Kids do a ton of learning outside of the classroom. From the time they get home from school until they return the next morning, kids are like little sponges following you around, absorbing any information you provide them. This is especially true during vacations from school—whether it’s a weekend at home or a summer break.

Parents in the Garden State can find a ton of fun and educational things to do with their kiddos when they are not in school. The following ten suggestions are projects or activities you can find near you or do at home.

Outside Your Home

  • Located in Newark, the Alice and Leonard Dreyfuss Planetarium is an interactive theater that helps teach kids of all ages about space, astronomy and the science related to planets and stars. Star gazers will enjoy learning about the constellations, space travel and much more in the state-of-the-art planetarium.
  • One of the best ways to teach kids about the amazing creatures who live in the water is to take them to an aquarium. The Adventure Aquarium in Camden has a popular KidZone, where your child can get up close with a variety of animals including stingrays and sharks.
  • Families who live near Jersey City are sure to have a great time at the Liberty Science Center. If your kids enjoy trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube, they will love the world’s first museum exhibition devoted to the colorful puzzle—the 7,000 square foot exhibit is devoted to games, puzzles and art all related to the Rubik’s Cube.
  • It only makes sense that The Garden State has lovely botanical gardens at Skylands in Ringwood. This garden is home to many unusual plant species from all around the world, and the facility offers family hikes where kids can learn about the flora and fauna in the region.
  • Taking kids to a Broadway play in New York City is a great cultural experience. Your kids can experience a great story along with acting, singing, dancing and orchestral music.

Inside Your Home

  • Younger children who are working on learning their numbers will enjoy this fun activity from For this activity, kids can squeeze some hair gel and a drop or two of food coloring into a zippered bag. Next, drop 10 beads into the bag, and add a strip of tape to the outside of the bag. Kids can then practice their counting and math skills by moving the beads in the bag around the tape.
  • If you want to encourage a love of reading, have a family reading time. This way your kids can learn to enjoy reading while getting help and encouragement from you and their siblings.
  • Kids who like cooking will enjoy making their own butter. All you need to do is pour some whipping cream into a clean small jar and have your kiddo shake it as hard as they can. After a few minutes, butter should start to form, which they can then spread on their toast or bagel.
  • A fun activity to teach logic and problem solving skills is an indoor scavenger hunt. You can hide items around your home and then give your kids a list of clues to help them find them. For example, a coffee mug that is hidden in the living room can be found with the help of a coffee bean clue. Younger kids can be encouraged with additional verbal clues as they search for the items.
  • Kids who have a budding love of gardening will enjoy growing their own avocado from a seed. All that is needed for this activity is a glass, some toothpicks and a fresh avocado pit. While your kiddo fills the glass with water, you can poke toothpicks into the side of the seed. Then, place the seed on the brim of the glass so the toothpicks rest on the side, making sure the bottom half is in the water. You and your child can keep tabs on the seed over the next week or so and watch as it starts to sprout into the water. Once a main stem comes up, it can be planted in soil.