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50 Things to Do Indoors in NJ

Whether it’s raining, snowing or just too cold outside, here are 50 places where the kids can have fun in a climate-controlled environment.



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Photo courtesy of ISTOCK.COM/RICHLEGG

Some days, you just need to stay inside; but you don’t need to stay home! Check out these great indoor kids activities to keep the brood busy when the weather keeps you inside.

  1. Instead of climbing the walls, get them in a harness and have them do some rock climbing.

  2. Enjoy the comforts of a heated pool at an indoor water park or swimming pool.

  3. Learn to skate, or show off your triple lutz at an ice skating rink.

  4. Don't like the ice or cold? Get your skate on at one of these great roller rinks. Most will let you choose between in-line or four-wheel skates.

  5. Even in the cold months, you can go stargazing at one of NJ’s many planetariums and observatories (the biggest in the country just opened in Jersey City!)

  6. Don’t let the weather strike you out: go bowling!

  7. Let the kids try for a hole in one at glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Don't forget to dress them in whites or neons so they can get the full effect. Not up for the glow? Try these mini golf venues instead.

  8. Paintball isn't an option for really little kids, but they can get some target practice by playing laser tag.

  9. Climb, jump, run and have a blast at any of these indoor play spaces (the Imagine That!!! Museum just got totally revamped!)

  10. Spend a day "underwater" at Adventure Aquarium or Jenkinson’s Aquarium.
     


    Staff Photo

  11. Combine a day of learning and fun at a Jersey museum (find out how to get into some for free!). Looking for something new? Visit these off-the-beaten-path museums.

  12. Spice up your culinary skills at a cooking class.

  13. Yoga and meditation are super beneficial for kids, so look into taking a mommy and me yoga class at your local YMCA.

  14. Catch a flick at an indoor movie theater, or go more upscale at a dine-in, like the new AMC in Hackensack or iPic Hudson Lights in Fort Lee.

  15. Inspire your reluctant reader this new year by heading to your local library for weekly activities, or check out a bunch of books to read for that week.

  16. Get their hands dirty with some super fun DIY projects (even if it means making more slime!)

  17. Get some exercise along with the kids at a mommy and me gymnastics class hosted by a Little Gym near you.

  18. Enjoy a few blissfully quiet minutes of pampering (along with a nice foot massage) by taking your kid with you for a mani-pedi. Or even host your own spa party right at home.

  19. Show off your artistic side at Color Me Mine Pottery Studio, or sign him up for an art program.

  20. Escape Earth (and the weather) at Liberty Science Center, and don't miss the awesome suspended-in-midair infinity climber.
     


    Staff Photo

  21. Don't let swimming skills suffer in the winter; get lessons (or do some laps) at your local YMCA’s pool.

  22. Play some pinball at an awesome NJ arcade, like the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park.

  23. Create your own bracelets, anklets or necklaces, at a beading store in Westfield or Montclair.

  24. Take a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry - just make sure you grab indoor seating! If your kid loves boats, don’t miss the Intrepid in NYC!

  25. See some impressive horse stunts, a full-on joust and falconry at Medieval Times. Itching to get on the back of a horse yourself? Sign you and the kids up for a horseback riding lesson in NJ.

  26. Hit an indoor amusement park. Head to iPlay America, which is complete with an indoor boardwalk inspired by the Jersey Shore.

  27. Learn some self-defense and be on your way to becoming a black belt at a karate class.

  28. Pick up a new sport like tennis at a local sports center (try Branchburg Sports Complex). Want something luxurious? Practice your swing at Topgolf in Edison.

  29. Do some glassblowing down the shore, or stay local in Morristown.

  30. Got antsy kids? Take them to Insectropolis!

  31. Teach the kids the importance of giving by volunteering at a local shelter together.

  32. Got a kid who wants to be a fireman? Head to the New York City Fire Museum to celebrate the FDNY, or visit Staten Island Children’s Museum’s Ladder 11 exhibit (there’s a real fire truck!).
     


    Photo courtesy Staten Island Children's Museum

  33. She’ll feel like a secret agent when she tries cracking codes and solving puzzles in a NJ escape room.

  34. Head to NYC for tons of kid-friendly fun.

  35. Let them bang on some real drums instead of pots and pans at a music class close to home.

  36. After an hour-long bouncing session at a trampoline park doing flips and playing dodgeball, they'll be pooped in the best way.

  37. Snag tix to an awesome show, like Cirque du Soleil Volta or Disney Junior’s Dance Party Tour.

  38. Rent a movie, pop some corn and snuggle up. Not sure where to start? Try watching Wonder.

  39. Head just over the New York border to the Palisades Mall where you can shop, play at Billy Beez or Palisades Climb (a suspended obstacle course floating in the middle of the floors).

  40. See an underground rainbow and watch rocks light up under UV lights at the Sterling Hill Mine Museum.

  41. Grab some Betty Crocker mixes, a bunch of decorations (think sprinkles or M&Ms) and invite their friends over for a cupcake-making party. Want to avoid the mess? Get one of these over-the-top sweet treets.

  42. Are your kids pros at being dramatic? Sign ‘em up for a performing arts program.
     


    Staff Photo

  43. Little builders will go wild for these LEGO-filled attractions. Head to NYC in February for LEGO Live, or make the trip to a LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Philadelphia or Westchester

  44. Take to the skies (or the wind-filled tunnels) at the iFly in Paramus, where you and the kiddos (ages 3 and up) can suit up and learn tricks while indoor skydiving.

  45. Celebrate a local sports legends at the Yogi Berra Museum or NFL Experience in Times Square.

  46. Head to the Zimmerli Art Museum for family activities on the first Sunday of every month.

  47. Brighten your day with some animals at a local zoo, like Van Saun Park or Turtle Back Zoo.

  48. Let the kids channel their inner Jeff Gordon as they drive go-karts at Pole Position Raceway or Funplex, or make the trip to the country’s biggest go-kart spot in Connecticut.

  49. Take a trip to the new and improved Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, where kids can color, learn history and even create their own crayon. Better yet, make a day out of it and explore Lehigh Valley.

  50. Everyone loves a good old-fashioned bounce house. Bounce U, Pump It Up and Jump On In offer inflatables galore for your kids to hop and slide on all afternoon.

 

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