Spray & Splash Parks - Cool Off in NJ
Need to cool off? You are in luck. New Jersey has some fun spray & splash parks to visit on those hot summer days. Here are a few of our favorites. Be sure to let us know if your favorite isn't listed...we'll add it! Oh, don't forget to pack towels and suncreen.
"Every Kid in a Park:" Free Admission to All National Parks for 4th Graders September 2015 - September 2016
The National Park Service will turn 100 years old in 2016. In honor of that milestone and as a way to encourage kids to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors, this September every 4th-grader in America will get a one-year pass for free admission to all of the USA's National Parks and Public Lands for them AND their families!
Kittatinny Valley State Park Andover, Sussex County
So this is a pretty cool place. Glacial lakes, limestone outcroppings, former railroads, and a small airport are features of Kittatinny Valley State Park. Lake Aeroflex and Gardner’s Pond form part of the headwaters of the Pequest River and are excellent for fishing and boating. This scenic property is home to a variety of wildlife such as whitetail deer, wild turkey, a variety of songbirds, beaver, muskrats, and squirrels. Love it, except the muskrat. Yuk.
Somerset County Parks, Somerset County
The Somerset Park System has tons of events all year long. Summer Concert Series is hosted in many of the parks.. and they are completely free! Halloween happenings, Gardening and Nature Programs for kids and adults, and plenty more.
Oh, and you can have Birthday Parties at various parks in the system. Our personal favorite, Pony Parties at Lord Stirling Stables!
Kids Love Nature Centers! They can learn about animals and their habitats; hike during the day with a naturalist to learn about the environment; walk at night with a ranger who will teach you about the stars, the moon and nocturnal night time friends (bats and owls)! They even have Summer Camps! Plus' Nature Centers are a great place for a birthday party too! And parents love the fact that most programs are under $5 or even FREE!
Worthington State Forest Delaware Water Gap, Warren County
Before you go, make sure you read about the history of the area. This place was dug out by a GLACIER! Some of the most rugged terrain and splendid views of northern New Jersey are found in Worthington State Forest. A rocky and sometimes steep trail follows Dunnfield Creek from the Delaware River to Mount Tammany or hikers may choose to follow the trail to Sunfish Pond, one of the most popular sites in the area.
Wharton State Forest Hammonton, Atlantic County
History! We love history. Check out Wharton State Forest to learn a bit about the history of Basto Village. Wharton State Forest is the largest single tract of land within the New Jersey State Park System. It is also the site of Batsto Village, a former bog iron and glassmaking industrial center from 1766 to 1867 that currently reflects the agricultural and commercial enterprises that existed here during the late 19th century.
Wawayanda State Park Hewitt, Passaic County
The quiet charm of Wawayanda appeals to hikers, campers, swimmers and boaters. Forested hills surround Lake Wawayanda creating a restful backdrop for canoeists, boaters and fisherman, while steep mountains challenge casual as well as serious hikers.
Washington Rock State Park Bridgewater, Somerset County
Educational Day Trip Alert! Gosh I love NJ State Parks! The strategic location of Washington Rock made it a valuable lookout point during the American Revolution for General George Washington in June of 1777 when the British army under General William Howe was moving toward Westfield. From the vantage point of this natural rock outcropping, General Washington had a thirty-mile panoramic view of the valley and was able to instruct his troops to circle behind Howe’s troops and cut off their retreat.