The first thing on every parent's mind once June rolls around is usually how in the heck they're supposed to keep their children entertained for the entire summer. While it's not as bad as it was during the pandemic when you literally couldn't go anywhere with your family, it can still be hard to come up with fun places to go.

Luckily, here in the Garden State, your kids will never be bored. You don't have to keep them behind a screen all summer, either. Take the phones and iPads away and get your minis outside! Summer is, of course, the best time for play!

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It's much easier to find things to do with school-age children than it is for toddlers. For one, kids over the age of 6 are usually pretty good at entertaining themselves at places like the park or the beach. For toddlers, it's important to keep them engaged in something that will capture their full attention for the day. That can prove to be a daunting task if you choose the wrong day trip.

Best summer day trips for toddlers

Through exploration and imagination, toddlers engage in cognitive processes such as categorization, pattern recognition, and cause-and-effect reasoning. Day trips provide a rich environment for toddlers to practice these cognitive skills as they observe, explore, and make sense of the world around them.

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These trips usually provide new environments for exploration, stimulating their curiosity and encouraging them to learn through hands-on experiences.

Best summer day trips for toddlers in South Jersey

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The first on our list is the Cape May County Park & Zoo. A day surrounded by nature and wildlife. What could be better? The zoo offers a variety of animals and a beautiful park for picnics and playtime.

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Next up is Johnson's Corner Farm in Medford. Get outside for a fun-filled day of hayrides, farm animals, strawberry picking (in season), and delicious homemade treats.

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The third place you should pencil into your summer itinerary is Red Bank National Park. Located right on the Delaware River in Gloucester County, Red Bank National Park has parks, walking trails, a fishing pier, a butterfly garden, and even a little beach to explore. It's perfect for your littles who love boats! There's plenty to see making their way up and down the Delaware.

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Diggerland takes up the fourth spot on our list. This is the only amusement park in the country that's construction-themed. It's perfect for the little kids that dream of working with a big crane or bulldozer one day. Young kids LOVE this place. You'll find it in West Berlin right off of Cooper Road.

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Sticking with theme parks for this one, we can't NOT include Storybook Land. Age-appropriate rides, recognizable characters, and short ride lines are just a few features that keep parents and kids coming back season after season.

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To complete our list of best toddler day trips in South Jersey, we have to include Funny Farm Rescue in Mays Landing. If you've never had the chance to go, you'll meet owner Laurie Zaleski and her wonderful group of animals that LOVE when visitors come to see them. They do excellent work over there at the Funny Farm, providing you and your child with both a delightful and educational experience.

The importance of imagination and play in toddler development

Toddler exploration and imagination on day trips are essential for their holistic development, fostering curiosity, creativity, social skills, language development, and cognitive growth in a fun and engaging way. This list only scratches the surface when it comes to all the great places South Jersey has to offer for your little one. Hope you can fit it all in this summer!

Want even more day trip ideas for the whole family? We've got you covered. Take a look...

18 Amazing Summer Day Trips That Aren't Too Far From New Jersey

If you're looking for some summertime fun that is close to home but you want to still feel like you are on vacation, check out these great regional attractions.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

This sleepy historic South Jersey town is worth a half-day trip

Gallery Credit: Dennis Malloy

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