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Pokemon Go at NJ Parks or How the whole family enjoys parks again in 2016

Pokemon Go at Grover Cleveland Park Caldwell NJ

Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell Essex Fells looking for Pokemon

Are your little ones crazy about the playgrounds, but your older kids are kind of past that stage? Or you just have a kid(s) that is aging out of playgrounds? When Amy and I started visiting playgrounds in NJ we were both at similar stages in our lives, we had 3 kids, 2 of premium playground age and 1 infant.

What is premium playground age?

To me personally it starts when your child can start toddling in the parks, and not eating the wood chips* on the ground.  Then it sadly ends, when your playground time decreases, usually when you sign your kid up for U10 Soccer or any scheduled team sports. Playground cruising still happens on occasion with the big kids, yes of course, but it isn’t a priority so much as when they were younger.

What happens after playground age?

For me, and many others, your life just evolves, you stop roaming playgrounds, start taking the kids to playdates/hangouts, activities, and actually it’s a great time for them to find what they like to do, and pursue classes/clinics/sports.  It requires logistics for many of us.

Pokemon Go, a new age…

Pokemon Go came out early July and when we got it, it hit our wallets.  11yo had a cell phone that was not adequate to handle it, so we upgraded.  9yo got a phone.

I can already here the comments now, we are that family…

But it was a new activity that got our kids out with their friends going to parks, being social and I have to say we are big fans.

grovercleveland kids4Of course there’s all the cons about Pokemon Go, privacy issue with Google Gmail, bad guys using the geo location of the app to rob people searching for pokemon.  But when I read one of these articles and got into the details, it’s pretty much common sense, that you shouldn’t be getting pokemon at 2am in a shady area.

So if you do play it, just be safe, use common sense, and look up from your phones people!

The O’fallon Police Dept (Missouri): “Using the geolocation feature of the “Pokemon Go” app the robbers were able to anticipate the location and level of seclusion of unwitting victims”

Translation- Don’t go to secluded areas, daylight is better and go with friends if you decide to play Pokemon Go. Also here’s a tip popular parks by the way have more stuff anyway!

Love this video from the National Park Service too, check it out:

Parks have become busy again…

As we travel to parks more often, we see more people at the parks, and more connection, people normally that don’t leave their house are getting out.  Check out this cool article my sister-in-law shared with me, it talks about mental health and Pokemon Go.

So if you have a mixed age household, Pokemon Go might be something to check out to get the whole family park hopping again, if not, we support just enjoying the scenery and playing on the playground!

Here are our tips:

Churches and Parks are great Poke Stops
Lures last for about half hour.
According to my son pokemon eggs incubate on swings but take a really long time so might as well walk.
We will be testing a merry go round, stay tuned!
Look up!
Charge your phone before you go

Here are some Facebook Pages/Groups to like/join about Pokemon Go:

Pokemon Go NJ Public Page– 975+ people like this page, NJ info on Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go NJ Trainers Group 500+ members sharing information about Pokemon Go in Northern NJ.
Pokemon Go NJ Team Instinct – The yellow team NJ group.
Pokemon Go NJ Team Valor– The red team NJ group.
Pokemon Go North NJ friends– family-oriented group North NJ sharing Pokemon Go tips/findings.

Pokemon Go doesn’t suck data as much as it does battery life. I am actually purchasing this handy item:

Bring water

Pokestops in NJ Parks we visited or were recommended:

Van Saun Park in Paramus NJ– 3 Gyms, 20 pokestops, check out our map here! Great park too, zoo and carousel.  Let those eggs incubate around the carousel! Hmmm.. new revenue source for Bergen County parks? “carousel egg incubation timeshares?”

Mabie Playground in Summit NJ, the whole area has tons of pokestops. We share our “pokestop map” here!

Taylor Park in Millburn was bustling with activity when we went the other day.  See our post for some pokestop pics. Dog friendly too in the non-playground area

Grover Cleveland Park is such a nice park to walk around, with shade, and pokestops.  We also ventured outside of the park and saw a magmar, and apparently there were a few around.  Dog friendly too in the non-playground area

Brookdale Park in Montclair/Bloomfield was an interesting trip, great playground, merry go round, and misters to keep you cool.  Here’s our post! Side note- Best pokestops in the area seem to be at an area in Clifton, more details on Sevan’s tip here Dog friendly too in the non-playground area (dog park nearby!)

Briant Park in Summit- great mile loop, we did catch some Pokemon here.  Dog friendly too (no playground) We hung out by the lake to catch some water pokemon.

Briant Park Summit Pokestop

Sheila and Annalise at Briant Park Summit with a Pokemon

Fosterfields Farms- The visitors center at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm is a gym.  Check out this great place!

Got more tips?

Write them on the comments section.

*By the way we do have “non-wood chip parks” featured on our website for our infant crawlers and sandal wearers.  Love those!

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