If you’re looking for kids’ activities in New Jersey, you’ll find a ton of options to entertain kids of different ages. Families in New Jersey with younger kids can get hands-on with exhibits in the Garden State Discovery Museum, check out the petting zoo at Terhune Orchards, and ride the carousel at Van Saun County Park. If you're visiting New Jersey with kids who are older, you might enjoy exploring cool exhibits at the Liberty Science Center, going on a wolf tour at the Lakota Wolf Preserve, and riding thrill rides at Six Flags Great Adventure.
1. See the Statue of Liberty from Liberty State Park
Liberty State Park is located in Jersey City, overlooking spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty over the Hudson River. You can stroll along the waterfront, picnic in the park, and play on multiple playgrounds within Liberty State Park. On-site you’ll also find a nature center, a science center, and a 9/11 Memorial site, as well as a ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
2. Experience tornado-force winds inside a simulator in Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center is one of the unique family attractions in New Jersey and is located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. Within an expansive collection of exhibit halls, you’ll find everything from a 3D theater and live simulcast surgeries to live animal exhibits, a tornado simulator, and one of the biggest planetariums in the Western Hemisphere. Liberty Science Center hosts regular Special Needs Days that feature events and programs for guests of all abilities.
3. Go on fun thrill rides at Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure has a ton of different kids’ activities in New Jersey across its theme park and drive-through safari park. Inside Six Flags theme park, you’ll find a diverse collection of thrill rides, coasters, games, and attractions, including activities and rides for younger kids and families. On the Wild Safari Drive Through Adventure, you can see animals from around the world in a 350-acre preserve. Six Flags offers inclusive accommodations for visitors with autism, reduced mobility, and disabilities, and you can find more information available on their website.
4. Touch a shark in touch tanks at Adventure Aquarium
Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey, is known for its diverse marine life exhibits, including one of the largest collections of sharks within the Northeast. Kids can play in the aquatic-themed KidZone and interact with multiple touch tanks, including a shark touch exhibit. Adventure Aquarium offers inclusive resources and accommodations for those with specific accessibility needs or with sensory sensitivities.
5. Play games and go on rides at Steel Pier
Steel Pier in Atlantic City is a great spot for family fun in New Jersey, offering more than 20 rides, games, and attractions. You can find rides suited to different ages, including young kids, as well as classic fair food across snack bars and restaurants. Additional attractions at Steel Pier include The Wheel, a massive beachside Ferris wheel with enclosed gondolas, and AC Axe and Pub with fun ax-throwing lanes.
6. See animals and unique creatures at County Park and Zoo
If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids in Cape May, you can head over to the County Park and Zoo for animal attractions and family activities. Admission to the park and zoo is free, but remember to donate so they can continue their work in the community. In addition to animal exhibits, the zoo also offers unique animal encounters, guided tours, and special events. The zoo and park are wheelchair accessible and allow the use of strollers and wagons.
7. Enjoy hands-on children’s exhibits at Garden State Discovery Museum
The Garden State Discovery Museum is a hands-on children’s museum in Cherry Hill, best enjoyed by kids 10 and younger. Fully interactive spaces range from a Dinosaurium and a craft studio to a theater space, science experiments, and a storybook castle. A themed playspace is also available for toddlers 4 and under, as well as regular programs and shows within the Garden State Discovery Museum.
8. Ride a miniature train and carousel at Van Saun County Park
New Jersey attractions for kids include Van Saun County Park, located in Paramus and River Edge. Housed within the park are the Bergen County Zoological Park and the Washington Spring Garden. Additional kid-friendly attractions include a train ride and carousel, pony rides, multiple playgrounds, and plenty of open space to run around. An ADA-accessible playground here, Harmony Playground, includes a splash pad.
9. Explore the longest battleship ever built, the Battleship New Jersey
Battleship New Jersey is a floating museum aboard the longest battleship ever built, the USS New Jersey, anchored on the Delaware River in Camden. Kids especially enjoy exploring the battleship, climbing up and down ladders, navigating through passageways, and running across the expansive deck. On Saturdays, the ship hosts a Saluting Gun Shoot event where, for a fee, you can fire the 40mm saluting gun on the deck of the ship.
10. Play in a pier-side amusement park at Morey’s Piers and Water Parks
If you’re on the Jersey Shore with kids, you can check out Morey’s Piers and Water Parks for family fun. You can enjoy rides, games, and attractions spanning 6 beach blocks and spread across 3 amusement park piers and 2 beachside water parks. Locations include Surfside Pier and the Ocean Oasis WaterPark, Mariner’s Landing Pier and the Raging Waters Water Park, and Adventure Pier.
11. Explore a 19th-century ironmaking town in Allaire State Park
Within Allaire State Park is Historic Allaire Village, a 19th-century living history museum. Within the village, you can explore a general store, artisan workspaces, homes, and the visitor’s center. Allaire State Park also houses a heritage narrow-gauge train ride, the Pine Creek Railroad, a kid-favorite activity. You’ll find scenic walking trails, outdoor activities and sports, picnic areas, fishing spots, and camping spaces within Allaire State Park.
12. Ride bikes down the Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk offers a surprising number of kids’ activities in New Jersey, just off the Jersey Shore. Family-friendly activities range from exploring the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum to playing a competitive round of miniature golf, riding bikes down the boardwalk, and visiting Lucy the Elephant. For sweet treats on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, you can stop into local spots like IT’SUGAR, Fralinger's, and the James Candy Company.
13. Take a scenic drive through the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is located along a stretch of the Delaware River, on the border of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Within the park, you’ll find hundreds of miles of beautiful hiking trails and scenic drives, running the gambit of natural beauty between mountain peaks, ridges, streams, waterfalls, and flowered meadows. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area also houses ADA-accessible trails and paths, with more information available online.
14. Explore a historic estate within Duke Farms
At Duke Farms in Hillsborough, you can explore a sprawling estate and working farm that focuses on ecological sustainability. You’ll find restored historic buildings housing everything from educational classes and events to colorful blooms in the Orchid Range and remnant ruins from original buildings. A man-made lake system within the estate offers beautiful views and lakeside activities, as well as a tiered waterfall system from the side of Duke Reservoir.
15. Enjoy farm activities for kids and adults at Terhune Orchards
Terhune Orchards is a working farm in Lawrence Township with activities that will appeal to kids and adults alike. Kid-friendly activities include barnyard play areas, a petting zoo, activities and events, and pick-your-own crops throughout the year. Adult-friendly activities include a winery with wine tastings and events, plus a full farm store with fresh fruits and veggies, baked goods, and homemade apple cider.
16. Go on a wolf tour at the Lakota Wolf Preserve
At the Lakota Wolf Preserve, you can watch wolves interact on a Wolf Watch Tour of the preserve. Four different packs of wolves live within the preserve, and visitors can watch their natural behaviors and playful antics from the observation center of the tour. You may also catch sight of other wildlife, including foxes, lynx, and bobcats. The Lakota Wolf Preserve operates by reservation only and no walk-up admission is available, so be sure to book in advance.
17. Find your favorite animals at Turtle Back Zoo
Turtle Back Zoo, located in West Orange as part of the South Mountain Recreation Complex, is a fun spot to visit in New Jersey with kids. Diverse animal exhibits range from a sea turtle recovery center and touch tanks to Big Cat Country, Wolf Woods, and a Butterfly Tent. Turtle Back Zoo also offers kids rides, a mini-golf course, kids' play spaces, and a treetop adventure course.
18. Go snow-tubing at Ski Campgaw
On the slopes of Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah is Ski Campgaw, with seasonal alpine sports and wintertime family fun in New Jersey. With 100% snowmaking capabilities, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tubing both day and night during the winter season. Skiing and snowboarding instruction is available, as are equipment rentals, conveyor lifts, and chair lifts. Massive kid-friendly snow tubing runs operate daily at Ski Campgaw, with their own dedicated surface lift.