Make the Most of Family Fun Month!

Now that it’s August, summer may feel like it’s over. Back to school shopping has already begun and vacations are coming to an end. However, that doesn’t mean that the summer fun has to stop!

August is National Family Fun Month, which means that it’s a great opportunity to seize the remainder of summer by spending time with family. If you are about family togetherness, here are some cool activities to help you and your family finish out the summer.

IMG_2188Day trips are a great way to spend time with the family. If you checked the weather forecast and it’s going to be hot/sunny, then plan a trip to the beach. Enjoy the fresh air and the cool water. If the water isn’t your families thing, then a trip to the zoo is something that is both lively and educational. A competitive game of miniature golf can be fun or even a trip to an amusement park can make for much laughter and fun.  But before you take any of these trips, make sure to download the #njtrafficapp. This FREE app allows you to see the road conditions across NJ and helps you plan accordingly.

Jump on your bicycles and take a family bike ride.  Make sure everyone is wearing properly fitted helmets and all bikes are in good riding condition.  Bring plenty of water and sunscreen and discover new ways to appreciate your neighborhood.  If you are more adventurous, visit NJ Family Biking for a complete list of trails to ride.

Have Pokemon fans in your house?  Lace up your sneakers and take a walk with the family.  Most public places provide ample Pokemon balls and critters are everywhere to be found.  Just be sure to review pedestrian safety tips before you head out.

And when the day is coming to close, consider having a family movie night.  Pick out your favorite family movie, get the popcorn ready and relax with the kids!

Spending time with family is a great way to make memories that will last with you for the rest of your life. Make sure to take part in August Family Fun Month. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are safe and are having fun with your family!

Dreaming of a Mall Holiday?

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

Ah the holidays, “the most wonderful time of the year.”  You’ve made your list.  You’ve checked it twice.  Sure, you’ve ordered some gifts online but it just not the same as shopping at a brick and mortar store.  You love the carols and decorated windows.  You enjoy sharing smiles and warm greetings with other shoppers, indulging in a hot cocoa and cookie, and carrying festive bags to your car.  So, you’re off to the mall.

That’s when the dream begins to unravel.  Before you can hear the jingle bells, see the glittery displays, and drink your hot cocoa, you have to park your car.  Can there be a worse place than a retail parking lot in December?

It’s mayhem from the moment you enter the lot until the moment you leave.  AAA Mid-Atlantic offers some great tips for navigating the mall parking lot:

Play the outfield.  Everyone wants a space near the door and many will fight for the right to park upfront.  Head to the back of the lot.  Usually, the outlying area has more open spaces, lighter traffic, and a lower risk of collision.  But, remote spaces may be less secure, so be mindful of the risks particularly returning to your car at night.  If you’re shopping alone and have a number of packages, ask a mall security guard to accompany you to your car.

See and be seen.  Use your headlights when searching for a space in a parking garage. Avoid parking between a pair of SUVs or minivans as it might be hard to back out of the space.

Remember where you’ve parked.   Choose a well-lit area to park during early morning hours and at night.  Pay attention to where you’ve parked, noting signs and markers.  Take a picture with your smartphone.  When returning to your car, have your keys in hand and check the car’s interior before entering the vehicle.  Use a penlight at night.

Stay on track and be alert.  When behind the wheel always watch for pedestrians, especially small children.  Pedestrians should use walkways and crosswalks, if available.  If pedestrians must walk in traffic lanes, they should watch for exhaust or reverse lights – a sure sign that the vehicle is about to pull out.

Put it down.  Mobile devices distract pedestrians and can lead to unfortunate encounters with vehicles, other pedestrians, or even thieves.  Drivers, too, should stow the mobile device and pay attention to the activity around them.

Use the trunk.  It takes a thief only a few seconds to smash a car window.  Lock you purchases in the trunk, away from prying eyes.

Take transit.  Check out the bus schedules on njtransit.com.  NJ Transit is offering extended service on many popular bus routes to major malls until December 27.

If your holiday experience includes a trip to the mall, be bright, be merry, and be safe.

5 Tips for Driving in the Rain

kmm driving in the rain tipsSummer brings long days, warm weather and more time spent enjoying the outdoors.  However, the occasional (or more-like weekly, these days) thunderstorms also make their summer appearance as the skies open and deluge us with heavy, blinding rain.

While it’s safest to stay off the roads during these heavy storms, sometimes the rain comes quickly and fierce.  KMM shares with you five important tips for driving in the rain.

  1. First and foremost, drive slow and focused.
  2. If driving on a highway, drive in the center lane since water tends to pool on the left and right lanes.
  3. If your wipers are on, so should your lights.  This keeps you visible to other drivers and helps you navigate the blinding rain too!
  4. Never drive through moving water, especially if you can’t see the roadway.
  5. Follow the tread marks of the car ahead of you and make sure to keep at least 5 seconds of driving distance between you and the car ahead of you.

Interactive Transit Map Helps Figure Out How to Get Where You Want to Go

interactive mapNot sure how to get to your destination by train or bus in Middlesex County?

Check out  KMM’s  interactive map on kmm.org.  The map allows users to pinpoint their location and the mass transit available in the area.  In addition, the map also provides direct access to scheduling and fare information.

The map is designed to direct users to mass transit and the many connections available to a commuter.  For example, a commuter who may live in the southern area of Middlesex County and commutes to North Jersey can find that instead of driving the turnpike or parkway alone, can park at the Exit 8a park and ride lot and take one of the many buses that travels into Newark and then connect to the Northeast Corridor Train line in Secaucus Junction.

In addition to mass transit, the map also provides bike locker, bike baths, municipal centers and all libraries located in the county.  The KMM interactive map is a commuter’s friend.

Visit the site today and get started on easier commute.