The holiday bustle is finally over and if you’re looking for things to do in NJ this weekend, grab tickets to Holiday Dreams at NJPAC Newark, a cirque show with acrobats, aerialists and daredevils. And if you’ve got dinosaur fans at home, you’ll want to book it to Edison for Jurassic Quest to see a 50-foot-tall Megalodon. Perhaps the most exciting event of the weekend is Liberty Science Center’s Friday night party just for kids, Extreme LSC, starring a DIY slime lab, a massive ball pit, laser tag and access to the museum’s beloved exhibits. Check out our roundup of New Year’s Eve activities the kids will love to ring in 2020.

If you want to stay inside, take a look at our favorite indoor activities. Got a bunch of younger kids to entertain? We’ve got activities that cater just to them, plus free events for the whole fam. Check out our calendar for events near you, or browse things to do in NJ this weekend by county below.

things to do in NJ this weekend
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ALL WEEKEND

29th Annual Holiday Model Train Exhibit
Woodbridge
Every Saturday and Sunday until December 30, you can visit this display featuring 11 different trains operating simultaneously on more than 300 feet of track at the Barron Arts Center. Reservation required.
Free admission

Jurassic Quest
Edison
Make plans to hit the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center for various exhibits covering the  50-foot Megalodon, walking dinosaurs, fossil digs, rides, crafts, science stations, face painting, a bounce house, bungee pull and more.
$24/adults and kids, $36/kids VIP pass

Christmas Tour: Harry Potter at Liberty Hall
Union
Whether you’re a Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter awaits at Liberty Hall. Check out some of your favorite rooms from the series like the Great Hall or the Gryffindor Common Room, and dress in your house robes. Tours start at the top of every hour (10 am-3 pm) from the visitor’s center and are included with admission, so you don’t have to worry about nabbing tickets ahead of time.
Included with admission

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live
Trenton
If you’re tired of stepping on Hot Wheels, take them to see gigantic versions of their favorite trucks. This live show combines cool crashes with courageous jumps and stunts. There’ll also be world record attempts, a fire-breathing robot and more.
$12-44

Winterfest
West Berlin
Celebrate the last weekend of Diggerland’s Winterfest, which boasts a holiday hayride, bonfire and more, plus its regular heavy machinery and attractions.
Included with admission

Winter Wonderland at the Farm
Mount Laurel
Hop in the car and book it to Paws Discovery Farm for snow experiments and a winter craft. Then, visit the farm to see more than 80 kinds of animals.
Included with admission

Visit the Festival of Trees
Basking Ridge
Stop by the Somerset County Park Commission Environmental Education Center for a winter spectacular featuring holiday trees decorated by local groups, clubs and businesses.
$5 suggested donation

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show Experience
NYC
South Street Seaport Museum will have an interactive puppet show, activities and an opportunity to take a picture with The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
$25, $5/ages 1 and under

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Hammonton
Ride through millions of Christmas lights, meet Santa and his elves at his workshop, walk through the holiday village and more every weekend at DiDonato’s Family Center until December 30.
$14.95

Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show and Outdoor Village
Augusta
Venture to Skylands Stadium to see a festive display of more than two million lights from the comfort of your car from now through December 30.
$20/carload 

FRIDAY (DECEMBER 27)

Extreme LSC
Jersey City
Extreme LSC is a Friday night party just for kids that combines everything your family loves about the Liberty Science Center with the things your kids are most obsessed with: laser tag, slime, a ball pit, countless selfie and photo booth ops and a DJ and dance floor.
$20/adults, $15/kids

The Nutcracker
Morristown
MPAC will host a live performance of this holiday classic about a girl and the magical adventures she has with her nutcracker.
$29-69

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie Showing & Craft
Hackettstown
Ages 8-17 can hit the Warren County Library for a showing of The Nightmare Before Christmas to make their own Jack and Sally ornaments. Registration required.
Free

Kwanzaa Celebration with Queen Nur
Cherry Hill
Pump the brakes at the Garden State Discovery Museum to learn about the symbols and traditions of this African American holiday with Queen Nur, who’ll share stories and songs.
Included with admission

things to do in NJ this weekend
Morris Museum

Pinocchio
Morristown
Kiddos ages 3-8 can watch Pinnochio struggle to achieve his greatest wish: to become a real boy. Using music and comedy, the kids will learn lessons about honesty, bravery and love with this little wooden boy at the Morris Museum.
$15/non-members, $10/members

SATURDAY (DECEMBER 28)

Holiday Dreams
Newark
This cirque show will bring acrobats, aerialists and daredevils to NJPAC in Newark. Sit back as holograms, computer animation and interactive lasers take your holiday to a whole new high-tech level.
$29-69

Battles of Trenton Reenactments
Trenton
It’s on at the Old Barracks Museum, where reenactors will walk through the streets and portray the Battles of Trenton. Take tours of the oldest free-standing military barracks, visit the Quartermaster’s store and interact with the soldiers. Don’t forget to visit Hanover Street Plaza for an interactive puppet show called The Trouble with Trenton at noon or 2 pm.
Free/battles, $5/museum admission ages 5 and up

Kwanzaa Celebration
Jersey City
Spend some time at the Jersey City Free Public Library for Hudson’s County’s longest-running Kwanzaa event, an ancestral remembrance and candle lighting ceremony.
Free

SUNDAY (DECEMBER 29)

Ring in the New Year with Thomas Nast
Morristown
Head to Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, where kiddos ages 2-9 can make their own Thomas Nast-inspired 2020 calendar. Nast was an American political cartoonist in the 17th century. Registration suggested.
Included with admission

ONGOING

Liberty Science Center

Hit Liberty Science Center
Jersey City
If you’re looking for things to do in NJ this weekend, look no further than Liberty Science Center. Take your little ones to see the Angry Birds Universe Exhibit, where they can shoot at life-size Angry Birds with massive slingshots ($30-35). After, ages 2-8 can climb aboard the Dinosaur Train and head back to the Mesozoic period, where your tot can check out steam engines, excavate fossils, learn about dino diets and chill in a dinosaur nest (included with museum admission). Exhibit ends January 20.

62nd Annual Model Railroad Show
North Haledon
Every weekend until January 5, the Garden State Model Railway Club will showcase a 1,200-square-foot layout of steam and diesel locomotives, featuring Thomas the Train and friends, freight trains and passenger trains with working signals.
$6/adults, free/ages 12 and under

Holiday Light Show
Galloway
Head to Historic Smithville for its annual Holiday Light Show Thursdays through Sundays until January 5. You’ll see more than 100 Christmas trees float on Lake Meone and light up to music. Don’t leave until you’ve checked out The Magical Talking Tree, Christmas train and storytime with Mrs. Claus on select dates.
Free admission

Vernon Lights Festival
Vernon Twp.
Head to Glenwood Lake Art Park on weekends through January 5 for the Vernon Lights Festival, where they’ll marvel at lantern displays, splurge on food truck fare, listen to holiday music, watch performances and visit the creativity pavilion.
$19.99/adults, $14.99/ages 3-12, free/ages 3 and under

Festival of Trees
Princeton
Hit the Morven Museum & Garden for this fest, where you can see Christmas displays from the 18th through 20th centuries. Ends January 5.
$10, free/members

Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Lights
New York
Visit the Bronx Zoo’s Holiday Lights, a dazzling walk-through experience with themed LED displays, custom Asian lanterns and light shows. There’ll also be ice carving demos, caroling, train rides and holiday music. Ends January 5.
$29.95/adults, $22.95/kids, free/ages 2 and under

Christmas in the 1885 Ballantine House
Newark
Go back in time at the Newark Museum of Art to experience a Christmas celebration in the Victorian Era every weekend until January 5.
$15/adults, free/ages 2 and under

FIND MORE THINGS TO DO IN NJ THIS WEEKEND

Atlantic

Bergen

Burlington

Camden

Cape May

Cumberland

Essex

Gloucester

Hudson

Hunterdon

Mercer

Middlesex

Monmouth

Morris

Ocean

Passaic

Salem

Somerset

Sussex

Union

Warren

If you have any upcoming events you’d like to add to our calendar, click here! And if you know of other things to do in NJ this weekend, leave us a comment.

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