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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.


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All photos courtesy of respective venues unless otherwise noted.

Adventure Aquarium

1 Riverside Dr., Camden
844-474-3474

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.

America’s Grow-A-Row

150 Pittstown Rd., Pittstown
908-331-2962

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.

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park W. and 79th St., NYC
212-769-5100, amnh.org

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.

Battleship New Jersey

62 Battleship Pl., Camden
856-966-1652

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.

Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
718-367-1010

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.

Children’s Museum of The Arts

103 Charlton St., NYC
212-274-0986

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.

The Coastal Experience

Various locations,
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.

Cooper Gristmill

66 Rte. 24, Chester 
908-879-5463

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.  

Da Vinci Science Center

3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA
484-664-1002

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.

Field Station: Dinosaurs

40 Fort Lee Rd., Leonia
855-999-9010

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.

Fosterfields Living Historical Farm

73 Kahdena Rd., Morristown
973-326-7645

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.

Franklin Institute

222 N. 20th St., Philadelphia, PA
215-448-1200

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.

Franklin Mineral Museum

32 Evans St., Franklin
973-827-3481

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.

The Gagasphere

140 Franklin Tpke., Waldwick
201-445-2546, thegagasphere.com

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.

Garden State Discovery Museum

2040 Springdale Rd., Ste. 100, Cherry Hill
856-424-1233

Kids 10 and younger can help build a two-story house in the Under Construction exhibit and play hockey in the Flyers mini rink.

Grounds for Sculpture

80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton
609-586-0616

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.

HealthBarn USA

1057 Hillcrest Rd., Ridgewood
201-444-2955

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.

Historic Longstreet Farm

44 Longstreet Rd., Holmdel
732-946-3758

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.

The Historic Village at Allaire

4263 Atlantic Ave., Farmingdale
732-919-3500

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.

Howell Living History Farm

70 Woodens Ln., Lambertville
609-737-3299

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.

Insectropolis

1761 Rte. 9, Toms River
732-349-7090

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.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., NYC
212-245-0072

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.

Lakota Wolf Preserve

89 Mount Pleasant Rd., Columbia
908-496-9244

Lil’ animal lovers will howl over this locale. Take a Wolf Watch tour to see the wolves at play, along with bobcats and foxes.

Liberty Hall Museum

1003 Morris Ave., Union
908-527-0400

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.

Liberty Science Center

222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
201-200-1000

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).

Macculloch Hall

45 MacCulloch Ave., Morristown
973-538-2404

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.

Monmouth Museum

765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft
732-747-2266

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.

Montclair Art Museum

3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair
973-746-5555

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.

Morris Museum

6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
973-971-3700

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.  

Morristown National Historic Park

30 Washington Pl., Morristown
973-543-1949

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
 

Newark Museum

49 Washington St., Newark
973-596-6550

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.

New Jersey State House

125 West State St., Trenton
609-847-3150

Your budding politician can learn about NJ representatives, visit the Senate and Assembly and marvel at the historic building’s art and architecture.

New Jersey State Museum

205 W. State St., Trenton
609-292-6300

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.”

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th St., Queens, NY
718-699-0005

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.

Old Barracks Museum

101 Barrack St., Trenton
609-396-1776

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.

Paterson Great Falls

72 McBride Ave., Paterson
973-523-0370

This stunning National Historic Park Site boasts magnificent waterfalls visitors can touch, all while learning about Paterson’s history and industrial renaissance.

Please Touch Museum

4231 Ave. of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA
215-581-3181

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.

Powerhouse Studios Paramus

49 East Midland Ave., Paramus
201-265-9060

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.

Princeton Art Museum

Elm Dr., Princeton
609-258-3788

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!

Raptor Trust

1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington
908-647-2353

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.

Red Mill Museum

56 Main St., Clinton
908-735-4101

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.

Rutgers Geology Museum

85 Somerset St., New Brunswick
848-932-7243

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.

Schiff Nature Preserve

339 Pleasant Valley Rd., Mendham
973-543-6004

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.

Somerset Patriots

TD Bank Ballpark, 860 East Main St.
Bridgewater; 908-252-0700

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.

Space Farms

218 County Rd. 519, Sussex
973-875-5800

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.

Sprout Creek Farm

34 Lauer Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY
845-485-8438

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.

Statue of Liberty (Liberty State Park)

200 Morris Pesin Dr., Jersey City
201-915-3403

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.

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

211 Main St., West Orange
973-736-0550

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.

Turtle Back Zoo

560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
973-731-5800

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.

Valley Shepherd Creamery

50 Fairmount Rd., Long Valley
908-876-3200

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.

Wall Street Walks

55 Wall St., NYC
212-666-0175

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.

The Wildlife Conservation and Education Center

303 Midland Ave., Garfield
201-257-2231

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.

Wild West City

50 Lackawanna Dr., Stanhope
973-347-8900

This old-timey amusement park is the perfect spot for her to don a cowgirl hat and watch a shoot-out in town square.

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center

Montclair State University
8 Yogi Berra Dr., Little Falls
973-655-2378

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.

Zimmerli Art Museum

71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick
848-932-7237

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.

 

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