There is more to the Garden State than just the Jersey Shore (although that’s fun, too). Whether you are here for the summer, just passing through, or calling New Jersey home, you’ll be happy to know that there are many great things to do as a family. We’re going to explore a few of them. Here are our picks of the top 10 things to do as a family in New Jersey:
1. Liberty Science Center – What’s better for parents than a place where fun and learning come together? Liberty Science Center is an interactive science museum in Liberty State Park, Jersey City. They have the world’s largest IMAX Dome and a 3D science theater. You will find fun, changing exhibits like the Dino Dog, Animal Encounter, and Touch Tank. They have traveling exhibits and even camps. There’s something for every age and even if you’ve been before, there’s something new to see each visit.
2. Six Flags Great Adventure – Six Flags Great Adventure is an amusement park in Jackson. Look for loads of family rides that you can enjoy with your school-age children, as well as rides for the younger ones. You’ll also find exciting coasters and rides for the thrill-seekers in your family. It has 11 themed areas and three of them are specifically designed for young children.
3. Historic Village of Allaire – Found in New Jersey’s Allaire State Park, you’ll find a land that time has frozen. It’s a beautiful living history museum that shows you firsthand what this early 19th century industrial community was like. There are also regular events so check their calendar to see what’s happening when you plan to visit.
4. Battleship New Jersey – Located in Camden, this is a museum and memorial open for tours, events, and even overnight stays. Have you ever wanted to spend the night on a battleship? This is a popular overnight trip for cub scouts and your kids are sure to love it, too. Learn about America’s Most Decorated Battleship and experience it for yourself.
5. Cape May/Wildwood – There is so much to see and do in Wildwood, it’s hard to list it all. There’s the beaches and the boardwalk, the free pier rides, beachfront water parks and more. Sometimes referred to as “The Wildwoods” because it is actually three cities – Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, and North Wildwood – there is something to see and do, day and night. There are dance clubs, sports bars, water activities, and over 100 rides and attractions at three different amusement piers. You can go jet skiing, parasailing, wave running, or surfing.
6. Sandy Hook Lighthouse – Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. Built in 1764, it’s found about 1 ½ nautical miles from the tip of Sandy Hook. Admission for tours is free and it’s definitely something to put on your bucket list.
7. Jersey Shore Pirates – Kids of all ages will love this place but bonus points if your child is a fan of pirates. You literally get to be a pirate for a day. You can fire water cannons, search for sunken treasure, battle enemy pirates, and of course, dress like a pirate. It’s $20 per person for 3 years and older, and $12 for 2 and under. You will make memories that last a lifetime.
8. Wild West City – If you want to experience what life would have been like in the Wild West, they’ve got you covered here at Wild West City. For more than 60 years, they’ve been giving a Wild West experience to visitors at this western heritage theme park. Attractions include a stroll down Main Street 1880, a Stagecoach Ride, Pony Rides (kids only), a Train Ride and much more. You can even go panning for gold.
9. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – Most children love the weird and quirky and Ripley’s is packed with that. You can visit their Odditorium and find a spider made of scissors and knives, a roulette table made of jellybeans, and many more things that will astound you. They also have a laser maze challenge and other changing attractions, depending on when you visit. There’s over 12,000 square feet of cool stuff to see in more than 14 themed galleries.
10. Long Beach Island – New Jersey has a lot of beaches but Long Beach Island is considered one of the best. Called simply LBI by the locals, this is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches you will find in the Garden State. The 18-mile-long island has small shore towns and a variety of things to see and do, including Fantasy Island Amusement Park (a great stop for families).
So there you have it, a list of ten great things your family can do in New Jersey. What will you do first?
Photo Credit: Colin Archer/Agency New Jersey