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Things To Do In Central New Jersey

Tour The Lab At Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Fossil digging in Colt’s Neck New Jersey, things to do in NJ

Thomas Edison National Historical Park is a must-see venue for science lovers and anyone else interested in the process of inventing life-changing creations like the electric light system, motion pictures, and the phonograph.

Edison had three laboratories in New Jersey: one in Newark, one in Menlo Park, and the lab on display at this park in West Orange.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park consists of four main areas: the Visitor Center, where you can watch an orientation film and visit the museum store the Main Laboratory Building, which includes Thomas Edison’s library, music room, and machine shops the Glenmont Greenhouse, which boasts exotic plants favored by the Edison family and the Glenmont Garage, where guests can see Edison’s historic vehicles.

The Thomas Edison Laboratory Complex on Glenmont Grounds is open Fridays through Sundays from 10am to 4pm. The Glenmont Estate is open to visitors as of early summer 2022.

Address: 211 Main Street, West Orange, New Jersey

Atlantic City And Boardwalk

Its difficult to think of New Jersey without conjuring up images of Atlantic City and its famous Boardwalk.

Atlantic City is considered the “Gambling Capital of the East Coast”. You can try your luck in gambling at some of the best casinos along the boardwalk including Atlantic Club, Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Trump Plaza, and many more.

The Boardwalk is the lifeline of the coastal city and youll find everything from an amusement park to a historic lighthouse along this four-mile-long promenade.

At Steel Pier, youll find all the typical fun park rides, an observation wheel for views of the city and ocean, and an aquarium.

Down at the Absecon Lighthouse, one of the oldest in the country, visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top for picturesque views and a look at the original first-order Fresnel Lens first lit in 1857.

On the Garden Pier, find the Atlantic City historical museum and Atlantic City Art Center, whereas, on The AC Boardwalk, youll be delighted by a shopping extravaganza of souvenirs, saltwater taffy and fudge.

Address: 3109 Boardwalk,Atlantic City, NJ 08401

Escape the city and breathe in the fresh sea air of Ocean City, among the most popular places to visit in New Jersey.

This popular family beach resort area offers nearly eight miles of gorgeous beachfront, perfect for lounging and playing in the waves.

This is where youll also find the Music Pier, home to the Ocean City Pops.

Rockingham State Historic Site

Rockingham State Historic Site preserves the historic home of John Berrien, which served as George Washington’s final headquarters throughout the Revolutionary War. The Franklin Township attraction was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, relocated from a hillside at Rocky Hill on the eastern side of the Millstone River. Visitors can view the historic home in its completely restored condition, which showcases period-appropriate furnishings and Washington military reproductions. Guided tours are offered between August and November, elaborating on historical events that took place within the home, including the writing of Washington’s “Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States.” A children’s museum is also maintained at the site, along with an 18th-century kitchen garden.

84 Laurel Ave, Kingston, NJ 08528, Phone: 609-683-7132

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Discover New Jersey’s Lakes

A day on the water can be incredibly restorative, and those who aren’t up for the hassle of beach parking and crowded boardwalks have plenty of options. New Jersey is home to many lakes, large and small, that offer cool swimming beaches and opportunities to kayak, canoe, and paddleboat.

Those looking for more excitement will find several motorized boats for group fishing outings and sports like water-skiing.

Located only 40 miles from New York City, Lake Hopatcong is the central feature in the state park of the same name. All along its 45-mile shore, visitors will find beaches, parks, restaurants, and recreational facilities.

Lake Carnegie, a man-made reservoir named for its wealthy benefactor, who was determined to create a suitable place for the Ivy-League crew team to practice, is located in Princeton. Although swimming is not allowed, catch-and-release fishing is welcome.

Another excellent man-made lake for fishing is Deal Lake, located close to Asbury Park Beach.

Best Things To Do In New Jersey Fun Activities & Stuff To Do

40 Things To Do &  Places To Visit In New Jersey
  • Tanner Wilkes

New Jersey is arguably the most overlooked travel destination on the East Coast.

For decades, the Garden State has been overshadowed by its neighbors, New York and Connecticut.

But, guess what?

The state has a plethora of beauty, excitement and charm to offer.

From world-class casinos to pastoral countryside, the state surely has plenty going on.

So, start planning your vacation here by checking our tips for the best things to do in New Jersey.

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Big Brook Park Fossil Site

We went to Big Brook to look for fossils last summer. It was an amazing adventure filled day. Big Brook is a stream that runs through Monmouth County, NJ. The specific location we went to is in Marlboro NJ, but there are other spots. It is a great spot for a hike, but wait, there is more! On the outside it looks like a very ordinary stream, but on the inside it is filled with fossils from the late Cretaceous Period. The kids and adults all had fun being archeologists for the day and looking for real fossils. You can read about our visit HERE. You can also find more info about the location HERE.

Traverse The Sharks At Adventure Aquarium

It’s easy to see why Adventure Aquarium has ranked among the top 10 aquariums in the States. Not only is it home to more than 15,000 aquatic animals, but this expansive venue boasts interactive exhibits, touch tanks, and creatures you won’t find at other area aquariums, like two massive Nile hippos.

Shark lovers should schedule extra time to explore this family-friendly attraction. The 40-foot shark tunnel puts you in the middle of the action, while traversing Shark Bridge is not for the faint of heart. At 81 feet, this is the longest V-shaped rope suspension bridge in the world. The brave souls who cross it will hover mere inches above the Shark Realm.

Other fun activities on offer include touching stingrays in Stingray Beach Club, ogling the world’s smallest penguins, and coming face to claw with a blue American lobster.

Address: 1 Riverside Drive, Camden, New Jersey

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See Museums With No Entry Fees

Did you know you can use your NJ Library card to get you into a museum for free? Visit places like Battleship NJ or Imagine That in Florham Park for up to four people for free. Most passes are loaned for three days, including the day you pick up the pass. While not every library participates, its best to check with yours to see if they do . Another way to visit museums for nothing? If your bank is Bank of America, you can sign up for free museum days at over 225 museums all over the USA, including 6 museums throughout NJ.

Beyond The Plate Food Tours Jersey City New Jersey

Fun things for the holidays in central New Jersey! (With links!)

Beyond the Plate Food Tours provides visitors to New Jersey a unique and delicious way to delve into the foodie culture of a variety of New Jersey destinations including Jersey City, Somerville and Red Bank. Your guided walking tour of each destinations hottest and most iconic restaurants and bars include stops at several tasting locations, a few drinks, and the chance to chat to the chefs, owners, bakers, brewers or wine-makers. Food tours offer a unique way to gain an insight into a towns foodie scene, taste some regional specialties, and to seek out the best establishments to return to during the remainder of your visit.

Phone: 551-233-9553

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Useful Info On How To Visit New Jersey

To visit New Jersey its best to use Newark Liberty International Airport. EWR is located a short 9-mile drive from Manhattan. Olympia Trails offers regular daily shuttle service between the airport and Manhattan from 5:30 am to 10:50 pm for those wishing to combine a New York and New Jersey trip.

Newark Liberty International Airport Station is also served by New Jersey Transits rail system and Amtraks Northeast Regional trains. This makes it possible for visitors to easily get to any stop in the Northeast Corridor and New Jersey coast.

New Jersey Transit buses offer service from EWR to Newark Penn Station where connections are available to all NJ Transit rail lines. For more information, check out the New Jersey Transit website for rail and bus routes, pricing, and schedules.

Rental cars, private limousines, car services, and taxis are also available to and from the airport.

Jenn Lloydis a blogger and television comedy writer originally from Hopatcong, New Jersey. Her television writing credits include Shake It Up, KC Undercover, The Thundermans, and The Barbarian and The Troll.

Jenn lives with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and even though shes tied to her medical team back home, shes made it her lifes goal to see as much of the world as possible, spread information about accessible travel, and inspire other disabled travelers to explore new places. See what shes up to on Sick Girl Travels where wanderlust and disability meet!

Top 10 Things To Do In New Jersey

EDITORS NOTE: WE ONLY SHARE PLACES, PRODUCTS AND ACTIVITIES WE RECOMMEND. IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE USING A LINK ON OUR SITE, WE MAY EARN A COMMISSION.

New Jersey is known as the Garden State, but its New Jerseys shorelines on the Atlantic, Thomas Edison, boardwalks, amusement parks, county parks, state parks and art museums that draw visitors each year.

Located on the East Coast and just across from New York City, New Jersey offers the perfect getaway.

The list of fun things to do in New Jersey is long, so weve compiled the top 10 things to do and see while visiting New Jersey. Pack your swimsuit and your sense of outdoor adventure and historic interests.

  • Ocean at Cape May, New Jersey. Photo by Craig Terry Cape May County Tourism
  • Beach houses in Cape May. Photo by Craig Terry Cape May County Tourism
  • Fine and casual dining options in Cape May. Photo by Craig Terry Cape May County Tourism
  • Cape May harbor. Photo by Craig Terry Cape May County Tourism
  • Beach days at Cape May. Photo by Craig Terry Cape May County Tourism

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Board The Ferry For Ellis Island From Liberty State Park

There’s no quieter way to see New York City than from the water. A calm ride on the Liberty Landing Ferry will take visitors from Liberty State Park to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with no traffic in sight. Along the way, guests are wowed by close-up views of Lady Liberty, as well as panoramic vistas of the Manhattan skyline.

Before you board the ferry, be sure to spend time in Liberty State Park. And by time, we mean at least half a day. A natural oasis set in the heart of urban New Jersey, this park boasts a two-mile promenade along the Hudson River that’s perfect for walking, jogging, or biking.

This is also where you’ll find the “Empty Sky” 9/11 Memorial and the Historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal.

Location: Ferries depart from the boat dock behind the Liberty House Restaurant , Jersey City, NJ

Visit The Liberty Science Center

The Best Museums for Kids in Northern New Jersey

You’ll want to schedule at least three hours to spend at Liberty Science Center. This massive 300,000-square-foot learning center is packed with interactive exhibits, a collection of live animals, giant aquariums, and a 3D theater, just to name a few of its impressive attributes.

A one-stop-shop for fun, it’s not shocking that so many families choose to stay all day . Minecraft: The Exhibition is a beloved section where kids can come face to block with life-sized characters from the game. Little ones up to age five can learn about balance and motion in Wobbly World, and everyone’s welcome to unleash their inner paleontologist in the Dino Dig Adventure.

Don’t let hunger interrupt your fun√Ęthe is a modern food hall featuring tons of hot and cold food to placate even the pickiest of eaters.

Address: Liberty State Park, 222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, New Jersey

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Thomas Edison National Historic Park

This is another Thomas Edison place we would like to visit. The admission is $7.00 for adults, and since kids under 16 are free, for us that would just be the $10.00. They have a great website with so much information before you head there, I highly recommend you take a look HERE. We have recently visited this place, and found it to be very interesting. Be sure to check out more about our visit HERE.

Climb Through The Trees At Turtle Back Zoo

If you have kids in tow, head to Turtle Back Zoo. One of the best zoos in New Jersey, this Essex County gem is a beloved spot to introduce little ones to wildlife.

The zoo first opened in June of 1963 and is set on over 15 acres in the South Mountain Reservation. It is home to more than 200 species from across the globe and features 10 regional exhibits with creatures originating everywhere from Africa to Australia to right here in New Jersey. In all, you might spy 800 animals!

Whether your kid is an alligator lover, a sea turtle fan, or a wallaby wannabe, they’ll love spending a day at this fun zoo.

Address: 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, New Jersey

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Stairway To Heaven Hike

This hike is part of the Appalachian trail. It is right off rt. 94 in Vernon NJ. We hiked the more difficult side of the hike that scaled a side of the mountain, and it was all uphill on the way there. The views were worth every step. We saw an amazing forest filled the the most beautiful yellow leaves , and a cool sculpture, and of course the views! Across the street, the trail continues North, going through farm pasture, across the train tracks, and looks much easier. It can be a little difficult to find where the hike starts, but if you read more about our visit you will see how to get there. Click HERE.

Morristown National Historical Park

Things to Do in NJ | Five Parks

Morristown National Historical Park was the United States’ first National Historical Park at its founding in 1933. The 1,676-acre park protects a number of sites related to the American Revolutionary War, including General George Washington’s Headquarters at Ford Mansion, which is known as the site of the Revolutionary War’s “hard winter.” Washington’s Headquarters Museum showcases three exhibit rooms and showings of the documentary film Morristown: Where America Survived. Fort Nonsense overlooks Morristown’s landscape atop a hilltop overlook, while Jockey Hollow preserves the site of a former Continental Army encampment. More than 24 miles of hiking trails are also offered, along with the preserved New Jersey Brigade Encampment Site, which was used by large populations of soldiers throughout the winter of 1779-1780.

30 Washington Pl, Morristown, NJ 07960, Phone: 973-543-1949

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Six Flags Great Adventure And Wild Safari

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Give yourself a full day to enjoy Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari, a top family-friendly things to do in New Jersey.

Choose from more than 100 rides, shows and attractions in themed areas.

Get the adrenaline pumping on rip-roaring roller coasters, like the wooden coaster El Toro and the steel monsters, Nitro and The Joker.

Little kids have their own area with rides and activities tailored just for them.

In the unique Wild Safari section of the park, youll find Safari Off Road Adventure.

Guests are guided on an off-road tour through a 350-acre wildlife preserve in a safari-style vehicle the perfect vantage point to see up to 1,200 species of animals from around the world, including elephants, rhinos, bears and giraffes.

Address: 1 Six Flags Blvd,Jackson, NJ 08527

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Tetyana Ohare / Shutterstock

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is both picturesque and loads of outdoor, scenic fun!

This is a pit stop on your trip to New Jersey that you wont want to miss.

Comprising nearly 70,000 acres along more than 40 miles of the Delaware River, and over 100 miles of hiking trails, the park has so many memorable and breathtaking views.

Around every corner, youll observe plentiful plant life, agricultural farms, and abundant wildlife.

A visit to New Jerseys Delaware Water Gap is truly a breathtaking experience.

Beyond the natural splendor that you can explore on your own, there are other activities available as well.

In addition to exploring the park on your own, you can swim, paddle, boat, bike, fish, picnic, horseback ride, mountain climb, snowshoe, and so much more.

The adventures are limitless when visiting Delaware Water Gap.

Youll never see it all in one visit this is a place your family will love to visit for years to come.

Address: 1978 River Rd, Bushkill, PA 18324, United States

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Leonard J Buck Garden

This is a delightful garden located in the heart of NJ. The admission is free, and the grounds are beautiful. It is lovely in any season and can be enjoyed at any age. HERE is their website for more information, and HERE is more about our visit there. I have sneaked out there by myself several times, just to have a peaceful walk alone. It is beautiful in any season. One thing to remember is that the parking is limited, and on the weekend during spring, summer and fall it fills up very quickly. Be sure to call ahead and check for open hours.

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