Whether you’re a history buff, a boat enthusiast, or you just want to spend a day inside in an air conditioned building while learning something – there is definitely an interesting site to explore. We have picked seven unique historical sites that offer different experiences compared to your typical museum. Bring learning to life at a historical village, see a reenactment of the Revolutionary War, or climb in the cockpit of a real aircraft. Special Tip: Blue Star Museums offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Have Fun
The Schooner A.J. Meerwald is New Jersey’s official Tall Ship. She is a restored oyster dredging schooner. You can take a ride on one of the many public sailing trips throughout the summer. Free hands-on children’s activities, educational programs, entertainment. Explore the outdoor environment.
Batsto Village features a 19th century ironworks and glass making industrial center, now a museum village with 33 historic buildings and structures. Tour a Batsto Mansion, a 32 room house that served as the residence of generations of the town’s iron masters. Additional structures include a post office, gristmill and general store. Step back in time, walk the village streets and look into the restored buildings and you will almost visualize an earlier time and different way of living. Take a canoe for a guided nature trip on the lake.
Old Barracks Museum is a state and national landmark for interpreting colonial life, providing engaging interactive experiences in “living history”, illustrating the turning point of the American Revolution. Exhibits and collections inspire curiosity and illuminate similarities and differences between 18th-century lives and ours.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey offers you an opportunity to view historic aircraft, air and space artifacts, photographs, fine art and an extensive model collection. Take the free self-guided walking tour. Look for the open cockpit weekend so you can see and sit in many of the aircraft from helicopters to airplanes.
The Historic Village at Allaire is one of the premier living history museums. Once an iron-producing, factory-town known as the Howell Iron Works, Co. the Village was a self-sufficient community containing a carpentry and pattern making shop, a blacksmith shop, a bakery, a boarding house, a blast furnace, mills to finish iron products, a school, a church, a general store with a post office, and workers’ home. Iron produced at the village was used to produce steam engines parts. Today, it is an interactive museum where visitors can experience history directly through hands-on activities. Located within Allaire State Park.
The New Jersey Museum of Boating celebrates our state’s rich maritime history. They show an inside look at the boats built in New Jersey and the related marine equipment and materials traditionally used in the process. On display are 11 miniature historic lighthouses of NJ where you can learn their history and architectural characteristics. As part of their mission, they are working to educate today’s youth on the history of boating in NJ. Programs includes basic boating safety, sailing for kids, and family boat building.
New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, Vietnam Era Museum and Educational Center honors the sacrifices made by NJ residents who gave their lives while serving in Southeast Asia. The Educational Center is the only one of its kind in the nation. Covering the walls is a chronology of the war that presents a historical recollection of the events of the era, shown in two concurrent timelines -- one reflecting the activity in Vietnam and the other reflecting events in the US.