The region has tons of beaches, water sports, hiking, amusement parks, bike paths and outdoor activities. For the more cerebral child, there is a range of museums and music venues. From the traditional culture of Amish country to everything-new New York City, your kids will be in constant wonder.
Best Regions for Kids
- The Jersey Shore
Miles of beaches and boardwalk, fun food and snacks, and, of course, amusement parks.
- Long Island
More sun and sand, where you can learn to surf, boogieboard or even climb a lighthouse.
- New York City
Get lost in the Big Apple's museums, stroll through iconic Central Park and take in a baseball game in the Bronx or Queens.
- Pennsylvania Dutch Country
Take your family back a century to observe a different way of life, and don't forget to try the yummy pretzels and shoofly pie.
- Pine Barrens
Camp among the pitch pine paths and canoe the mazy rivers of New Jersey's quietest place, and find some delicious pies along the roadside.
Amusement Parks & Rides
- Jenkinson's, Seaside Heights A combo arcade–mini-golf wonderland that seemingly goes on for miles.
- Mini-golf, Long Beach Island Who wants to play on a real golf course when you can smack your shot through a rotating windmill?
- Lucy the Elephant, Margate This landmark begs the question: what kid doesn't want to climb inside a 60-foot pachyderm?
- New Jersey Museum of Transportation, Allaire More fun that watching bog iron solidify, this quick train trip zips around the park in a historic engine.
- Silver Ball Museum, Asbury Park Dozens of historic pinball machines, all for one price. Caution: parents love it as much, or more, than kids.
- Strong Museum of Play, Rochester Dolls and video games each have their own Hall of Fame here: need we say more?
- Cranberry Bog, Long Island An easy one-mile loop around a historic bog, where you'll probably see turtles, frogs, and birds.
- Cheesequake State Park, NJ Take the Red Trail for a somewhat up-and-down but easy walk around a beautiful lake.
- Batsto Village, NJ The Blue Trail is short and gives you a taste of the pine forest, and it edges lovely Batsto Lake.
- Orient Beach State Park, Long Island The Roy Latham Maritime Trail, just outside the parking lot, is a ½-mile loop on an easy wood-chip path with educational signs designed for children.
- Maui's Dog House The tastiest dogs on the Shore.
- Shut Up and Eat! Come in your pajamas, the staff's already got ’em on!
- Uncle Bill's Pancake House Stacks of golden goodness dripping with syrup.
- Taco Project Quality tacos in tony Tarrytown.
- Benny Tudino's Where the slice of pizza is larger than your child.
For all-round information and advice, check out Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children.
- Clothing Temps can spike in winter and plunge in summer. Come prepared.
- Electronics Make sure you have charging cables for all your devices.
- Strollers Not allowed on public buses in NYC unless folded.
- Beaches Good tips to be found at Traveling Mom (www.travelingmom.com).
- Babysitters Contact the Baby Sitters’ Guild (www.babysittersguild.com).
- Resources Check out Time Out New York Kids (www.timeout.com/new-york-kids) and Mommy Poppins (www.mommypoppins.com).