When it comes to the kids being home for the summer, there's the romantic view of things, and then there's the reality.

The romantic view is that the kids will frolic outside and just enjoy their time off from school. But the reality is that they'll probably be at each other's throats and drive you crazy as soon as they realize they're bored.

Here are just some of the ideas recommended by local moms as their favorite ways to pass the time during those long summer hours:

In Monmouth County:

-- The Monmouth Museum in Lincroft. This is on the Brookdale Community College campus and my children have really enjoyed going there for some of the hands-on exhibits. They have a 'wonder wing' for kids six and under. The Becker Children's Wing for children 7 - 12 years old is featuring an exhibit called "Changing Climate: Changing Weather." 732-747-2266

-- The Museum of Transportation in Farmingdale. This is at Allaire State Park and my boys grew up seeing the inner workings of those trains. The museum houses the Pine Creek Railroad, which is always great for a ride. And if you want to get some exercise in, my boys and I take the bike path from the Allenwood General Store to Allaire. (the path actually starts in Manasquan but that's still a bit too long for my kids to handle.) 732-938-5524.

-- Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan. My boys and I attend many events here, from indoor and outdoor movies to amazing children's shows.  732-528-9211.

--Hot Sand, Asbury Park. This unique store is the Jersey Shore's first public access hot glass studio. If your child is over nine years of age, they can blow glass to create their own piece. Or make an imprint of your little one's foot or hand in sand and have them cast it into a beautiful souvenir. 732-927-5475

-- The Circus Drive-In, Wall. The kids get a kick out of a drive-in where they can roll down their window, order, and get their own tray of fun food like 'hot diggidy dogs'.Or you can go inside and eat under the big top. 732-449-2650

And for more in Monmouth County, click here.

I'll name some features in Ocean County tomorrow, so stay tuned!