Looking for something fun to do with the kids? Take advantage of New Jersey’s amazing museums, zoos, aquariums and yes — even a dinosaur park. Here are our top picks for the best family activities in the state.
Field Station Dinosaurs
The new Field Station Dinosaurs attraction is a lot like Jurassic Park — minus the man-eating dinosaurs. Here, you’ll travel back 90 million years and encounter 30 life-size animatronic dinosaurs, including the unbelievably enormous 90-foot-long Argentinasaurus. Scientists, robotocists and artists worked together to create a realistic environment where families can experience life during the time of the dinosaurs. Interactive games, thrilling shows and team activities let you see what it’s like to be a paleontologist, witness Tyrannosaurus rex’s feeding time and create memories you won’t soon forget.
Location: Secaucus, New Jersey
Online Rates: Adults $20, children ages 3-12 and seniors $18, ages 2 and under free
Box Office Rates: Adults $25, children ages 3-12 and seniors $20, ages 2 and under free
There’s a reason Adventure Aquarium is called America’s most touchable aquarium. This hands-on aquarium has plenty of opportunities for kids to interact with the animals through programs like the Shark Feeding Fury, Positively Penguins Adventure and Up Close programs with hippos and sea turtles. Kids ages six and under will enjoy the new KidZone area that’s all about learning through play.
Location: Camden, New Jersey
Rates: General admission tickets are $24 for adults and $18 for children. There are additional charges for Behind the Scene programs.
Garden State Discovery Museum
The Garden State Discovery Museum is a place for kids to play, learn and explore. Imagination rules at this museum, where exhibits include a mini ’50s diner, a pretend Vet & Pet shop, a farm stand and a kid-size newsroom. Kids get to use their minds and their muscles at the Discovery Museum with a pint-size golf course and hockey rink. Come after 2 p.m. during the week to avoid field trip crowds.
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Rates: $11 for adults and children 12 months and over, $10 for seniors
Six Flags Great Adventure
Get ready for a day of adrenaline-pumping fun at Six Flags Great Adventure. There’s something for the whole family, with rides for the little kids, roller coasters the whole family can enjoy and mega coasters for the serious thrill seekers. Fuel up with a burger and fries from Johnny Rocket or an ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s, and then head back to the coasters for more heart-pounding fun.
Location: Jackson, New Jersey
Rates: General admission $62, junior (under 54 inches) $40, 2 and under free. Safari upgrade with the purchase of a theme park ticket is $13. Save $20 by purchasing tickets online in advance.
Essex County Turtle Back Zoo
The expansive Turtle Back Zoo is home to a wide range of animals, including the American alligator, black bear, prairie dog, river otter and African penguin. While you’re there, swing by the neighboring Essex County Treetop Adventure and see what it’s like to be a monkey as you traverse the challenging aerial ropes course.
Location: West Orange, New Jersey
Rates: Adults $10, children and seniors $7, children under age 2 free