New Jersey isn't an armpit. New Jersey has it all. That's right, I said what I said. New Jersey has it ALL, and if you are moving to New Jersey with kids, you need to know all that we have to fully appreciate and experience all of the awesomeness with your family!
I was born and raised in South Jersey, but moved to Tennessee as a newlywed with my Army husband for four years. I couldn’t wait to get away from NJ and experience life elsewhere. Well it certainly turned out to be an experience.
After having two babies in Tennessee, I struggled to find anything to do with my family. I hadn't experienced life outside of New Jersey before this point, so I was culture-shocked when I realized that I was landlocked with nothing to do, except for roast in the Tennessee heat in the Summer (We were on a cave system, so pools weren't really a thing) or travel to Nashville for the day in the Winter. Let me tell you, Nashville is fun once or twice in your life, but coming from a Jersey girl, it's no New York City or Philly, friends.
When we finally moved back to New Jersey, I began to see it in a different than I ever had before. I began to appreciate my state, for all of the rich culture and experiences it provided. As I said, New Jersey has it all. We have adventure, we have art, we have the beach, we have city life, we have leisure, we have...FUN.
We have an abundance of Jersey Family Fun.
So if you’re moving to New Jersey, don’t be put off by jokes about us! Sure, we say things like wooder, youse guys, jeet, jawn, crown, cawfee, shtreet, and yo, and sure it's a stiff competition between which is louder: our voices or our hand gestures, but get past that (we'll convert you soon enough) and you just might realize that you’re moving to the most amazing state with more variety to offer than any other. So here are the top 5 things you should know, when moving to New Jersey with Kids!
1. Your Summers will never be the same again.
No matter where you live in New Jersey, the beach is never more than an hour or so. At the Jersey Shore, you’ll find some of the best beach towns in America, each with it’s own vibe and Jersey Family Fun to be had! From local fishing, parasailing, surfing, yoga, and sunset paddle-boarding, to long days in the sand and long nights on the boardwalk, there is never a shortage of pure quality family time during a Jersey Summer!
2. Adventure is oh so close!
Just as easily as you can find the beach, you can find the mountains! Ski, snowboard, or go tubing with the kids this Winter! You can be within 2 hours of home and feel like you’re a million miles away...just for the day! No experience? No problem! Every mountain has lessons for all ages and levels and you can even RENT equipment! You want to shake it up, then hit the slopes with the family and fill your lungs (and hearts!) with fresh mountain air!
3. Our farms are the perfect place for an educational trip and some delicious produce!
Spring, Summer, and Fall yield the most delicious fresh produce you could possibly imagine. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, cabbage, romaine, cranberries, apples, and of course, blueberries are unlike anywhere else. Afterall, we are known as “The Garden State”! During the Fall, we have the most family-friendly pumpkin farms! Give Johnson's Family Farm in Mount Laurel a try! Spend the day on the hayride or corn maze. Pick sunflowers, pumpkins, and apples. Visit the a bakery/ market for warm apple cider doughnuts. You can even feed their farm animals! Come Winter, forget about buying your tree pre-cut! Visit one of the many Christmas Tree Farms, like Van Meter's in Bridgeton and take a tractor ride to the middle of the tree farm. Then enjoy a cup of hot apple cider by the wood stove, while your fresh balsam tree is wrapped and loaded!
4. The two greatest cities on the East Coast are driving distance from you at any point in time.
Philadelphia has the most awesome children’s museums: the Ben Franklin Institute and the Please Touch Museum. Philly is constantly pulsing with art, rich history, the most creative, exquisite restaurants, and tons of outdoor things to do in every season! New York is well, New York! You can take the train right into the city and spend the day seeing broadway play, shopping, brunching, visiting the American Girl Cafe or the Lego store! Have a child who loves to dance? He/She can take dance classes from the greatest dance teachers in the WORLD at Broadway Dance center… for $15.
5. The Pine Barrens provide a breath-taking and serene backdrop for exploration and habitat education.
Learn about our wildlife at the wildlife refuge or immerse yourself in 1700's history at Batsto Village! Ever seen a cranberry bog? We have those too! Wharton State Forest is the perfect place for a day trip and some family fun!
Where else can you have this much family fun, so close to home? You can take a day trip to anywhere in New Jersey and experience something unique and precious. If you are moving to New Jersey with kids, the most important thing you should know is that New Jersey is THE place to live if you love family fun… we have it all. Until next time Rockstar Community, I'm sending you peace, love, and good vibes from my South Jersey home, to your’s!