Photo courtesy Great Wolf Lodge 

Great Wolf Lodge

A favorite Poconos destination long before Kalahari and Aquatopia, this PA indoor water park (only open to resort guests) has a lazy river, video game-inspired slides and wave pool. Once they’re dried off, the kids will love the arcade and MagiQuest, the wand-based game that rules the hallways. At the end of the day, you’ll want to try the new Wine Down Service, a signature wine, cheese and dessert pairing menu.

Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center, Pocono Manor, PA 
Wildwood, NJ 



Photo courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure 

Six Flags Great Adventure

When it comes to delivering epic thrill rides, Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson never disappoints. The theme park is home to the world’s tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka, which towers over the grounds at 456 feet. With classic rides like the Runaway Mine Train and coasters like El Toro, you’ll hear screams a mile away. Younger kids will love the safari ride (get in line early) and the sweet Looney Tunes-themed lands. Tickets for the day start at $49.99, but season passes are your best bet if you plan to visit more than once.

Land of Make Believe, Hope 
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA



Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure 

Great Adventure’s Fright Fest is not for the faint of heart. During the day, your crew can take in family-friendly fun, but once the sun sets and ghouls raid the park, brace yourself for haunted coasters and scary mazes in the dark.

Brighton Asylum, Passaic
C. Casola Farms, Marlboro



Photo Courtesy Leeza Hernandez

Point Pleasant

From its fun-filled amusement park to its classic aquarium, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk has been a Jersey Shore favorite since 1928. Relax at the beach before stopping at the Sweet Shop, Kohr’s Ice Cream or Martell’s Tiki Bar. And when the kids get tired of playing in the sand, there are carnival games, thrill rides at Jenk’s Pavilion and mini golf at Castaway Cove.

Runners Up:
Wildwood, NJ 
Ocean City, NJ 



Photo Courtesy Turtle Back Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo

Nestled in the heart of Essex County, this West Orange zoo is hopping with new giraffe and lion exhibits, wild treetop adventure courses and zip lines. A recently-opened touch tank lets kids pet a stingray, and the Sea Turtle Recovery Center is helping the majestic creatures heal. And we love the hands-on farm and Aviary, where the Budgerigars hop on your hands as you feed them. Admission for 13 and up is $15; 12 and under is $12.

Runners Up
Adventure Aquarium, Camden
Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY



PHOTO COURTESY Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center

This fan favorite in Jersey City offers premium passes that give you full access to the museum, IMAX theater and special exhibits like the currently running Mythbusters. With interactive exhibits geared to stimulate her STEM skills, this spot will teach her the science behind everything from natural resources to skyscrapers. We also love the Tesla lightning show with musical coils and the pitch-black touch tunnel.

Runners Up
Morris Museum, Morristown 
Newark Museum, Newark 



Photo courtesy SkyZone

Skyzone Trampoline Park

Trampoline parks are popping up all over the state, but Skyzone was your top pick. These wall-to-wall trampoline parks located everywhere from Maple Shade to Allendale allow kids to bounce on their own trampolines. They can twist and spin into big foam pits, or try slam dunks in the Skyslam. And they won’t want to miss a game of dodgeball with the whole crew, either.

Runners Up
iPlay America, Freehold
Funplex, East Hanover


Pick a category below to see more winners: 

Outdoor Faves 

Good Eats 

Me Time