Princeton, NJ, a vibrant university town, is the perfect destination for families seeking a day full of fun, entertainment, and learning. With its rich history, beautiful parks, and a variety of attractions, Princeton offers plenty of activities that are suitable for toddlers, making it an ideal spot for a memorable family day out.
In this blog post, we’ll take you through the top toddler activities in Princeton, NJ, ensuring that your little ones have a fantastic time exploring and discovering new experiences. So, buckle up and join us on this adventure as we unveil the best of what Princeton has to offer for the youngest members of your family.
1. Terhune Orchards – A Delightful Farm Experience
Terhune Orchards is a family-owned and operated farm that offers a unique, interactive experience for toddlers and their families. With over 200 acres of beautiful farmland, this orchard allows your little ones to explore nature, pick their own fruits, and enjoy various farm activities.
During the harvest season, Terhune Orchards opens its Pick-Your-Own fields, offering a wide range of fruits, including apples, strawberries, blueberries, and more. The farm also hosts seasonal events and festivals, such as the Fall Family Fun Weekend, featuring wagon rides, pony rides, pumpkin painting, and a corn maze.
Don’t forget to visit the barnyard to meet the farm animals like sheep, goats, and chickens. It’s a hands-on experience that will leave a lasting impression on your toddler.
2. Princeton University Art Museum – Cultivating a Love for Art
The Princeton University Art Museum is a treasure trove of over 100,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary pieces. While the museum may seem more suited for older children and adults, it offers programs specifically designed for toddlers and their caregivers.
The Art for Families program, for example, is a free, drop-in program that introduces young children to art through storytelling, sketching, and gallery exploration. This program caters to children aged 3 to 8 years and provides an excellent opportunity for your toddler to develop an early appreciation for art.
3. The Watershed Institute – Connecting with Nature
The Watershed Institute is a 950-acre nature reserve dedicated to promoting environmental conservation and awareness. The reserve features a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, and wetlands, making it an ideal location for toddlers to explore and learn about the natural world.
The Watershed offers a range of programs specifically designed for young children. The Tiny Tots Walks, for instance, is a guided walk through the reserve for children aged 18 months to 3 years. Led by experienced naturalists, these walks provide toddlers with a safe and fun environment to discover the wonders of nature.
4. Princeton Playspace – Indoor Fun and Learning
Sometimes, unpredictable weather conditions may keep your family indoors. But don’t worry – Princeton Playspace is here to save the day! This 5,000-square-foot indoor playground is designed for children aged 0 to 10 years and provides a clean, safe, and engaging environment for toddlers to explore.
The playspace features a variety of age-appropriate play areas, including a soft play area for infants and toddlers, a multi-level jungle gym, a dress-up area, and an imaginative play village. Additionally, it offers enrichment classes and workshops for toddlers, covering topics such as music, art, dance, and language.
5. Marquand Park – A Scenic Playground Experience
Nestled among beautiful trees and gardens, Marquand Park is a 17-acre park that offers a serene and picturesque environment for families to relax and unwind. The park features a fantastic toddler-friendly playground with swings, slides, and climbing structures that will keep your little ones entertained for hours.
In addition to the playground, Marquand Park is home to a wide variety of tree and plant species, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. Don’t forget to pack a blanket and some snacks to enjoy the beauty of the park while your toddler has a blast on the playground.
6. Princeton Public Library – Encouraging Early Literacy
It is not only a treasure trove of books and resources but also a hub for engaging activities designed for young children. The library’s children’s section is filled with age-appropriate books, toys, and puzzles that will keep your toddler entertained and intellectually stimulated.
The library also offers several toddler programs, including “Wee One’s Storytime” and “Toddler Storytime,” which feature stories, songs, and rhymes designed to encourage early literacy skills. These programs provide a warm and welcoming environment for parents and caregivers to bond with their toddlers while fostering a love for reading and learning.
7. Princeton Shopping Center – Family Fun and Entertainment
It is not just a hub for shopping and dining, but also a great place to enjoy some family fun. The shopping center hosts several events throughout the year, such as the “Summer Music Series” where families can enjoy live music in a relaxed, outdoor setting.
For toddlers, the shopping center offers a small playground area with age-appropriate play equipment, perfect for burning off some energy before or after shopping. Keep an eye on the shopping center’s event calendar to stay updated on upcoming family-friendly events and activities.
8. Morven Museum & Garden – History Comes Alive
Morven Museum & Garden, once the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, is a historical gem that offers a glimpse into the past. While the museum’s exhibits may be more appealing to older children and adults, the beautiful gardens provide a wonderful setting for toddlers to explore and enjoy the outdoors.
The museum hosts various family-friendly events throughout the year, such as the “Garden-Story Walks” program, which combines storytelling and a walk through the gardens. This program is designed for children aged 2 to 6 years and is an excellent way to introduce your toddler to the beauty of nature and the excitement of history.
What facilities does Princeton Playspace offer for toddlers?
The Princeton Playspace features a variety of age-appropriate play areas, including a soft play area for infants and toddlers, a multi-level jungle gym, a dress-up area, and an imaginative play village. The playspace also offers enrichment classes and workshops for toddlers, covering topics such as music, art, dance, and language.
Can I bring a stroller to the Princeton University Art Museum?
Yes, strollers are allowed in the Princeton University Art Museum. However, be mindful of gallery spaces and other visitors while navigating through the museum with a stroller.
Are there picnic facilities available at Marquand Park?
Marquand Park does not have designated picnic facilities, but visitors are welcome to bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic on the park’s beautiful grounds.
Are there any toddler-friendly restaurants in Princeton, NJ?
The city has many family-friendly restaurants that cater to toddlers. Some options include the Nassau Street Seafood & Produce Co., Jammin’ Crepes, and the Witherspoon Grill. These restaurants offer kid-friendly menus and a welcoming atmosphere.
Is the Morven Museum & Garden appropriate for toddlers?
While the exhibits at the Morven Museum & Garden may be more appealing to older children and adults, the beautiful gardens provide a wonderful setting for toddlers to explore and enjoy the outdoors. The museum also hosts various family-friendly events throughout the year, such as the “Garden-Story Walks” program, which is designed for children aged 2 to 6 years.
What is the best time of year to visit Terhune Orchards with a toddler?
Terhune Orchards offers various fruits for picking throughout the year, depending on the season. The best time to visit with a toddler would be during the harvest season (spring, summer, and fall) when the farm offers Pick-Your-Own fruits and seasonal events and festivals.
How accessible are the attractions mentioned in this blog post for families with young children?
Most of the attractions mentioned in this blog post are accessible and accommodating for families with young children. Strollers are generally allowed, and many of the venues offer designated areas or activities specifically designed for toddlers. Be sure to check each attraction’s website or contact them directly for information on accessibility and any specific accommodations that may be available for young children.
Princeton, NJ, offers an abundance of activities that cater to toddlers and their families, providing a fun-filled day of exploration, learning, and entertainment. From hands-on farm experiences to indoor play spaces, this charming university town has something to offer every family.
Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, be sure to check out these top toddler activities in Princeton, NJ, for a memorable day that will leave your little ones with lasting memories and a desire to explore even more!