22 Unique Places to Take Out-of-Towners This Fall
You want to show your family and friends a fantastic time when they come to visit—and show off what a one-of-a-kind destination New Jersey is. With our list of 22 unique places to take out-of-towners this fall (organized by interest below), you can check both of those boxes and send your guests home raving about our beloved Garden State.
Fun for families
Just when you thought waterpark season was over, American Dream in East Rutherford comes through in a big way – the mega entertainment complex’s DreamWorks Waterpark is open year-round, so you can make a big splash with everyone’s favorite movie characters in any season. If the kiddos are more interested in operating real-live (specially-engineered) backhoes, diggers and other heavy equipment, then be sure to clock in at the country’s only construction theme and water park at Diggerland USA in West Berlin – just be sure to visit before they close for the season on November 27, 2022.
New Jersey is also home to some wild curiosities. For creepy crawlies, a visit to Insectroplis in Toms River is a must. Known as The Bugseum of New Jersey, it’s home to thousands of insects and even a “mud tube” guests can crawl through to see what it’s like to be a termite. Or go under the sea (without getting wet!) at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, home to over 15,000 of the most diverse aquatic animals in the world, where kids are invited to get hands-on with some of the friendly residents.
Even More Animal Attractions
Of course, there is one seafaring mammal you won’t find in an aquarium. But you can have a whale of a time on a Jersey Shore Whale Watch tour along the coast. Their experts guarantee a sighting of one of these behemoths – or you get to come back for free! Back on land, you can take your crew to the first zoo in the state – Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton. Here, you can spy over 100 animals from 47 different species – and if you fall for one of them, you may even be able to symbolically adopt them.
At Popcorn Park Animal Refuge in Forked River, you can find friendly farm animals, exotic big cats, and just about everything in between. These rescued animals are now living their best life in the unspoiled Pine Barrens. For a cage-free encounter with four-legged and furry wildlife, schedule a tour (must be reserved online, in advance, as openings are limited) at Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia. You’ll find yourself surrounded by four different packs as the resident wolves play with each other—and maybe even treat you to a characteristic ahhhh-woooooooo.
Beyond the brewery (or winery!)
While the Garden State is known for its thriving winery, brewery and distillery scene, we invite you and your visitors to sip on mighty meads and crisp ciders at a quartet of craft beverage makers—Beach Bee Meadery in Long Branch, Melovino Meadery in Vauxhall, Ironbound Farm Cider in Asbury and Burnt Mills Cider in Bedminster.
Gardens, grub, glass & games
Flowers and food are universal crowd pleasers, so we rounded up a trio of delights to dazzle your guests. Bring garden lovers to Duke Farms in Hillsborough, a 1,000-acre wonder of natural beauty featuring native plants, or Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown—where every season is abloom. Hungry? The New Jersey Food Tour Trail invites you to eat your way around the entire state through a collaboration of food tour operators covering every region.
Looking for something artsy? WheatonArts in Millville is a full-blown artistic community that houses the highly respected Museum of American Glass, along with artist studios, where you can watch demonstrations in glassmaking and other crafts. Care to get hands-on? GlassRoots in Newark hosts classes that cover just about every step of the glassmaking process.
For a one-of-a-kind throwback (and must-do!) experience, you can take your crew to the Silverball Museum Arcade in Asbury Park, where an entry pass allows you to play all of the classic pinball and arcade games for free.
All-in for history
For family and friends that would like to witness the past in the here-and-now, take a trip to Fosterfields Living Historical Farm in Morristown to get immersed in the everyday workings of a 1920s farm (just be sure to visit by October!) Or journey back in time at Batsto Village in Hammonton to explore over two-and-a-half centuries of American history.
And a sense of wonder is sure to STEM from our final two unique places to take out-of-towners. The InfoAge Science History Learning Museum in Wall is a consortium of science and history museums and exhibits (think: a mini Smithsonian) that focus on New Jersey’s innovations in telecommunications, while the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum takes off with interactive exhibits and activities centered around aviation and military history—all housed in a real WWII hangar in Cape May.
Our top tip for ensuring zero disappointments? Check the official websites or social media pages of your desired attractions for all the latest visitation information before arriving with your guests in tow. You can discover even more things to do in New Jersey by downloading our free travel guide—and stay in-the-know with monthly inspiration delivered to your inbox by signing up for our e-newsletter.