Robb McCormick for Liberty Science Center

Things To Do Indoors In New Jersey

Don’t let the weather dampen your New Jersey getaway! The Garden State may be famous for toes in the sand and fun in the sun, but New Jersey offers plenty of indoor activities for cold weather and rainy day adventures. Check out our top picks – from shark encounters to go-kart races.

1. 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 in East Rutherford is that place. This massive family-friendly complex (fun for adults too!) delivers boundless options for entertainment, shopping and dining – all indoors.

You can experience the interactive rides, heart-pounding roller coasters, and character meet-and-greets of Nickelodeon Universe, the Western Hemisphere's largest indoor theme park. Or get creative at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center (for kids under 10). Then dive into more fun at North America’s largest indoor water park: DreamWorks Water Park, where water slides, lazy rivers, and luxury cabanas promise hours of entertainment for adults and kids alike.

Embark on an underwater adventure at SEA LIFE Aquarium, with more than 3,000 creatures across 10 NYC-themed exhibits. Challenge your friends to a game at Angry Birds Mini Golf or Blacklight Mini Golf. And for a touch of winter magic, even in the summer months, check out the country’s only indoor, real-snow ski resort, BIG SNOW. With so many things to do inside, American Dream is your one-stop shop for an unforgettable day out, rain or shine.

American Dream

2. Fish around

It may not be beach weather, but you can still get your ocean fix inside one of New Jersey’s fantastic aquariums. Home to the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, Adventure Aquarium on Camden’s Delaware River Waterfront is a can’t-miss destination for shark lovers, young and old. Get up close and personal with sharks of all kinds as you walk through the 40-foot Shark Tunnel, dare to cross the Shark Bridge, handle live species at the Touch-a-Shark attraction, and witness a shark’s world at the Shark Realm exhibition. Then discover the boundless diversity of ocean dwellers at exhibits like Hippo Haven, Penguin Park, Sea Turtle Cove, Piranha Falls, and the Stingray Beach Club, where kids can feed cownose and southern stingrays. Before you hit the road, remember to reserve a time slot for your visit.

Sea Turtle

3. Join the “in” crowd

On cold or rainy days, you can still banish boredom and burn off that excess energy inside with hands-on learning experiences for kids of all ages. Test out the three-story playscape at Florham Park’s Imagine That!!! or tackle the climbing gym and crawl-through maze at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. Adults can release their inner child and rediscover the joy of play too, with arcade games, laser tag, and more at iPlay America in Freehold. Or, put the pedal to the metal with a good, old-fashioned go-kart race at RPM Raceway in Jersey City.

4. Make a splash

Don’t wait for warmer weather for your next pool day! Experience the super-fast water slides, fun pools, and splash parks at New Jersey’s favorite water parks. For the ultimate indoor experience, head to Big Kahuna's Water Park in West Berlin, where the family can race down the Snake Eyes slides, float the Tiki Tides, and relax in the Hidden Oasis. Looking for luxury? Consider the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg. Book a Spa and Pool Daycation or an overnight stay and then enjoy the serene grotto-like atmosphere of the Minerals pool complex or the 10,000 square-foot tropical Biosphere at Grand Cascades Lodge.

Couples Massage

5. Soar and explore

Spark your curiosity inside Trenton’s New Jersey State Museum, where you can examine dinosaur fossils, delve into the lives of Native American tribes, and marvel at priceless works of art – all under one roof!  Whether you're a science buff, a history enthusiast, or simply a lifelong learner, this museum offers something for everyone. Discover hands-on activities, out-of-this-world Planetarium shows, and captivating artifacts that bring the past to life. Planning your museum visit with kids? Explore the Discovery Den play space and the Small Explorers series, designed for young minds. Before you go, check the latest exhibitions here to enrich your experience.


6. Raise the curtain

Bring the entertainment indoors at New Jersey's renowned theaters, where live arts performances bring audiences to their feet, again and again. Get the whole family to fall for the classics at The Shakespeare Theatre in Madison or ignite a new passion with the children's shows at The Bickford Theater at Morris Museum. Seasoned theatergoers and Broadway fanatics should head to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark for national tours and original productions, or catch the Broadway Series at State Theater New Jersey in New Brunswick. Those with more eclectic tastes will enjoy the diverse offerings at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown or the reimagined musicals of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. And let’s not forget the Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, another cultural gem where you can experience a vibrant mix of concerts and shows inside a beautifully restored historic venue.


Pro tip: Check your destination's official website or social media channels before you visit for the latest hours of operation and details. For even more family fun ideas to cure boredom, download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.