Welcome! We are a group of Princeton University graduate students and postdocs with or expecting children.
Together we make new friends, trade/sell kids stuff, and help each other out or discuss parenting issues at Princeton. Sometimes we have events with catered food for parents and kids to meet.
To join us and start receiving events announcements
email "firstname.lastname@example.org" with your name.
We also have a Facebook group for people to get to know each other, plan play dates, and such.
Fun Things To Do With Kids Around Princeton
Princeton Graduate Housing Playgrounds - Meet other Tigers with Cubs!
Indoor Family-Friendly Activities:
- Lawrence has a big playground with swings (scroll down the page for the map) behind Building 6 and a toddler's playground between Buildings 13 and 11. They both are open for everyone. There is visitor's parking near the entrance of the parking lot. There is a community room doubling as a tiny playroom in Building 14 for residents (keys required).
- Lakeside has a playground (yellow on the map) for everyone. There is a dedicated playroom in the Commons for residents (passcode required).
Close to Campus:
- The Princeton Public Library has their third floor is dedicated to children with storytimes (0+) and play groups. They have train set, a special toddler's play room, and a cool aquarium. They also have other kid's events, including monthly storytimes in different foreign languages, acting groups, homework help, chess clubs, and other events.
- The Costen Children's Library on the first floor of the Princeton Firestone Library is an enchanting place with an indoor tree house and a puppet theatre.
- Family Concerts at the Princeton University. You get 3 free tickets with Princeton's Passport to the Performing Arts program each year. The University Chapel also hosts concerts.
- Early Birds YMCA Program at the Henry Pannell Learning Center (note it's not at the YMCA center) has stories and songs for 4 month - 3 years.
Accessible Through Tiger Transit:
- The Princeton Plainsboro hospital runs a Bright Beginnings play group for children from birth to crawling for parents/ caregivers of infants. Each week focuses on a different topic of interest to new parents. Infants and children under four years old are welcome to attend.
- MarketFair's Center Court hosts Movin’ and Groovin’ Thursdays, an interactive morning music event held on select Thursdays throughout the year. See website for more information and for specific dates.
- Barnes & Noble at Market Fair has weekly storytimes and a small play area.
- Pottery Barn Kids, which is right next to Barnes & Noble at Market Fair, also has weekly children's activities.
- Michaels at Nassau Park has many craft classes for free and paid.
- Home Depot at Nassau Park occasionally has kids workshops.
- Princeton Kids posts many local events, both indoors and outdoors.
- Princeton Playspace is an indoor play area located on Alexander Road about two miles from the Lawrence graduate apartments. The playspace is designed for children ages 0-10. See website for pricing and for hours.
- The Mercer County Public Library has storytimes, toddler science events, and children's science events (slow website).
- Go to museums for free with the Princeton Public Library's museum pass program. Some good indoor ones: The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences has a free butterfly room and a small petting zoo on the top floor. The Please Touch Museum.
Parent Support Groups:
- Princeton Nassau Pediatrics (Princeton Shopping Center) runs a breastfeeding support group run by their lactation consultant. See their website or call for more information.
- The Princeton Plainsboro hospital, accessible by Tiger Transit, runs Breastfeeding Support Groups on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
- The Princeton Plainsboro hospital runs a Postpartum Adjustment Support Group at the Princeton Fitness & Wellness Center.
Outdoor Family Friendly Activites:
- Princeton Kids posts many local events, both indoors and outdoors.
- Go to museums for free with the Princeton Public Library's museum pass program. Some good oudoor ones: Grounds for Sculpture has peacocks roaming around. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space museum is on an aircraft carrier.
- Lots of farms to explore. At Terhune Orchards you can pick fruits and attend the annual summer Firefly Festival or weekly Fall Festivals, and other events throughout the year.
- Princeton Farmer’s Market is held on Thursday’s next to the Princeton Public Library from 11 AM to 4 PM from June to November.
- Hear the carillon bell music every Sunday at 1:00 - 1:45pm. You can go up the tower and see them play for all over 12 years of age.
- Palmer Square events in downtown Princeton has events year round:
- Halloween Parade - costume parade that goes through Palmer Square to the YMCA for an annual Halloween carnival (including trunk or treat, bounce houses, and more).
- Winter Wonderland (11 Hulfish St.) - entertainment for little ones on the weekends in December.
- Further away, the Cranbury Christmas Lights is free light show during late November through December that raises money for the local food bank.
Parks/ Walking Trails/ Playgrounds
- Turning Basin Park, the Canal Trail. The straight trail along the canal is fun for everyone in the family. You can canoe at across the street from the Turning Basin Park parking lot.
- The Watershed Reserve has nature-related events and also an annual summer Butterfly Festival.
- Barbara Boggs Sigmund Park (Chestnut St & Hamilton Ave): Appropriate for toddlers and children under 10. There are baby swings, a small slide for toddlers, a larger play structure for children ages 5-10, and a sandbox filled with toys.
- Marquand Park (Lovers’ Lane): The sandbox filled with toys here is legendary - children are known to spend full afternoons here without complaint. There are also swings for older children and a small play structure for younger children.
- Further away, Mercer County Park is a large and beautiful park that has many trails (including paved ones that are good for strollers), picnic areas, tennis courts, dog park, Frisbee golf, ice skating center, and multiple playgrounds. In the summer, you can rent pedal boats, row boats, and kayaks. A large playground with swings is located near the Boathouse/ Marina.
- For more parks in Princeton, please visit this website.
Princeton University Benefits for Students with Kids
The Student Child Care Assistance Program (SCCAP) provides assistance to eligible graduate and undergraduate students to help meet the cost of child care for pre-kindergarten aged children. Eligibility rules and award amounts are determined by the Princeton Child Care Assistance Committee and based on household resources. The awards can be used to pay for a wide range of possible child care arrangements from in-home care to licensed day care centers.
Child Care and Schools
If you need help looking for child care, Carebridge has staff who can help you find a daycare or school. Carebridge is provided for free by the university. In addition to finding care, Carebridge can also help you with time management and life balance and financial and legal issues.
To use Carebridge, register with the Princeton client code of TW8AE at the Carebridge website. If you are having trouble registering, it's probably because your username has been taken so try another one.
There are a few university websites for affiliated child care centers and resources:
- Child care information from the graduate school Family Focused Initiatives page, scroll down to "Child Care Centers"
- Backup Care Advantage Program.
Our members found it sometimes good and sometimes bad. It is difficult to get last-minute care, so you should call in advance. It seems to work better if you don't specify a site you'd prefer. If you do, you have to wait a certain number of hours for the site to respond before they can check elsewhere. In addition, you also need to pay taxes on the unsubsidized amount of care. The backup care program contracts with multiple subcontractors, and you can specify agencies and caregivers you prefer or prefer to avoid. For in-home care, TwC members strongly recommend Princeton College Nannies and Tutors. The Hamilton College Nannies and Tutors are also very good.
- "Resources for Spouses & Families" section of the Davis International Center is quite helpful whether or not you're an international student parent.
Day care centers and schools around Princeton.
Many offer tuition discounts to Princeton University families.
Need to find a baby sitter?
Health and Doctors Related Information
Princeton University's McCosh Health Center is a convenient place to get checkups and see doctors in the middle of campus.
- The Student Health Insurance plans can be purchased for spouses and children. The dental and vision plans can be bought in addition. The deadline for school year enrollment ends in the summer.
- Please bring your Tiger ID when you check in at McCosh. Spouses and children can also get family Tiger cards.
- Students can get receive 10 free condoms per day at McCosh.
Our members recommend the following pediatrics:
Princeton provides medical assistance if needed, see directions here.
Pregnancy and Childbirth at Princeton
The university provides graduate students a childbirth and adoption accommodation program.
Once pregnant, schedule an appointment with any doctor at McCosh so that the doctor can refer you to a prenatal care outside the school. You should speak to Michelle Gregory, Student Health Plan Manager, University Health Services, about insurance benefits. She can be reached at 609-258-3138 or "mgregory" [at] "princeton.edu".
Aetna student health gives you an 80% discount on prenatal vitamins in the part 15 months. You need to mail them your name, address, insurance information, intent of receiving the 80% reimbursement, a summary of your vitamin purchases, and copies of all purchase receipts to Aetna's address on the back of the insurance card. They will then mail you a check with the 80% reimbursement within a month or two as well as a claim online that shows each of the purchase and the discount applied.
There are two predominant prenatal care near Princeton. Both are well recommended. Regardless of which one you choose, you will give birth at the maternity unit of the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP). Newly built in 2012, you get a quiet and spacious room, but it's on the expensive side. They conduct frequent maternity unit tours.
TwC members recommend the following Prenatal Yoga around Princeton:
Breastfeeding at Princeton
Breast pumps are 100% covered by our Aetna insurance plan! Lactation consultants recommend getting the "Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump Starter Set" which you can order from this website. It is a very easy process. All you need to do is fill out your insurance information and you can get the pump shipped to you within a week or two if you are one month from the due date.
Aetna provides 6 free lactation consultant visits.
Princeton provides lactation rooms (see list here) throughout the campus. You need to request a room tiger card access with the lactation room contact person, to ensure more privacy in these rooms. Princeton also has a nursing guideline under its employees website (beware that this page contains parenting-related information not applicable to Princeton graduate students as it's meant for staff and employees). Don't expect much as many of these lactation rooms have little to no accommodations.
Check out the Mercer County WIC for food supplements and breastfeeding support for eligible families.
Hover over for more information on Breastfeeding
- written by Leslie Kowalski, a lactation consultant and La Leche League leader
The biggest obstacles to breastfeeding that mothers face are lack of support and misinformation. Pain, sores, or a baby that "doesn't want to breastfeed", are not normal. And breastfeeding after, or with, supplementation is possible. There are answers for breastfeeding problems and getting help early makes things much easier.
If you have breastfeeding problems, or just want personalized lactation support, seek out an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) ‐ a healthcare professional that provides home visits coverable by insurance. Through the Princeton University Aetna plan, you may be entitled to up to 6 fully covered visits with an in-network IBCLC, or up to an 80% reimbursement from a non-network IBCLC. These visits (before and after having your baby) are a wonderful way to help you on the road to breastfeeding success!
A private home visit with an IBCLC can be scheduled for a variety of breastfeeding questions and concerns, including prenatal breastfeeding counseling, help with latch and position, supply concerns, infant weight gain concerns, pumping, return to work/school, and much much more. To find an IBCLC near you, please go to ZipMilk or use Aetna's "Find a Doctor" database (use the keywords "lactation" or "breastfeeding").
For additional breastfeeding support, attend a La Leche League (LLL) breastfeeding meeting, or simply contact a LLL Leader for breastfeeding support. LLL is a mother-to-mother support group that welcomes pregnant, new and experienced moms. Meetings are a way to get breastfeeding information (and a great way to meet other moms in the area!). Volunteer leaders answer questions by phone and/or email, and also facilitate the monthly meetings to support pregnant and nursing mothers with any breastfeeding questions and concerns. In order to provide as much support as possible, LLL groups meet throughout the calendar, each group meeting on particular day of the month (some during the day, some at night).
The LLL groups around Princeton are:
And, if you don’t get a chance to get to a support group or schedule a visit with an IBCLC before having your baby - no worries - please know that babies can breastfeed on their own! Many mothers are taught to use positions (like the cradle and football holds) in the early days, but these are actually more advanced nursing positions. Instead, use the "training wheels" of breastfeeding - Laid Back Nursing. It's comfortable for you and your baby, no special pillows are needed, and your baby will amaze you by self-latching. After a few weeks of practice, you will be sitting up and breastfeeding anywhere! For more information on laid back breastfeeding (aka Natural Breastfeeding), check out these articles: "Many Moms Have Been Taught to Breastfeed Incorrectly" and Laid Back/Natural Breastfeeding YouTube videos
And, for the most informative online breastfeeding sites, please visit KellyMom and Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC.
Princeton Baby Lab
The Princeton Baby Lab studies how young children learn, as well as how their incredible ability to learn supports their development.
They are interested in recruiting children from birth to 5 years of age for the lab's non-invasive studies, typically involving children watching short videos while sitting on their parent's lap.
Each study is a little bit different, but they will all take about 30 - 45 minutes altogether, and you'll be compensated for your time. You can sign up on their website or email them at email@example.com.
Shopping for Children at Princeton
- Tiger Trade is a place to buy and sell for Princeton students, not just for children's stuff.
- thredUP online
- If you have Facebook, join the Princeton Area Parent Exchange group. In order to join, you must send a personal message to the administrator that includes where you live. The group accepts parents who live in the Princeton area and surrounding towns. The group is intended to buy and sell items. Quality items are often listed for good prices (or free) as people are looking to get rid of items that their children no longer use.
Children's consignment stores:
Mercer Mall, which can be reached by Princeton's Saturday Shopper, has the following shops:
- Buybuy Baby Princeton at 601 Nassau Park Boulevard. Tip: You can use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons at Buybuy Baby.
- Walmart has a very large baby section
- Babies "R" Us. Tip: You can use Buybuy Baby coupons at Babies "R" Us.
Free Princeton Transportation
Princeton University's Tiger Transit not only takes you around the campus, but also to the following places. Check out their timetables and a live online tracker.
- Wegmans, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, Best Buy
- University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro - Forrestal/PPPL line
- Market Fair with a UA Movie theater and shopping - PTS West Line
- Whole Foods, Staples, Marshalls - PTS West Line, a short walk from PTS apartments stop
Princeton municipal provides two free shuttles, called Princeton freeB.
- Palmer Square, Princeton Shopping Center - Daytime freeB, Monday - Saturday
- Dinky, Palmer Square, Princeton Shopping Center - Commuter freeB, Monday - Friday
If you or your spouse is an international student, ISPPU is another great club for you! The International Spouses & Partners of Princeton University has lunch gatherings, book clubs, cooking classes, etc. Perhaps you will even find some friends to speak your native language with!
Other Non-Princeton-Related Information
- Free Amazon Prime + Amazon 3 month return policy for baby stuff.
With your princeton.edu email address, you can sign up for Amazon Student Prime account which gives you half a year of Prime Membership for free. Prime membership gives you free 2 day shipping for many items.
Amazon also has an extended 3-month return policy for baby stuff.
- About a week every month, Pampers Diapers are on discount from that URL.
- You can use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons for Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby.
Tigers with Cubs of Princeton University was started in May 2014. We currently have about 150 members.
President – Irene Raitman
Publicity Chair and Advocacy Liaison - Joshua Wallace
Social Chair – Lisa Yu
GSG Representative - Katie Donnelly
Committee Officers - John Park and Edith Blackman
Playgroup Sub-Committee - Lisa Yu, Danielle Metrano, Jane Balaich, and Lindsey Richter
Postdoc Representative - TBD
Webmaster – Melissa
You can reach the committee at "Tigerscubs_Commteefirstname.lastname@example.org".
The contents of this website have been compiled with love from discussions on our member mailing list. If you have content suggestions, please email the committee at the email above.
Again, to join us and start receiving events announcements
email "email@example.com" with your name.