Top 5 NJ Family Friendly Lakes

With all of the news about local NJ beaches filled with shark sightings, killer jellyfish, riptides and bacteria, it’s time to look for a family friendly alternative. I have just the right place for your next family getaway – a lake!

I put a list together for you of the top 10 lakes to visit to cool off and relax in the sand this scorching hot Summer!

1. Oxford Furnace Lake – Kauffman Drive, Oxford, New Jersey (908) 453-3098

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Lake passes are half off until end of season! free admission for children under 2 yrs old. Picnic tables and grill available for rent at $8/day. Open 11am-6am weekdays.

2. Atsion Lake – Route 206 Shamong (Burlington County) 609-268-0444

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Historic Batsto Village is also located within Wharton State Forest, 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. Fees are: Weekdays $5, Weekends $10.

3. Lake Hopatcong – (Morris and Sussex counties)

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As a child I would enjoy splashing in Lake Hopatcong an remember having so much fun doing water sports. I tried water skiing and would frequently take rides across the lake in my uncles boat. There are tons of things to do at Lake Hopatcong as it’s NJ’s largest lake! You can enjoy water sport rentals, or swim off of the docks.

4. Tomahawk Lake – 155 Tomahawk Trail, Sparta Township, NJ 07871 (973) 398-7777

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ADULTS $12.00 Weekdays
$14.00 Weekends & Holidays
CHILDREN 11.00 Weekdays
(8 & under) $12.00 Weekends & Holidays

Parents and older children will be swept away by Tomahawk Lake’s wide variety of incredible water slides and rides to choose from such as their 400 foot body slides and speed slide, swan boats, duck boats, paddle boats and bumper boats, the one-person water coaster, Trolley slide and their awesome Rocky Mountain slide that spans over 500 feet!

5. Cheesequake State Park – 300 Gordon Road Matawan, NJ 07747 (732) 566-2161

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Swimming is permitted in Hooks Creek Lake from Memorial day weekend through Labor Day weekend while lifeguards are on duty. Visitors will find a beach complex containing changing area, restrooms, a first-aid station and a concession offering refreshments, novelties and beach supplies. Inner tubes, rafts and other flotation devices are not permitted in the swimming area. Only Coast Guard approved life jackets are permitted. Pets are prohibited on the beach. $5 Weekdays, $10 Weekends.

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YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day – April 25th FREE Admission

As you all probably know, I am a big connoisseur of children’s health and fitness and I do some partnership’s with the YMCA’s of the NYC boroughs. There is an upcoming event that I think everyone with young children should try and look into. Its the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day. It’s a national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being and, it’s FREE! Check out the details below!

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Join us for Healthy Kids Day, a FREE community event with healthy and fun activities for the whole family.

Summer is the time for kids to get up, get out and grow. But for some kids, exposure to activities that stimulate the body and mind ends with the school year. In fact, research shows that kids are prone to gain more weight and fall behind in studies. Healthy Kids Day® is our national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids.

YMCA Summer Camp

Meet our staff and learn about the exciting adventures your child will have at camp this summer. Register for YMCA camp at Healthy Kids Day and save 10% with our early bird discount.

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On Saturday, April 25, New York City’s YMCA’s will hold free community events to inspire more kids and families to keep their minds and bodies active.

YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® is a national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being.

All activities are free and vary by location. YMCA’s across the five boroughs will features games, clown and balloon animals, a special dance class with Miss New York, scavenger hunts, face painting, a bounce house, a sushi making demo, a smoothie station, healthy snack making, and much more

Schedules for each location are available at

http://www.ymcanyc.org/association/pages/healthy-kids-day/

YMCA experts will be available to speak with media about the importance of keeping kids’ bodies and minds active when out of school.

WHEN: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 10 – 3pm – Times vary by location
 

WHERE:

All New York City’s YMCA Locations

Why I Let My 7 Year Old Buy Our Family’s Food

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I like to pat myself on the back for the fact that I have raised some pretty amazing boys this far. For instance, my stepfather took my 7 year old to Toys R’ Us just before his birthday party to pick out a gift. Whatever gift he wanted to get within the allotted amount of money. He strolled up and down the aisles of his favorite toys and picked out 1 item that was only a small fraction of the money he could spend. What did he do next? He saw an Angry Birds video game and knowing his brother loves Angry Birds, he said “I am going to use the rest of my money to get this game, I think my little brother would love it!”. Yes, he spent 2/3 of his money on his 2 year old brother.

With that being said, you probably have a good understanding of the personality of my boy. He’s very loving, giving, and caring. He wants to do right by others and constantly looks to make others happy, especially his family and friends. He received some money and gift cards at his birthday party and said he wanted to save it for something he really wants instead of splurging at the toy store. So when we went to the Burger King drive through a couple nights later to get family some quick dinner, he said  “Mom, can I buy the food for you guys?”. Initially I said “What?!, No, I don’t want you using your money to buy our food, I buy the dinner”. But when he said “Mom, I really want to use my money so you don’t have to use yours” I just melted and said “OK, I’ll let you buy it if you really want to, thank you”. I made sure he understood that his $50 would now turn to $30.50 after spending the $19.50 to buy our food and that he wouldn’t get that money back, but he said he understood and that is what he wanted to do with his money. He said he had the toys he wanted, and that he would save the rest for something else he wanted in the future.

Of course I let him “buy” our food, and his money really stayed put, well it did come out of his spending money, but it went into his savings. If figured I want to start him off right. And that he was right. He should be able to do what he wants with his money as long as he’s making the right choices. And boy was he making the right choices all on his own. Spending his only money on his family, I couldn’t ask for more. From then on, any time he said “Mom, do I have enough money to get this, I want to buy it” I let him buy it with his own money. He is learning and preparing for the future. I want him to always be the kind person that he is today and do for others as much as he can. Me always doing for him, and not allowing him to have that type of gratitude because I do it because I want to, not because I have to, is not what I want. I am proud that he made this decision for me. My 7 year old will continue to buy his own food, or his families food as much as he wants until his money is gone (into his savings of course) and then if he wants to buy us more, he’ll need to pick up some paid chores.

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I know I’ll make wrong decisions in life, and I know I’ll make parenting mistakes, but this is something I know I did right. And I am proud of my boys and the people they’re growing to be. Both of them.