There are so many amazing experiences to be had this spring that help kids learn, grow and develop. What’s even better is that these experiences don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, many are FREE. Yes, I said FREE! At Mommy University, we love sharing brain boosting activities but we also know that most families, like ours, are on a budget. This spring, we have put together a list of exciting brain boosting experiences your entire family will LOVE!
FREE Brain Boosting Spring Events
FREE Ice Cream
I scream, You scream, We all scream for ICE CREAM! The spring is the time of year when FREE ice cream events pop up all over the place. Nothing says warm weather like a good cup of ice cream or a delicious ice cream cone! Here are some free ice cream events we found in NJ:
- Free Rita’s on the first day of spring – March 20 noon-9pm.
- Free cone day at Dairy Queen on the first day of spring – March 20
- Free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s – April 4
- Free cone day at Carvel – April 27
- Free ice cream at Alstede Farms – April 30
- Free cone day at Haagen Daz – May 9
- Free ice cream at Alstede Farms – Mother’s Day May 14
- Free ice cream at Alstede Farms – Father’s Day June 18
NJ Maker’s Day
Throughout New Jersey on March 24 and 25 there are over 300 locations that will be hosting activities in celebration of Maker’s Day. A Maker is an individual that makes their own items utilizing skills to think outside the box. While it includes trades that are more hands on like wood design and can incorporate new technology like 3D printers. You can check out the NJ Maker’s Day page for locations or you can follow our recommendation to visit Maker Depot in Totowa on March 25 for hands on activities. Last year, children could make a mini light saber and put together a wood plane and everyone was invited to tale a photo on a wood motorcycle.
Home Depot Kids Workshops
If you follow Mommy University on Facebook, then I am sure you have seen our pictures at the Home Depot Kids Workshops. I have been bringing my older son since he was 4 years old. Even though it says it starts at age 5, I have never had a problem bringing my kids. Home Depot Kids Workshops take place the first Saturday of every month from 9am-12pm. The workshop is great for building fine motor skills, increasing independence and sparking creativity. For a full list of workshops check out our post on Benefits of Home Depot Workshops.
Barnes and Noble Story Time
Since my kids were babies I have taken them to the FREE story times at Barnes and Noble. Not only do kids get to enjoy a great story, they also sing songs and complete a fun activity. Most Barnes and Noble stores offer weekly story times so check your local schedule for more details. Special events also take place throughout the spring. Here are some you may enjoy:
- Create Your Own Little Golden Book Storytime March 25
- Celebration of Beauty and the Beast April 1
- Legend of Rock Paper Scissors Storytime April 8
- Too Many Carrots Storytime April 15
- We are the Dinosaurs Storytime April 22
- The Wonderful Things You Will Be Storytime April 29
Simon Kidgits Club Events
At select Simon Malls around the country, kids can join the Kidgits Club for FREE! Throughout the year, members can enjoy exciting free Kidgits programs and activities at their local Simon Mall. We have enjoyed activities such as pretzel rolling with Auntie Anne’s, holiday celebrations, Pirate and Princess Day, Dinosaur Day and making ice cream sundaes. Kids will also learn important lessons about health, wellness, safety and more! For a list of malls visit the Kidgits website.
Free Crafts for Kids at Lakeshore Learning
Every Saturday from 11am-3pm at Lakeshore Learning stores, kids can enjoy a fun themed crafting experiences. This spring kids can make a variety of adorable crafts while building fine motor skills and sparking the imagination. Here are the crafts you can make this spring:
- Honeybee House March 25
- April Showers Craft April 1
- Up, Up and Away Kite April 8
- Celebrate Spring Treat Basket April 15
- Earth Day Watering Can April 22
- Little Ladybug Teacher Appreciation Card April 29
Bank of America Museums On Us
On the first full weekend of every month, Bank of America card holders can enjoy FREE admission to museums all over the country. The Museums On Us program gives families access to amazing learning experiences that they otherwise may not have been able to afford. In NJ, families can visit Morris Museum, Liberty Science Center, Garden State Discovery Museum, Newark Museum, The Noyes Museum of Art of Stockton University, Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Montclair Art Museum and Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art.
Free First Thursday at Montclair Art Museum
On the first Thursday of every month through June 2017, Montclair Art Museum will open its doors to the public for FREE allowing families to explore everything MAM has to offer. Admission is from 5pm-9pm and tours take place at 6:30pm and 7:30pm. There will be live music, free drop-in art classes, complimentary chair massages and a Kids’ Creativity Center. Here are the spring dates: May 4 and June 1.
Cape May County Zoo
Zoos offer amazing developmental and academic benefits for kids. This spring families can explore Cape May County Zoo for FREE. In fact, this zoo is free all year long! It’s a wonderful way to enhance vocabulary and introduce kids to the world of science! Cape May County Zoo also offers events including the following:
- Earth Day Celebration: April 22
- Conservation Walk: May 13
Bergen County Zoo
From November through May, the Bergen County Zoo is FREE to visit. It is open every day from 10am-4:30pm. Not only will guests get to see a variety of animals, there are also several special events this winter that the entire family will love.
- Autism Awareness Day April 2
- Spring Egg Hunt April 8
- Party for the Planet April 23
- World Tapir Day April 29
- Sheep Sheering Day May 6
- Endangered Species Day May 13
- World Turtle Day May 27
Spring Fun on the Farm
Farms across NJ offer fun and exciting spring events and many of them are FREE! Some of our favorite farms offer free entry to see the animals, explore the grounds and pick fruits and vegetables. There are also a number of events this spring that the entire family will love! Check out our post Brain Boosting Spring and Summer Events at NJ Farms to more information.
Easter Family Fun
This Easter, New Jersey offers amazing brain boosting events that the entire family will love. There are a number of free experiences to celebrate this wonderful holiday. From zoos to farms to beaches to local parks, families will have plenty of events to choose from. For a list check out our post EGG-cellent and Unique Easter Events.
Earth Day Events
Every April, locations throughout New Jersey celebrate Earth Day. From nature centers to local towns, Earth Day is a wonderful opportunity for families to learn how to care our environment. While some events have a small cost most are free! Check out our post on Brain Boosting Earth Day Events.
Keep checking back because as new events are announced we will add them to this list.