Real Mom Review: Watchung Stables

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Watchung stables in Mountainside houses over 50 horses and offers nearly everything horse related: boarding, lessons, boy scout/girl scout programs, trail rides, summer camp, and horse shows. Most lessons are recommended for ages 9 and up, but there are a number of options for younger kids. There are winter clinics on horse grooming for kids under 9. In April, June, September and October there are also “Just the Two of Us” programs where kids under 9 and their parents can be introduced to horses and how to properly mount a horse and safety around horses. The stables also offers hour long tours (also appropriate for preschoolers) for groups of 10-15 people. Or just go and rent a lead-line horse and let the kids take a ride! This is also an outstanding venue for a birthday party.

Bang for your Buck: Thumbs up. Horse lovers can admire the horses for free! Winter clinics are $10. The Just the Two of Us programs are $26 per family (one child and one adult). Hour long group tours are $40. Line-lead horses are $17-$19 for 30 minutes. For more information download their program here
Best transit route: about 30 minutes from Hoboken by car
Stroller friendly: no
Rainy day recommended: no
Potty situation: on location
Snack friendly: Yes, you can snack outside the stables
Hyper-child friendly: yes
Child-friendly staff: yes
Estimate of time killed: 1 to 1.5 hours
Nap factor: good

Real Mom Review: Florham Park Roller Skating Rink

roller_skate_1_bgFeeling nostalgia for the 70s? Take the kids to a roller skating rink for some retro fun. Florham Park Roller Rink has plenty of those old fashioned heavy non-inline roller skates that you can rent. Then take a whirl around the roller rink to some lively music. If you don’t know how to roller skate, there are drop in lessons on Saturday mornings at 10am.

Bang for your Buck: thumbs up! Saturday morning lessons are $8 per person for 50 minutes and include skate rentals. Open skate schedule is available here and is mostly weekends in two hour blocks. Admission is $6.50 plus $3.50 for skate rentals.
Best transit route: Take the car. It is about 30 minutes from Hoboken.
Stroller friendly: no
Rainy day recommended: thumbs up
Potty situation: bathrooms on location
Snack friendly: cheap greasy food is available and there is seating, no outside food allowed
Hyper-child friendly: thumbs up!
Child-friendly staff: yes
Estimate of time killed: about 1-1.5 hours
Nap factor: excellent

Kiddy Kalendar – Weekend Edition 3/14-3/15

Here are our top picks for this weekend in NYC and NJ – all for under $10 a child.

Saturday March 14

The Museum of Early Trades and Crafts in Madison, NJ has family fun day from 10am to 4pm. Kids can create a quilt square that will be added to a museum quilt and put on display. Free with admission ($5 for adults, kids under 6 free, kids over 6 years $3). Call 973-377-2982 x12 to reserve.

Get in the St. Patrick’s Day Spirit by trying a Keltic Movement class! Keltic Kids is offering free classes today for kids 0-4 at the Irish Arts Center at 51st between 10th & 11th aves. Classes are at 10am, 11am, and 12pm. Call 646.387.8991 to reserve.

Free Big Jeff and the Bouncy People concert at 4pm at Monroe Street Movement in Hoboken. They will filming a video so you will need to sign a release. Call 201-222-8033 to reserve.

At 4pm BeLingual is offering a puppet show of Three Little Pigs in French at HAC in Hoboken. The performance will include songs and crafts. Register here. Cost is $10 for one child, $18 for two kids, $26 for 3 kids.

Sunday March 15

The Irish Arts Center has their Annual Open Day today with tons to do for kids. Starting at 12:30 there is the story of St. Patrick for kids, crafts, face painting, and at 2pm there is a children’s performance of Irish dance. To participate in the tin whistle workshop (must purchase or bring a whistle), call 212.247.3231 to reserve a spot. The event takes place at 51st btw 10th & 11th ave and is free.

The Newark Museum
is a great place to visit this weekend. In addition to the usual exhibits (don’t forget the mini zoo!), weekends starting at 1pm there is the planetarium show, special family tours, and drop in art and science activities. Today at 2pm there will also be a Victorian Magic Show. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $6 for kids. There is an extra fee for the planetarium of $3 per adult and $2 per child.

Kiddy Kalendar Weekly Edition – 3/9 to 3/13

The following are our top picks for kids for the week for under $10 a child.

MONDAY MARCH 9

Have you already taken the kids to play mini golf in Hoboken? Hoboken Golf has an indoor mini golf course with 9 holes for only $4 per person.

TUESDAY MARCH 10

At 3:30pm the Travelling Lantern Theater Company will perform Robin Hood at the Jefferson Branch Library (right across from the 9th street path station).

WEDNESDAY MARCH 11

Have you fully explored the Hoboken Train Terminal? For little ones fascinated with transportation, this the place to watch the buses, ferries, commuter trains, and path train come and go. There are also two children’s model trains sets that operate at the push of a button. One is located on the southeast wall of the waiting room (don’t forget to look up at the Tiffany stained glass ceiling) and the other one is located on the northwest side of the train shed where the trains are lined up, just next to the entry ramp to the buses. Check out the website before you go and you can wow your child by naming all the locomotives and passenger cars.

THURSDAY MARCH 12

On Thursdays, the Children’s Museum of the Arts is pay as you wish after 4pm. The museum encourages kids to make their own art and has a play area and plenty of crafts and activities. Today’s theme is the Wizard of Oz where kids will make their own brick stencils and then create a path for the characters of the movie.

FRIDAY MARCH 13

After a busy week, get the kids to relax with some kiddy yoga Karma Kids. From 3-3:30 they have their free yoga class for kids 6 and under with puppets and stories.

Kiddy Kalendar – Weekend Edition – March 7-8

SATURDAY MARCH 7

Hoboken St. Patrick’s Day Parade – 1pm
Hoboken’s annual event down Washington street starts at 1pm and features everyone from the mayor and firetrucks to the Hoboken Dance Academy!

Circus on a String at the Hoboken Public Library. 2pm. Free
This is part of the First Saturdays series offered by the public library. Circus on a String is a marionette theater performance with trapeze artists, stilt walkers, and clowns. Kids will be able to participate in the event too!

Lemony Snickett: the Composer is Dead at Carnegie Hall
The concert starts at 2pm with pre-concert events starting at 1pm. The event features music and a murder mystery involving the entire orchestra. Tickets are $9 and recommended for ages 5-18.

Family Day at the Asia Society
From noon to 3pm the Asia Society hosts a special event Spring into Norouz, the biggest festival of the Persian New Year, with drumming classes, animated features, egg decorating, Kurdish dancing, and more. Adult admission to the museum is $10 and kids are free.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden
has free admission today and are holding their annual Making Brooklyn Bloom Festival. See here for more info.

The Morris Museum’s Super Science Saturdays
From noon to 2pm the Morris Museum offers a special science workshop for kids ages four and up. This week they will decorate a terracotta pot and plant a bean for Spring. The museum also has a fascinating hands on permanent exhibit of mechanical musical instruments. Admission is $10 per adult, $7 per child, and an additional $3 for the Science workshop.


SUNDAY MARCH 8

Don’t for get daylight savings! Turn your clocks ahead!

WeBop! Free trial jazz music classes at Lincoln Center. Times/classes depend on age. Contact 212-258-9835 or webop@jalc.org to reserve.

Central Park Zoo has a weekend on amphibians and their threat of extinction. There will be presentations, films, crafts and coloring, wildlife chats, etc. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 per child.

Second Sundays at the Guggenheim
The museum offers family friendly tours for 5 to 10 year olds with drawing, readings from related children’s literature, and/or scavenger hunts. 10:30 to noon. $15 per family.

Real Mom Review – Newport Skates

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Newport Skates is an outdoor ice skating rink on the waterfront with a view of Manhattan. It has been open for only two years so the facilities and skate rentals are new. The rink is small and is open weekdays from 4pm-9pm, Saturdays from 10am-10pm, and Sundays and holidays from 9am-7pm. Weekdays after school the rink is fairly empty or most of the skaters are young children. The other nice thing about this rink is that it is on a pavilion with lots of benches and you can even see inside from the rink, so if a child wants to sit out for a while, you can still watch them from the rink. There is also a warming tent and a supermarket next door where you can get snacks. We recommend skipping the supermarket and going to Babo Tea House, about 2 blocks south on the waterfront, across from the Marina, for some gelato, bubble tea, or waffles with nutella, and some Japanese toys from the vending machines.

Bang for your Buck: $5 admission during the week, $6 for weekends, and $5 for skate rentals, so not too bad if you own skates
Best transit route: Path to Pavonia Newport and the rink is just 2 blocks north on the waterfront
Stroller friendly: yes, but if your child is in a stroller, they probably are too young to skate
Rainy day recommended: Thumbs down, outdoor rink
Potty situation: nice, clean, roomy bathroom
Snack friendly: yes, you can bring your own, go to the supermarket next door, or we recommend going to Babo Tea House
Hyper-child friendly: Thumbs up!
Child-friendly staff: if you go in the afternoons, the rink is fairly empty and the staff is pleasantly invisible
Estimate of time killed: a good 1.5 hours
Nap factor: Excellent chance of nap