From zoos to planetariums and farms to museums, your kids won’t want to miss visiting these fun and educational spots throughout NJ and beyond!
1 Riverside Dr., Camden
The kids will marvel at the aquarium’s collection of more than 15,000 aquatic animals—which includes the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast. Take a walk through the shark tunnel, and get up close and personal with hippos.
ALLEY POND ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER
224-65 76th Ave., Oakland Gardens, NY
Explore nature with a walk outside, time with live animals and a lesson on topics ranging from endangered species to animal adaptations.
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
200 Central Park W., NYC
Pick a floor or hall and use the museum’s online field trip guides to customize your trip. Learn about everything from dinos to outer space. The new Gilder Center features all sorts of exhibitions including a butterfly vivarium.
150 Pittstown Rd., Pittstown
Visitors will learn about food scarcity and plants. “Grow and Know” and “Farm to Fork” lessons will provide kids with education on nutrition, culinary skills and the importance of volunteering.
BATTLESHIP NEW JERSEY
62 Battleship Pl., Camden
Visit the massive ship docked in the Delaware River on the Camden waterfront and step into a fascinating chapter in the history of war. Sign up for an Overnight Encampment where you’ll be treated to a guided tour, a sleepover in the bunks where crew members of the USS New Jersey slept, and even a chance to fire the saluting gun.
2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY
Listen to the roar of tigers, feed animals in the farmyard, watch red pandas from the monorail and see dozens of butterflies in the greenhouse. Indoor exhibits like JungleWorld and the World of Reptiles are great in case of unexpected rain.
BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN
990 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY
Make sensory observations, discover plant adaptations and learn about tree diversity while exploring gardens filled with multicolored flowers of every family and size. Children ages 2 to 13 can plant and harvest their own crops and flowers with the guidance of garden instructors.
CENTENARY STAGE COMPANY
715 Grand Ave., Hackettstown
Kids can watch a variety of professional theater shows, live music and dance events. If they feel so inspired, they can join the touring company or take a Young Performers workshop.
CIRCLE LINE SIGHTSEEING CRUISES
Pier 83, W. 42nd St., NYC
With tour guides and outdoor decks to provide views of 140 NYC landmarks, Circle Line’s cruises are a great way to see the city. Circumnavigate the island of Manhattan on the Best of NYC Cruise, head to the Statue of Liberty on the Liberty Midtown Cruise or see the best Manhattan has to offer on the Landmarks Cruise.
66 Rte. 24, Chester Twp.
Nathan Cooper built this gristmill in 1826, and it’s one of the only remaining restored water -powered mills in NJ. The site spans 14 acres rich with history; step back in time during a 45-minute tour led by a costumed master miller who will run the mill’s machinery.
DA VINCI SCIENCE CENTER
3145 Hamilton Blvd. Bypass, Allentown, PA
Create practical tools in Leo’s Creativity Studio, build a Mack Truck and drive it using a game simulator, learn about Newton’s Second Law of Motion by riding in Newton Chairs, and crawl through a 72-foot tunnel in the dark.
DREAM WHEEL NJ
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford
This is more than just a Ferris wheel; it’s an opportunity for kids to learn about STEAM from a professional engineer.
1112 Dukes Parkway W., Hillsborough
Free lesson plans are offered to educators who can hold self-guided tours for students. Duke Farms offers 18 miles of trails through woodland, meadow and wetland areas and interactive exhibits on wildlife ecology, agriculture and sustainable resources.
FIELD STATION: DINOSAURS
3 Overpeck Park Dwy., Leonia
This outdoor prehistoric theme park takes kids ages 3-11 on a scientific expedition that features 30 life-sized, moving dinosaurs built with cutting-edge robotics. Children can learn about the link between dinosaurs and the birds of today with the Great Moments of Discovery Theater.
FOSTERFIELDS LIVING HISTORICAL FARM
73 Kahdena Rd., Morris Twp.
Kids can experience life in the fields as it was in the 1920s when Cara Foster—whose father, Charles, purchased the land in 1881—ran the farm. They’ll have a blast collecting eggs, riding wagons around the farm and looking at antique automobiles.
FRANKLIN MINERAL MUSEUM
32 Evans St., Franklin
Children will learn about the history of mineralogy by participating in rock collecting and viewing minerals and artifacts from the district. Exhibits include the Fluorescent Room, featuring a 32-foot-long display of local fluorescent minerals and American Indian Room which contains Native American stone tools.
GREAT SWAMP WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown
High schoolers can learn about water quality monitoring or explore terrestrial ecology/wetlands hydrology, while younger students can search for macroinvertebrates in a local body of water and do a pond dip where they will identify aquatic inhabitants.
GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton
More than a garden, this beautiful spot combines both nature and art. Filled with contemporary works, the grounds boast more than 270 sculptures across 42 acres. Family Open Studios are all-day drop-in workshops available the first Saturday of each month.
1057 Hillcrest Rd., Ridgewood
Kids will learn the benefits of fresh produce and a healthy lifestyle through a visit to the garden, a smoothie taste test and a planting session with recyclable pots and games.
HIDDEN BROOK RANCH ALPACA
196 State Park Rd., Blairstown
Come for fun and educational farm tours and meet the small herd. The owners love to share their knowledge of the alpacas and llamas and their unique personalities.
HISTORIC LONGSTREET FARM
44 Longstreet Rd., Holmdel
See how farmers worked in the 1890s. Tour the farmhouse, milk a cow, play games from the Victorian period, shear sheep, use a woodstove for cooking and more. Get an up-close look into Dutch building tradition with the Holmes-Hendrickson House Museum, built way back in 1754.
THE HISTORIC VILLAGE AT ALLAIRE
4263 Atlantic Ave., Farmingdale
This former factory town is now a living history experience where kids can get a glimpse of life during the 19th century. Historic interpreters dressed in period garb give tours and demos about life pre-electricity.
HOWELL LIVING HISTORY FARM
70 Woodens Ln., Hopewell Twp.
Open since the 1730s, this farm is a prime location for learning about growing produce. School trips are meant to provide hands-on experiences that engage kids in the seasonal activities of a working farm. They’ll be taught about the food and work animals provide while completing daily chores.
INFOAGE SCIENCE & HISTORY MUSEUMS
2201 Marconi Rd., Wall Twp.
Explore more than two dozen museums and exhibits, as well as community groups and organizations. Learn about space exploration, electronic warfare, radio technology, military communications, World War II artifacts, computers, the Lenni-Lenape Tribe and more.
INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM
Pier 86, W. 46th St. and 12th Ave., NYC
Visitors to the legendary aircraft carrier will be amazed by the Space Shuttle Pavilion, where they’ll get a close-up look at a retired NASA space shuttle, a former military submarine kids can walk through, the interactive Exploreum and more.
IRON PEAK SPORTS & EVENTS
137 Mountain View Rd., Hillsborough
The whole family can have fun at this indoor and outdoor sports complex. Whether the kids like soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, volleyball or baseball, there’s an activity here for them. There’s also an arcade, virtual reality games, a climbing area and a super cool Ninja course.
LAKOTA WOLF PRESERVE
89 Mt. Pleasant Rd., Columbia
Take a Wolf Watch tour to get to know these majestic animals. You’ll see the wolves at play, along with bobcats and foxes. Young photography enthusiasts can also snap pictures of the wildlife and scenery. Open by online reservations only.
LIBERTY HALL MUSEUM
1003 Morris Ave., Union
This 50-room mansion boasts historical art, clothing and furniture. Guests can learn about its remarkable past through a guided tour or visit the arboretum and garden which house some of New Jersey’s oldest trees. Get a hands-on look into the daily life of a colonial child of the 1700s by seeing their toys, school, games and chores.
LIBERTY SCIENCE CENTER
222 Jersey City Blvd., Jersey City
The kids will get hands-on experience with electricity, bounce around an Infinity Climber and much more as they explore the museum and dive into laboratory workshops and virtual stage presentations. Don’t miss limited-time exhibits or a show in the biggest planetarium in the western hemisphere!
45 Macculloch Ave., Morristown
This museum offers custom field trips by grade. First graders can tour the historic garden, kitchen and drawing room while grades 2-3 get the scoop on plant cycles and composting. Older students can view the original work of cartoonist Thomas Nast. You can also bring the experience to you with a classroom visit.
149 Polito Ave., Lyndhurst
Be a guest of the Queen at this royal banquet. The castle is home to knights, falcons and horses who’ll put on an amazing show, complete with hand-to-hand combat and jousting. Take a look at medieval weaponry in the Hall of Arms.
MONMOUTH COUNTY PARK SYSTEM
Group programs include live animal presentations, nature walks, eco-adventures, freshwater ecology and marine life. You can visit Historic Walnford for 19th-century learning, or Longstreet Farm to meet the animals.
765 Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft
Explore monthly themes like art and culture with hands-on crafts and workshops. Wander the Becker Children’s Wing and WonderWing to board pirate ships, learn about dinosaurs and more. The outdoor Meyer Art & Nature Area also features all sorts of educational programs.
MONTCLAIR ART MUSEUM
3 S. Mountain Ave., Montclair
Interactive field trips support students in creating art and making observations of artwork based on a chosen theme. These include works covering different time periods, LGBTQ artists of color and landscapes.
MORRIS COUNTY PARK COMMISSION
If your kid loves nature and the environment, they can visit sites like the Cooper Gristmill, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center or the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area. They can get their hands dirty while learning about the great outdoors.
6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown
Think galleries of geological finds from NJ and beyond, as well as retro trains and more. Be an inventor for the day at the Spark!Lab where engineering challenges abound. Coming soon is the “Set in Motion: Kinetic Worlds from the Studio of Richard Whitten” exhibition, bringing together math, engineering, art and technology.
MORRISTOWN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
30 Washington Pl., Morristown
973-539-2016, ext. 210
This National Historical Park is located at the site where George Washington and the Continental Army survived the winter of 1779. There are 27 miles of hiking trails to explore and kids can go on a scavenger hunt to become Junior Rangers.
MUSEUM OF EARLY TRADES & CRAFTS
9 Main St., Madison
973-377-2982, ext. 10
Discover the history of trades and crafts at this 50-year-old museum. Programs cover early American toys, immigrant experiences and voting rights. Students can learn about the real-life experiences of a child living on an 1800s farm and try to problem-solve the hardships they faced.
MUSEUM OF ICE CREAM
558 Broadway, NYC
Indulge in this beloved dessert! Enjoy a variety of ice cream treats, learn about its history, play in the colorful sprinkle pool and take a trip down NYC’s highest indoor slide.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MATHEMATICS
11 E. 26th Street, NYC
Offering in-person and online field trips for kids in pre-K through 12th grade, students will attend educator-led sessions on topics like cryptography and topology. Kids can use statistics to nail a free-throw, create stereographic images by manipulating metal plates and even ride a tricycle with square wheels.
THE NEWARK MUSEUM OF ART
49 Washington St., Newark
Travel around the world in a day with exhibits about Asian, African and Mediterranean art. Lie inside of a kaleidoscope, stand before a Tibetan Buddhist altar and gaze at Native American clothing at this museum committed to inclusivity.
NEW JERSEY SEA GRANT CONSORTIUM
Little marine biologists can learn everything about the sea, from the history of Sandy Hook to how humans affect the ocean and its inhabitants. The Coastal Experience offers a collection of marine science field trips for children in grades pre-K through 12 where they will learn about ocean environments, salt marsh ecology and more.
NEW JERSEY STATE HOUSE
145 W. State St., Trenton
Kindergarteners to second graders will learn about state symbols, county flags, and the things that make NJ unique. Third through sixth graders will learn about how laws are made, visit the Senate and General Assembly chambers and explore the building’s art and architecture.
NEW JERSEY STATE MUSEUM
205 W. State St., Trenton
Dive into fascinating pieces of Garden State history like Native American artifacts and dinosaur and shark fossil records. Visit the planetarium or check out virtual planetarium sky talks from home.
NEW YORK HALL OF SCIENCE
47-01 111th St., Corona, NY
Step into The Happiness Experiment, Design Lab or more than 450 other exhibits at this science museum. Discover how 3D printing works and aircrafts defy gravity in workshops and demonstrations. If you can’t make it to Queens, your child’s teacher can video conference workshops from the classroom, or an NYSCI instructor can come to you (on a limited basis).
OLD BARRACKS MUSEUM
101 Barrack St., Trenton
Head to the state’s capital city to see where soldiers lived during the Revolutionary War. Get sent back to 1777 as you experience what life was like in Washington’s Army with the “Meet the Past” program. Virtual programming with historical videos and photos of artifacts are also available.
THE PAPER BAG PLAYERS
1120 Avenue of the Americas, NYC
From January to May, field trips are held at theaters in the five boroughs of NYC. “Big Bag of Laughs” is great for kids ages 3-8 who like playtime through music, dance, movement and props.
PATERSON GREAT FALLS
72 McBride Ave., Paterson
This stunning natural attraction has magnificent waterfalls that kids will marvel at while learning about the history of Paterson and its industrial renaissance.
PLAY BIG ZONE
300 Campus Dr., Morganville
This spot is great for kids who are super active. They’ll have a ball on The Spin Zone Bumper Cars, playing Human Foosball, inside the Laser Maze, combatting obstacles in The Amazing Race, playing in the arcade and inside the virtual reality pod.
PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM
4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia, PA
Touching the exhibits is mandatory here! In Wonderland, kids will feel like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, and in Rocket Room, they’ll learn about space and launch their own rocket in Mission Control. A new Dinosaur Train Exhibit will be available in the fall.
POPCORN PARK ZOO ANIMAL RESCUE & SANCTUARY
1 Humane Way, Forked River
At this sanctuary for injured, ill or elderly farm animals, birds and wildlife, kids will see goats, peacocks, bears and tigers in one place, learning how to treat creatures and critters of all sizes.
QUEENS COUNTY FARM MUSEUM
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY
Seasonal education programs include fall apple cider pressing, composting and sustainability. Enjoy pumpkin patch month in October as well as Maze by Moonlight. Winter quilting lessons and spring sessions on the history of NYC and the importance of pollinators are also available.
1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington
Kids can learn about hawks, eagles, owls and other birds of prey being rehabilitated. They’ll explore the personal histories of these species and see them in action while touring the facility.
RARITAN VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE PLANETARIUM
118 Lamington Rd., Branchburg
Journey through the solar system, ride alongside a star or enter a black hole while inside the planetarium. Unlock your students’ creativity with a laser concert where they’ll draw pictures on the dome as music plays.
RED MILL MUSEUM
56 Main St., Clinton
Kids will learn about everything from life during the 1800s to 19th century energy production as they walk the grounds or try their hand at wool-carding and candlemaking.
165 Hobart Ave., Summit
Meet honeybees, engage in a planting project and create a mini-terrarium at this 13.5-acre arboretum composed of forest and gardens. Programs are tailored to students from preschool through 8th grade. Self-guided discovery weekends are perfect for families.
160 W. 45th St., NYC
646-619-8615 for student groups
Experience New York from a different view with this three-part adventure that showcases the city’s most known sites. Fly 30 feet above ground on a flight simulation ride as you watch over the Big Apple in stunning 8K aerial footage. Don’t miss the immersive film centered around Times Square and its worldwide impact.
RUTGERS GEOLOGY MUSEUM
85 Somerset St., New Brunswick
Take a guided tour to learn about dinosaurs, geology, the Ice Age and mummies, with special attention given to NJ-based exhibits. There are free tours for kids in grades K-12, but additional activities can be added for a fee, such as making a stegosaurus hat, creating a fossil necklace or constructing a 3-D mummy.
SCHIFF NATURE PRESERVE
339 Pleasant Valley Rd., Mendham
Dubbed the place where “wild things happen naturally,” Schiff is home to 12 miles of trails, 768 acres of protected land and plenty of educational programs. Make sure to check out the Great Meadow and plant garden with native species.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford
Kids will come face to face with 3,000 different exotic aquatic creatures in more than 20 marine exhibits (and get even closer to some, thanks to the Touchpool). There are also education workshops covering subjects like habitats and animal behavior.
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM
1071 Fifth Ave., NYC
In case the museum’s incredible collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and modern French masterpieces aren’t enough incentive to visit, the building itself is one of eight Frank Lloyd Wright designs designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM
12 Fulton St., NYC
This museum offers tours of historic buildings and ships and interactive learning activities. Kids will ride a tugboat or schooner after learning about the 19th century port of New York. Visitors can enter some of the ships like the 1885 Wavertree, check out the “Exploring Our Waters with Eric Carle” exhibit, and more.
STATUE OF LIBERTY
Liberty Island, NYC
Climb the pedestal and access Lady Liberty’s crown. You can also check out the Statue of Liberty Museum and theater. Then head to the National Museum of Immigration on Ellis Island.
STORM KING ART CENTER
1 Museum Rd., New Windsor, NY
Kids will marvel at the large-scale works of art and on-site commissions at this open-air arts center located on 500 acres in New York’s Hudson Valley. You’ll get lots of steps as you take in a huge collection of contemporary sculptures.
400 Tenafly Rd., Tenafly
Young kids can be really creative here while learning problem-solving skills, cooperation, leadership and respect through fun, interactive games. They partner with The Bounce Factory for an extra field trip option based on STEM learning.
THOMAS EDISON NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
211 Main St., West Orange
973-736-0550, ext. 11
Your kids may know Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb, but what about his other works? Here, they can explore his chemistry lab and tour the Black Maria, Edison’s first film studio.
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford
Become one with the art at TiLT, which provides an immersive art experience and optical illusions designed (with guests of all ages in mind) by award-winning artist Tracy Lee Stum.
TURTLE BACK ZOO
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
This zoo keeps adding more amazing things to explore like a giraffe exhibit and “Shores of Africa,” showing a flock of endangered African penguins. Check out the new sea turtle rehabilitation center and learn about how you can help protect them.
VALLEY SHEPHERD CREAMERY
50 Fairmount Rd., Long Valley
During a guided farm tour, kids can see the newborn lambs in the spring, or take a wagon ride up the mountain and look inside the cheese aging cave in the fall.
THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND EDUCATION CENTER
303 Midland Ave., Garfield
Students will learn how important bats are to the ecosystem. Kids can watch presentations on bats, reptiles and rainforest critters, plus see animals up close.
YOGI BERRA MUSEUM & LEARNING CENTER
Montclair State University
8 Yogi Berra Dr., Little Falls
This museum is dedicated to the life and work of the New York Yankees legend. Fifth through 12th graders can choose from three topics for field trips: Baseball & STEM; Poetry, Spoken Word & Yogi-isms, and Discovering the Negro Leagues.
ZIMMERLI ART MUSEUM
71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick
Kids can check out thousands of pieces of art across several mediums, create stories inspired by portraits and go on interactive educator-led discovery tours at this museum. “Art Together” drop-in family workshops and at-home activities can help kids get in touch with their inner artist.
—Jennifer Amato, James LaForge, Sunny Sequeira and Nia Sylva contributed to this story.