Fun outdoor activities for kids during covid
I have a 2.5 year old and we've been very cautious and careful during covid especially since I have an underlying health condition. We did however, go to Land of Make Believe right when they reopened and only did the park (not the water rides.) We felt comfortable doing this because we were outdoors, able to socially distance, didn't have to wear masks all day in the heat (we put them on when we were entering and exiting rides) and sanitized after every ride. Unfortunately, zoos are all requiring masks outdoors as well as other outdoor places. Does anyone have any ideas or places they can think of that we are able to visit without wearing masks outdoors? As careful as we've been indoors and when we're out, I just can't imagine my 2.5 year old wearing a mask ALL DAY outdoors in the heat.
Any fun ideas would be super appreciated!
The mini-golf on East Ave and the one in Lake Hopatcong are very nice. They both encourage having 1 hole between parties. We keep our masks off of our faces unless we are passing a party playing an adjacent hole.
Those are nice places but putting a golf club in the hands of a 2&1/2 year old doesn’t sound like fun to me. LOL.
Maybe a little scavenger hunt to look for simple things, there are pools open with kiddie pools for kids that age, keep it simple.
Campground at the Worthington State Forest off of Old Mine Road has a great paved trail that parallels the river.
Pack a picnic?
I take my 2 1/2 yr. old granddaughter to the M& M Mars just to looks at the characters outside. We have also gone to the state fish hatchery in Oxford, but it's not open to the public. You can only look at the fish just outside the building. She enjoyed that and stepping on the painted fish on the sidewalk. No one was there when we went. On the weekend though you can't get in to even see this as they closed for weekends a while back to save money.
If you are up for a ride, you can take them to the Lil’ Le-Hi Trout Hatchery in Allentown, PA (2 mins off Rt.78; maybe an hour ride from Hackettstown)
Unlike the fish hatchery here in NJ, It is open to the public, free admission and you can watch and feed them.
For one dollar you can buy a huge bag of fish food. The young kids really love watching the fish come to the edge of the pool when you approach and will get even more excited once you throw the food pellets into the holding tanks.
There are at least a dozen holding tanks spread out. It’s all outside so you can easily social distance.
Clinton NJ off of Rt. 31 ...about twenty five minute drive. There is a huge waterfall....you can feed the ducks....eat ice cream outside.....walk the bridge....fish....and have lunch all outside..
Ringing rocks in PA. A little ride, but the kids will love it!
Thanks everyone! I think he'd enjoy feeding the fish out in Allentown! If anyone comes across any other ideas, keep sharing, please!! :)
TheSoundGuy , what a great find. That's awesome. Feeding fish and hatcheries are always fun and great hearing about the spaced out tanks.
We just got back from Ringing Rock park! It was fun but not a place I would bring a 2 1/2 year old. Lots of climbing on the big boulders.
But whoever does go.....don't forget to bring your hammers! :)
Ringing Rock Park does sound awesome but we're in the middle of "I do self!" stage soooo I'm thinking that has to wait until I feel comfortable handing him a hammer! LOL
You might want to check out peach picking at Melick’s Farm in Califon or Alstede in Chester.
There’s also Lake Hopatcong State Park for swimming. I took my daughter as a toddler there a lot or ice cream at Tranquility Farms on 517.
Stephen’s State Park is nice to explore and has a shaded playground.
Stephens is closed
Riverfront playground is open if you feel comfortable going there. The paved walking paths are also great for strollers and balance bikes if your child rides.
I’ve been hiking a lot with my kids. You can find short, easy paths (some are paved and really don’t qualify as hikes, good for 2.5 year old) on the AllTrails app.
And I know you specifically asked for outdoor activities but I just wanted to add, if you are a member at Hackettstown Library, you can now schedule a time to visit the children’s section with your child and check out books. We went on Monday and my kids loved picking books out again.
Thanks bug. my bad.
There’s also Sussex Branch Trail in Stanhope. A flat rail trail that bypasses Cranberry Lake, home to many swans!
About a half mile in on the trail there’s an awesome waterfall which is awesome for kids and adults to marvel at!
TheSoundGuy, thanks for the information. It reminds me of how the old Hackettstown Hatchery used to be. As kids we had so much fum going there.
@magpie. Thanks for the kudos. It really is a great place to go. My daughter and I have been going out there for several years now and thankfully it never gets old with her. T the perfect social distancing activity for kids. I only wish the Pequest hatchery would open up to the public.
How about renting a patio boat at Spruce Run and tooling around- letting the lil ones “captain the ship”?
I found Klein Farms Dairy & Creamery in Easton to be delightful. There is a petting zoo and *I think* you can feed the animals. They have their cows there -- but not sure with covid if you can visit the barns or not. There is a playground area with a wooden ship to climb on. Inside, you can purchase their raw milk, and their home-made ice cream which is delicious. Huge number of flavors. There is outdoor seating where you can enjoy it. Also for sale is their cheese and cheese spreads, honey, baked goods. There is also a corn maze but I don't know if that's open or not. It's not too far -- around 40 minutes from Hackettstown.
I just took my 5yr young granddaughter to space animal farm. You only have to wear a mask in the building & museums. Not outside. Bring a packed lunch & plenty of animal crackers, the waving bears love them! You can also buy corn in the machines for .10 cents, some are .25 cents!
Tammi... I know people used to say Space Farms was borderline animal abuse because the animals were kept in tune cages, and some very skinny? I never saw this with my own eyes! It was only hearsay but I'm such an animal lover, I never went for this reason. I won't be sad if I go there, will I? Lol
Thanks for all the suggestions! So much to do! We went to Alstede yesterday as we were passing by and my little guy had a blast with the animals!
Anom - I haven’t been to Space Farms in years but when I did it was horribly depressing and I felt so bad for the animals kept in small cages. Definitely not a place for an animal lover.
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