With gas prices going through the roof in New Jersey, families are being forced to make the most out of their time together this summer without having to spend a lot of money.

This could be hard on both children who could be deprived of the fingers things New Jersey has to offer as well as their parents who feel the pain over not being able to afford to give it to them.

Fortunately, there are some great places where you can take your kids in New Jersey that won't cost you any money, starting with your front door. Take them there then throw them out and force them to go make friends. That's what my father did and some of the kids that I met and played with are still my best friends today. There's a lot to be said for the neighborhood.

Playground swing set
John Lin, ThinkStock
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There's also a lot to be said for all the great playgrounds we have in New Jersey. There's got to be one near you where both you and your child can make new friends.

Steve Trevelise at PetCenter of Old Bridge.
Steve Trevelise at PetCenter of Old Bridge.
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Another cheap place if you have little kids is the pet store. Granted it's not as big as the zoo but there are still some cool live creatures there that can fascinate the little ones and perhaps lead to a purchase. This is especially great if you already have a pet and need to feed it anyway.

Getty Stock / ThinkStock
Getty Stock / ThinkStock
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Let's not forget the many free beaches we have in New Jersey, most notably Wildwood, Atlantic City and Keansburg. These could be some great day trips and even cheaper if you bring your own water and snacks.

Here are some other free options from my social media to take the kids this summer while you put their vacation money into your gas talk.

(Cape May Zoo via Facebook)
(Cape May Zoo via Facebook)
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Justin Morris
Cape May Zoo

Giulio Poli
The front porch

Dianne Massaro
Silver Fox Farm in Egg Harbor

Ed Doblovosky
The library

Mark Maher
Out the door to the backyard. Then lock the door until dinner.

Gloria Manchester
This year, all NJ state parks are free admission … now we just need Murphy to suspend the state gasoline tax so we can get to these beautiful free parks!

Michael Wilt
Conhanzick Zoo in Bridgeton


Chuck Homler
The Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Galloway New Jersey. It's an 8-mile loop road, like going on a Safari. And it's close to Smithville, too.

Michael Wilt
Any of the shore points that have a great boardwalk with a lot of stores! We've had many days where we've walked along the Ocean City boardwalk, going into stores and looking around not spending anything at all!

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting . Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.

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