It’s a scientific fact that when the mercury rises, so do the ants in kids’ pants. Make a beeline for these local, kid-friendly outdoor New Jersey playgrounds to have some fun, beat the heat, and let your child go wild.
What: Finch Park Creative Playground
Why: Fenced in and only minutes away from downtown Ramsey the Finch Playground in Ramsy, NJ has tons of kid friendly restos, this park features an awesome toddler area with a train play structure, pirate ship, very cool sandbox with stocked shovels and pails, baseball fields, basketball courts, plus bathrooms and so much more for every age.
Insider Tip: Bonus feature? A Summer Camp!
Where: 205 Church St., Ramsey
What: Van Saun Park
Why: A Bergen County gem that our kids can never get enough of. The playground is huge, with large modern structures grouped by age that flow together nicely. And who can resist the awesome carousel, pony rides, the beloved Zoo, spray park, and the ultimate little kid delight: the train! Not too many shaded areas at this park, so water and sunscreen are a must. Their new Spray Park opens in June, so let the countdown begin!
Insider Tip: There isn’t anywhere to change your wet child, so keep towels and a change of clothes in the car for the ride home.
Where: Forest Ave., Paramus
What: Overpeck County Park
Why: A boating area (with great rates), tennis courts, bike and running trails, massive open field, and a gigantic playground for the kiddos with tons of features. Spending the day there? Not a prob thanks to very clean bathrooms and a concession stand.
Insider tip: Don’t forget the sunscreen because this park doesn’t much have shade.
Where: Challenger Rd., Ridgefield
What: Ruckman Park, Closter
Why: Clean, new, and good for a wide age range, it's great for a 2 hour timespan. Includes a rockwall, swings, slides, and monkey bars. Bring your bag with you because it's a little far from the parking lot. Bathrooms are open *most* of the time in the warmer months.
Insider tip: Pack a picnic lunch and snack in the pavillion or nearby pizza joint Rudy's Pizza is the perfect place for a post-playground slice and cool down.
Where: Piermont Rd & Ruckman Rd, Closter
What: Saddle River County Park Otto C. Pehle Area
Why: Searching for a pretty spot to take a walk or bike ride with the kids? This park has plenty of wildlife to look at while you walk around the pond, a dog park, a picnic area with shaded tables, fishing, ball fields, clean bathrooms, and a great playground. We hear the ice cream truck is usually parked there all day during the summer so plan accordingly.
Insider tip: Make sure you park in the non-resident parking lot if you don’t live in town!
Where: 1417 Saddle River Rd., Saddle Brook
What: Votee Park
Why: A mecca of outdoor activity for the kids. A huge renovated educational based playground that is fenced in, multiple sports fields, bike and running paths, your choice of a sunny or shaded picnic area with tables, a small adult work out area, and much much more.
Insider Tip: An ice cream truck usually parked in the parking lot on hot days.
Where: Palisade Ave., Teaneck
What: Ridgewood's Wild Duck Pond
Why: Known for it’s famous dog park, this park is great for kids too. A large playground is bound to keep them happy, and family walks and jogs can be had around the picturesque pond. Fishing and picnicking is lovely here too. There are bathrooms (with a changing table!) and the grounds are kept nice and clean.
Insider Tip: Checkout the Beautiful Cherry Blossoms.
Where: 1133 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood
What: Clark Field
Why: One of our favorite parks for toddlers thanks to it being completely shaded under beautiful trees and not too spacious for little escape artists. Picnic benches make outdoor lunches a breeze, or bring them to nearby Westwood for a kid-friendly lunch.
Insider Tip: Surprise them with sweet treats from nearby Conrad's Confectionery.
Where: Willow St. & Cleveland Ave., Washington Twp.
What: Wood Dale County Park
Why: Tennis courts, popular dog-park, awesome playground, fishing, picnic areas, nearby bathrooms and a scenic pond to stroll around make this 118-acre park a family favorite.
Insider Tip: Chasing the geese at this park is a favorite past time of local kids.
Where: Prospect Ave., Woodcliff Lake, Hillsdale & Park Ridge
What: Pier C Park
Why: The Manhattan views from this park along the Hudson are beyond Instagram worthy and the modern but natural design is truly worth the drive in itself. Your kids will love the huge and imaginative playgrounds which stretch for large areas. Bathrooms, gorgeous paths to walk or run, and a ton of nearby eateries makes this park a must do.
Insider Tip: Bring your camera; the skyline backdrop makes for perfect picture taking.
Where: 220 Sinatra Dr., Hoboken
Melanie Amber Ruane is the Activities Editor of Bergen Mama. She is the founder of The Crowne Blog and mama to Vance, a toddler on the go.
Looking for a park outside of the area? Check out this website for some more information.