We have all been looking forward to warmer weather and getting outside more. Here are some easy, fun and free things to do in the Spring!
Take a Hike! – There are many parks and trails throughout New Jersey, with trails suitable for families or beginners. Check out a listing of New Jersey parks.
Free Concerts – Many communities, county parks and libraries offer free concerts in the warmer months. Review a listing of free events throughout New Jersey.
Museums – There are a variety of museums to be visited, whether they are all about art, history, or science.
Garden – Don’t have space for your own plot? Some towns have community gardens where you can plant and harvest your own! It’s always so rewarding to grow and then eat vegetables or admire flowers that you grow yourself. Gardening is also a great way to teach children about nutrition. Greenhouses and garden centers are fun to explore, too.
Visit a New Place – Take a ride to Frenchtown or other towns along the Delaware River. Take a drive to the Jersey Shore before the summer frenzy starts or explore northern areas, such as the New Jersey State Botanical Garden at Skylands.
Farms & Petting Zoos – If your family is comfortable with animals (and not allergic!), farms are fabulous place to visit, pet small animals and check out Spring crops. Get some ideas at Mommy Poppins and Fun New Jersey.
Outdoor Craft Shows & Flea Markets – These are plentiful in the Spring and Summer and fun to explore. Look for local listings or social media posts to find out where they are happening.
How About Traveling? – As always in travel, preparation is the key. These days, many of us bring tablets, phones and music to fill time and energy on the road.
Doing research and preparation about your destination, before you hop into the car or catch a flight with your child, will help make or break a trip.
If you are going to a city or a beach, know what the sites are and plan an agenda in advance. Help your child learn organizational and research skills, by sharing this advance planning with them.
Likewise, if you are going to visit family, planning activities that you would like to do with them is also a good preparation. Of course, agendas are not always fulfilled, but it helps to set expectations for the trip and may ease anxiety about traveling away from home and breaking up daily routines.
Here are suggestions for making the travel time fly by:
- Downloaded guided meditation (assists with entertainment, relaxation and sleeping)
- Coloring books, clipboards, pencils and travel-ready art supplies
- Travel journal to write, draw or paste in photos or other items of interest from places are seeing
- Get ideas for how to keep children occupied while traveling.
Have a Happy Spring!!
by Allison Weideman, PsyD, Chatham School Psychologist