Hoboken is known for its wide array of athletic, creative, educational, and entertainment activities, but did you know that this city is fully loaded with family-friendly activities that kids and parents can enjoy together? The Square Mile City has earned its slogan, “more than a City, a Neighborhood,” with a large selection of community events, classes, and activities that will get little ones excited, and leave moms feeling good.
Here are our favorite Hoboken activities for your family:
This division of the Hoboken Historical Museum is curated by retired firemen and features a real, shiny, red fire engine from the 1930’s. Kiddies love climbing up into the driver’s seat to smile for the camera as a little fireman, and afterward ringing the big brass bell to alert the firemen that their duties are needed. Parents will be fascinated by the extensive memorabilia and historical pieces of the Hoboken Fire Department’s past.
213 Bloomfield Street
Cost: Adults $3, Kids 12 and under free
Garden Street School of Performing Arts is a one-stop shop for recreational or intensive training in dance, music, and theatre. The school even has their own professional recording studio in-house. Little ones ages five and under can get acquainted with the arts with the Morning Arts Classes, an engaging introduction to dance, arts, and music. Garden Street School of Performing Arts is proud to include the nine-level American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum, an age-appropriate program that focuses on dancer health and child development. This family-operated business puts your child’s wellbeing first, while the highest-grade certified instructors pave the way for a lifetime love of performing arts.
1018 Washington Street
Engage, explore, and enjoy at the Monroe Center, Hoboken’s creative arts and business community. This complex’s two main buildings boast 180,000 square feet of artist studios, office lofts, retail spaces, a performing arts theatre, art galleries, dance classes, and music schools. There is always something new and exciting happening like community festivals and special events to workshops and art projects. Kids will love the hands-on science experiments at Mad Science, weekly fitness classes at My Gym, sewing and crafting at M Avery Designs, some kid-style pampering at Just 4 Kids Salon, plus dozens of more dynamic and artistic businesses to experience.
720 Monroe Street
This waterfront park extends into the Hudson River via wide, winding paths that take you from the mainland onto the island park itself. Children of all ages will be able to enjoy sectioned, age-appropriate playground equipment, including a designated area for toddlers and preschoolers. Older children will enjoy the dynamic equipment for climbing, sliding, and spinning. Sand lots and water play are also unique features of this modern park. Open fields, bicycle paths, and piers extending further into the Hudson create an atmosphere where children can use their imagination and explore in the safety of an enclosed park. From the comfortable, waterside seating, parents will also appreciate the design of this park, characterized with carefully chosen foliage and natural materials that mimic the beachside elements of its surroundings.
Sinatra Drive near 4th Street
The only thing better than a family-friendly activity in Hoboken is a free family-friendly activity in Hoboken with a Manhattan skyline view. Pack up a picnic, a blanket, and a couple beach chairs and bring the whole family down to Pier A Park every Wednesday evening for free Movies Under the Stars. Cuddle up with your little ones and enjoy an array of family-friendly movies with New York City as your backdrop. Past screenings include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Minions, and The Peanuts Movie, with certain films are kicked off with a demonstration from Hoboken’s own My Gym and Preschool of Rock. This intimate activity for the whole family is bound to become a favorite summer tradition for your kids.
Pier A Park, First Street and Sinatra Drive
It’s probably America’s most celebrated cake shop, and it’s right here in Hoboken. Home to TLC’s hit show, Cake Boss, Carlo’s Bakery is Hoboken’s staple for sweets. See where Buddy Valastro bakes his internationally recognized cake creations at this original Hudson County location. A stop in Carlo’s is unlike any ordinary bakery experience – their creations are infamous, and are known to look just as good as they taste. Feast your eyes upon specialty cakes with colorful, creative designs that will make your taste buds tingle. Sneak a peek at gorgeous wedding cakes, sweet treats, and swipe a “Grab & Go” piece of cake with dozens of flavor combinations available for every cake-lover.
95 Washington Street
Free kayaking on the Hudson
Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse is a non-profit public boathouse that encourages families to see the Hudson River in a new and adventurous way, with an urban water activity like no other. Kayaking season runs from late May through September (weather permitting), and through the hard work of volunteers experienced in kayaking, this exciting sport has become easily accessible without having to travel far. The goal of this organization is to bring free kayaking to the community, and hosts “Free Kayaking Days” on several occasions throughout the summer, in partnership with the City of Hoboken. Small children are welcome to ride with a parent or guardian. Kayaks, paddles, life jackets, and assistance on the water are all provided.
Hoboken Waterfront at Frank Sinatra Drive and Maxwell Place
Farmers markets in Hoboken
Your children will love being involved with your household’s grocery shopping trips when it involves being outside and helping choose which colorful and fresh produce to take home. Make your way to the rows of canopied tents and pick out delicious, organic produce, pickles and olives, breads, cheese, fish, meat, sweets, flowers, prepared foods, and more. Many farmers market events in Hoboken feature live music and special kids events for extra shopping fun for your kids. Bring your farm treats home and cook up a special, fresh meal with your little chefs-in-training to help them discover how rewarding it is to eat clean and local.
Hoboken Uptown Farmers Market at 13th & Hudson Streets
Hoboken Downtown Farmers Market at Washington & Newark Streets
Garden Street Farmers Market at 14th and Garden Streets
Rummage & Ruffle Midtown Farmers Market at 6th & Willow Streets
Brunching with the babes
Brunch is more than just a meal in Hoboken – it’s a lifestyle. With some of the best cafes in New Jersey, there is no shortage of brunchable options that mom and the littles will love. Throw a dart on a map of Hoboken and you are bound to discover a great spot for lattes, frittatas, and salads to die for, but we recommend a taste of Cuba at La Isla Restaurant (uptown or downtown locations), gourmet Italian specialties à la Anthony David’s on Bloomfield Street, and the unparalleled Kids Cuisine of Turning Point on Frank Sinatra Drive.
Family fun nights in Shipyard Park
This free summer concert series is another example of wonderful family programming presented by the city of Hoboken. Starting in June, head to Shipyard Park every Tuesday evening at 7PM for a kid-friendly live music performance from the area’s most entertaining and interactive performers. These shows feature sing-alongs, funny costumes, comedy for kids, and original music written especially for your children. Hoboken knows how to keep your cuties happy and dancing with these weekly family events.
Shipyard Park, 13th Street and McFeeley Drive
You no longer need to own a bicycle to enjoy a scenic family bike ride along the Hudson River. Hudson Bike Share makes it easy to rent bicycles for the whole family. By downloading their smartphone app, you can conveniently pick up bikes for the whole family at an abundance of locations throughout the city. Unlike other city bike sharing companies, each bicycle comes with its own lock so you can park your bike anywhere in town during your ride, so there is no need to find a base every time your little ones want to grab a slice of pizza or if mom and dad want a fresh cup of coffee. Sign up by the half hour or by the day, it’s a great way to get some exercise while your kids get to experience Hoboken in a new light
NJMOM believes there is no better way to learn about your city, its history, and culture than by experiencing the carefully curated exhibits that teach locals of all ages about where they live. Hoboken Historical Museum offers tours and exhibits of all kinds, including self-guided walking tours, education programs, summer enrichment for children, historical galleries, and even a virtual online archive. Learn about Sybil’s Cave, the oldest structure in Hoboken, Frank Sinatra, Hoboken’s most famous son, neighborhood architecture, exclusive historical films, and so much more. For a different kind of museum experience, register your little ones online for “Penny’s Storytime,” a free, weekly program for ages two to five years. Children in grades one to three can learn to “Map It,” with a hands-on program that teaches the importance and practicality of map skills, while getting the chance to map out the museum. Check out our guide to 5 Museums in Hoboken and Jersey City.
1301 Hudson Street
Skateboarding is officially not a craze – it’s here to stay! Give your little skaters the safest option to practice by bringing them to Castle Point Skatepark, Hoboken’s enclosed area designated for skaters. This outdoor park is maintained by the city and features concrete polished ground with skatelite obstacles, making for the smoothest ride possible. This park features pyramids, rails, banks, quarter pipes, half pipes, gaps, ledges, and plenty of flat area. With such a large collection of features, little skaters won’t get bored quickly. As another bonus, this skatepark is located directly on the Hudson waterfront, providing a gorgeous backdrop for kids and parents alike. Admission is free, making for an easy wallet-friendly activity in Hoboken.
1101 Sinatra Drive
Celebrate small business in Hoboken
Hoboken locals all have one thing in common – they walk everywhere. This square-mile city is perfect for family strolls for leisure, or fast-paced walks to get the errands done. Stretch those stems on a walk down Washington Street and let yourself (and your kids!) explore whatever shops, restaurants, and businesses catch your eye. There is something interesting, unique, and wonderfully local around every corner in Hoboken; it’s what makes the city so unique. Try supporting small businesses in Hoboken, and feel good about helping to preserve the city’s culture, character, and individuality. Don’t leave town without stopping in to Washington General Store, Black Rail Coffee, Choc O Pain, Revival Vintage Boutique, and Urban Jungle Play.
Attend a festival in Hoboken
With so much culture, cuisine, arts, and music to share, it’s no wonder that Hoboken is a city that loves throwing a great festival. Throughout the year, families travel from across New Jersey and New York City to experience a wide variety of festival celebrations that feature family-friendly activities, musical performances, parades and carnivals, and some of the best food imaginable. Any one of these kid-friendly festivals are worth a trip to Hoboken, and are guaranteed to entertain visitors of all ages. Like the Hoboken Mutzfest, the Hoboken Irish Festival, and the Hoboken Harvest Festival.
It’s official: the Hoboken Public Library might have the best summer library children’s programming of all time. In addition to the Summer Reading Program that motivates little readers to keep flipping pages by rewarding fun prizes, the library offers weekly, monthly, and special library events all summer long. Your children will love family art, Harry Potter Reading Marathons, Yoga story time, Cupcake Cuties, and Mad Science of Sports, to name just a few. The goal of these library summer programming is to keep your kids engaged and stimulated academically and creatively through the summer, in between school sessions.
500 Park Avenue
Chocolate classes at Lepore’s
Lepore’s Home Made Chocolates is a family-owned staple candymaker of Hoboken since 1980, and a nurturing environment for your family to learn a new skill that the kids are bound to remember forever. Take a chocolate making class with Mario and learn how to make delicious truffles that your family can share with friends and house guests. Everybody loves rich chocolate, and a local family business is the perfect place to go with your children to make the sweet tooth smile.
105 4th Street
Parks and Playgrounds in Hoboken
Visiting parks and playgrounds are such an easy way to create a fun, active day with your family. Lucky for NJMOMs in Hoboken, this city is sprinkled with an array of family-friendly parks that all are characterized with different, fun features for kids and parents alike. These community hubs are ideal locations for your little ones to explore, exercise, imagine, and make friends this summer while moms can also connect with one another while admiring the fabulous Manhattan skyline.
Kids Classes in Hoboken
Arts, sports, science, theatre – Hoboken has it all! Whether you are a Hoboken resident or you would love to visit this city more often, classes are a great way to connect kids with a new activity, new friends, and the highest grade instructors in a cultural hub of New Jersey.
Kids Eat Free in Hoboken
Yes, it’s true! Restauranteurs in Hoboken know that dining out with little ones can be a challenge, so they want to help in two major ways: by offering fantastic kids menus and by handing you a check you can feel good about. NJMOM is always on the hunt for the best kids-eat-free spots around New Jersey, and we’re ready to share our super (not-so-secret) guide with you.
Kids eat free in Hoboken…
Sunday: Willie McBride’s on Grand Street
Tuesday: Elysian Cafe on Washington Street
Wednesday: Mikie Squared Bar & Grill on Washington Street
Kids Under 5 Eat Free: Village Pourhouse on 1st Street
Attila the Duck is opening the doors of Stevens Aquatics to families in and around Hoboken for open family swimming. No matter what the weather is like outside, it’s always bathing suit season at this world-famous college’s recreation center. Monthly memberships and reasonable drop-in rates are available for the whole family (more than one parent/guardian and more than one child) or one parent and one child to get their feet wet during designated family swim times for optimal safety and fun. Make your day even more fun and active by climbing Hoboken’s famous stairs up to Castle Point, the highest point in Hoboken, located on the Stevens Institute campus. Enjoy the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline from this ideal vantage point before taking a dip in the pool with your children.
1 Castle Point Terrace