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101 Family Day Trips - Getaway Ideas and more!

 

Get ready for Spring Vacations and family time! 

We all remember the wonderful excitement of a school field trip – but who says these types of outings are only for classroom groups? Surprise the kids with a family field trip - there’s a spot for every age and for every interest. NJ Kids is here to help you plan your spring weekend getaways, or spring break which is right around the corner.  Here are just 101 of our favorites

1. Travel to Egypt – but leave your passport and visa at home!  Visit the mummies at the Penn  Museum, plus enjoy the world’s only museum exhibit of an Egyptian Royal palace. 2. Stand in the shadow of greatness: Snap a picture with Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Jennifer Lopez, Carmelo Anthony and many more! Madame Tussad’s Museum in Times Square mixes history and celebrity for a waxing good time
3. Where can you combine family team building with the excitement of zipping over snow-covered mountains? At Zoom Ziplines in Vernon’s Mountain Creek Resort! Spend the day flying through the air on one of 4 Zipline courses, then head over to the DropZone Snowtubing Pass!  (Height and weight restrictions apply). 4. Turn a trip to the Montclair Art Museum into a scavenger hunt and see how many different shapes the kids can find in the exhibit, ‘Patterns, Systems, Structures’.
5. Interesting Fact #1 - Curious George was originally named Fifi when the book was first published in France in 1939.  Celebrate George, the Man With The Yellow Hat and some Curious George favorite locales at the new Curious George exhibit at the Liberty Science Center – a playful, interactive exhibit oozing with math, science and engineering fun. 6. The African Penguin (also known as the Jackass penguin for it’s donkey bray!) is found in the Southern African waters – and for a short time at the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.
7. Find out why IPlay America is a premier NJ Amusement Park! From 2-story laser tag, boardwalk-style games, 4D theatre to arcade games and the iPA speedway –it’s fun for the whole family! 8. Interesting Fact #2 - The Amazon River is 3977 miles long and during the wet season can reach to 120 miles wide – just a bit longer than the lazy river in Sahara’ Sam indoor Water Park in Berlin (but definitely not as much fun, or as close by!).
9. Experience the beauty of the mountains, the thrill of the endless activities and the joy of not cooking for the weekend at Woodloch Pines in Hawley, PA.  An all-inclusive resort bursting with fun! 10.  Imagine the hardships and cold as you explore George Washington’s winter encampment at Morristown National Park.
11. Interesting Fact #3: The world record for bouncing is 24 hours -set by a group of boys 8-11 years old! Why not bounce away your sillies at Pump It Up (Roselle Park or Randolph) or Jump on In (Hasbrouck Heights or Boonton) 12. …Or jump, slam and dunk at Rebounderz in Edison  (maybe the kids won’t last 24 hours, but they sure will sleep well at night!).
13. Giddy-up over to Seaton Hackney Stables in Morristown and schedule a lesson or a trail ride for a trotting good time… 14. …Or mosey on up to the Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY and enjoy a weekend of horse adventures, snow adventures, indoor water park fun and more!
15. Head to Imagine That!!! in Florham Park where kids can play in over 16,000 square feet of hands-on imagination fun (plus weekend themed crafts)… 16. …Or pick from Ice Skating, bowling, golfing, basketball, rock climbing, and more at NYC’s Chelsea Piers, a 28 acre waterfront sports and entertainment complex.
17. Get up close to 300 animals representing 120 species on 30 acres at Claws N Paws Animal Park in Lake Ariel, PA! (You can even pet an alligator and python!)  18,. Steady your sea legs on a cruise around Manhattan enjoying Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street and other sites of the city on a 75 minute, 2 or 3 hour Circle Line tour.
19. Plant your feet and putt-putt your best Jack Nicklaus for a hole in one at Monster Golf. 20. And when you’re back home after a fun-filled family field trip, cuddle up and read a favorite story together – then check out the shows at NJPAC, where books come to life. (Get your tickets for Brown Bear and the Hungry Caterpillar playing on April 13th!).
21. Grab a group of friend, a group of scouts, a group of homeschoolers - or any other group and enjoy a gardening party from Let’s Bloom Together –educational gardening fun! 22. No more saying, “Do you live in a barn?” – let the kids act like animals at Brookhollow Barnyard – complete with a Petting Zoo, model trains, tractor rides, sandbox fun –and more! Opens for the season in May….and there’s camp fun, too!
23.  Pack up the duffel bag and get ready to head off to camp…as a family!  The YMCA Ockanickon in Medford offers camp adventures for the entire family… 24. …Or take a break from the hectic, craziness of day-to day-life and spend some quality family time at a Frost Valley YMCA retreat.
25.  Walk in the footsteps of the dinos at Field Station Dinosaur (reopens for the season in April).  Over thirty life-sized creatures set in the picturesque NJ Meadowlands on the base of 150-year old rock formations! 26. Take them out to the ballgame and buy them some peanuts and cracker jacks – right here in New Jersey.  Both the Camden Riversharks and the Somerset Patriots are ready for a striking good summer of baseball fun!
27.  Fire up the grill and create your own family-style ‘Iron Chef New Jersey’.  Pick out a recipe and then head on over to Donaldson Farms for some fresh produce (opens for the season in April; pick-your-own throughout the summer).  At home – you’ve got 60 minutes to create a yummy recipe! 28.  Or sample a cooking class at Classic Thyme in Westfield – classes for all ages (come with a good appetite!).
 29.  Glamour up for a Hollywood experience (right here in NYC) as you visit some of the hottest movie and show locations with On Location Tours.  See where the casts worked, sang, and filmed shows like Gossip Girls, Spiderman, Glee and How I Met Your Mother! 30.  Interesting Fact #4 – Did you know that the largest living reptile in the world is the saltwater crocodile, growing to over 20 feet long!  You might not get to meet this creature, but bring Rizzo’s Reptile Discovery to your next family gathering or party and you will get the chance to meet some fascinating wildlife right in your own backyard.
31.  Step back into the late Elizabethan era, to the land of Nobles and jousters, magicians, dancers and pirates at the Renaissance Faire in Bordentown…. 32.  …Or enjoy a variety of family theater and sport performances at the Prudential Center.
33. Put on your walking shoes and enjoy a guided tour of unique NYC neighborhoods – where adventures await you around each corner – with Susan Sez Walkabouts. 34.  Build your own car, ride in a hot air balloon, dig for treasures or other hands-on fun at the Buck’s County Children’s Museums.
35. Interesting Fact #5:  Did you know that the average adult heart beats 3,600,000 times a year?  Take a virtual walk through a heart at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia – a museum full of science, space, trains and much, much more. 36. Examine one of the over 83,000 scientific objects including minerals, seashells, mastodon skeletons and animal specimens at the Newark Museum….
37. …Or delve into the history of the Garden State at the New Jersey State Museum  (there’s a planetarium there also!). 38. Settle back and enjoy the show as the curtain rises at the Raritan Valley Theater - Tiny Tots Series to Readings (great for your high schooler).
39.   Enjoy over 20 kid-powered exhibits and lots of family activities and special events at the Garden State Discovery Museum. 40.  Book your overnight trip (or longer!) to America’s Biggest Little Water Park, Splashdown Beach, in Fishkill, NY for hours of water (and family) fun!
41.  Join the newest exercise craze (and a great family outing) at Bounce Trampoline Sports – jumping, playing, working out and having fun all on one massive indoor, interconnected trampoline. 42.  Or bounce away your sillies at Pump it Up - PJ Bounce, Glow Bounce, Pre-K Bounce, open bounce – a bounce for everyone.
43. Discover and learn at the New Jersey Children’s Museum – work on a construction zone, drive a fire truck, shop at the grocery store – and much more. 44. Learn about agriculture, food and the environment at the Fernbrook Farms Education Center - family events, camps, and homeschool programs also available.
45.  Take a hike at Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, visit the visitors’ center for a look at live animal exhibits, or head outside to catch a glimpse of the deer, eagles and more. 46.  Enjoy the fragrant blooms and butterfly garden at the Camden Children’s Garden….
47. …Then head across the water to Penn’s Landing for an afternoon of history, food and exploration. 48.  Grab the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins – bring the whole gang for a family reunion at Liberty Lakes - picnic pavilions, sport fields, pools and more….
49.  …Or grab a group of friends and bring the history of New Jersey’s native Lenape Indians to you with an educational and fun workshop from Traditional Earth Skills  (great for parties or scouts!). 50.  Sleep in a bunk like a sailor or sit in the Commanders chair on the Battleship New Jersey.
51.  Step back into time at the Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University and amble through the rooms of the mansion of NJs first governor, William Livingston. 52.  Climb aboard the New Hope and Ivy Railroad and experience travel from a long be-gone time as you toot-toot past the beautiful Bucks County scenery.
53.  Enjoy a mother-daughter afternoon crafting personalized jewelry at Just Bead It (special events also available!). 54.  Get ready to fly a rocket, hot air balloon or model airplane! Hobby Quest runs private ‘hobby clubs’ – perfect for the family!  Learn the science behind the models then head out to fly them together…
55. …Or explore the history of aviation at the Aviation Hall of Fame Museum at Teteboro Airport. 56.  Learn about Colonial and American History as you tour the Old Barracks Museum, an historical prison where American soldiers lived and British soldiers were jailed.
57. Interesting Fact #6: Did you know that Thomas Edison held 1093 Patents?  Check out some of his more famous inventions and learn about the science and history of this inventive man at the Thomas Edison National Historic Site. 58.  Tap your inner performer at the Cresskill Performing Arts School – classes for kids and adults, from dancing and acting to belly dancing, fencing, Legos and arts and crafts!
59.  Bring the museum to your next family gathering, scout event or birthday party with Dinosaur Rocks!  See and touch items from up 10,000 to 500 millions years ago! (Just be ready for the kids to ask if you were alive back then!) 60.  Meet Buttons and Genny, two resident Nile River Hippos weighing in a 3000lbs each at Adventure Aquarium in Camden.  
61.  Lace up the bowling shoes and line up the pins at the bowling lanes at Funplex. 62.  Experience the sights, smells and sounds of rural 1800 America as you stroll past authentic buildings at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm.
63.  Enjoy a four-season hike along boardwalks and trails through a variety of ecological systems, including marshes, meadows, dry woods and swamps at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center. 64.  Lions and tigers and bears, oh my - and bobcats hyenas, wild ponies, timber wolves, deer, leopards, monkeys, jaguars, coyotes, llamas, yaks, snakes…all these animals and more at the worlds largest private collection at Space Farms Zoo.
65.  Spend the day at Van Suan County Park – visit the Bergen County Zoo, inhale the sweet smell of flowers in historic Washington Spring Garden, ride the merry-go-round or train, picnic or romp on the playground (handicap accessible). 66.  Skate on over to Union Sports Arena for a spinning (or stumbling) good time….
67.  …Or try your hand at roller-skating or skate boarding at NJ’s only indoor Skate Park, Below The Bridge 68.  Take a ¼ mile underground walking educational adventure into the 4th oldest mine at Sterling Hill Mine Tour and Museum.
69.  Watch your child’s imagination explode as they explore a three story indoor playground at Kid-netic. 70.  En Guard - take a Mommy (or Daddy) and me fencing class at Hub City Fencing Academy.
71.  8 miles of track, 100 model trains, cities and villages created with thousands of buildings – welcome to the miniature train world of Northlandz. 72. Interesting Fact #7:  Did you know that although the tarantula has earned a creepy reputation, the bite of this hairy spider is actually weaker than that of a typical bee?  Learn about these arthropods and other creepy crawlies at Insectropolis.
73.  Fire up the Kiln – paint your own pottery creations at Time to Kiln in Red Bank. 74.  The perfect rainy day museum (and sunny days, too!) – explore the Wonder Wing at the Monmouth Museum - a pirate ship, tiki theater, tree house and more!
75.  Celebrate Earth Day on April 20th at Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center – or visit any day for hands on learning about wetlands habitats and wildlife. 76. Let kids be kids at Kidz Villagethey can play, explore, learn and slide at this indoor playground….
77. …Or jump, jump, jump at The Jumping Jungle, 10,000 square feet of inflatable fun! 78.  Walk through favorite childhood stories and classic nursery rhymes – and enjoy the thrill of family rides at Storybook Land
79.   Fire up the cannons and get ready to find the sunken treasure aboard a pirate ship with the Jersey Shore Pirates 80. …Or relax as you cruise up the calm inland waters of the Manasquan Bay, Pleasant Canal and Barnegat Bay on the River Belle and River Queen.
81.  Take a stroll through a meadow, spot frogs, fish and birds at a pond, get a taste of Japan in a Japanese garden – all this and more at Deep Cut Gardens. 82. Interesting Fact #8 - Did you know that the first recorded skate invention, by John Joseph Merlin, was in 1760!  How about a glide around the rink at Roller Magic Roller Rink?
83.  Climb 266 feet to the top of the Mount Mitchell Scenic Overlook - the highest overlook in the Atlantic Highlands from Maine to the Yucatan.  Enjoy breathtaking views of Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook Bay, Raritan Bay and the New York skyline…. 84.   …Then climb up to the top of the Twin Towers Lighthouse, operational since 1764.
85. Make a day of it at the 565-acre Holmdel Park - Longstreet Farm, David C Shaw Arboretum, fishing, picnic areas, tennis courts, playgrounds, and 10 miles of trails. 86.  Step back into 1836 and the time of the Industrial Revolution.  Historic interpreters help the whole family learn and enjoy the life of a village of this part of history at Historic Allaire Village.
87.  Catch a show in a 3-D video space dome and take a journey to the edge of the universe at Robert J. Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College. 88. Next door to the modern (and current fire house) in Cape May is the Cape May Fire Museum, a tribute to the past, complete with retired apparatus and historical photos.
89. Experience a different form of art at The Grounds for Sculpture, an indoor and outdoor sculpture garden displaying both well-known and emerging artists. 90 Shoot up 45 stories at 128 miles per hour on the Kingda Ka – or tons of other thrills and family rides at Six Flags Great Adventure.  
91. Go on a family wildlife safari as you stroll among the grounds of the Cape May County Zoo - over 550 animals representing over 250 species… 92. …Or get up close to a variety of avian wonders at the Raptor Trust, one of the worlds premier rehabilitation centers.
93. Stroll in the woods, take a hike to the pond, or enjoy the interactive exhibits and live animal collection at The Tenafly Nature Center. 94.  Have a swimmingly good time, any time of the year, at Coco Keys Water resort, an indoor water park with millions of gallons of fun.
95. Check out Tripod Rock (a 160 ton rock balancing on three smaller rocks) and other natural wonders at Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area. 96.  Create, learn and view art at the Visual Arts Center in Summit – a perfect gallery for kids of all ages - small enough not to bore, but chock full of education and fun.
97.  Gear up for Glow in the Dark Laser Tag – and tons of other family activities at Planet 301. 98. Mosey on over to Wild West City – complete with real life western characters, live events, a replica frontier town and train, pony and stage coach rides.
99.  Enjoy a family show at the IZOD Center – everything from Disney, Mickey, the circus and more! 100.  Spare an hour or two and head over for a ball of a time at Plaza Lanes
101. And when you’re back home after a busy day of exploring, playing and learning, cuddle up for a snuggle and a little love – and make your own list of your favorite family field trips!

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