©istockphoto.com / Vesnaandjic

This year was filled with bad news but there were plenty of silver linings, like having more family time and learning to appreciate the simple joys that fill our days. We also learned to use virtual tools in new ways to stay connected with family and friends. Here are the most-read stories on njfamily.com for 2020:

1. Stop Wearing Gloves While Shopping, Experts Warn

In the early days of the pandemic, there was a lot of conflicting information about how COVID was transmitted on surfaces and how best to stay safe.

2. Coronavirus in NJ: All Public and Private Schools are Closing 

In mid-March, we thought schools would be closed for a few weeks, or maybe months…

3. Face Masks Are Now Required By Law in NJ Supermarkets 

This was another effort by NJ to keep people safe in public spaces, and one that is still in effect.

4. How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer (In Case You Can’t Easily Wash Your Hands) 

Remember when finding hand sanitizer was like striking gold?

5. New Jersey’s Best Free Christmas Light Shows 

Because we all need some pretty lights to look at, and these neighborhoods and towns go ALL out.

6. Go for a Walk on NJ’s Fairy Trail

Outdoor adventures are always a fave, and this easy walk is magical for all ages.

7. Free Resources to Keep the Kids Learning and Entertained During Coronavirus Shutdowns 

While we struggled (and still struggle) to keep the kids amused while at home, these museums, theaters and celebrities found new virtual ways to keep everyone entertained.

8. This Free Virtual Harry Potter Escape Room Will Spellbind Your Kids 

This was one of our favorite virtual adventures of the year.

9. Peaceful Protests Planned Across New Jersey

Black Lives Matter protesters throughout NJ spoke out against police brutality and systemic racism.

10. Every Public School in New Jersey Ranked On a Scale of 1-100

Where did your school fall on the list?