Winter Day Trips and Activities in New Jersey and Beyond: Indoor/Outdoor Winter Fun in NJ

Thursday, January 20, 2022
Winter day trip ideas are a big topic of a discussion on message boards and in Facebook groups. It's hard to figure out where to take the kids when the weather is bad. Finding fun indoor play ideas is hard enough, but entertaining kids on the weekend or during a vacation when it's too cold to do anything else, well, that ain't easy! So here's a list of over 45 fun things to do in and around The Garden State during the winter months. From play mazes to museums, I've got ya covered!

* Freshly updated for 2021-2022!*


I'll update and add to this list as I find new places to visit (or if places close). Please bookmark this article or Pin it on Pinterest so you can come back to it every year!


New Jersey Winter Day Trip Ideas

**Due to the pandemic, some of these venues may have new safety protocols or restricted hours put in place. Some may also require masks or proof of vaccination upon entry. Please call ahead and adhere to each location's safety requirements. I noted any venue listed that is temporarily closed. Always call ahead or check websites for the most current information.

Here are some of our favorite places to visit during the winter months! We've visited most of them first-hand so I can attest that they're worth seeing. If I have written a post about the venue, you'll find the link leads to my review. 

*venues below are open for business unless otherwise noted!

American Dream (mall and many attractions) - East Rutherford, NJ 
Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park (American Dream) - East Rutherford, NJ
Dreamworks Water Park (American Dream) - East Rutherford, NJ
Morris Museum - Morristown, NJ 
Jenkinson's Aquarium - Pt. Pleasant, NJ
Atlantic City Aquarium - Atlantic City, NJ (temporarily closed)
Montclair Art Museum - Montclair, NJ 
Sterling Mining Museum - Ogdensburg, NJ 
Northlandz Train Museum - Flemington, NJ
Liberty Science Center - Jersey City, NJ 
Battleship NJ - Camden, NJ 
Adventure Aquarium - Camden, NJ 
Whippany Railway Museum - Hanover, NJ 
Imagine That! - Florham Park, NJ 
Thomas Edison Center - Menlo Park, NJ 
Newark Museum - Newark, NJ 
Garden State Discovery Museum - Cherry Hill, NJ (temporarily closed, reopens March 2022)
Old Barracks Museum - Trenton, NJ 
Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum - Wildwood, NJ 
Medieval Times - Lyndhurst, NJ 
Branchburg Sports Complex - Branchburg, NJ 
Nex Level Arena - Flemington, NJ
Villa Roller Rink - Broadway, NJ 
Frenchtown Roller Rink - Frenchtown, NJ 
The Funplex - East Hanover, NJ 
Pole Position Raceway - Jersey City, NJ 
Sahara Sam's Oasis - West Berlin, NJ 
Speed Raceway & Axe Throwing - Cinnaminson, NJ 
Bridgewater Sports Arena (ice skating and more) - Bridgewater, NJ 
Raritan Valley College Planetarium - Branchburg, NJ 
Dreyfus Planetarium Newark, NJ 
Longo Planetarium - Randolph, NJ (temporarily closed)
iPlay America - Freehold, NJ 
Robert Novins Planetarium - Toms River, NJ 
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts - Madison, NJ 
Lakota Wolf Preserve - Columbia, NJ (outdoors) 
Turtle Back Zoo - West Orange, NJ (outdoors, with some indoor areas) 
Grounds for Sculpture - Hamilton, NJ (outdoors) 
Yestercades -Somerville, Red Bank, Westfield, NJ
Morristown Game Vault - Morristown, NJ
New Jersey SEA LIFE Aquarium (American Dream) - East Rutherford, NJ
LEGOLAND Discovery Center New Jersey (American Dream) - East Rutherford, NJ 
The Raptor Trust - Millington, NJ (outdoors)
The Great Swamp Experience - Basking Ridge, NJ 
Tac Ops Laser Tag - Fairfield, NJ 
Popcorn Park Animal Refuge - Forked River, NJ 
Bergen County Zoo - Hackensack, NJ
Cape May County Zoo - Cape May, NJ


Pennsylvania Winter Day Trip Ideas

If you're up for a road trip, these Pennsylvania locations are not far from New Jersey and can certainly keep the kids occupied on a cold winter day!

Due to the pandemic, some of these venues may have new safety protocols or restricted hours put in place. Some may also require masks or proof of vaccination upon entry. Please call ahead and adhere to each location's safety requirements. I noted any venue listed that is temporarily closed. Always call ahead or check websites for the most current information.

America on Wheels Auto Museum - Allentown, PA 
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Philadelphia - Plymouth Meeting, PA 
Crayola Experience - Easton, PA 
Mercer Museum - Doylestown, PA 
DaVinci Science Center - Allentown, PA 
Hershey's Chocolate World - Hershey, PA 
Hersheypark Chocolatetown - Hershey, PA
Hershey Gardens - Hershey, PA  
ZooAmerica - Hershey, PA
The Hershey Story Museum - Hershey, PA 
Crystal Cave - Kutztown, PA 
Lost River Caverns - Hellertown, PA 
Lehigh Valley Zoo - Shnecksville, PA 
Philadelphia Zoo - Philadelphia, PA 
Philadelphia Museum of Art - Philadelphia, PA 
The Franklin Institute - Philadelphia, PA 
The Turkey Hill Ice Cream Experience - Columbia, PA 
Please Touch Museum - Philadelphia, PA
Cabela's - Hamburg, PA 
Martin Guitar and Visitor Center - Nazareth, PA 


If you like this post, be sure to check out my other interactive day trip articles, including:

-Best New Jersey Day Trips (and PA, too!)
-10 Fun Spring Day Trips in New Jersey (Pennsylvania and New York, too!)
-The Great Big List of Fall Day Trips in New Jersey and Beyond!
-The Great Big List of Summer Day Trip Ideas in New Jersey and Beyond!


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