AMERICAN DREAM

Here are 50 things to do indoors around the state to keep the brood busy when the weather keeps you inside. Many of these indoor spots require advanced online reservations due to space restrictions. Please make sure to call before heading out on your next family adventure.

  1. Instead of climbing the walls at home, get them in a harness and have them do some rock climbing.

  2. Enjoy the comforts of a heated pool at an indoor water park.

  3. Learn to skate or show off your triple lutz at an ice skating rink.

  4. Don’t like the cold? Get your skate on at one of these great roller rinks. Most will let you choose between in-line or four-wheel skates.

  5. Even in the cold months, you can go stargazing at one of NJ’s many planetariums and observatories (the biggest in the country is in Jersey City!) ents.

  6. Don’t let the weather strike you out: go bowling!

  7. Let the kids try for a hole in one at glow-in-the-dark mini golf. Don’t forget to dress them in whites or neons so they can get the full effect.

  8. Paintball isn’t an option for really little kids, but they can get some target practice by playing laser tag. Book your tickets in advance for most spots.

  9. Climb, jump, run and have a blast at any of these indoor play places.

  10. Spend a day “underwater” at Adventure Aquarium. Advanced tickets are required.

    Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2020
    Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream

     

  11. Spend the day at the American Dream, where you and the kids can go indoor snowboarding at Big Snow, play minigolf, ride rollercoasters at Nickelodeon Universe, ice skate on their rink or enjoy some water fun at the Dream Works Water Park.
  12. Combine learning and fun at a Jersey museum (find out how to get into some for free!). Looking for something new? Visit these off-the-beaten-path museums.

  13. Spice up your culinary skills at a cooking class. Some are open for small classes, while others are offering virtual classes where you can pick up ingredients and cook via zoom.

  14. Yoga and meditation are super beneficial for kids, so look into taking a mommy and me yoga class at your local YMCA.

  15. Catch a flick at an indoor movie theater (some you can rent out an entire theater), or go more upscale at a dine-in, like the luxury AMC in Hackensack or iPic Hudson Lights in Fort Lee.

  16. Inspire your reluctant reader with help from your local library for weekly activities, or check out a bunch of books to read together.

  17. Get their hands dirty with some super fun DIY projects (even if it means making slime!)

  18. Get some exercise along with the kids at a mommy and me gymnastics class at a Little Gym near you. Register in advance for classes.

  19. Enjoy a few blissfully quiet minutes of pampering (along with a nice foot massage) by taking your kid with you for a mani-pedi, or even host your own spa party right at home.

  20. Show off your artistic side at Color Me Mine Pottery Studio.

  21. Escape Earth (and the weather) at Liberty Science Center, and don’t miss the awesome suspended-in-midair infinity climber.

    Staff Photo
  22. Don’t let swimming skills wane in the winter; get lessons (or do some laps) at a local YMCA or gym.

  23. Play some pinball at an awesome NJ arcade, like the Silverball Museum in Asbury Park.

  24. Create your own bracelets, anklets or necklaces at Just Bead Yourself in Westfield.

  25. If your kid loves boats, don’t miss the Intrepid Museum in NYC.

  26. See some impressive horse stunts, a full-on joust and falconry at Medieval Times.

  27. Hit an indoor amusement park. Head to iPlay America, which is complete with an indoor boardwalk inspired by the Jersey Shore.

  28. Learn some self-defense and be on your way to becoming a black belt at a karate class. Studios are open, but call to find out what classes they are offering for drop-ins.

  29. Practice your swing at Topgolf in Edison or Mount Laurel.

  30. Do some glassblowing down the shore to Hot Sand Asbury Park or make glass crafts in Morristown at Glassworks Studio.

  31. Got antsy kids? Take them to Insectropolis! NJ’s Only Bugseum is currently closed to visitors, but the creepy crawly place will be open again soon.

  32. Teach the kids the importance of giving by volunteering at a local shelter together.

  33. Got a kid who wants to be a fireman? Head to the New York City Fire Museum.

  34. She’ll feel like a secret agent when she tries cracking codes and solving puzzles in a NJ escape room.

  35. Head to NYC for tons of kid-friendly fun. Keep in mind New York has different restrictions about indoor dining than NJ.

  36. Let them bang on some real drums instead of pots and pans at a music class close to home. Some are offering remote options.

  37. After an hour-long bouncing session at a trampoline park full of flips and dodgeball, they’ll be pooped in the best way.

  38. Snag tix to an awesome show at an NJ theater, like NJPAC, SOPAC, MPAC or bergenPAC. 

  39. Rent a movie, pop some corn and snuggle up.

  40. See an underground rainbow and watch rocks light up under UV lights at the Sterling Hill Mine Museum or go underground at the Franklin Mine Museum.

  41. Grab some Betty Crocker mixes, a bunch of decorations (think sprinkles or M&Ms) and invite their friends over for a baking party. Want to avoid the mess? Get one of these over-the-top sweet treats.

  42. Are your kids pros at being dramatic? Sign ’em up for a performing arts program.

    Staff Photo
  43. Little builders will go wild for these LEGO-filled at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center at American Dream.

  44. Take to the skies (or rather, wind-filled tunnels) at iFly in Paramus. You and the kiddos (ages 3 and up) can suit up and try your hand at indoor skydiving. Closed Monday and Tuesdays, with limited hours other days. Advanced registration is required.

  45. Celebrate a local sports legends at the Yogi Berra Museum.

  46. Head to Zimmerli Art Museum for family activities on the first Sunday of every month

  47. Brighten your day with some animals at a local zoo, like Van Saun Park or Turtle Back Zoo and visit the indoor exhibits.

  48. Let the kids channel their inner Jeff Gordon driving go-karts at or Funplex, or make the trip to the country’s biggest go-kart spot in Connecticut (their trampoline park is currently closed).

  49. Take a trip to the new and improved Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, where kids can color, learn history and even create their own crayon. Better yet, make a day out of it and explore Lehigh Valley.

  50. Everyone loves a good old-fashioned bounce house. Bounce U, Pump It Up (both open but with restrictions) and Jump On In (currently closed) offer inflatables galore for your kids to hop and slide on all afternoon.