Weather not cooperating with outdoor plans? Ta-da—it’s New Jersey to the rescue! The state famous for toes-in-the-sand and fun in the sun offers plenty of wondrous indoor play dates for four-season, all-weather pursuits as well. Check out six of our top picks - from sharks to go-karts.
- Dream bigger
Picture a place where your kiddos can build their own world, play with friends they’ve only seen on TV and let their imaginations run wild. American Dream is that place. This massive family-friendly complex delivers boundless options for entertainment, shopping and dining—including a Legoland® Discovery Center, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, DreamWorks Water Park, Angry Birds Mini Golf, an ice-skating rink and so much more—all indoors!
- Fish around
Enjoy oceans of excitement at Adventure Aquarium on the Delaware River Camden Waterfront, featuring attractions such as the amazing Shark Realm, 40-foot Shark Tunnel and cross-if-you-dare Shark Bridge, Hippo Haven, Penguin Park, Sea Turtle Cove and Piranha Falls. Little ones will have a fantastic time at Creature Feature, a touch pool featuring sea stars and other invertebrates from the rocky shores of the Pacific Northwest. Before you hit the road, remember to reserve a time slot for your visit.
- Join the “In” crowd
Burn off that excess energy at indoor play spaces like Imagine That!!! in Florham Park and iPlay America in Freehold, or put the pedal to the metal at the indoor go-karting racetrack at RPM Raceway in Jersey City. Also located in Jersey City, you can ignite light bulb moments at Liberty Science Center, a playground for future scientists and inventors.
- Make a splash
The kids will ditch the TV and their devices in a flash when they hear about the super-fast water slides, fun pools and splash parks at Big Kahuna's Water Park in West Berlin—reservations are required for entry, so secure yours today. For an unforgettable hotel pool experience, stay at the luxurious Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg and take a relaxing dip in the indoor and outdoor (open seasonally) Minerals pool complex complete with waterfalls and stunning mountain views.
- Soar and explore
Do you hide cauliflower and other veggies in the kids' mac 'n' cheese? Good job, you! Now take that stealth behavior and apply it to your family outing. The New Jersey State Museum is a fun way to fulfill the recommended daily allowance of learning. You’ll find everything from dinosaurs and ancient artifacts to fine art and thrilling Planetarium shows featuring 360 degrees of out-of-this-world viewing and reclining seats. Click here for exhibitions now on view.
- Enjoy the arts
New Jersey's theaters present live entertainment that brings audiences to their feet, again and again. Watch for upcoming shows at McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts in Princeton, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank and Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown.
Top tip: Check the destination's official website or social media channels BEFORE your visit for the latest hours of operation and details. For even more family fun ideas to cure the “I’m bored” syndrome, download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.