Best Field Trips to Take in the NJ Area
Whether you’re planning a class trip with your PTA or looking for an awesome place to take the kids, these spots offer plenty of fun hands-on learning. Call ahead because some venues offer special group rates.
courtesy of the museum of natural history
1 Riverside Dr., Camden
The kids will marvel at more than 8,500 aquatic species, plus the shark tunnel where they can walk right under the massive creatures. They won’t want to miss the stingray petting, hippo feedings and, of course, little blue penguins waddling around in all their adorable glory.
150 Pittstown Rd., Pittstown
Visitors to this farm will learn about food scarcity and how to harvest plants. If your child’s class or group can’t get to Pittstown, the organization will come to his school to teach students how to help those who lack access to healthy food.
Central Park W. at 79th St., NYC
From dinosaurs to outer space, there’s a ton to explore here. You may want to pick a floor or hall that suits your group’s needs and use the museum’s online field trip guides to customize your day. Make sure the kids don’t miss the museum’s famous giant blue whale.
62 Battleship Pl., Camden
If you’re looking for a group overnight, this trip where the kids can stay aboard the ship and sleep in bunks is sure to be a hit. A visit to the massive ship docked in the Delaware River right on the Camden Waterfront also makes for a great day trip. The self-guided tour takes kids to the navigational bridge, inside the giant gun turrets and into the admiral’s chair.
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
It’s almost impossible to see everything in one visit to this gigantic zoo. There are tons of interactive experiences to explore, like being just inches away from gorillas. The monorail (where the kids will see tigers), walk-through butterfly exhibit and pretty pink flamingos are faves for any group.
103 Charlton St., NYC
This cool art museum, known for hands-on play, features modern artists who work in mediums like collage and woodwork. The kids can sculpt at the clay bar and get a lesson in stop-motion animation or podcasting.
732-872-1300, ext. 13.
Children will dive into learning about the sea on an array of field trips sponsored by the NJ Sea Grant Consortium. Little marine biologists can learn everything from the history of Sandy Hook to how humans affect the ocean and its inhabitants.
66 Rte. 24, Chester
Isiah Younglove established this gristmill and sawmill in what is now Chester Township some time before the 1760s. Today, the site stretches across 14 acres of land rich with history. He’ll learn about the Industrial Revolution, technology and agriculture during the 19th and 20th centuries.
3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA
Get your STEM on at this center that's full of exhibits, kids programs and more that'll make them realizing how fun learning can truly be. Learn how electric energy happens at the PPL Electric tilities Energy Zone, explore the Engineers on a Roll playscape and lab, discover the motion of the ocean at the Wave Power! water tank, take a seat in the Newton chairs and more. Head there on a Monday morning with your tiniest scientists (ages 2-6) for activities especially for their age group. Take your older ones to an inspiring Career Exploration Day, at which they'll get to learn all about STEM careers from field professionals.
COURTESY OF FIELD STATION: DINOSAURS
Overpeck County Park, Leonia
Travel 90 million years back in time and walk with a T. rex at this home to life-size robotic dinosaurs. Kids can feel like paleontologists and look at fossils, experience IMAX 3D and study dino eating habits. It’s only open in the summer, making it an awesome camp field trip.
73 Kahdena Rd., Morristown
At this living history farm, kids can experience what life was like in the fields at the turn of the century. If your kids learn by doing, they’ll love feeding chickens, grinding corn and collecting eggs to get a taste of the past.
222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA
Do you vividly remember crawling your way through the gigantic human heart at this science museum? It’s still there, along with awesome new features like a mirror maze, escape room, live science shows and 3D printing displays.
32 Evans St., Franklin
New Jersey is known for its abundance of fluorescent rocks (which means they glow cool colors under different kinds of UV or black light). This spot gives your little geologist a thrill as he learns how minerals and mining affect us.
140 Franklin Tpke., Waldwick
Students in grades one through six can participate in Gaga and the Physics of Motion. They’ll get exclusive access to the facility, hands-on activities and a chance to enter the Gaga pit for some bouncing fun.
2040 Springdale Rd., Ste. 100, Cherry Hill
This attraction is perfect for kids 10 and younger, who can help build a two-story house in the Under Construction exhibit and play hockey in the Flyers Mini Rink.
72 McBride Ave., Paterson
This stunning natural attraction is NJ’s newest national park site. It’s got magnificent waterfalls that kids can almost reach out and touch, all while learning about the history of Paterson and its industrial renaissance.
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton
More than just a garden, this beautiful spot combines both nature and art. Filled with works of contemporary artists, your group can walk the grounds and view more than 200 sculptures peppered across 42 acres of blooming land.
44 Longstreet Rd., Holmdel
This trip, perfect for students of all ages, features guided tours, wagon rides and ice cream. Kids will get a first-hand look at how farmers churned butter and fed chickens back in the 1890s.
4263 Atlantic Ave., Farmingdale
This former factory town is now a living history experience where kids get a glimpse of what life was like for people during the 19th century. Historic interpreters dressed in period garb give tours and demonstrations about life pre-electricity.
courtesy of the old barracks
70 Woodens Ln., Lambertville
Open since the 1730s, this farm is a prime location for learning about growing produce. Kids can explore the hen house, corn crib and ox barn before viewing the windmill and blacksmith area.
1761 Rte. 9, Toms River
This is NJ’s only bugseum, and it celebrates all things creepy crawly. Hands-on displays will have her getting touchy with a tarantula or scorpion before the day is over, and crawling through a mudtube to see what it’s really like to be an insect.
Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., NYC
Visitors to the legendary aircraft carrier on the West side of Manhattan in the Hudson River will be blown away by the Space Shuttle Pavilion, where they’ll get a close-up look at a real-life retired NASA space shuttle; the USS Growler, a former military submarine kids can walk through; the Exploreum, an interactive space in the hangar deck and so much more.
89 Mount Pleasant Rd., Columbia
Take a Wolf Watch tour on which your group will get to know these majestic animals. You’ll get to see the wolves at play, along with bobcats and foxes.
1003 Morris Ave., Union
This mansion is home to antique furniture, art and a rich history. He’ll be transported to the Victorian era while learning about New Jersey’s first governor.
222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
The kids will get hands-on experience with electricity, amphibians and more at this state-of-the-art science museum. Don’t miss special limited-time exhibits or a film in the IMAX theater.
45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown
This museum offers custom field trips for different grades. First graders can tour the historic garden and learn about holiday traditions while older kids get the scoop on plant cycles and composting.
courtesy of the monmouth museum
765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft
Explore monthly themes like science, space or animals with hands-on crafts and workshops. Your little ones will especially love wandering through the Children’s and Wonder Wings, where they’ll climb walls and board pirate ships.
3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair
The MAM provides an awesome program full of Native American art for viewing, along with works from world class artists like Matisse. The Yard School of Art offers a variety of classes in just about every medium.
6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
There are galleries packed with geological finds from NJ and beyond, as well as retro dollhouses, trains and much more. Look for frequent LEGO-themed displays, and don’t miss kiddie shows at the attached Bickford Theater.
30 Washington Pl., Morristown
973-543-1949, ext. 210
This National Historical Park is located at the site where George Washington and the Continental Army survived the cold winter of 1779. There are 27 miles of hiking trails to explore, but kids under 12 can go on a scavenger hunt to become Junior Rangers.
49 Washington St., Newark
At this hands-on museum, kids can visit the popular Dreyfuss Planetarium, learn about renewable energy, examine plate tectonics at the Dynamic Earth exhibit and learn fire safety through A Cry of Fire: The New Jersey Fire Story.
125 West State St., Trenton
She’ll have the opportunity to learn about NJ representatives, visit the Senate and General Assembly galleries and explore the building’s art and architecture.
205 W State St., Trenton
Check out Garden State history like Native American artifacts, dinosaur fossils and flags from the Civil War. Visit the planetarium after your family spends time at “Our Story: New Jersey’s 9/11 Exhibit,” where your kids can learn about the attack’s affect on NJ and the country.
47-01 111th St., Queens, NY
Explore more than 450 exhibits at this Corona museum where students can take a tour of the Solar System and learn about all things science. If you can’t make it to Queens, your child’s teacher can video conference workshops from the classroom.
101 Barrack St., Trenton
Head to the state’s capital city to see where soldiers lived during the Revolutionary War. She’ll love being transformed into a 19th-century soldier.
4231 Ave. of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA
Young kids might not like that most museums don’t allow them to touch the artwork. But they’ll love Please Touch, where interactions are mandated. We especially love Wonderland, where they’ll feel like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, and Flight Fantasy, where kids can make their own working rockets.
1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington
At this Central Jersey spot, students can learn about hawks, eagles, owls and other birds of prey that are being rehabilitated. They’ll learn the role these birds play in the food chain and have a chance to see them in action while taking a tour of the facility.
courtesy of the red Mill museum
56 Main St., Clinton
The Red Mill is a Hunterdon County landmark and staple for many. Tours of this 19th-century building will make kids feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Go during the fall for spooky ghost-hunting tours.
339 Pleasant Valley Rd., Mendham
Dubbed the place where "wild things happen naturally," Schiff Nature Preserve is home to 15 miles of trails, 768 acres of protected land and plenty of educational (and fun!) programs. Check out Revolutionary period artifacts, Depression-era buildings and other historical treasures.
12 Fulton St., NYC
Students will learn how New York became a prominent port city. The museum offers tours of historic buildings and ships, plus plenty of interactive learning activities.
218 County Rd. 519, Sussex
This 100-acre museum and zoo is one of NJ’s most unique spots. There are more than 500 animals to see and nine large buildings where you can get tours of antique cars, Native American art, culture and more.
34 Lauer Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY
This destination is perfect for students interested in plants, animals and nature. Kids can explore 200 acres of plant life while visiting sheep, cows, chickens and turkeys.
Morris Pesin Dr., Jersey City
Your kid has likely seen Lady Liberty in the New York Harbor, but maybe hasn’t had a chance to climb the stairs for a view from her crown. Don’t miss the boat to Ellis Island for a history lesson on America’s immigrants.
211 Main St., West Orange
She may know Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, but what about his other life-changing work? At this National Historic Site, kids explore his chemistry lab and tour the Black Maria, his first film studio.
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
This zoo keeps adding more amazing stuff, like a touch-tank of stingrays and a giraffe exhibit. We love the hands-on farm and Aviary, where the Budgerigars hop on your hands as you feed them.
50 Fairmount Rd., Long Valley
Travel to this farm to learn about sheep-raising and cheese-making. During a guided tour, kids can visit farm animals and learn how to age cheese. Stop at the Sheep Shoppe for a unique souvenir.
303 Midland Ave., Garfield
Students can visit this center to learn how important bats are to the ecosystem. Kids will watch a presentation about these special mammals and see them live. They’ll also get up close with owls, tarantulas and other mysterious critters.
50 Lackawanna Dr., Stanhope
This old-timey amusement park is the perfect spot for her to don her cowgirl hat and watch a shootout in town square. The stagecoach ride and live shows offer an immersive Western experience.
71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick
The Zimmerli offers a variety of education programs—drawing classes, hands-on activities for families, summer art camps, training programs and more. There's complimentary admission on the first Sunday of the month, too. Kids can check out thousands of original pieces of art, educator-led discovery tours and other opportunities that complement their school curriculum.