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50 Things to Do Indoors in NJ

Cold weather got ya down? Here are 50 places where the kids can have fun in a climate-controlled environment.


Photo courtesy of ISTOCK.COM/RICHLEGG

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 is 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. 

  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.

  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 to 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 luxury 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 for a mani-pedi. Or even host your own spa party at home.

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

  20. Escape 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

  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 selfdefense 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).

  29. Want something luxurious? Practice your swing green at Topgolf in Edison.

  30. Do some glassblowing down the shore or in Morristown.

  31. Got antsy kids? Take them to Insectropolis!

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

  33. Got a kid who wants to be a firefighter? 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

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

  35. You won't believe your eyes (and neither will the kids!) at NYC's newly opened Museum of Illusions

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

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

  38. Snag tix to an awesome show (maybe even on Broadway!)

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

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

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

  42. 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 treats.

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

    Staff Photo

  44. Little builders will go wild for these LEGO-filled attractions. Make the trip to a LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Philadelphia or Westchester.

  45. 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.

  46. Celebrate a local sports legends at the Yogi Berra Museum.

  47. Head to the Zimmerli Art Museum for family activities on the first Sunday of every month. Montclair Art Museum also has ever-changing exhibits, plus classes, workshops and drop-in studios for budding artists.

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

  49. Take a trip to Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, where kids can color, learn history and even make their own crayon label. 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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