If your toddler or preschooler has too much free time on his hands, or he's bouncing off the walls and getting into mischief, it's time for a change of scenery for both of you. New Brunswick, a vibrant city on the banks of the Raritan River, is the county seat of Middlesex County in New Jersey. This city of around 55,000 offers an assortment of kid-friendly activities that you can do with your little one.
1. Indoor Activities
Take your little angel to the New Brunswick Free Public Library (nbfpl.org), where he can participate in some free children's programs. Throughout the year, during various holidays, kids can come work on craft projects centered around that holiday. You can also drop by for one of their regular events, like Bouncing Babies Storytime or Preschool Playtime. Visit the Zimmerli Art Museum (zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu) with your kiddo to take a tour and participate in the hands-on activities offered. You can even sign up for a workshop, such as Passport to Art: Six Saturdays for Families, to do arts, crafts and work on performance projects with your entire family.
2. Outdoor Activities
Get your munchkin outside for some fresh air so he can run off some of that excess energy. Take a walk to the New Brunswick Landing (no website; Memorial Parkway, New Brunswick; no phone), where your cutie pie can take a look at all of the boats passing by. Play on the playground or have a picnic at Recreation Park (no website; 5 Pine Street, New Brunswick; 732-745-5112). At Elmer B. Boyd Park (no website; Memorial Parkways, New Brunswick; 732-745-5112), you can take your sweetie pie fishing or do some sledding in the winter.
3. Recreation Programs and Events
Check out all that is offered through New Brunswick Recreation (nbrec.com). Your preschooler can participate in a sport, like T-ball or soccer, to learn about teamwork and stay active. During the winter months, you can take your little man ice skating. You can also participate in some of the special events that take place throughout the year in New Brunswick, including the Memorial Day Parade, the Independence Day Celebration, the Raritan River Festival and the Hungarian Festival.
Sign your little princess up for a class to keep her busy. At Lustig Dance Theatre (lustigdancetheatre.org), there are an assortment of classes to choose from. Dancing Together is for kiddos 3 and up, with a parent. Kids learn about creative movement through props, music and simple dance steps. Creative Dance is for your 4 to 5 year old and is an introduction to ballet and modern dance. You could also check out the classes available at Middlesex Gymnastics Academy (middlesexgymnastics.com). Your 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 year old can join one of the Pre-school Gymnastics classes. There is also the NJ Kidfit program, for kids 14 months to 40 months and their parent. This program is filled with activities to keep kids moving and improve their balance and coordination.