizing. They also have a new app called Bugs and Buttons 2 which targets critical thinking for the over 5 crowd. Downloading it right now…. $2.99 each app, $9.99 for a 6 app bundle.

Toca Boca: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Toca Boca. With 29 apps, there’s something for everyone here. I would recommend the Toca Awesome Bundle, 10 apps for $16.99 and include the popular Toca Hair Salon (cutting virtual hair instead of real hair is a good thing), Toca Builders and Toca Lab.

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Places to Play Indoors in Jersey City and Hoboken

Indoor places for kids in Jersey City and Hoboken:

What is a mommy to do? Don’t fear! Check out some of these fantastic indoor play spaces in Jersey City and Hoboken. Grab your energetic little ones and get them playing, singing, reading, crafting or exploring. And you don’t even have to travel that far.

Jersey City:

Indoors places for kids in Jersey City

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Gym

My Gym has developed an extraordinary program and facility devised to help children 6 weeks thru 10 years of age develop physically, cognitively and emotionally. We have hundreds of locations in more than 30 countries offering structured, age-appropriate, weekly classes that incorporate music, dance, relays, games, special rides, gymnastics, sports and more. Children have loads of fun as they gain strength, balance, coordination, agility and flexibility while developing social skills, confidence and self-esteem. Our state-of-the-art facility, extensively trained staff, award-winning class programs, and excellent student/teacher ratio have earned My Gym the reputation as the best early learning program of its kind.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey City and Hoboken

Indoors places for kids in Jersey City

 

 

 

 

HudsonPLAY

HudsonPLAY is a unique family playspace with activities to engage at every age. It definately kids’  favorite indoor place in Jersey City, With a focus on interactive entertainment and fitness, HudsonPLAY is designed for serious fun with dynamic play areas for toddlers, state-of-the-art activities for preschoolers and a challenging Ninja Warrior Course for everyone else! Come and rediscover the excitement of PLAY.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityLiberty Science Center 

No matter how the wather is, LSC is the best indoor place for kids in Jersey City.If you are in the Jersey City area, one of the best indoor playlands is Liberty Science Center! It is the perfect spot for rainy days, snowy days and pretty much any day that you don’t feel like playing outside. There are changing exhibits for kids of all ages and permanent fixtures that kids love. Experience. Tickets will cost you $19.75/Adult over 13 years of age and $14.75/Child ages 2 – 12 for general admission. Luckily, they offer great membership rates. A “Basic Family” membership will cost $140 and includes two adults and up to four kids under 18 years of age.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey City and Hoboken

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityJersey City Public Library

The main branch of the Jersey City Public Library offers a Children’s Room that offers many children’s books and a plethora of events. Check out the events calendar for information on events in all of Jersey City’s library branches. Events at the main branch include crafts, movies, performances and many other family-friendly activities.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey City

 

 

 

 

 

Gymboree Play & Music, Jersey

At Gymboree Play & Music, our fall classes and special activities inspire learning at every turn. Our warm & vibrant play floor encourages your child to continue playing as weather cools outdoors. Join us for fall crafts and spooktacular story times during Open Gyms. Wear your costume to class as we explore literacy with favorite fall books. Our programs help your child from 0-5 years develop the physical, cognitive and social skills needed for confident learning. Your first class is always free when you make fall friends at Gymboree!


Tiny Greenhouse

Tiny Greenhouse is a “friendly art studio”, located in downtown Jersey City, which offers classes and more. They also offer a drop-in studio/open play for children ages one – five, with an adult.  They have pre-set tables with clay, crayons, blocks, puzzles, toys, books, etc. Your little one will have a blast interacting and playing. The price is $15/child per hour. Click here to see the schedule and book your day in advance.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityHudson-Bayonne Lanes 

Bowling is the perfect indoor, cold-weather activity! The bowling center offers 60 lanes, bumpers, full service grill, private off-street parking, arcade machines and much more. Plus, they are open daily all day long! Click here to register and receive coupons.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CitySaint Peter’s University Swimming Pool

The swimming pool at Saint Peter’s University offers swimming lessons and a family pool membership, both at reasonable rates. There are specific times that you have to come in order to swim freely, however. Please contact Saint Peter’s directly for more information.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityKey Element Learning :

One of the most popular indoors place for kids in Jersey City is Key Element Learning and it has three locations in Hoboken and one in downtown Jersey City. This facility offers many classes for different age groups including art, language, music, literacy, cooking, science and more. The Jersey City location offers a two-hour drop-off program called “Mommy Errand Time” Tuesday through Friday from 1:30pm – 3:30pm for children two through five years of age.

Hoboken:

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityKidville Annex 

This playland offers classes for children up to 6 years of age. Classes include art, dance, gym, music and more. Plus, it has a large indoor playspace for members. You get a Silver Membership for free when you register for any class there. You may purchase Platinum, Gold and Diamond level memberships, as well. Click here to sign up for a free trial class.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityHoboken Public Library

The children’s department at Hoboken Public Library offers many books and activities for families. Some of their fall and winter programs include “Book Buddies” where kids at least eight years of age read in small groups, “Reading Dogs” which allows children kindergarten age and up to pair up with a puppy and many more programs! Family programs are offered once a month and include songs, stories, performances and more.

Indoors places for kids in Jersey CityMimi Kids Yoga 

This fun-tastic yoga studio offers a two hour drop-off class for children ages two – three and a half years old. Class sizes are small to give children one-on-one attention with the instructor. Classes are offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. A 16-week session is $649, with discounts for siblings. Space is limited, so contact them for more information.

Romparoo

Romparoo is a “soft indoor playroom” that offers classes, drop-off and open play time. They offer drop-off classes are offered Monday through Friday and is for children one and a half through three and a half years of age. The drop-in rate for these classes is $50 or you can register and pay $180/month, which includes one class per week, one open play per week and 10% off birthday parties. Open play time is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm – 2pm for children six months through three years of age. The cost for open play is $15/child.

 

Summer Fun: Pools and swimming lessons in Jersey City ( swimming Pools in Jersey City)

swimming Pools in Jersey City

It’s summer! It’s time to get out with the kids and head to the pool and the beach. That means it’s also time to get those kids swimming. Here are some pools in the Jersey City to take your little ones. Some facilities offer free or inexpensive swimming classes in a variety of age ranges, so there is surely a class that will work for you and your family.

Pershing Field Pool

FREE SWIMMING LESSONS   : swimming Pools in Jersey City

Jersey City is offering free swimming lessons to children ages 6 – 14 years at local area.  The program locations, schedules and registration process are listed on the flyer and includes Lafayette Aquatics Center, Pavonia Municipal Pool, PS 6, PS 27 and PS 41. Starting date for lessons are June 27th and July 6th. Do not forget to bring 1 copy of proof of residency and birth certificate for the registration.

FREE OUTDOOR POOLS FOR RESIDENTS 

All Jersey City Residents must provide proof of residency & photo ID before entry is admitted to the pools

Lafayette Pool and Aquatic Center 

Located at 303 Van Home Street. This location is very convenient to downtown Jersey City and Liberty State Park. The pool offers a kiddie pool with water features and a slide, a larger pool and a snack stand.

The center is open until September 9th, Monday – Friday from 7am – 7pm. (7am -9 am for adult/lap swim only, 9am – 10 am for free swim lessons for kids and 10am – 7pm for everyone). Weekend hours are 10am – 6pm.

Pavonia Pool

Located at 914 Pavonia Avenue in the West Side neighborhood of Jersey City.

The pool is currently open until September 9th Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am – 7pm (8am-9am for adult swim), Tuesday and Thursday from 8 am to 5:30 pm (8am-9am for adult swim, 9am – 10am for free swimming lessons for children) and weekends from 10am – 6pm.

INDOOR POOLS FOR RESIDENTS

All Jersey City Residents must provide proof of residency & photo ID before entry is admitted to the pools

Pershing Field Pool

Pershing Field Pool   Pershing Field Pool

Located at 201 Central Avenue in Jersey City Heights.

The pool is open year round, currently opens Monday – Friday from 7am – 8:30 pm and on weekends from 12noon – 6pm. Entry fees for this pool are: residents $3 for adults and $2 for children on weekdays and $4 for adults and $3 for children on weekends. For non-residents, the fees are $6 for adults and $4 for children on weekdays and $8 for adults and $6 for kids on weekends.

There is also a children’s playground with water sprinkler on-site.

Public School # 6

Located at 100 St. Pauls Avenue and will open from July 6th to August 7th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 4pm. Free Swimming classes for children are available from July 6th to July 29, Monday to Thursday from 12pm-1pm.

Public School #27

Located at 201 North Street and will open from July 6th to August 28th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 4pm. Free Swimming classes for children are available from July 6th to July 29, Monday to Thursday from 12pm-1pm.

Public School # 41

Located at 59 Wilkinson Ave. and will open from July 6th to August 28th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 6pm and Saturdays 12 pm – 5 pm.  Free Swimming classes for children are available from July 6th to July 29, Monday to Thursday from noon-1pm.

Public School # 16

Located at 96 Sussex St., will be open from July 6th to August 28th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 4pm.

Public School # 40

Located at 88 Gates Avenue, will be open from July 6th to August 7th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 4pm.

Dickinson High School.

Located at 2 Palisade Avenue, will be open from July 6th to August 7th on Monday through Friday 2:30 pm – 4pm.

OTHER SWIMMING PROGRAMS IN JERSEY CITY

Pershing Field Pool

Saint Peter’s Swimming Pool

Located at Saint Peters University campus. They have two available programs: kids group lessons (Ages 4 -16) and adult lessons. Lessons are 40 minutes long and they offer siblings discount. For more information, call (718) 795 -5298 or e-mail them

Sky Club Fitness and Spa : Learn to Swim at Sky Club

Our Aquatic Kids programs are designed for all ages and abilities. We have small group classes with experienced instructors who are passionate about teaching kids to be comfortable and confident in the water. To register for classes, click on the Registration Form button at the bottom of the page.

125 Marshall Street,7th Floor, Hoboken, NJ 07030 Tel: 201-222-2582

Swim Stars Jersey City

At Swim Stars our mission is to provide quality swim lessons to all of our Swim Star clients. Our vision is to create a learning environment where all of our customers feel safe and comfortable in the water. Providing both learn-to-swim and competitive swim lessons to all ages, we believe that swimming is a lifelong skill that should be enjoyed by everyone. At Swim Stars each student will receive personalized attention and be serviced by our experiences and skills as we look forward to helping them reach their aquatic goals.”

Swim Stars www.swimstars.biz
99 Highland Avenue Jersey City NJ 7306

Swim Stars Swim School : Pool Address: Saint Peter’s University,870 Montgomery Street, Jersey City, NJ 07306:     Email:[email protected]

Hamilton Health and Fitness

This convenient Hamilton Park location is a big hit with local families! They offer Children’s and Adult Swim programs. Classes are for ages 6 months and up and they have. The classes run. Classes are $170 (members) or $220 (non-members) for 8-weeks and are 30 minute long. Pre-registration is required.

Newport Swim and Fitness

This gym located at 33 River Drive South offers a large indoor pool and swimming lessons to both members and non-members of the facility. Classes are either 8-weeks with one class per week or 4-weeks with two classes per week. Registration is rolling, as there are new classes beginning every few weeks.

SPRINKLERS

All city sprinklers are open from June 24th through September 7th, Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m and Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. See flyer for locations

The first few below are in the downtown area. I’ve listed them, along with other fun things available at and around the downtown area parks.

 

Hamilton Park, 8th Street and Hamilton Place

Take a leisurely day at Hamilton Park with the whole family. The Splash Pad will help keep the kiddies cool or let them monkey around in the playground area. There is even a playground for the smaller children, which includes a little sprayer (since the Splash Pad can get a bit wild). Or just bring a blanket and sit in the shade, while the kids play on one of the beautiful lawn areas. There are even two dog runs, so don’t forget your furry baby. On Wednesdays you can enjoy all of these activities, plus the weekly farmer’s market. The park gets crowded, but it’s fun to picnic on the grass and try some of the yummy local food the market offers.
Newport Green, 700 Washington Boulevard

Newport Green isn’t actually a city park. The sprinklers are supposed to shut down around 6pm and the park itself closes at dusk. This unique little park, not only offers a fun sprinkler area, it also has a large and modern playground — complete with something for kids of all ages. This park also boasts a small carousel that’s a huge hit with the younger kids. A small sandy beach with umbrellas completes this downtown oasis. Parking can be an issue, so make sure to follow the rules posted on signs along the streets. Also, remember pets are not allowed at Newport Green.

Jones Park, 8th Street and Brunswick Street

This small park has a cute sprinkler area in the playground. A whale, dolphin and seal squirt water and kids have an area to run around and play while cooling off. The playground is right there, so kids can run from one to the other, plus the entire area is gated. A small, pretty community garden project is in the corner of the area. The park also offers a skate park, for those who love to ride their scooters on ramps! You can walk around the entire park and it’s usually a nice quiet walk. Feel free to bring dogs! This park is within walking distance of the bigger Hamilton Park, so if you feel like hitting two in one day, it can easily be done.

Arlington Park, 785 Grand Street

Audubon Park, 103-129 Bergen Avenue

Bayside Park, 480 Garfield Avenue

Dr. Lena Edwards Park, Johnston Avenue and Pine St.

Muhammad Ali Park, Van Nostrand Avenue

LaPointe Park, 90-92 Dekalb Avenue

Pershing Field Park, Summit Avenue and Pershing Plaza

Lafayette Park, Maple Street and Van Horne Avenue

Terrace Park, Terrace Ave & Thorne St

Venator Watson Park, Stevens Ave. & Martin Luther King Dr.

Virginia avenue Park, Virginia Ave & Bergen Ave.

Wilkinson Avenue Park, Wilkinson Ave & Martin Luther King Dr.

For more information, please call 201-547-5003 or 201-547-4449 for sprinklers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Back to school Tips

Summer is winding down (unfortunately) and it’s just about that time to go back to school! Very soon Jersey City Public Schools (and most private schools) begin the 2017 – 2018 school year. I don’t know about you, but I feel like it’s really crept up on me this year. There are so many things to do before school begins that it can be hard to keep track. Here are some ideas that can help you get organized for the new session !


Label It
: One thing that’s generally consistent at every school (especially for the younger set) is that they want EVERYTHING labeled. This can be a daunting task. You can try old favorites like Fabric Markers, but sometimes it’s hard to label all clothing that way, especially on dark colored items. Name Bubbles are fantastic. These labels are durable and laundry-safe (they won’t wash off!), plus you can put them on virtually anything. Not to mention, they are pretty cute looking.

6 Back to school Tips

Change of clothes: The younger set usually need a clean set of clothes to bring to school. This is something you can get done now and put aside for next week. Grab some summer clothes (or a spare uniform, if applicable) and put them into a large Ziploc bag. This way you can label the bag and it can easily be organized with your child’s other school items. The bag also doubles as a laundry bag for the soiled clothes being sent home.

6 Back to school Tips

School Supplies: Shopping for school supplies this close to the beginning of the school year can be a nightmare! The school supply aisles become ransacked and bought out. I like to shop at the Staples in Jersey City for school supplies. The store tends to be a lot less hectic than its neighbor (Target) and they carry pretty much every school supply you will need. Coupons: Check the link for some Staples coupons that you can bring into the store. If you don’t feel like braving the stores, you still have time to shop online! Amazon has its very own Back to School store. If you order soon, you should have it in time for the first day of school, especially if you have Amazon Prime.

6 Back to school TipsSchool Lunch: The age old question…send them with lunch money or brown bag it? Get creative with homemade lunches! Don’t miss this Buzzfeed post “27 School Lunch Tips That Will Keep You Sane,” which includes great ideas like freezing juice boxes the night before to double as ice packs. If you are feeling gourmet, you can try “19 School Lunch Ideas That Are Healthy (Mostly)” from Bon Appetit with recipes like Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup and The Antipasti Plate. Or you can always hit up the Pinterest Boards! To make your life easier, check out these reusable lunch containers with ice packs in the lids or try these reusable sandwich and snack bags.

6 Back to school Tips

 

 

 

School Clothes: Last minute shopper? Don’t fear! Lots of stores are having Labor Day sales this weekend, so you can stock up and give the pocketbook a break, too. Macy’s is having a big sale in stores and online. Click here  for an in-store coupon. Gap is advertising “Everything up to 40% off” in stores and online. Plus, they have great options for uniforms, like khaki pants and skirts. If you need school shoes still, Zappos has a great selection of children’s shoes. As an added bonus, they ship quickly and shipping and returns are free, so you can order multiple sizes if you are unsure.

6 Back to school TipsGet a Haircut: Looking to clean up those untamed summer tresses? There are plenty of options in our area. For the smaller ones, it’s important to find somewhere geared towards young children. Just 4 Kids in Hoboken is a great option for kids of all ages. They are especially good for younger kids. They offer Ferrari and Hummer styling chairs, flat screen TV’s equipped with Apple TVs with Netflix and Hulu. They ask you child what their favorite show is before they even begin. There are also games, balloons and organic lollipops. Tousled Hair Salon is a local option (where you can get your haircut, too!) that offers children’s haircuts.

Take the Ferry for Fun! Jersey City to Manhattan

Fun things to do in jersey city : Take the kids to lower Manhattan for some fun activities! Here are some that my family has been enjoying.

Fun things to do in jersey cityThe Ferry

The ferry is part of the adventure! Kids love boats and who can resist a ride on the Hudson River? It’s a short ride, but a fun one. Catch the ferry at the Paulus Hook Terminal at the end of Sussex Street at the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway in Jersey City. The ferry takes you over to the World Financial Center Terminal in lower Manhattan. For a quicker and easier experience, download NYWaterway’s smartphone app and purchase your tickets in advance. FYI, there are brand-new (and clean) bathrooms at the Paulus Hook Terminal in the building you buy tickets. [I would suggest using them before the ferry ride because the ones at WFC aren’t as clean or nice.] The ferries depart every 15 minutes and travel time is approximately 7 minutes.

Fun things to do in jersey city

Fun things to do in jersey cityHit the Park

There are two great parks very close to the WFC Terminal in NYC. Rockefeller Park is the closest and is located just off the waterfront walkway to the left of the ferry terminal. It is located at the north end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace. There is a duck pond, wide lawns, as well as a large playground. The playground offers a sand area, water features, unique playground equipment and more. Plus, you can pick up free equipment at the Batter Park Conservancy Parkhouse for ping-pong, knock-hockey and other games! Teardrop Park is located between Warren and Murray Streets, east of River Terrace. This two-acre park features a fantastic slide, sand boxes, an “ice wall”, water play areas, places to rock hop and much more! Hit one or both of these parks during your excursion and the kids will love it! Rockefeller Park is also a great place to wait for the ferry, since you can see it from the playground.

Fun things to do in jersey cityTake a Walk or a Ride

The Battery Park City Esplanade runs along the Hudson River for the entire length of Battery Park City and is lined with parks and gardens. It’s a great place to walk from the ferry with many interesting stops along the way and gorgeous views of Jersey City! There is also a bike path. Taking a bike on the ferry will cost you an additional $1 per bike, but can be worth it, especially with the reduced ferry rates on the weekends. If you don’t have a bike, there is a convenient Citi Bike location at Vesey Place and River Terrace, very close to the ferry terminal. If you are into biking, try riding out to West Street and north up the West Side Highway. The views are terrific and there are many things to do along the way, including The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Fun things to do in jersey cityGo to the Movies

The Regal Battery Park Stadium Cinema is just blocks from the ferry terminal. This movie theater is newer, big and offers large comfy seats and 11 screens. Plus, there’s always convenient show times for families.


Visit a Museum

We all know there are a ton of museums in the NYC area, but choosing one can be tough. Luckily, there are some interesting museums within walking distance from the ferry at WFC. The Skyscraper Museum is located at 39 Battery Place just off Battery Park. It’s a great option for kids who are very into buildings. Another fun museum that’s not too far is the National Museum of the American Indian located at Bowling Green. They offer family activities including music, dance and art. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum is now open and a close walk from the ferry. The Battery Park City Library is located at North End Avenue at Murray Street. The library offers many activities and events for families.

Fun things to do in jersey cityEat!

So, there’s also some good eats around this area. One of our favorite post-park eateries is Shake Shack’s Battery Park location. It’s only a few blocks from the playgrounds I mentioned and it’s just around the corner from the movie theater. Plus, there is plenty of outdoor seating, so it’s perfect for beautiful summer and fall days. They offer everything you want from a Shake Shack, including burgers, fries and those yummy milkshakes. There is also a Blue Smoke located in Battery Park, as well. The famous BBQ restaurant boasts menu favorites like fried chicken and ribs. They also offer a kids menu featuring mac and cheese, ribs and grilled cheese (plus dessert!). If you feel like walking a little bit, I highly-recommend Luke’s Lobster, located on William Street in the Financial District. It’s a nice walk from the ferry and the lobster rolls are delicious.

Also visit Brookfield Place NY, where you can find a French market and a huge dining area, also they always have some show or activity going on for all ages.

It’s Too Hot, Get Out of the City and onto an NJ Farm

Farms near Jersey City

Although there are a ton of great things to do in Jersey City, when summer rolls around, sometimes you just have to get out of the hot city. Remember, New Jersey isn’t called the “Garden State” for nothing. There are plenty of farms with wonderful activities for kids of all ages…and some are even close to Jersey City! Here are some great farms within about an hour or less driving distance. Just remember to call these farms before you plan your trip to see what’s in season and ripe for the picking!

Farms near Jersey CityOur personal family favorite is Terhune Orchards in Princeton, NJ. The farm takes about an hour to get to from Jersey City. Terhune offers activities, festivals and farm fun all year long. We go every year in the Fall to pick pumpkins and apples. Even when there isn’t an official event, the farm has a lot to offer. There’s always fresh produce, baked goods and even a winery on site. The farm store boasts a bountiful array of Jersey Fresh items straight from the farm and other local vendors. Don’t miss their Sweet Apple Cider (or the cider donuts)! For kids there are barnyard animals (sheep, goats, ducks, etc.), stationary tractors, a farm trail and much more. If you like to pick-your-own, this is a great place to do that all year long. Click here for a schedule of what you can pick and when.  Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ, 609-924-2310.

Farms near Jersey CityAnother one of my favorites is Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ. It should take you just under an hour to get there by car. Alstede offers so many wonderful things. From their farm store, pick-your-own fruits/veggies/flowers to their summer camps to their delicious baked goods — this farm has it all! Their farm store is extensive, featuring items like Alstede’s homemade ice cream (yum), certified organic produce, fresh local milk and eggs, home baked pies and quiche and so much more! They offer pick-your-own daily (Mon-thursday) from 12pm – 6pm for $5/person (free hayrides are included). Right now, you can still pick strawberries! Check this schedule to see what you can pick and when. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday come for Farm Family Fun days with activities including pony rides, moonbounce, corn kingdom and more. Alstede Farms, 1 Chesterfield Drive, Chester, NJ, 908-879-7189.

Farms near Jersey CityDemarest Farms is in nearby Hillsdale, NJ, which is under an hour from Jersey City. They tout themselves as “Bergen County’s capital of pick-your-own peaches, apples and pumpkins” and our in their 128th season. The farm offers many things to pique your interest, including their Country Bakery, ice cream shoppe, home grown fruits and veggies, a variety of local dairy and cheeses and their infamous made-from-scratch salad bar. Click here to see what’s in season at Demarest. Come on weekends to enjoy farm activities like hay rides. Saturdays and Sundays, from 10AM to 3:00PM.

Cost: $5 per person General Admission, which includes a hay wagon ride; plus $9 for a bag to hold the peaches that you pick!

  • Peach Picking will begin on or around July 23, 2016. Call for details.
  •  Demarest Farms, 244 Werimus Road, Hillsdale, NJ, 201-666-0472.

Farms near Jersey CityYou may recognize the name Ort Farms if you frequent Jersey City Farmer’s Markets, as they are a vendor at many of them. Why not drive out to see where it all comes from? The farm is located in Long Valley and takes about an hour to drive from here. They offer farm-fresh fruits and veggies including corn and tomatoes and fresh flowers, too. They even offer a CSA, so you can buy a share and get in on some really great local produce for your family. Check out this page to see what’s in season during the summer months at Ort. Delicious baked goods like pies, loaf cakes and cider donuts are available.  It’s a great place to bring a picnic and take a daytrip with the family. There’s plenty of room to run around — kids can climb on the hay pyramid, take a look at the farm animals and even get involved in Storytime Down on the Farm (Wednesday mornings), where kid will enjoy a story, snack and craft for $4/child (Preregister calling 908-876-3351).

ONLY IN NOVEMBER: Don’t forget to stop in the Country Corner Market and pick up some local honey, jams, jellies, fresh bread, baked goods, dairy products, plants and much more! The store is open from 9am – 7pm and 9am – 6pm on Sundays. Ort Farms, 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, NJ, 908-876-3351.

Farms near Jersey CitySussex County Strawberry Farm is located in Newton, NJ and will take about an hour to drive to. This fun farm specializes in strawberry picking, but offers much more. Click here for some good-to-know strawberry facts and tips. In late August, raspberry picking season begins! They also offer pumpkin picking in the Fall. The farm’s extensive garden center offers a wide-variety of flowers, vegetables, herbs and much more! They have many things to satisfy your gardening needs, as well. Another perk is the outdoor wood furniture and picnic tables that the farm has for sale. There’s so much to do on the farm! Click here for some strawberry inspired recipes. Sussex County Strawberry Farm, Highway 206, Andover, NJ, 973-579-5055. (973) 579-5055

Jersey City and Hoboken Sprinkler Parks and Pools

 With it heating up in Jersey City, it’s time to get outside with your kids. On the really warm days, the only place to be is a sprinkler park or at one of the city pools. Here’s a list of the sprinkler parks and pools in Jersey City, and some in Hoboken, so you can enjoy those really hot days and keep the kids active.

Jersey City: Jersey City Sprinkler Parks 

Pools:

Pavonia Pool is located at 917 Pavonia Avenue in the West Side neighborhood of Jersey City. The pool is currently open Monday – Friday from 4pm – 7pm and weekends from 11am – 7pm. The hours will be extended, once school is out for the summer. This pool is free to residents.

Jersey City Sprinkler Parks Lafayette Pool and Aquatic Center is located at 395 Johnston Avenue in the Communipaw neighborhood of Jersey City. This location is very convenient to downtown Jersey City and Liberty State Park. The pool offers a kiddie pool with water features and a slide, a larger pool and a snack stand. The center is open Monday – Friday from 7am – 10am for adult/lap swim only and 4pm – 7pm for everyone (the hours will get longer when school is out of session). Weekend hours are 11am – 7pm.

Jersey City Sprinkler Parks Pershing Field Pool is located at 201 Central Avenue in Jersey City Heights. The pool is currently open Monday – Friday from 7am – 8pm and on weekends from noon – 5pm. This pool is indoors, so you can go regardless of the weather. The fees for this pool for residents are $3 for adults and $2 for children on weekdays and $4 for adults and $3 for children on weekends. For non-residents, the fees are $6 for adults and $4 for children on weekdays and $8 for adults and $4 for kids on weekends.

Sprinklers:

Sprinklers are available in the following Jersey City parks. All city sprinklers are open daily from 11am – 7pm.  The first few below are in the downtown area. I’ve listed them, along with other fun things available at and around the downtown area parks.

Jersey City Sprinkler Parks Hamilton Park, 8th Street and Hamilton Place — Take a leisurely day at Hamilton Park with the whole family. The Splash Pad will help keep the kiddies cool or let them monkey around in the playground area. There is even a playground for the smaller children, which includes a little sprayer (since the Splash Pad can get a bit wild). Or just bring a blanket and sit in the shade, while the kids play on one of the beautiful lawn areas. There are even two dog runs, so don’t forget your furry baby. On Wednesdays you can enjoy all of these activities, plus the weekly farmer’s market. The park gets crowded, but it’s fun to picnic on the grass and try some of the yummy local food the market offers.

Jersey City Sprinkler Parks  Newport Green, 700 Washington Boulevard — Newport Green isn’t actually a city park. The sprinklers are supposed to shut down around 6pm and the park itself closes at dusk. This unique little park, not only offers a fun sprinkler area, it also has a large and modern playground — complete with something for kids of all ages. This park also boasts a small carousel that’s a huge hit with the younger kids. A small sandy beach with umbrellas completes this downtown oasis. Parking can be an issue, so make sure to follow the rules posted on signs along the streets. Also, remember pets are not allowed at Newport Green.

Jersey City Sprinkler Parks Enos Jones Park, 8th Street and Brunswick Street — This small park has a cute sprinkler area in the playground. A whale, dolphin and seal squirt water and kids have an area to run around and play while cooling off. The playground is right there, so kids can run from one to the other, plus the entire area is gated. A small, pretty community garden project is in the corner of the area. The park also offers a skate park, for those who love to ride their scooters on ramps! You can walk around the entire park and it’s usually a nice quiet walk. Feel free to bring dogs! This park is within walking distance of the bigger Hamilton Park, so if you feel like hitting two in one day, it can easily be done. Stop by a local (kid-friendly) eatery like Carmine’son Brunswick and 7th for a sandwich or sit at an outdoor table at the White Star for a burger and fries.

Pershing Field Park, Summit Avenue and Pershing Plaza 

Lafayette Park, Maple Street and Van Horne Avenue 

Dr. Lena Edwards Park, 325 Johnston Avenue 

Arlington Park, 785 Grand Street 

Audubon Park, 103-129 Bergen Avenue 

LaPointe Park, 90-92 Dekalb Avenue 

Country Village Park, 30 Sycamore Road

Columbia Park, Bartholdi Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard 

Bayside Park, 480 Garfield Avenue 

Muhammad Ali Park, Van Nostrand Avenue 

For more information, please call 201-547-5003 or 201-547-4449 for sprinklers.

Hoboken:

Four parks in Hoboken offer sprinklers for the kids to cool down! They are open daily from 11am – 5pm all summer long. Here’s the list:


Church Square Park, 4th Street and Willow Avenue — This newly-renovated park includes a sprinkler area, brand-new playground equipment, swings and even an area dedicated to toddlers. There is also a dog run, so feel free to bring the dogs. Hoboken Public Library is right across the street, so you can pop in for story time if you are feeling too hot. Don’t forget to stop by Sweet for what some consider the best cupcakes in the area!

Jackson Street Park, Jackson Street and 1st Street — This park is tucked away in a quiet area of Hoboken. After you wear yourselves out, walk down to the original Hoboken location of the famous Grimaldi’s on Clinton and 2nd Streets and grab a slice of what is hailed, by some, as the best pizza ever.

Madison Park, Madison Street and 3rd Street — Another quiet location, you can walk around the little shops, go to the movie theatre down the block or stop by the infamous Fiore’s Deli on Adams Street for a fresh mozzarella and gravy sandwich!

Elysian Park, Hudson Street and 10th Street — Close to the waterfront, this location allows you many options to walk around with your little ones. Take a walk to Shipyard Park or Castle Point Skate Park. There is a dog run, so bring your dogs along. There are countless cafes and pizzerias in this area, so take your pick and enjoy!

For more information on Hoboken parks and sprinklers call 201-420-2012.

More Indoor Spaces in and Around Jersey City – for All Ages

Indoor Spaces in Jersey City

Yes, it’s cold outside and the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter. Kids of all ages are beginning to get stir crazy, not to mention parents. Here are some ideas to keep you and the kids busy. Check out my list of places to have some indoor fun for kids of all ages.

Jersey City:

Indoor Spaces in Jersey CityLiberty Science Center 

We know that Liberty Science Center is a great place to bring toddlers, but did you know that there are activities for older kids, as well? The BASF Kids’ Lab is a place for children 6 – 12 (accompanied by at least one adult per 4 children) to explore with chemistry.  find out why we sneeze or hop onto the subway car and learn how diseases spread. Don’t forget to check out the IMAX Dome Theater, which is great for all age.

You can even do a Camp In overnight birthday party ($60 per camper and $200 birthday package fee). They also offer regular birthday parties for children ages 1 – 12!

In door play area in Jersey CityJersey City Public Library 

The Vincenzo Domenico Bonetti II Room at the main branch of Jersey City Public Library (472 Jersey Avenue in downtown JC) offers many free events and activities for older children. There are always crafts, art, movies and so much more going on! Take your kids in to get their free library card. Letting them choose books on their own and being responsible for bringing them back on time is great practice for them! Children of any age can get a card, but children under 14 need a parent with them. For residents of Jersey City that are high school aged and older, you must show a photo ID and proof that you live in Jersey City (an official bill addressed to you at your JC address). Parents may apply for a card for their child. Click here for an application and bring it into any branch with the proper identification. Plus, there are computers available for children to use.

In door play area in Jersey CityFree Swimming Lessons 

Jersey City is offering free swimming lessons to children ages 6 – 14 years at local area pools through May 2014. The program locations are listed on the flyer and include PS 6, PS 16, PS 23, PS 27 and PS 41. There is a class beginning this month, call 201-547-5003 for registration information.

Indoor Spaces in Jersey CitySaint Peter’s Swimming Pool 

Children of all ages can sign up for lessons or you can get a family pool membership and children can swim during the designated swim times all year long. Swim lessons are 7 weeks in length and cost $100 per child and $180 for 2 children. For more information, call 201-761-7338. You can also go directly to the pool to register Monday – Friday between 3pm and 6pm.

Pershing Field Pool 

Pershing Field Pool is located at the corner of Summit and Pershing in Jersey City Heights. This indoor pool is open daily to the public, with limited free swim hours. Please click here to confirm times. Fees are $3 for resident adults and $1.50 for resident children. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink located on-site.

In door play area in Jersey CityPole Position 

If you have a child who feels the need for speed this is the place for you! Pole Position is an indoor go-kart racing facility located on Caven Point Road right here in Jersey City. The facility offers a snack bar and arcade, in addition to non-stop racing fun! Stop in for Arrive and Drive racing. You walk in on a first-come, first-served basis. They offer a Youth Race for children 58 inches or taller ($20/member and $25/non-member) and Junior Races for children 48 inches – 56 inches ($18/member and $22/non-member). Each racer must purchase a temporary race license for $5. They also offer birthday party packages for children between the ages of 8 and 18 years. They offer two party packages and some customization options, plus they can customize your entire event. The Rookie Package starts at $40/person and each racer gets one standard junior race, pizza, soft drink, invitation and $5 arcade card. You will receive 1 hour of use of the private party room and a free t-shirt for the birthday racer.

Other Locations:

In door play area in Jersey CityPump It UpSecaucus

Does your family have cabin fever? Missing the park? Take them to Pump It Up in nearby Secaucus and let them jump around! Stop in for an Open Jump day (check the calendar for dates and times here. Different days have different themes like pizza and ice cream or glow jump. Prices vary, but generally an open glow jump is $12/child and gives you up to 70 minutes in the arenas with glow in the dark lighting. Each child receives a glow necklace. The pizza and ice cream jumps are $14.95/child, but come with 70 minutes in the arenas and 35 minutes in the party room for food. Each child gets a slice of pizza, unlimited drinks and ice cream. Don’t miss the Valentine’s Day open jump on Friday, February 14, 2014. For $14.95/child kids will get pizza and drinks, a small stuffed Valentine’s Day dragon, up to 70 minutes of jump time and more! You must register for Open Jumps in advance online. And yes, they do birthday parties! They offer 3 different packages and have many add on options like glow in the dark jump or superhero training camp. Plus, all parties are 100% private for both play time and in the party room! Kids must be 34 inches and up to play on the inflatables. Click here for some of the deals they are currently offering.

In door play area in Jersey CityIKEAElizabeth

And you thought it was just for buying furniture! IKEA is a great place to take the kids for an outing on a cold winter day. Kids can jump out some energy and play on the toys in the kid’s area. The Ballroom Play Area is supervised and kids of heights 37” – 48” who are potty-trained can play. Kids can stay for up to an hour (sometimes 30 minute time limit if they are busy). Plus, IKEA offers convenient parking for families and the restaurant is great for families with kids of all ages. The restaurant faces Newark Airport, so you can keep the kids busy by watching the planes as you eat. There is also a kiddie eating area complete with little chairs and tables and a TV that sometimes shows children’s movies. Plus, there are affordable kid menu options and don’t forget the frozen yogurt by the check out before you leave!

In door play area in Jersey CityJersey Gardens OutletsElizabeth

Not far from IKEA, this outlet mall has a bunch of kid’s stores, a huge food court, play areas for younger kids and an arcade with games and rides for older kids. The arcade called Jeepers has games, rides and food (mainly for older kids). Plus there is a play area with rides. A huge bonus is that 16 Handles just opened up a location here. Kids of all ages (including me) love to choose their frozen yogurt flavors and all the toppings! They also have events for kids throughout the year, so check their website for information.

In door play area in Jersey CityNewark Museum, Newark

Newark Museum is only about a 20 minute drive from downtown Jersey City and they offer events and exhibits for kids of all ages and families throughout the year. Drop-in art and science programs are offered for various age groups (some are for ages 6 and up, some are for ages 4 – 8 and more) each weekend. There are various activities in the galleries, including look/touch/learn exhibits and the Planetarium Gallery. The Planetarium offers shows like Extreme Planets (Wednesday – Friday at 2pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 4pm) for ages 10 and up and Earth, Moon and Sun (Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and 3pm) for children ages 6 – 9. Planetarium tickets are not included in general admission and will cost $5/adult and $3 for children under 12, seniors and college students. There are special workshops available for children ages 6 – 12 and even some for babies. Each month there are family festivals held for children of all ages. Check the calendar for details. The suggested museum admission is $12/adults and $7 for children seniors and students (with a valid ID) and kids younger than 2 are free.

In door play area in Jersey CityAmerican Museum of Natural HistoryManhattan 

We all know that NYC offers some of the best museums around. If I had to choose one museum that was fun for all ages and that I can still remember running around as a child, it has to be the American Museum of Natural History. Any kid who is into dinosaurs will revel in the numerous Fossil Halls. Experience the Butterfly Conservatory and walk through a garden surrounded by butterflies! See an IMAX or 3D movie like Mysteries of the Unseen World, which is now playing. Or check out Dark Universe, the space show currently showing at Hayden Planetarium. (You must purchase a “General Admission Plus” ticket for Butterflies, IMAX or Planetarium). You can even download the new Explorer App for your iPhone to find your way around the museum. The museum offers several on-site dining options, parking and several gift shops throughout. There is even a link on the website to tailor your visit for various age groups here.

Mother’s Day Craft Ideas

Moms, you might want to forward this one over to dad 😉 Here’s some simple and cute ideas for Mother’s Day this weekend!

From top left to right…

A Card for Mom
The most important thing to give on any holiday – a cute card! Something I love doing is combining cut paper with markers and crayons. To make a super simple design, glue paper circles to a folded piece of paper and use markers to add faces, petals, stems and leaves. {I also heard there will be a card making station at this Friday’s JCFamilies event in Hamilton Park!!}

Plant Sticks
Shop Rite always has a great selection of plants this time of year… so why not go over and pick out a few pansies and other fun flowers? Then, have your little one decorate some plant sticks to add for decoration. Simply glue a sturdy piece of paper to a Popsicle stick and it’s done! I found these pre-cut cupcake designs at A.C. Moore… but just about any stationery or party store will have something like it too.

Mother’s Day Bunting
What cuter way to decorate your home this weekend than with a cute hanging bunting!  While visiting Paper Presentation in NYC this week, I noticed craft stores are now selling triangle pads of paper for a super easy way to make this decoration, or take a pile of construction paper and cut into uniform long triangle shapes. Decorate each ‘triangle’ with stickers, markers and crayons and attach to a long piece of string for hanging. Add some beads to the string to keep the kids occupied a little longer 😉

Framed Fingerprints
Pick up a super cute miniature frame at Duane Reade or even the dollar store, and add a tiny picture by your little Picasso. All kids love making fingerprint people. All you need is an ink pad and some pencils.

For a video featuring some of the crafts above, visit this link which features me teaching Mother’s Day Crafts on eHow.

Ashley Lucas is a local illustrator and crafts designer based in Jersey City, NJ. She is the author and illustrator of various children’s books and has contributed to such popular sites as eHow and ModernMom. Her specialties in include holiday crafting and making art ‘cute’ for young children! Ashley designs murals for kids rooms in Jersey City, and offers kid friendly artwork and decor to the community through her business ‘Lady Lucas’.