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.
All photos courtesy of respective venues unless otherwise noted.
1 Riverside Dr., Camden
The kids will marvel at 8,500+ aquatic species. They won’t want to miss the stingray petting, hippo feedings and little blue penguins. Brave guppies can even walk amongst predators in the massive shark tunnel.
150 Pittstown Rd., Pittstown
Farm visitors will learn about food scarcity and how to harvest plants. Can’t get to Pittstown? This org will come to your school instead.
Central Park W. and 79th St., NYC
They’ll be wowed by fossils, cavemen and the notorious giant blue whale. Use the museum’s online field trip guides to customize your day.
62 Battleship Pl., Camden
A visit to the massive ship docked in the Delaware River makes for a great day trip. But on an overnight, the kids can sleep aboard the battleship in bunks like real sailors. The self-guided tour takes them to the navigational bridge, inside the giant gun turrets and into the admiral’s chair.
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Get inches away from gorillas, walk through the butterfly exhibit and snag pics of pretty pink flamingos. It’s almost impossible to see everything in one visit, so expect the kids to want to return ASAP.
103 Charlton St., NYC
This art museum known for hands-on play features the work of modern artists who use mediums like collage and wood. Kids can sculpt at the clay bar and get a lesson in stop-motion animation or podcasting.
732-872-1300, ext. 13
Little fish can learn about the ocean on an array of field trips sponsored by the NJ Sea Grant Consortium. Budding marine biologists will learn about everything from the history of Sandy Hook to humans’ effect on the ocean.
66 Rte. 24, Chester
Isiah Younglove established this gristmill and sawmill in what’s now Chester Township some time before the 1760s. Today, the site stretches across 14 acres. The kids will learn about the Industrial Revolution, technology and agriculture.
3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA
Learn how electricity happens at the PPL Electric Utilities Energy Zone, explore the Engineers on a Roll playscape and lab and discover the motion of the ocean at the Wave Power! water tank. Go Mondays for activities for kids ages 2-6, or on Career Exploration Day, when your tweens can meet STEM professionals.
40 Fort Lee Rd., Leonia
Travel 90 million years back in time to walk with a T. rex at this home to 32 life-size robotic dinosaurs. Lil’ paleontologists can look at fossils and experience IMAX 3-D. This attraction is only open in the warmer months.
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. They’ll love getting their hands dirty feeding chickens, grinding corn and collecting eggs.
222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA
Do you remember crawling your way through the gigantic human heart at this science haven? It’s still there, along with features like a mirror maze, escape room, live science shows and 3-D printing displays.
32 Evans St., Franklin
New Jersey’s known for its abundance of fluorescent rocks (they glow cool colors under different kinds of UV or blacklight). Give your little geologist a thrill as he collects and classifies his own finds.
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 physics activities and tons of exercise playing in the Gaga Pit.
2040 Springdale Rd., Ste. 100, Cherry Hill
Kids 10 and younger can help build a two-story house in the Under Construction exhibit and play hockey in the Flyers mini rink.
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton
More than just a garden, this beautiful spot combines both nature and art. Filled with works of contemporary artists, the grounds have 200 unique sculptures peppered across 42 acres.
1057 Hillcrest Rd., Ridgewood
This org is dedicated to providing nutritious food to seniors and families with ill children. Kiddos will learn the benefits of fresh produce and a healthy lifestyle with a garden visit, smoothie taste test, planting session and games.
44 Longstreet Rd., Holmdel
This spot boasts guided tours, wagon rides and ice cream. Kids will get a first-hand look at what churning butter and feeding chickens was like in the 1890s.
4263 Atlantic Ave., Farmingdale
This former factory town is now a living history experience where kids can get a glimpse of life in the 19th century. Historic interpreters in period garb give tours and demos about life pre-electricity.
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
NJ’s only bugseum celebrates all things creepy-crawly. Get touchy with a tarantula and crawl through a mudtube to see what it’s like to be an insect.
Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., NYC
Visit this legendary aircraft carrier on the West side to be blown away by the Space Shuttle Pavilion, where you’ll get a close-up look at a retired NASA space shuttle. Don’t miss the USS Growler, a former military submarine kids can walk in, and the Exploreum, an interactive space in the hangar deck.
89 Mount Pleasant Rd., Columbia
Lil’ animal lovers will howl over this locale. Take a Wolf Watch tour 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. The kids will be transported to the Victorian era while learning about New Jersey’s first governor.
222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
Get hands-on experience with electricity, amphibians and more at this state-of-the-art science museum. Don’t miss limited-time exhibits or next-level stargazing in the massive planetarium (AKA the largest planetarium in the western hemisphere).
45 MacCulloch Ave., Morristown
This museum offers 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.
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 the walls and board pirate ships.
3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair
MAM provides a program full of Native American art, along with works from artists like Matisse. The Yard School of Art also offers classes in various mediums.
6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
Explore galleries packed with geological finds from NJ and beyond, plus retro dollhouses, trains and LEGO displays. Don’t miss kiddie shows at the attached Bickford Theater.
30 Washington Pl., Morristown
Visit the site where George Washington and the Continental Army survived the winter of 1779. There are 27 miles of hiking trails, and kids under 12 can go on a scavenger hunt to become Junior Rangers.
Photo courtesy of Mike Peters
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 get the 411 on fire safety through A Cry of Fire: The New Jersey Fire Story.
125 West State St., Trenton
Your budding politician can learn about NJ representatives, visit the Senate and Assembly and marvel at the historic building’s art and architecture.
205 W. State St., Trenton
Learn about Garden State history through 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.”
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. If you can’t make it to Queens, your child’s teacher can video conference workshops from the classroom instead.
101 Barrack St., Trenton
She’ll love being transformed into a 19th-century soldier at this historical hotspot. Head to the state’s capital city to see where soldiers lived during the Revolutionary War.
72 McBride Ave., Paterson
This stunning National Historic Park Site boasts magnificent waterfalls visitors can touch, all while learning about Paterson’s history and industrial renaissance.
4231 Ave. of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA
You won’t find any “don’t touch” signs here; interactions are mandated! We especially love Wonderland, where the kids will take a trip down the rabbit hole, and Rocket Room, where they can take charge at mission control.
49 East Midland Ave., Paramus
Remember Nickelodeon’s Double Dare? The kids can get a similar game show experience at this Hollywood-themed venue. Get in on the Wild ‘n Wacky Challenge, make a mess at the Pie Wall and play with slime and bubble foam.
Elm Dr., Princeton
Tailor your tours based on interest and age group. Options include Line, Shape and Color (preschool-grade 2), where students can see how artists create compositions, Classical Mythology in Art (elementary-high school), which includes a visit through the ancient Greek and Roman art galleries or Continuity and Change in Western Art and Culture (middle through high school), where students can study art and culture from the Middle Ages through the twentieth century. There's plenty to choose from!
1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington
At this Central Jersey spot, kids can learn about hawks, eagles, owls and other birds of prey being rehabilitated there. They’ll discover the role birds play in the food chain and see them in action on a tour of the facility.
56 Main St., Clinton
Tours of this 19th-century Hunterdon County landmark will take them back in time. While there are events here year-round, go during the fall for spooky ghost hunting tours.
85 Somerset St., New Brunswick
Kids ages 5 and up (and adults!) are invited to discover local geological history. Tours include fossil hunting at Big Brook Park and learning about geology and ecology of the Raritan River.
339 Pleasant Valley Rd., Mendham
Schiff has 15 miles of trails, 768 acres of protected land and educational programs for mini naturalists. Check out Revolutionary-period artifacts, Depression-era buildings and other historical treasures.
TD Bank Ballpark, 860 East Main St.
While stadium bites and watching America’s pastime from the stands sounds like all fun and games, the Patriots also offer educational activities and supplements for teachers to use before the trip. Kids can tour the ballpark or hear from special guest speakers.
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 with antique cars, Native American art and more.
34 Lauer Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY
This destination is perfect for anyone interested in plants, animals and nature. Kids can explore 200 acres of plant life while visiting sheep, cows, chickens and turkeys.
200 Morris Pesin Dr., Jersey City
Your kid has likely seen Lady Liberty from afar, but maybe hasn’t had a chance to climb the stairs for a view from her crown. Visit 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 works? Kids can explore his chemistry lab and house, then tour the Black Maria, his first film studio.
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
This gem keeps adding more reasons to visit, like a touch-tank of stingrays and giraffe exhibit. We love the hands-on farm and aviary, where the Budgerigars hop onto your hands as you feed them. A new exhibit boasts adorable South African penguins.
50 Fairmount Rd., Long Valley
Travel to this farm to learn about sheep raising and cheese making. On a guided tour, kids can visit farm animals and learn how to age cheese. Stop at the Sheep Shoppe for a unique souvenir.
55 Wall St., NYC
Kids in fourth grade and up can see historic spots firsthand in the Financial District. Take the Wall Street Tour for a lesson on this economic hub’s humble beginnings, or take Panics, Crashes & the Financial Crisis to learn about the Great Depression.
303 Midland Ave., Garfield
Learn how important bats are to the ecosystem. The 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 a cowgirl hat and watch a shoot-out in town square.
Montclair State University
8 Yogi Berra Dr., Little Falls
The kids can go on three hands-on field trips: STEM in Sports, which covers the physics and math behind baseball, Literacy, where they’ll draft poems and hip-hop pieces, and Character Building, where they’ll learn about Yogi’s bond with Jackie Robinson.
71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick
The Zimmerli at Rutgers offers everything from drawing classes and hands-on activities for families to summer art camps. Check out thousands of original pieces of art, educator-led discovery tours and more. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month.