by Colleen Morrison
The Delaware River Towns’ collection of unique family-friendly activities, stores, and dining for all ages is a great way to get out and create some amazing, new family memories! Here’s how to make the most of an unforgettable family-fun day (or weekend) in the River Towns:
Bucks County Children’s Museum
500 Union Square Dr., New Hope, PA
For a hands-on, fun-filled, educational experience, the Bucks County Children’s Museum is an interactive destination for curious little minds and hands. Kids of all ages can create designs on the Giant Light Bright wall, dig for fossils in the “Big Dig” exhibit, pretend to run a general store in the “Town Square,” and save lives as part of a medical team at “The Hospital” where they’ll put on a lab coat and perform operations! It’s the perfect place to get your little ones excited about learning.
Howell Living Farm
17 Valley Rd., Lambertville, NJ
Tear your modern kids away from their screens to have an authentic experience at Howell Living Farm, an active and historic farm that serves as an example of farming as it was practiced in New Jersey in 1890-1910 and a snapshot of 250 years of farming practice and life. There’s something fun happening at the farm every Saturday, like a milking and butter making demonstration, evening hayrides, and the Honey Harvest. Check the website for a full list of events and times.
Washington Crossing Historic Park
1112 River Rd., Washington Crossing, PA
Have your family soak in the sun and some history, too, while exploring the historic land and sites of Washington Crossing Park, 500 acres of memorials, walking trails and scenic photo-ops. Open from dusk until dawn, visit the storied Thompson-Neely House & Farmstead, relax on the waterfront, or climb to the top of Bowman’s Hill Tower for amazing views. Check out the Open Air Theatre on the New Jersey side of the river located inside the park for live-action, musical theater reenactments of your kids’ favorite movies, including Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Frozen-inspired Snow Queen Frozen Adventure, staged every weekend from June 18 to October.
New Hope Ivyland Railroad
32 W. Bridge St., New Hope, PA
Hop on the New Hope & Ivyland steam-powered train and go back in time for a family-friendly train ride through scenic Bucks County while exploring the history and beauty of vintage rail travel. Sit in the restored 1920s vintage passenger coaches and antique bar cars in an authentic steam locomotive and travel a historic route from New Hope to Lahaska, PA. During the holiday season, put the kids in their pajamas and take a train ride with Santa! Starting in June, the train leaves from the New Hope station on hourly excursions every day from around 11 a.m. to around 5 p.m. (schedules vary – check the website for specific dates and times).
The Book Garden
28 Bridge St., Frenchtown, NJ
Explore the charming Book Garden independent book store filled with new and used books that fit every interest and age. Community is at the heart of this shop, so there is always something literary happening, from poetry readings to author visits and workshops. While your kids discover their new favorite characters in the kids’ section, peruse the impressive collection of vintage and rare books and enjoy a cup of coffee in the cozy read-in kitchen.
Delaware River Tubing
778 Frenchtown Rd, Milford, NJ 08848
Bucks County River Country
2 Walters Ln., Point Pleasant, PA
For the ultimate day of fun on the river, Bucks County River Country has all of your family’s favorite water activities. Relax and drift lazily down the river in an inner-tube, fit the whole family in an inflatable raft, or rent a kayak or canoe for a more active river experience exploring the banks and tiny islands that crop up along the way. Whichever method you choose to explore the river, it’s a fun way to take in the natural beauty of the river and the surrounding area’s mountains and scenery.
Wells Ferry Boat Rides
22 N. Main St., New Hope, PA (behind The Landing Restaurant)
The American flag-clad boat named “Star of New Hope” is a typical, welcome site on the river and a great way to enjoy a relaxing, scenic boat ride while learning a little history about the Delaware River and River Towns. The boat leaves the dock every hour, on the hour from noon to 6 p.m. every weekend from May through November, weather permitting.
Friday Night Fireworks
Between New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ
First Friday Fireworks over New Hope and Lambertville has been a summer tradition loved by visiting families and the community for years. This summer’s dates for fireworks are June 3, July 1, August 5, and September 2. All shows are slated to begin at 9:30 p.m. and last 10 minutes. Get there early to score a prime viewing spot on the bridge!
62 Trenton Ave., Frenchtown, NJ
Indulge in some really feel-good food for the family in the morning. The Lovin’ Oven’s menu and daily specials are heavy on the fresh vegetables, specializing in vegetarian/vegan dishes, and embrace a local farm-to-table philosophy and interesting flavor combinations that you won’t find anywhere else. There’s something there for everyone; while you might dive into a heaping plate of Smoked Salmon Hash, the kids will go gaga over the Applejack Pancakes with apple compote and fresh strawberries.
47 Bridge St., Lambertville, NJ
If you’re looking for a classic, no-frills, Jersey diner experience for lunch or breakfast, Sneddon’s is a must-stop for seriously good food and a family-friendly atmosphere. With all of the basics deliciously covered, the pickiest eaters will find something they love, like a cheeseburger and fries; the staple pork roll, egg and cheese sandwich; or share an overflowing malted made the old-fashioned way, all at unbeatable prices.
137 S. Main St., New Hope, PA
If you’re a burger-loving family, definitely check out Moo at the far end of New Hope’s Main Street for a quick bite to eat at the best burger joint in town. A restaurant that evolved from a food truck, Moo specializes in high-quality, classic American burgers, fries and shakes made with locally sourced ingredients and better-for-you ingredients while still retaining the feeling of fast-food indulgence without the guilt.
22 N. Main St., New Hope, PA
End a day in the River Towns with dinner overlooking the Delaware. On a nice day, the best spot in town to eat is under an umbrella on The Landing’s patio right on the banks of the river, with the walking bridge and ever-present ducks in full view. And as if the location wasn’t ideal enough, the menu spans everything from grilled cheese to arugula salads with smoked salmon to BBQ ribs. It’s casual dining in a breathtaking location, perfect for a family night out.
237 N. Union St., Lambertville, NJ
A family-fun day out is never complete without a stop for ice cream. For fresh, handcrafted cups, cones, shakes and sundaes, Owowcow is the place to go. The parlor changes its flavors with the season and based on what is locally available, so there’s always something new to try, from the super indulgent cashew caramel and blood orange raspberry to the staple “I Hate Chocolate” chocolate and three different kinds of vanilla ice cream offered every day. Once you found your favorite flavor, there’s even to-go tubs and cakes, so you can bring a sweet treat home with you from the River Towns.
With so much to do and see in the River Towns, why not take a long family weekend and stay in town with the kids at one of the many beautiful B&Bs the towns have to offer? Stay in one of these kid-friendly places to really be able to relax and have even more fun with the family:
Wedgwood Inn of New Hope
111 W. Bridge St., New Hope, PA
Located just around the corner of the main hustle and bustle of downtown New Hope but within walking distance to everything, Wedgwood Inn is set on two acres of beautiful, park-like land complete with an award-winning garden and hammock for quiet moments of relaxation between activities with the kids.
Widow McCrea House Victorian B&B
53 Kingwood Ave., Frenchtown, NJ
Enjoy a day on the river, then retire to this charming B&B just two minutes from downtown Frenchtown’s collection of charming shops and eateries. Show the kids an authentic, historic experience with the House’s gourmet candlelit breakfast, then treat yourselves with the complimentary bottle of wine that comes with your stay.