You’re a parent – not a program director. But that shouldn’t keep you from benefitting from all the good that can come from a well-planned summer. If you live in New Jersey like us, where our practice is located, then you know that the Tri-State area and New England offers countless options to explore.
Living along the coast and benefitting from natural mountain ranges means that fun, outdoor time in the summer is always accessible. And with so many hubs of activity, from New York City to Philadelphia and the shoreline, just to name a few, there are points of interest, activities and eateries for any age.
Having a lack of structure and routine during the summer can be difficult, both for parents and for children. Especially if your child has emotional or behavioral difficulties, they feel more in control with structure and predictability. Camps can be a great way to break up the summer, but also planning some fun getaways or day trips are a great way to bond with your kids. Here are some of the destinations we’ll be adding to our summer calendar:
Not only is Hershey Park clean, but they have a number of family-friendly events and concerts throughout the summer to attend. While not exactly Disney, Hershey Park does a great job of bringing the same feeling to life in the heart of Pennsylvania.
Sesame Place is a disability-approved park. They handle sensory needs amazingly, and you can often get discounted tickets when you visit their website.
This is the go-to for anyone looking to relax. They have children’s museums, hiking trails, lakes, great restaurants and Great Barrington’s farmers’ market is a blast!
With beaches and a beautiful Victorian setting, it’s fun for both adults and kids to visit this South-Jersey destination.
For a dose of our Nation’s history and great museums, Philly is a worth a visit.
You could spend hours or even days looking at all the exhibits, and it’s air conditioned-a plus on those hot July days!
The New York Aquarium was just refinished with an awesome shark tank, and is fairly easy to get to in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach neighborhood. Located just next door is the historic Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk – a perfect add-on for a fun-filled day.
Great beaches, delicious ice cream shops and another excellent, kid-friendly aquarium await in idyllic Mystic.
Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ is a great stop, but also a number of farms in Pennsylvania and Warwick, NY offer the chance to be outside and sample all the ripe summer fruit you want!
Escape to this quiet, peaceful space in Pennsylvania, featuring throwback activities like buggy rides, historical museums and farm tours.
For a local Sunday escape, visit the Ramsey Farmers’ Market. Every week, they host family events, music and a large number of awesome vendors and local sponsors.
Locally, the Ramapo Reservation is our go-to, but there are a number of great trails and easy spots to find. Spend the day connecting with nature – but don’t forget your tic spray!
This science haven has a number of fun, interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. Located just off the New Jersey Turnpike, it’s also a relatively easy-to-get-to destination to add to your summer calendar.
One of New Jersey’s greatest shorelines, LBI is a perfect family vacation spot. You can often find decent last-minute rentals and the Fantasy Island Amusement Park is a crowd favorite. Also, Point Pleasant is a great day trip along the Jersey Shore if you’re in the market for a more northern exit.
Another close, outdoorsy destination for people looking for lake life, and an awesome screen detox.
Sometimes you can find a worthwhile Groupon for a day trip here, or overnight to this awesome, indoor, surprisingly clean water park.
With the zoo, picturesque carriage rides, music and walking trails, Central Park is a worth a visit at any age.
Crayola Factory, Easton, PA
An easy option for a rainy day, The Crayola Factory has a lot of great hands-on activities for kids.
MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
This might be better for older kids, but still worth a visit. Plus, with so many other things to do in midtown, it’s easy to turn this trip into a full day of discovery.
Not only does this have some great nature programs for kids, but they also offer a peaceful nature trail.