Contrary to popular belief, our home state of New Jersey is jam packed with exciting and awesome stuff to do. While we’re known for our 130 miles of beaches, New Jersey is home to so much more than the Jersey Shore. Family friendly excursions are in abundance in our neck of the woods; sometimes you just have to know where to look. Whether you want to keep the kids occupied on their spring break or just get out of the house, our guide to Jersey day trips has a little something for everyone.
Home to the prestigious Ivy League college, Princeton University, Princeton is a wonderful town that feels like a small city. A walk down Nassau Street and you’ll know why. Princeton is home to boutique shops, wonderful lunch options, and plenty of beautiful scenery (not to mention, playgrounds too). Dipping your toes in the Fountain of Freedom is a must, and a delicious lunch at Hoagie Haven will satisfy the whole family! Cotsen’s Children’s Library is the perfect way to finish the day. Part of the Rare Books collection at Princeton University, it features a children’s space that looks straight out of Wonderland. The library is open to the public, and hosts interactive story times for children of all ages (you’ll need to sign up beforehand).
No Jersey travel blog would be complete without the Camden Adventure Aquarium. Home to 8,500 types of aquatic species, this attraction is much more than a walk in the park. With countless activities, tours, movies, and events, the aquarium truly lives up to its adventurous name. Not to mention, the aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, including the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the United States! From petting live stingrays to making a few new feathered friends (Little Blue penguins are permanent residents!), the Aquarium will definitely make a splash on your spring break plans.
If “Jurassic Park” was one of your kids’ favorite movies, then hop into your handy time machine (aka the family car) and check out Field Station: Dinosaur. Located at the base of a 150-million-year-old rock formation, this North Jersey attraction is home to 32 life-sized, robotic-motion dinosaurs. Field Station combines art, science, and some truly awesome engineering to tell the tale of Earth’s largest ancestors. Through games and activities, they mask an educational walk through time with wonderful stories of the dinosaurs — providing kid-friendly insight to their everyday lives and breaking down the truth of their extinction. Paleontologist or not, this journey through time is a wonderful day trip that’s sure to leave you speechless.
While Six Flags Great Adventure is an amazing theme park with fun for the whole family, we’d recommend skipping the day of waiting in line for something a bit more…. Wild. Take a safari trip through the “savannas” of Central Jersey to get up close and personal with more than1,200 species of animals from six different continents. From elephants and rhinos to tigers, giraffes, and lions, Safari Off Road Adventure is a truly interactive attraction that will turn your family into world explorers. Not to mention, the knowledgeable and passionate staff will make your day a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Just in time for the heat, Action Park Mountain Creek boasts one of New Jersey’s coolest attractions. The amusement park is on the grounds of the Mountain Creek Ski Resort in Vernon, and will keep your kids wet and wild with excitement. Raging rapids, slippery slides, and shaded cabanas (we knew you’d ask) can be found scattered throughout the park. Needless to say, this waterpark is a great full-day excursion for the whole family.
BONUS: New Jersey Free Fishing Days: This season’s free fishing days are June 13 and Oct. 17, giving you a full 24 hours to toss out a few lines as practice — NO license needed!
Get the kids up off the couch and take a memorable day trip this spring! We know you love the shore, but our great state has so many amazing hidden gems that are waiting to be explored. If you’ve got any other awesome day trips, be sure to leave a comment. We’re always on the look out for our next adventure.