Looking to spend a day either beating the heat or hiding from rain? We’ve collected information on the following museums near you that have family-friendly happenings this summer. While they’re not all in the Garden State, you can’t beat their educational and imaginative offerings.
American Museum of Natural History (New York)
Admission: $23/adults, $13/ages 2-12 (IMAX and Planetarium extra)
Daily: 10 am-5:45 pm
Known for its cultural exhibits and scientific collections, AMNH is one of the world’s preeminent museums. This summer features exhibits including T. rex: The Ultimate Predator and Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, and an IMAX special, Oceans: Our Blue Planet.
Aviation Hall of Fame (Teterboro)
Admission: $9/adults, $7/kids
Tues-Sun: 10 am-4 pm
Dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey’s aviation and space heritage, the museum displays historic aircrafts, air and space artifacts, photographs, fine art and a model collection. Head on over for Open Cockpit Weekend (June 16-17) for Father’s Day Weekend, where visitors can step inside the museum’s airplanes and helicopters to learn how aircrafts fly and ask pilots questions.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan (New York)
Admission: $14, free/ages 1 and under
Fall/Winter: Tues-Fri: 10 am-5 pm; Sat: 10 am-7 pm
Summer: (starting June 10th) Mon-Fri: 10 am-5 pm; Sat: 10am-7pm
CMOM offers families the opportunity to explore cultures through unique, interactive exhibits. This summer, check out JAZZED! The Changing Beat of 125th Street, as well as different daily programs.
Garden State Discovery Museum (Cherry Hill)
Admission: $15.95, free/ages 1 and under
Sun-Mon: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
July & August Only: Mon-Thurs: 9:30 am-8:30 pm; Fri-Sun: 9:30 am-5:30 pm
South Jersey’s largest children’s museum offers interactive and educational entertainment. Stop by all summer long for weekly arts and science events, plus bring your kids out to meet their favorite superheroes, learn how to zipline and design their own disguises.
Hoboken Historical Museum (Hoboken)
Admission: $5, free/kids and members
Tues-Thurs: 2-7 pm; Fri: 1-5 pm; Sat-Sun: Noon-5 pm
HHM aims to promote exploration and understanding of the city’s history, culture and architecture. There are events perfect for every age including tai chi with Peter Sommen and Spring Family Fun Day. Kids can also try their hand at DIY crafts and games while listening to live music by Corey Feldman.
Hunterdon Art Museum (Clinton)
Admission: $7, free/ages 12 and under
Tues-Sun: 11 am-5 pm
Founded by Hunterdon County locals, this museum has become the region’s premier showcase of contemporary art. Summer exhibits include Transformed: Paper in Dimension, Aurora Robson: Refuse and the annual Young Artists Showcase which has been running for 25 years.
Insectropolis (Toms River)
Admission: $8, free/ages 2 and under
Tues-Sat: 10 am-3 pm
Discover the lives of insects and learn to appreciate the bugs in our world at New Jersey’s bugseum. Explore 12 exhibits, including Creepy Cavern and Hive Airport, and check the website for more summer events.
Liberty Hall Museum (Union)
Admission: $10, free/ages 2 and under
Mon-Sat: 10 am-4 pm
Built in 1772, this Kean University museum houses collections that allow visitors to experience the past. Stop by this summer for special events such as Bugfest 2019 or visit the Caterpillar Cafe.
Liberty Science Center (Jersey City)
Admission: $23.75, $19.75/ages 2-12
Mon-Fri: 9 am-4 pm; Sat-Sun: 9 am-5:30 pm
LSC focuses on three basic topics: health, environment and invention. Check out interactive exhibits like the newly opened Disney’s The Lion Guard, Pixel Art and Skyscraper!
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum (Morristown)
Admission: $8, free/ages 5 and under (Concerts extra)
Wed-Thurs, Sun: 1-4 pm; Gardens: Daily 9 am-5 pm
Located in Morristown’s National Historic District, this 19th century house features the nation’s largest collection of art by political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Explore his works in Illustrating an Icon: Thomas Nast’s Uncle Sam.
Miller Cory House Museum (Westfield)
Admission: $4/ages 13 and up, $3/ages 3-12, free/ages 3 and under
Sun: 2-4 pm
Built in 1740, this nationally recognized living museum introduces visitors to 18th and 19th century farm life. Tour the farmhouse and watch open-hearth cooking demonstrations, and check the website for more special events throughout the summer.
Monmouth Museum (Lincroft)
Admission: $8, free/ages 2 and under (Planetarium extra)
Tues-Thurs 10 am-5 pm; Fri-Sat 10 am-5 pm; Sun noon-5 pm
The Becker Children’s Wing is perfect for kids ages 6–12. This summer’s exhibits include Ancients to Astronauts: How We Communicate as well as planetarium shows.
Montclair Art Museum (Montclair)
Admission $12, free/ages 12 and under
Wed-Sun: Noon-5 pm
Devoted to American and Native American art forms, MAM is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Head on over for Free First Thursday (free admission Oct-June) and exhibits like Constructing Identity In America and Undaunted Spirit: Art of Native North America.
Morris Museum (Morristown)
Admission: $10, $7/ages 3-12 (Bickford Theatre extra)
Tues-Sat: 11 am-5 pm; Sun: Noon-5 pm
This museum boasts art, culture, history, and science exhibits including the SteamPunk Fashion exhibit (April 13-Oct 6). While you’re there, check out the Studio Student Art Showcase and sign up for courses afterward.
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts (Madison)
Admission: $5, $3/kids, free/ages 6 and under
Tues-Sat: 10 am-4 pm; Sun: Noon-5 pm
METC aims to enhance the understanding of our country’s past with programs, collections, exhibitions and demonstrations. Don’t miss the free Downtown Concert Series and check out the various summer camps for the kids.
National Museum of Mathematics (New York)
Admission: $17, $14/ages 12 and under, free/ages 2 and under
Daily: 10 am–5 pm
This summer, see math in an exciting new way by exploring MoMath. In addition to special summertime events, this museum boasts various interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages.
New Jersey State Museum (Trenton)
Admission: $5, free/ages 12 and under (Planetarium extra)
Tues-Sun, 9 am-4:45 pm
Exploring the cultural and natural diversity of New Jersey’s past and present, the museum’s summer line-up includes planetarium shows and the exhibit Drawn to Dinosaurs: Hadrosaurus Foulkii and Nano.
Newark Museum (Newark)
Admission: $7, $5/ages 12 and under
Tues-Sun: 9 am-4:45 pm
New Jersey’s largest museum hosts 80 galleries of collections, a planetarium and hands-on art and science exhibits. This summer, be sure to check out Newark’s Black Film Festival or take a stroll at the museum garden.
Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia)
Mon-Tues, Thurs-Sat: 9 am–5 pm; Sun, Wed: 11 am–5 pm
Residing in neighboring Philly, this children’s museum aims to create learning opportunities through play. Take a spin on the Woodside Park Dentzel Carousel or take a trip to the Creative Arts Studio and all with the kids!
Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton)
Sun: Noon-5 pm; Tues-Sat: 10 am-5 pm
This free institution is one of the world’s greatest comprehensive museums in an academic setting. See exhibits like Miracle on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States, Modern and Contemporary Art, along with The Figure Abstracted.
Staten Island Children’s Museum (New York)
Tues-Sun: 10 am-5 pm; Wed: 10 am-7 pm
Located on the grounds of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens, SICM focuses on encouraging creativity and curiosity in children through hands-on experiences. Take your kids on an exploration of the museum as bugs, boats, and a big fire truck awaits!
The Center for Contemporary Art (Bedminster)
Mon-Thurs, Sat: 9 am-5 pm; Fri: 9 am-3 pm
The Center focuses on challenging and inspiring the community to study, experience and create visual arts. Stop by to see Margaret Fanning’s: Snapshot and check the website for upcoming children and teen art classes.
Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit)
Admission: $5, $3/kids
Mon-Thurs: 10 am-8 pm; Fri: 10 am-5 pm; Sat-Sun: 11 am-4 pm
The state’s largest institution dedicated to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art will feature camps for kids and new exhibits this summer. Check the website for more information.
Whippany Railway Museum (Whippany)
Admission: $2, $1/ages 12 and under(Train rides extra)
Daily: Noon-4 pm
Not only does this museum allow visitors to explore the history of New Jersey’s railroad history, but it offers old-fashioned train rides through the countryside on six weekends during the summer. Don’t forget to visit on National Ice Cream Day on July 7! Check the website for the complete excursion train ride schedule.
Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick)
Tues-Fri: 10 am-4:30 pm; Sat-Sun: Noon-5 pm (Closed in August)
This Rutgers University-based museum strives to provide the surrounding community with world-class works of art. Don’t miss out on the different types of art like the American Art collection. Check out one of many summer exhibits, like Irina Nakhova: Museum on the Edge.