Have you ever Google’d Things To Do in New Jersey? Go ahead. Try it. It returns a plethora of possibilities including fun things for kids and families.
As a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker in Westfield, I get asked about local events a lot. When I speak with clients who are interested in relocating to New Jersey, one of the first things I mention are the fantastic New Jersey schools, communities, beaches and park systems - key reasons why I've lived here my entire life. Short of Hawaii where my husband and I honeymooned, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. I find New Jersey a thriving and attractive place to live, work and even vacation.
Here are only a few of MY favorite NJ things to do:
- Shopping: Westfield. You just can't beat the walk-ability of this downtown and the variety of great shopping, eating and drinking. This close community runs fun events often, including their Spring Fling, Girls Night and Jazz Festival. The school system rates one of the highest around. Learn more about Westfield at 365 Things To Do In Westfield. Ok, notable mall mention… take a pick from several top-notch malls in Bergen County. My favorite: Garden State Plaza in Paramus. If you’re looking for really great buys, try Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth.
- Eating. One thing's for certain. Jersey KNOWS how to eat! NJ Monthly has an annual list that hits it home and captures the “best of” perfectly. IMHO North Jersey has some of the best restaurants and you just can't deny the call of fresh seafood at the Jersey Shore. Mangia! Here’s NJ Monthly’s best of seafood list.
- Hiking: Watchung Reservation. Winding trails (get map in advance), historic Trailside Nature and Science museum, picnicking by Surprise Lake with expansive views, and even horseback riding. (Watch the trails for.. ehem.. evidence of horses!) And when you’re done, catch the New Jersey Devils practice at South Mountain Area right up the road.
- Beaches: Sandy Hook and LBI. Clean beaches, easy parking and ongoing events. Sandy Hook has everything to accommodate the beach go’er. Another favorite is Long Beach Island. A little bit of a drive for North Jersey NJ Family just ran a great LBI “best-of.”
- Must-do Events: Annual Quick Check New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. Have you been? It's breath-taking and a great family setting. And it's going on this weekend!!
- Farmers Markets and Pick Your Own. Come on. What's better than pulling to the side of the road and shucking some fresh Jersey corn, bagging a carton of Jersey tomatoes, or walking through a maze fresh NJ produce at farmer's markets. While I cannot choose only one, I did find this great site called Pick Your Own for locating great markets, stands and farms in throughout NJ. Some great recipes and canning advice too. After all, this is the Garden State.
- Entertainment: Giants Stadium. Well, MetLife Stadium actually. But who’s keeping up? Tailgating, Concerts, Our beloved Superbowl Champs. Ice in the cooler. Bruuuce. Burgers on the grill. Fun to be had - always. Can't go wrong. Except that parking lot traffic. Plan ahead. But if you're a frequent tailgater, you've learned a trick or two ;)
- Jersey Pride. There's nothing like it, is there? We are a tenacious lot and as proud as the day is long. Here are a few great sites I visit often that keep me informed on all that is wonderful about NJ-living.
- New Jersey Family. They are dedicated to promoting the family experience in New Jersey and do a fantastic job underscoring all that's great at every turn.
- NJ Monthly Premier listing site for finding businesses and events. They publish their annual top 100 which is pretty spot on considering everything they must choose from.
- JerseyMomsBlog. A great resource for Mothers (Fathers too) where you can read a daily dish on all things parenting and enter some great contests.
- Jersey Bites. These people know how to eat! This is one fantastic "foodie" site to point you to a never-ending list of great places to eat throughout NJ.
- Jersey Doesn't Stink. They've made it their personal mission to counter the classic claims of NJ as less than desirable. "Enough is enough", they say. And they mean it.
- Hulafrog. Afterall, need to keep the kiddos busy and these folks know a thing or two about family fun.