Just a short drive from New York City and Pennsylvania, Monmouth County, New Jersey is the gateway to the Jersey Shore. The area is jam-packed with fun attractions, beaches, state parks and historical landmarks, all of which are ideal for kids. Whether your kids enjoy a day at the beach, a stroll through an historical town or some amusement park fun, Monmouth County is the place to go.
If your family enjoys farm fun, Monmouth County has plenty of options. Wemrock Orchards in Freehold sells a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, allows you to pick-your-own strawberries and pumpkins -- and also has hayrides, corn mazes, an ice cream parlor and a ton of fresh-baked pies. In the town of Wall, you'll find Atlantic Farms, which features a petting zoo, farm equipment displays, hayrides, tasty jams, local honey and all kinds fresh Jersey produce, as well as other goodies. If your kids are seriously into berry picking, visit Earth Friendly Organic Farms in Clarksburg, where they can pick blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
Parks and Outdoor Adventure
If you have some young explorers in your midst, perhaps some wilderness time is in order. Poricy Park in Middletown has a nature center with fossil displays, a number of hiking trails through the wilderness preserve and plenty of wildlife to find. It also hosts several events such as a fossil hunt, mini day camps and pond life exploration. Another option is the Sandy Hook Unit of the Gateway National Park, a peninsula that stretches out from the northern portion of the county. Kids can find plenty to do here with its extensive sandy beaches, hiking trails and camping sites. You can also go fishing, kayaking, canoeing or have a picnic on the beach.
The town of Bradley Beach is a one-stop family resort town filled with fun activities and attractions. Along the boardwalk, you'll find Bradley Beach Miniature Golf where the family can just putt around. Just a mile or two up the shore is Asbury Park, which has another action-packed beach boardwalk scene that includes the Silverball Museum Arcade where your kids can view and play dozens of vintage pinball machines. Another indoor option is Funtime America in Cliffwood, which features kiddie train rides, inflatables, carnival rides, a rock climbing wall, a motion simulator, laser tag and arcade games.
With several inlets, rivers, bays and waterways in the area, you're sure to find some fun cruises for the kids in Monmouth County. The River Belle is a classic paddle wheel boat with indoor and outdoor seating. It offers sightseeing and dinner cruises past the region's historic landmarks. If your kids have an interest in sailing, you can charter a boat through Charter Sails, which provides sailing lessons for everyone on board. The company also offers private and public cruises with several vessel options throughout the Jersey Shore and to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.