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Summer Family Vacation Ideas from Central Jersey

Summer Family Vacation Ideas from Central Jersey

Old Apr 18th, 2024, 04:52 PM
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Summer Family Vacation Ideas from Central Jersey

Hi All,

I am well aware that this is an extremely broad question, but can you all throw some family vacation ideas at me? Live in central Jersey, have an almost year two old and an almost six year old. Looking for a family friendly vacation this summer for two or three nights within a three-ish hour drive from us. We’ve done a few of the pretty popular ones (crystal springs , Hershey, lake George). Doesn’t need to be north either, can be PA, lower New England, even south such as MD. Thank you!
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Old Apr 18th, 2024, 05:55 PM
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 05:47 AM
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What about Cape May, NJ? "Some things just get better with age, and charming Cape May is no exception. This coveted destination is the nation’s oldest seaside resort and a perennial favorite on Condé Nast Travelers’ “Most Beautiful Towns in America” list. It boasts an exceptional culinary scene, fine wines, craft brews and distilled spirits, fun festivals and special events year-round. The entire city is also a National Historic District, with over 600 preserved Victorian buildings".
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 06:09 AM
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Inner Harbor Baltimore MD including the National Aquarium.
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 07:34 AM
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Jiminy Peak in MA, When my kids were that age we always rented a condo in Waterville Valley, NH but that is a farther drive than you are thinking about. Our neighbors did the same in Smugglers Notch, VT. Off season ski condos offer lots to do, frequently indoor/outdoor pools, children's/family activities. We stayed for a week several years ago in Jiminy Peak for summer theater and art in the Berkshires but there was an outdoor pool and there was an entire outdoor activity center, primarily for older kids but you might want to check it out.
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 07:47 AM
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Thank you for the ideas so far!
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 08:00 AM
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A bit more than 3 hours - Newport Rhode Island. Fun town, mansions to tour, great beaches.
Washington DC is amazing, with it's museums and huge national zoo.
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Old Apr 19th, 2024, 07:35 PM
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Thanks for the ideas, everyone! Feel free to keep them coming
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 01:42 AM
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How about a whimsical stay at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor? It's a hit with the little ones and not too far from central Jersey. Or hit the beach and check out Morey's Piers the beachfront water parks that are perfect for both your tots and the six-year-old adventurer
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 06:32 AM
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The Pocono Mts. are only two hours from central Jersey. Lots to do/see for kids and adults. https://www.poconomountains.com/
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 09:54 AM
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Personally I don't think DC works as a summer destination for a family with young children. It is hot and humid and they are too young to appreciate anything that you would want to see - the monuments, the museums and so on. I also don't thnk that Newport is an especially family kind of destination. You could however do a trip to Mystic and see the aquarium and combine that with a beach destination such as Narragansett but you have the Jersey Shore or the beaches in DE so not need to drive all the way to Rhode Island.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 10:11 AM
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I agree that DC is not a good destination with a toddler. My younger daughter was about seven when we atarted our excursions there. Wait another five years or so and look for a hotel with a pool as a treat at day’s end!

it may be too late to book, but take a look at the cabins in the Pennsylvania state parks. The state park facilities in West Virginia are varied nd extensive but might be further than tou wish to travel.
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Old Apr 20th, 2024, 04:44 PM
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Thanks for the input, everyone! I was also interested in some of those “all inclusive” resorts such as Woodloch Pines in PA, Mohonk Mountain Resort in upstate NY, or Rocking Horse Dude Ranch in upstate NY. However they seem to have minimum stays and/or cost like $2k per night , but I suppose that’s expected.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 07:11 AM
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Martha's Vineyard is incredibly family-friendly. Yes, it's not cheap, but there's lots to do for kids that age and you can't beat the beaches. If you go in August there's the Agricultural fair which is a big hit with young kids - mine loved it when they were 3 and 5. There's fireworks in Oak Bluffs around the same time and endless other kids activities like the Flying Horses carousel, Alpaca farm, kayaking (really easy, calm water ponds), climb to the top of the Gay Head Lighthouse, mini-golf, the Martha's Vineyard Museum (great play area for kids). And there's a ferry from Highlands, NJ in the summer. MVwithkids on instagram has more details on things to do. Winnetu Oceanside resort is the best family hotel on the island but $$$$. There aren't really all-inclusive resorts on the island but Winnetu is the closest you'll get to that style of hotel
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 07:54 AM
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Thank you for the thorough reply! We would love Martha’s Vineyard but I think it would be around 5-6 hours from me, which unfortunately would be a nightmare with the two year old not being the biggest fan of longer drives.
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 09:13 AM
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You might want to consider Mystic, CT. In addition to the seaport museum which has lots of family/kids activities there are other activities like an aquarium and a nature center.
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Vttraveler
You might want to consider Mystic, CT. In addition to the seaport museum which has lots of family/kids activities there are other activities like an aquarium and a nature center.
Mystic also has an Amtrak station on the Northeast Regional line if you wanted to go by train and leave the car at home.
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