With its thriving food and drink scene and growing nightlife, some may say that Jersey City, New Jersey, caters to an adult crowd. However, many families have settled in the different neighborhoods throughout the city, and due to that fact, there have been many efforts to bring kid-friendly events to the area.
From holiday parties to outdoor festivals, there is something for everyone in the city by the Hudson River. Learn more about the kid-friendly events in Jersey City below.
Depending on when Easter lands on the calendar, JC Families, in partnership with other family organizations, hosts the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Hamilton Park. Kids will be able to run around and search for colorful eggs and turn them in for prizes. So, if you’re worried about your child getting a sugar rush, this event is meant to be a candy-free one. It also has a special time slot for children with special needs to look for eggs. Aside from all the hunting, there are usually performances, and the Easter Bunny makes an appearance.
Every year, The Jersey City Project hosts its annual Project Eats. The two-day food festival showcases local eateries from around New Jersey, New York, and, of course, Jersey City. Kids—both young and old—can sample everything from good old-fashioned barbecue to all the dumplings their hearts desire. Picnic tables and hammocks are often scattered around for seating, and there are kiddie pools for the little ones to stay cool in. And if you want to work off everything you ate that day, there’s usually a DJ on hand keeping the mood lively.
If your family likes to go for bike rides, then be sure to look out for the annual Jersey City Ward Tour. Normally held in late May/early June, the ride goes on for 16 miles (25.7 kilometers) throughout Jersey City. Although this may be long for the littlest ones, the bike ride goes at a relaxed pace and is on closed-off streets.
If you want your kids to get lots of fresh air, then perhaps register them for the JC Kids Run. Meant for children of all ages, it takes place at Exchange Place, where they will run on the path along the Hudson River. Any child who participates will receive a T-shirt, medal, and participation certificate, but there will be special awards for the fastest runners in each age group.
Kids can continue to keep active lives with the Fitness Fair that takes place in the late spring and early summer. While many of the competitions seem heavy duty, like dead-lifting, there are activities for younger attendees. There will be many health and fitness professionals who will help you and your family learn about eating right, starting a new workout and just living a healthier lifestyle.
Celebrate how Downtown Jersey City has progressed over the years with the annual All About Downtown Festival, which generally takes place in the fall. Unlike other outdoor festivals, this one focuses on the local businesses in the Downtown Jersey City area. From gelato and guac-filled tacos to vintage clothing and home items, there’s something for everyone. So, while you eat and shop with your children, you can also take a break to bust a move to the sounds by some local musical talent.
Chili and macaroni and cheese are without a doubt two of the best comfort foods. So when 4th Street Arts decided to add mac and cheese to the competition recently, it was an instant winner with local Jersey City folk. After making a donation, you and your family can vote for your favorite restaurant’s dishes. And while you feast on some comfort food, there is also lots of music and activities in which to partake.
If there’s one event that no kid should miss, it’s the Spooky Terminal. Hosted by local blogger ChicpeaJC, the event turns the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal into a haunted place. Done up with all the holiday fixings, kids can come in their costumes and participate in a bouncy house, hayride, magic show, and dance party. There are also lots of treats, a costume contest, and face painting.
In early December, locals gather at the Newark Pedestrian Mall to celebrate the lighting of the tree and menorah to honor Christmas and Hanukkah. Not only will kids be able to enjoy the magic of the two winter holiday symbols but also fresh cookies and other refreshments. Santa Claus will also be there to bring on some holiday cheer.