This week we explore New Jersey and New York City with our adventurous guide Courtney Byrne. A mother of four, writer and lover of family fun, she shared with us the best family activities and places to visit around. Discover how Courtney almost tempted us to re-locate, describing her favourite things about New Jersey and New York below..
Please tell us about yourself and what you do?
I'm Courtney, a mother of 4 and the founder of the site The Chirping Moms. I live in New Jersey with my husband, children & dog. I started my website years ago with a friend in town as a way to use my love of writing. Now I have many moms who write for the site and it's a special place to moms to read about all different things: kids fashion, books for kids, family travel, kids crafts and more. Family travel is my favourite topic to write about, chat about and of course to enjoy with my kids.
What is your favourite thing about living in Cranford NJ, and so close to New York City? What do you enjoy most about living there?
When we were looking for a place to raise our children, we wanted a spot that was close to New York City (for my husband's job) and a place with great schools for our children. When we were looking at different towns, Cranford stood out because of the quaint downtown. Every time we visited, kids were riding bikes around town and people were enjoying meals outside at the restaurants. I could tell it had a lot of heart. We've been here for 8 years and a few things we enjoy about living here: walking downtown to eat, watching people canoe down the river from the Canoe Club, spending time on the playground and most of all the wonderful people. In addition to loving the town itself, we enjoy where we live because it's very close to New York City and also the Jersey Shore (we can reach either in about 35 min).
Where are the best places to visit on a family day out?
For a family day out in New York City, we love Central Park: we visit the Central Park Zoo, see the boats and stop by the Alice in Wonderland statue. There is a great playground there too. We also like visiting different farms in New Jersey on a family day out. There are so many! My kids love finding a farm with animals to visit. In the summer our favourite days out as a family are at the beach. Along the Jersey Shore, we like Jenkinson's for a fun boardwalk and aquarium and towns like Manasquan, Spring Lake and Long Beach Island.
Where are some of your favourite places nearby to eat out as a family?
When we're in Cranford: Ambeli Greek Taverna and Kilkenny House In New York City: We love walking around and trying spots in different neighbourhoods. At the Jersey Shore: Woodie's Drive-In is a summer staple for us!
What are your top recommendations for families visiting New Jersey/ New York City?
If you visit New Jersey, try your best to enjoy time in New York City and also at the Jersey Shore. It's easy to see both in one trip and wonderful to see the culture of the Big City and also the beauty of the East Coast. There are so many cute small towns along the Jersey Shore that make a great place to relax after all the excitement of NYC!
What are your favourite pieces from the new SS19 La Coqueta Collection? La Coqueta is a brand that's becoming a special part of our family events. While answering these interview questions, I realized that 3 of my children wore La Coqueta in their school photos this year and in our favourite, framed photos from our summer in Italy last year. Most importantly, I purchased one of my daughter's First Holy Communion dress from La Coqueta, that she will wear on her special day next month. My favourites from the current collection are the boys' knitwear, the Adelina Girl Dress, the Cardana Girl Dress and the beautiful shoes for girls (we have pink and blue, my girls' favourite colours).