Think you and the family have seen and done it all in NJ? Think again! Here are some amazing places (aside from the usual suspects like museums and water parks!) to check out that you probably haven't been to yet.
100 Pinedge Ct., West Berlin
The only Diggerland currently open in the United States (there are a handful of others in the UK) is right here in NJ! This interactive amusement park offers tons of rides like "Argo off the Road" an eight-wheeler adventure and "Mini Land Rovers," which caters specifically to tiny passengers. Want to have some fun in the sky? Take an adventure filled ride in the sky shuttle. And you won't want to miss a ride on the completely original Spin Dizzy.
Full-day admission is $29.95 per person.
615 E. Moss Mill Rd., Smithville
609-748- 8999; historicsmithvillenj.com
This quaint historic town is truly a hidden gem filled with 1700s original wooden buildings and sweet shops. It feels like you've stepped back in time as you ride the classic carousel and train around the town. And don't miss Smithville during Christmas when the place really comes alive with their Christmas trees that look like they are dancing on the water.
Lucy the Elephant
9200 Atlantic Ave., Margate City
Where else but NJ can you climb inside a humongous elephant? This six-story-tall mainstay has been a fixture on the the Jersey shore since she was built in 1881. Originally created as an attempt to draw tourists and sell real estate, the elephant is now a historical landmark—not to mention a quick ride from Atlantic City. Don’t miss climbing the spiral staircases up to get a great view from the “howdah” on her back. It’s truly a unique experience. $8 for adults, children are $4 and 2 and under are free.
Morey's Piers "Breakfast in the Sky"
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood
Ferris wheels are cool, but what's better than having breakfast while riding on a 156 foot tall one that overlooks the beach? The one here is the tallest on the east coast (seriously, we rode it recently and it's really tall). While riding this Wildwood landmark, an assortment of steak and eggs, lobster omelets and belgian waffles are served, just to name a few. If you don't mind sharing the Ferris wheel, individual breakfast rides on Saturday, Sundays and Mondays are offered July 25 through August 24. Individual rides begin at $85.00 for breakfast for two people and it’s an additional $40.00 for each person in the cart.
New Jersey Circus Center
165 Amboy Rd., Ste.701, Morganville
If learning how to walk on a tightrope, balance plates and acrobatics sounds like fun to you, clown around at one of these off-the-wall classes. Equipped with enthusiastic and talented instructors, children and adults of all ages can participate in circus activities. Birthday parties are also offered. Categorized by age, classes run from 35 minutes to 2 hours. Prices vary.
Six Flag's Off-Road Safari
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson
You wouldn't really expect a full-on safari in the middle of the Garden State, but this world class spot features 1,200 animals from six continents. And while you probably remember it from when you were young and the monkeys actually climbed all over your car—it’s been completely revamped and is no longer a drive-through. Now you can comfortably relax in an open-air caravan ride to get up close and personal with the giraffes. Looking for a bit more of an adventure? Try the new zipline at their Camp Aventura. This excursion fills up quickly, so make sure it’s first on your to-do-list when you arrive. All explorers 54 inches and under must ride along with an adult. $46.99 per person; kids 2 and under free.
Sterling Hill Mining Museum
30 Plant St., Ogdensburg
Think double rainbows are cool? You haven’t seen anything until you’ve ventured underground here to see the glow-in-the-dark rainbow that naturally occurs on their cave walls. The trip takes you through a cool rock discovery center with mining equipment, a massive selection of unearthly looking rocks from around the world, and even some fossils. Once you enter the mine, you see a simulated blast, have a lights out experience and see a host of phosphorescent rocks that really make this place unique. Kids even get their own glow rock to take home. It’s a perfect trip for summer or winter, because no matter the weather outside, it is always a comfortable 56 degrees in the mine. $12 for adults, $9 for children 4–12 and free for children under 3.
6415 E. Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township
This magical family amusement park has been entertaining kids for over 60 years. It brings fairytales to life for little kids with rides like the Beanstalk Bounce, trips to Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Old Mother Hubbard. $25.50 per person. Children under the age of 2 are free.
101 Rte. 645, Sandyston
There is truly nothing like the Sussex County Sunflower Maze, which blooms in jaw-dropping full force at the end of the summer, and runs through October. Instead of walking through corn, you get to wind your way through endless fields of gorgeous yellow sunflowers that seem to go on for miles. And you can pick your own sunflowers at the end, which is a perfect way to take that bright sunshine home with you. It’s beautiful and totally unexpected.
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