Winter break is here and after the holiday fun is done comes the realization that you need to entertain the kids until school starts in January! Whether you had planned to stay local or cancelled travel plans due to COVID concerns, thankfully, there are plenty of fun activities you can do as a family right here in NJ. Whether you want to stay close to home or venture out to a new area, check out these ideas that will keep them happy and occupied!

See the Holiday Lights. If you didn’t get a chance to view some seriously spectacular lights yet, the good news is that many exhibits are still on view until the beginning of January. Check out our list!

Go to American Dream. From Nickelodeon Universe to DreamWorks Water Park, American Dream in East Rutherford has so many entertaining options for kids. Be sure to check out the brand-new Toys R Us flagship store that just opened.

Take in a Show. Whether it’s Broadway or a local theater, seeing a play or musical is a great way to bond over the break!

Visit a Christmas Town. Cape May is known for its festive atmosphere around the holidays. Be sure to take a festive trolley tour while you’re there. New Hope, PA and Princeton will also give you great holiday vibes.

Take a Hike. Find your best local nature trail, call up a mom friend and take the kids out for some fresh air. Playing outside is so important for kids, even in the cold weather. Bonus points for ending your hike with hot apple cider.

Meet a Dinosaur. Starting December 29, you can get up-close-and-personal with a very life-like dinosaur at Jurassic Quest in Edison. Little dino fans will love all the interactive activities here.

Take a Dip. You don’t need to take a plane to find a great pool for the kids to play in. Check out your local Y or swim school as many have open swim times for kids to splash and play.

Plan a Kid-Friendly NYE Bash. No babysitter? No problem. We’ve got so many fun ideas for celebrating with your kids. Bonus: You don’t have to keep the up to midnight to celebrate!

Climb the Cape May Lighthouse. What better way to spend New Year’s Day then by making the trek to the top of this iconic lighthouse? The view from the top is definitely worth it!

Volunteer in Your Community. People still need help, even after the holidays are over. Whether it’s through an organization or just going to check in on an elderly neighbor, kids can learn so much about the importance of giving back.

Catch a Movie. Whether you go out to the theater to see Sing 2 or Spiderman, or just make a movie night at home, this is a super fun way to spend a few hours — just add popcorn!

Hit the Slopes. Kids (and adults) can learn to ski at these nearby mountains across the Garden State. (Hot chocolate for moms who prefer to cheer from the sidelines!)

Sleep In! Winter break can also mean a chance to catch up on some much-needed zzz’s for kids and parents. Pillow forts and tents are optional but highly recommended.

Hit the Ice. An afternoon of ice skating is so much fun, even if your kids don’t know how to skate they can have fun trying. Check out the best ice skating rinks in NJ.

Visit a Holiday Attraction. From “A Very Furry Christmas” at Sesame Place to the Bronx Zoo’s holiday lights, don’t miss your chance to see these amazing attractions before they disappear.

Check out Newark Winter Village. Here for the month of December, this holiday wonderland has games, ice skating, a market and so much more.

Take Insta-Worthy Photos Together. POP! at Bridgewater Commons is a new photo playground that allows you and the kids to pose in a variety of fun settings including a retro laundromat.

Take in Some Art. Night Forms, the new exhibit at Grounds for Sculpture, is viewed at night and utilizes projections and sound to create an immersive experience. It’s on view until February 27.

Plan a Fun Overnight. From nearby Crystal Springs Resort to Hershey, PA, there are so many drivable places to take a mini-vacay.

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