Best NJ Places to Take Preschoolers in January
Our favorite things to do with your 5-and-unders this January.
Photo courtesy of DiGennaro Communications
Start the new year with trips to these gratis events and activities around NJ. If you’re looking to save a few bucks without skimping on the fun, check out free things to do in January.
Tuesday-Sunday, January 1-6
Where: Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Price: Included with admission
Deets: If you’ve been looking for an interactive, multisensory STEM experience for your wee builders, take them to the Island of Sodor for a visit with Thomas, Percy and friends. Kids will work their physical and cognitive abilities during sorting, shape identification and engineering tasks like fixing wobbly wheels, building train routes and adjusting train schedules.
Thursday-Sunday, January 3-6
Where: Prudential Center, Newark
Deets: Arendelle isn’t too far from home! Watch Anna bring back her sister, Queen Elsa, who has icy powers that are freezing their kingdom. Olaf, Sven and Kristoff will help Anna on her journey, plus Mickey and Minnie and other Disney Princesses and characters will join the magic.
Friday, January 4
Where: Jenkinson's Aquarium, Point Pleasant Beach
Price: $20/adults, $15/kids
Deets: Dine on pizza and ask keepers questions about everyone’s fave flightless birds: penguins! Meet Perky the Penguin and get up-close-and-personal with these cute, tuxedo-wearing waddlers.
Sunday, January 6
Where: Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers, New Brunswick
Time: 1-3 pm
Deets: Children, parents and grandparents can work side-by-side on arts and crafts, then check out interactive workshops designed to help families spend quality creative time together.
Friday, January 11
Where: Cranford Public Library, Cranford
Time: 4:45-6 pm
Deets: You’re never too old to create a classic fort! Bring sheets, blankets and pillows for an evening in the library (past closing!) and a magical reading experience.
Where: Plainsboro Preserve, Cranbury
Price: $7/non-member family, $5/member family
Deets: Stop by for the “What’s Under the Snow?” theme, stories and fun facts about animals and nature. The kids (ages 3-4) will meet a live animal, walk the trails and make a craft. Registration required.
Saturday, January 12
Where: Morris Museum, Morristown
Price: $30/non-member, $25/member
Deets: Check out an entertaining performance at the Bickford Theatre with the kiddos, plus nosh on yummy treats and take winter-themed family photo.
Sunday, January 13
Where: Goldfish Swim School, Denville
Time: 2-5 pm
Deets: Take advantage of the school’s free family swim, snacks, refreshments, activities and raffles on opening day.
Where: MPAC, Morristown
Deets: What little girl hasn’t found herself in trouble after eating too much sugar? Ages 4-12 will find out what happens when eating too many pink cupcakes causes Pinkititis!
Wednesday, January 16
Where: The Eclectic Chic Boutique, Montclair
Time: 2-3 pm
Deets: Queen Elsa will stop by for storytime with kids ages 4-9, then they can color and sip refreshments.
Saturday, January 19
Where: MPAC, Morristown
Deets: Her favorite dolls are hitting the stage with tales of courage and friendship, plus songs that’ll teach the kids to follow their hearts and imagination.
Monday, January 21
Where: Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield
Price: $15/ages 2 and up
Deets: Ages 8 and under can spend their day off hopping on three huge inflatables, then hitting the arts and crafts station. Registration required.
Wednesday, January 23
Where: Warren County Library, Hackettstown
Deets: What better way to celebrate “Appreciate A Dragon Day” than watching a movie and making a Toothless craft (How to Train Your Dragon)? Registration required.
Saturday, January 26
Where: Planetarium at RVCC, Branchburg
Deets: Ages 3-8 can pretend they’re suiting up and blasting off into the Milky Way for a look at the Moon, Sun and planets.
Sunday, January 27
Where: Port Imperial Ferry Terminal, Edgewater
Time: 1-3 pm
Deets: What’s better than free ice cream? An afternoon filled with face painting, balloons, instruments and STEAM activities for the kids...and, of course, free ice cream.
Where: Wilkins Theatre, Union
Deets: Ages 2-9 can see their fave blue cat, Pete, at this sensory-friendly performance perfect for special needs kids sensitive to lights, crowds and sounds. Pete shakes things up at Jimmy’s house but when Jimmy needs help in art class, Pete comes to the rescue.