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Our Visit To Highlands Natural Pool

Another beautiful place from my bucket list checked off this summer! On our visit to Highlands Natural Pool, we enjoyed swimming in a pool made from stream fed waters that run off the mountains of the Norvin Green State Forest. My friend will swear to you that the water in the pool have magical healing qualities. That when you come to this place you will forget what is troubling you, and just enjoy where you are right now. When you dive into the water it envelops you in it’s wonderful velvety coolness.

When you get to the pool, you park a little distance away and take a stroll over a small stream filled with dragonflies. As you walk up to the pool, you will see hiking trails going off into the State Forest. I hear the hiking there is quite impressive.

Our Visit To Highlands Natural Pool

As you walk up to a pool, there is a row of restrooms on the left, a little concession stand on your right, and a few lovely people collecting the entrance fees. The fees that you can expect to pay are not significant, especially during the week.

Our Visit To Highlands Natural Pool

There are umbrellas, and chairs available inside. However, if you are coming in the afternoon, and especially if there is a class trip, expect to sit on your towel.  Considering that we were there under both of those circumstances, and were lucky to get a table. Running along the pool fence there is a beautiful butterfly garden.

Our Visit To Highlands Natural Pool

Our Visit To Highlands Natural Pool

This Olympic sized pool is subdivided into two sections. The first section has a zero entry incline, and is designed for the younger group of kids.  The parents and the kids all splash and cool off there. If my kids were young, I’d sit in that water all day with them. There are salamanders everywhere to be seen.

The second area is deeper, and is meant for those who passed the swimming test, or those who are over 18. My 10 year old came very close to passing the test, but at the end got too tired. Maybe next time. There will be a next time. Plenty of kids were there, swimming, diving off a diving board and having a great time!

Our Visit To Highlands Natural PoolWhile this swimming season is nearing it’s end, I do hope you will save this spot for your next summer.

The pool has a fantastic history to it. I hope you take the time and read about it. You can also find more information on their website: Highlands Natural Pool.

While you are visiting the Highlands Natural Pool, keep in mind that you are only 10 minutes from the NJ Botanical Garden, and I highly recommend you visit them as well.

Amusement Parks Indoor Activities and Playgrounds Water Parks

Our Visit To Great Wolf Lodge

Scotrun, PA

May 2017

I have been looking at Great Wolf Lodge for years while the kids were growing up. It is quite pricey, and since we generally prefer to swim under an open sky, I have never taken that leap to purchase the stay and tickets there.  This year, an opportunity came up where several friends and I were able to share a room with a significant discount. We decided that it was too good to pass up, and went.  Here is more about our visit to Great Wolf Lodge in Poconos, PA. Our Visit To Great Wolf Lodge

The water park itself was actually quite fun. We have attended other indoor water amusement parks, and this one blew them all out of the water.  There were ample water slides with increasing adrenaline factor. Some were easier than others. My youngest usually needs a slow introduction to the rides, something easy and fun for him to work up his bravery for the ‘big boy’ slides. There is a lovely wave pool, the lazy river, and a nice area for the smallest visitors.  That was definitely there. The teens enjoyed themselves in the water.  You can read more about their rides, other information and make reservations through their website.

The water park was clean, and well maintained. The employees were attentive to everyone’s needs. It generally felt like a very safe environment.  The water did not smell overwhelmingly with chlorine (something that I don’t like about indoor pools). Technically it is not a ‘day trip’ as you do have to stay over night in order to get tickets for the water park.

Our Visit To Great Wolf Lodge

Another note is we brought our own food: snacks, fruit and sandwiches.  There is a microwave and a coffee maker (bring coffee and filters) in the room. There is also a mini fridge. Food on the premises is very expensive, so we brought a cooler filled with snacks with us and a few large bottles of water.  The rooms were clean, and there was a balcony.

Due to the time of the year that we came in (late spring), the outdoor pool and rope climbing course were closed, but they looked like a lot of fun!

Our Visit To Great Wolf Lodge

We spent one night there, and for the water park alone that was plenty of time. I was on a budget, so we did not play any additional game or arcade while on our visit to Great Wolf Lodge. One full day was plenty of time to get enough swimming in.

However, if you are staying in the area for a prolonged period of time there is a lot to explore there. In the winter there is Shawnee Mountain, in the spring, summer and fall, there is Quiet Valley Historical Farm. There is also the Lakota Wolf Preservewhich we have visited recently. You can read about our visit to Lakota Wolf Preserve.  There are also many excellent hikes, including the Buttermilk Falls.  Canoeing, tubing and rafting up and down Delaware River is also a lot of fun.  After exploring all day, you could come back and do a bit more splashing and swimming.

Amusement Parks Arcades Travels With Kids Water Parks Zoos and Animals

Our Visit To Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags

This entire time I though I had added Our Visit to Hurricane Harbor and Six Flags to our happy travels. I looked, and alas, it’s not there.  I will just have to do it right now!

Our Visit To Hurricane Harbor and Six FlagsEvery year we go to Six Flags, whether it’s the theme park or the water park. In the past, when the kids were younger, we used to do the Read To Succeed Program. It worked well. As they got older, they no longer qualify for it, so now we either get tickets, or this year, we have passes for the three of us (and we bring Dad as a friend once in a while). Many of my kids’ friends love going there to just meet and walk around and have a bit of a good time. Since we live quite far away, we don’t make it there that often. I imagine we’ll go more when the heat eases off.

Six Flags

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Parks and Playgrounds Water Parks

Our Visit To Ponderosa Spray Ground

Scotch Plains, NJ

Summer 2015


While we have enjoyed this park in the past few years, my kids got to be too old to play there! We haven’t gone in quite some time.  However, it’s my home town, and I often hear people complaining that it’s too hot and too messy there throughout the summer. As always you should call ahead (the town of Scotch Plains in this case), and use your discretion when going places. 

Hooray, finally a water spray ground in Central Jersey, that is not too far from us! The best part: it is free!
Ponderosa Park is brand new, just opened in 2012, right off Cooper Road in Scotch Plains. It is a beautiful playground with water spraying out of many fountains. So much fun for the kids to play with.

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Amusement Parks Travels With Kids Water Parks

Our Visit To Land Of Make Believe

I wrote this post back in 2015. Since then, my kids have grown up past wanting to go to the Land of Make Believe. However, in all honesty, we had made the best memories there. I hope this place is around when I have grandkids, or nieces and nephews.

We have made another visit to the Land Of Make Believe and Pirate’s Cove. This time it was with my little one’s friend, and my older son came along.  For those of you who don’t know, The Land Of Make Believe is a water park and rides rolled into one package. Both aren’t enormously large, and can easily be explored by youngsters in one day without being exhausted or missing out.  Well, maybe just a little exhausted.  It is such a nice place to visit on a hot summer day. We enjoyed everything with the water: the pool, the lazy river, every single slide about ten times each. It was a glorious summer day.

Rivers and Lakes Water Parks

Our Visit To Tomahawk Lake

Sparta, NJ

June 2014

When my husband was off for a week this June, we wanted to go to a water park.  After a bit of looking it was decided that we should go to Tomahawk Lake in Sparta, NJ.  This place has been on our to visit list for a few years now, so we packed our cooler with lunch, grabbed towels and a change of clothes and headed that way.