Can’t wait for vacation but can’t get the time off or it’s too expensive? Take a mini-trip to one of the many attractions throughout the state! From glow in the dark rock mines to historical museums, and visiting wildlife it’s an easy car ride to one of these great NJ day trip destinations.

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum

30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg
Take a ¼ mile underground walking educational adventure into the 4th oldest mine in the country and the last working underground mine in NJ. Along the way you will see a mining equipment history display, a drilling and blasting demonstration and the world famous and unforgettable fluorescent “Rainbow Tunnel” where everybody gets to take home a fluorescent mineral specimen. 8/27: Mineral Collecting at Sterling Hill.

Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center

1000 Village Dr, Millville
Watch world class glass art created in the Glass Studio. Tour the Museum of American Glass with its notable collection. Walk through the Craft Studios and see skilled artists at work. Browse through a selection of handcrafted gift items in their museum store. A variety of special events, exhibitions and educational programs are offered throughout the year. 8:18-20: Open Weekend - Free Admission.  8/20: Fire Muster

Lakota Wolf Preserve

89 Mount Pleasant Road, Columbia
Wolf Watch tours are led by owner Jim Stein and Becky Mace, who have raised and care for all the animals at the preserve. During their presentations you will learn about the social structure of wolf packs, their eating habits, their interaction with man, and many other interesting facts.  You will be surrounded by 4 different packs of wolves with lots of opportunities to take pictures.

The Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center

605 Pequest Rd., Oxford
The Pequest facility includes a Natural Resource Education Center for environmental education as well as a trout hatchery.  They produce up to 700,000 trout annually for stocking in the public waters of New Jersey.  You learn about trout and how they are raised, as well as to use the 5,000 acres that surrounds the hatchery for recreational opportunities such as hiking, hunting and bird watching, while great fishing opportunities abound in the nearby Pequest River.

Cape May

This town has a lot to offer.  Check out the beautiful ocean views from the top of the historic 1858 Cape May lighthouse or World War II Fire Control Tower No. 23. Both are located at Cape May Point State Park. Visit the animals at the free Cape May County Park and Zoo or try spotting whales and dolphins aboard the aptly named Cape May Whale Watcher. Then take your binoculars to the Cape May Bird Observatory – the “birding migration capital of North America.”

Liberty Hall Museum

1003 Morris Avenue, Union
Liberty Hall invites you to journey through time as they recreate history through the experiences of one American family.  Explore the rooms of the mansion that welcomed many distinguished guests, such as George and Martha Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, William Howard Taft, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, and George Herbert Walker Bush.  Admire Victorian-era women's fashions and sip tea on the glass-enclosed porch overlooking the formal English gardens. Finish with a garden tour highlighting some of New Jersey’s oldest trees. There is something for everyone at Liberty Hall Museum, one of Union County’s best-kept secrets. Tuesdays in Aug: A Child's View of History.  8/31: William Livingston Day!

Tubing / Canoes / Rafting TRIPS

Nothing brings your family together, or gets your adrenaline pumping, more than careening down river through various rapids and hearing your husband scream in the same pitch as your five year old daughter, priceless ... or enjoying a scenic trip along the river and then picnic afterwards. Some places to seek out include the Delaware River Tubing in Frenchtown (free BBQ meal at "The Famous River Hot Dog Man" with rental), Twin Rivers Tubing in Philipsburg (enjoy the Lehigh River Falls, and then wander to the historic downtown area), Winding River Campground in Mays Landing (where you can float down the Egg Harbor River) and Kittatinny Canoes in PA (fun tubing trips and beach campground facilities with bathhouse). You 'll have a blast, or at least memories!

NJ State Parks

New Jersey is a diverse 8,700-plus square miles, featuring coastal plains, pine barrens, mountains, rivers and rolling hills, farm land and more - and the best way to enjoy the true beauty of our state is take a hike at a local nature center, state park or wildlife refuge center. Often, sights have visitor centers explaining the geographical features of the region, wildlife viewing stations and rangers to answer questions. Best of all, many are free! So put on your walking shoes, grab a water bottle, and pack a picnic for a fun-filled (and free) day exploring the beauty and nature of New Jersey. Visit the Parks and Playgrounds list for places to go hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, etc.

Tuckerton Seaport & Bayman's Museum

125 Main St, Tuckerton (Central NJ) This is a working maritime village and museum offering an educational and historical look into the rich past of this Jersey Shore area while entertaining children and adults alike. There is mini golf, boat rides, food and entertainment. Best time to visit is when they have kid friendly events.  Friday Night Concerts.  8/12-13, 11am-5pm: TRUCKerton Food Truck & Brew Fest

Storm King Art Center (Northern) Cornwall, NY

Art in the park! Roam around 500 acres of rolling hills and wide open grass and look for gigantic abstract sculptures. You really feel a true sense of a wonderful lost civilization in Upstate New York. To make it interesting for kids, start a scavenger hunt. There is also a 40 minute tram ride around the park, or rent bicycles. Bring a picnic lunch, water camera and blanket. Simply beautiful, peaceful and relaxing. Nearby is a cute town and lots of shopping at the outdoor Woodbury Commons.