Take the Kids: Mt. Laurel, NJ
A pair of major kid magnets you likely already know about — The Funplex amusement center (above) and CoCo Key Water Resort — draw families to Mt. Laurel, NJ year-round. When you go to either of these attractions just over the Philly bridges (on easy-reach Rtes. 38 and 73, respectively), don’t forget the booming ’burb’s other worthwhile family fun.
Encounter animals: At PAWS Farm Nature Center, open Wed.- Sun., kids can romp in the indoor interactive playroom and barn, then meet and greet some of the 80 birds and woodland animals (like this popular hedgehog) that live here. Thurs. Nature Talks for Tots teams a themed nature book with a related craft. (1105 Hainesport-Mt. Laurel Rd.)
Sled: Laurel Acres Park’s sledding hill is steep enough to be fun yet gentle enough to feel safe. It’s seriously packed on snow days. Go early to stake out a spot. (1045 S. Church St.)
Eat & burn energy: My Little Adventures Learn & Play Café pairs pop-in play (on Tues., Wed. and Fri.) with parent/kid-pleasing eats. The indoor active-play space keeps tots busy, while the nut-free Lilypad Café serves salads, wraps, grilled cheese and chicken nuggets. (3163 Marne Hwy.)
Sculpt: The drop-in Ceramic Barn art studio offers a two-pronged paint-your-own pottery plan: Acrylic-brushed items (think mugs, room décor, figurines) go home that day; glazed pieces are fired in the kiln and need to be picked up a week later. Want to throw your own clay? Private pottery wheel lessons take place on Wed. & Fri. evenings. (5145 Church Rd.)