9 Things to do for New Year’s Eve & Day in and around Jersey City

things to do in jersey city

 

 

Things to do in jersey city

Nye17: A Night To Remember

Saturday, Dec.31st from 9 to 3 Pm, At Taphaus, 2nd street, Jersey City

Buy Tickets here: https://nyejc.splashthat.com

Chicpea X Hayoner Present:
A lavish black and white grand ball on the water. Come celebrate New Year’s Eve at Taphaus in Downtown-Jersey City, NJ.

Inspired by Truman Capote’s 1966 ‘Party of The Century’

Event Details Here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1701342763529164/
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Things to do in jersey city

“The Big Little Railroad”

From 10-11:30am

Liberty State Park

http://libertystatepark.nj.gov

Explore the transportation history of the CRRNJ featuring the historic Jersey Central Railroad film, “The Big Little Railroad” followed by a guided walking tour of the restored terminal. No pre-registration is required; please meet at the Information Desk inside the Terminal building.
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New Year’s Eve Family Cruise

Pier 16, 89 South Street,  New York, NY 10038

Take the whole family along for a night of New Year’s Eve fun on the New York Harbor! Kids and parents can dance the night away, play Wii games, enjoy treats, party favors and more. This event is best suited for older children, as the cruise boards at 9:10 pm and sails until 12:20am. Tickets are $116 per child ages 3 – 12 and $199 per adult. Family packs are available for $700 (2 adults and 2 children).

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12 Days of Science

Liberty Science Center, Jersey City

December 21 – January 3 (closed 12/25)

The LSC will be open both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so it’s the perfect place to get out of the cold and get the kids active! This holiday celebration includes the new Infinity Climber, building and displaying a huge snowflake, meet a live penguin, Animals Out and About,  Solve It! Avalanche Challenge,  Animal Encounter, Beekeeping: The Sweetest ScienceStory Time: Winter ExplorationSnowflake VillageRainforest RescuersLiquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Touch Tank.

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Holiday Lights Spectacular 

Turtle Back Zoo

560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, NJ

Phone: 973-731-5800, turtlebackzoo.com

You still have time to check out Holiday Lights if you haven’t already done so this season. Holiday Lights will be open on both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day from 5pm – 9pm through January 3. The zoo will not have Holiday Lights on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. However, Holiday Lights will be open on New Year’s Day, although the zoo won’t be open during the day. The event is free to the public, though donations of canned goods, toys and pet food are encouraged.

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New Year’s Eve at the Funplex

Funplex
182 Rte. 10 W., East Hanover, NJ

Phone: 973-428-8772; funplexeasthanover.com

6:30 pm–12:30 am

Can you think of a better way to ring in the New Year than with six hours of unlimited indoor attractions (plus 40 free tokens!),  music and an all you can eat buffet? We didn’t think so. Special online price of $49 beforehand or $54 at the door. Reserve before 11/30 and receive a bonus arcade card worth $10. Your kids will be ecstatic about that, no doubt!

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“Noon” Year’s Eve

Pump It Up – pumpitupparty.com

10 Middleberry Blvd., Randolph, NJ – Phone: 973-252-9777

8 Commerce Way #135, Hamilton Township – Phone: 609-586-5517

Throughout the day starting at 11am

If you’ve got youngsters that will have fallen asleep by the strike of midnight, Pump It Up has the New Year’s celebration for  you. Bring the family to this indoor play place for some bouncing before the countdown to “Noon” Year’s Eve, with four different jump times to choose from this year.

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Ocean City First Night

300 West 9th St., Ocean City

609-399-1412; oceancityfirstnightnj.com

With eight hours of non-stop entertainment at different venues throughout the town, you will enjoy yourself to the fullest. With events right up until midnight, your time will be spent to the absolute max this year in the most enjoyable way possible.

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Midnight at the Oasis Party

Sahara Sam’s Oasis

535 North Route 73 , West Berlin, NJ

https://www.saharasams.com/2016/posts/nye-midnight-at-the-oasis/

Saturday, December 31, 2016; 7:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Admission: 64.95 per person

Families get to enjoy this themed indoor water park with lots of water attractions and land events. Jam out with their DJ, play games and win giveaways. The New Year’s Eve Party includes: Admission to the Park Foam Party Delicious Appetizers, Entrees and Desserts Themed party goods (hats, noise makers, etc) Champagne Toast (for adults 21 and over) Sparkling Cider Toast for the kids.

Holiday Events In And Around Jersey City

Things to do in jersey city

The holidays are fast approaching and we are excited to share holiday events in and around Jersey City for this season!

J E R S E Y   C I T Y

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things to do in jersey cityHDSID Annual Tree/Menorah lighting with Mayor Fulop and Santa
Dec 8th – 5pm to 8pm
Newark Avenue Pedestrian Area
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things to do in jersey city
Holiday Market
Grove Street PATH Plaza, Jersey City
Nov 1- Dec 22:  Every Monday and Thursday Through December 22

The Artist & Maker Market is back for the Holiday Season! Find fabulous gifts for everyone at The Grove Street Path Plaza every Monday and Thursday.

Skip the crowded malls & avoid lost packages in the mail this Season by buying directly from local artisans and makers!

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things to do in jersey cityProject Market: Winter Wonderland

City Hall Plaza, Jersey City

Saturday Dec 3rd and Sunday Dec 4th 11-6pm

http://www.thejerseycityproject.com/project-market-2016.html

Project: MARKET returns for its 4th year on December 3rd & 4th, 2016. The heated outdoor market located in the Historic Downtown section of Jersey City, NJ will act as a kick-off to the holiday shopping season highlighting local, celebrating seasonal, and encouraging economic growth amongst small businesses. Join them and EAT.SHOP.DRINK

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Things to do in jersey city

things to do in jersey cityThe Polar Express: An IMAX Experience 

Liberty Science Center, Jersey City

Nov 25-26 and Dec 3-10-17

http://lsc.org/blog/lsc_movies/the-polar-express/

Check out The Polar Express on the nation’s largest IMAX Dome Theater, right here in Jersey City! Bring the kids to see this family film. Tickets are $12.50 for children 2 – 12, $14.50 for adults for non-members. For members, tickets cost $11.00 per child and $9.50 per adult.

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things to do in jersey citySanta Fest 2016

14th Street Garden, Jersey City

Sunday, Nov 27th 1-3pm

Sunday, Dec 11th 10-1pm

http://www.14thstreetgardencenter.com/pages/santa-fest

Santa’s coming to 14th Street Garden once again!

Parents will be able to take their own pictures and don’t forget your letter for Santa!

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Free Pictures with Santa

Bambino Chef, Jersey City

***date and time to be confirmed

Bring the kiddies for free pictures with Santa and some cookies, too!

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things to do in jersey city

Jersey City Nutcracker

Frank R. Conwell Middle School #4 Auditorium, Jersey City

December 13-18

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2708608

Join in the holiday tradition with an urban holiday Nutcracker! $20 general admission and $11 for students and seniors.

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things to do in jersey city

Winter Market

December 17th from 12pm to 4pm at Explore 2000.

Family Friendly Atmosphere – FREE ENTRY

This event is an indoor market held throughout the school halls where the community can shop, vendors can purchase a table to sell goods, gifts are donated to help students purchase items at an affordable rate, and students create crafts to vend.

In order to enhance the school’ current activities and initiate new programs, they must rely on the support of generous donors.

All proceeds help to benefit the Explore 2000 Student Activity for Afterschool Programming.

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O T H E R   C I T I E S


things to do in jersey city

Macy’s Herald Square, New York

Now – Dec 24th

Located on the 8th Floor of Macy’s Herald Square, this winter wonderland includes a North Pole village complete with live elves, Santa and much more holiday fun!
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Santa’s Flight Academy

The Malls at Short Hills, NJ
Nov 11- Dec 24
http://www.shopshorthills.com/holidays

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind interactive Santa experience! Once you arrive, visit Grand Court to register your child for Santa’s elite flight crew and receive a personalized badge. Use your personalized badge to help Santa and his elves get ready for their journey. Children will be able to try on a virtual flight suit, learn about navigation, power the sleigh and dance under magical lights and snowfall and finally enjoy a visit with Santa as an official member of his flight crew.

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holiday-lightsHoliday Lights

Turtle Back Zoo
Nov 18 – Jan 2 – Closed Dec 24-25
Take a winter stroll through the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo this holiday season under the sparkling lights of over 50 winter and animal characters. Celebrate the season of giving by bringing donations of non-perishable food items, new toys, and gently used coats. Different themed activities featured each December weekend makes visiting extra exciting! Admission to light show is free with paid admission to zoo. Adult price is $14.00 and for children ages 2-12 $11.00 from April 1st through November 30th. Adult price from December 1st through March 31st is $12.00 and $10.00 for children ages 2-12. Children under 23 months are always free.


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16CLS_FurryChristmas_Insta.jpgPet Photos with Santa

Celebrate Life Studios, 1200 Park Ave., Hoboken, NJ 07030

Saturday, Nov 19th 1-3pm

Get your pet photos with Santa in time for the holidays at Celebrate Life Studio in Hoboken! Portions of the proceeds from each session will benefit LHS. You can reserve your time slot HERE!

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Image result for botanical gardens train showHoliday Train Show

New York Botanical Garden

Nov 19 – Jan 16


http://www.nybg.org/hts16/

Join the Botanical Garden in celebrating their 25th year of holiday magic.  Explore a winter wonderland across their 250 acres with special tours, acappela performances, Winter Harmonies Concerts, poetry readings and activities for kids.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $8 for children 2-12 for weekdays, $25 for adults and $10 for children 2-12 weekends. Children under 2 free everyday.

Advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

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Santa’s Workshop

Staten Island MakerSpace

450 Front Street Unit B (entrance on Thompson St), New York, NY 10304

http://www.rgtoydrive.org/

http://www.makerspace.nyc/

Saturday, Dec 3 10-4pm

Wanted: Good hearted elves to make toys for the 22nd Annual Richard Gardner Jr. Memorial Toy Drive!

Adults and children age 12 and up are welcome to participate. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This is a volunteer event. If you would like to donate to help purchase materials they would appreciate it.
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2016-holiday-titleLoew’s Jersey’s Holiday Show

Sunday, Dec 4 2-7pm

http://loewsjersey.org/calendar/

Enjoy a traditional live  holiday concert sing-along at 2:00pm and a screening of “It’s A Wonderful Life” at 3:30pm.

Admission to BOTH the Concert AND Movie:  $12 Adults / $8 Kids & Seniors (Movie Only: $10 / $7 Kids & Seniors)

Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for a needy child to the Loew’s annual Toy Drive. Donated toys will be distributed off-site by a local charitable service.

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Millburn Snowflake Parade

Millburn Ave between Holmes and Spring Streets

Sunday, Dec 4 1:30-4:30pm

http://downtownmillburn.org/events/snowflake-parade.html

The parade will be held on Millburn Avenue between Holmes and Spring Streets. There will be professional bands, clowns, costumed characters, and refreshments after the parade.

Outings for November Days Off

 

Things to do in jersey city

November is here and it brings with it many, many days off for public school kids. Public schools in Jersey City are closed Tuesday 11/8 for Election Day, Thursday 11/10 and Friday 11/11 for NJEA Teacher’s Convention and Veteran’s Day and then there’s all the Thanksgiving closings! One day is easy, but it can be a challenge to think up fun things to do with your kids for this many days, so close together. Fear not – here are some ideas for local (and within driving distance) fun!

222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City

LSC is open all the days that kids have off from school. New exhibits have recently been added, so if you haven’t been for a while it’s time to check it out again! Plus, they have various activities throughout the day including “Animal Encounter”, “Story Time”, “Touch Tank” and many others.  The IMAX Dome Theater is a great place to check out while you are at LSC or even on its own. Currently, you can see “Extreme Weather” and “A Beautiful Planet.” IMAX tickets are between $9 – $10. General admission to LSC is $21.75 for adults over 13 years of age and $17.75 for children ages 2 – 12. You can also buy combo tickets that include movies.

things to do in jersey city

Bambino Chef

http://www.bambinochef.com/

Get your aprons ready! At Bambino Chef cooking campers will explore the magic power of the kitchen by cooking up delicious treats from scratch, using a variety of fresh ingredients, putting kitchen tools to work, creating yummy masterpieces and making new friends!
Camp: NO SCHOOL, NO PROBLEM
November 8, 10, 11
9-12pm, 3.5-7yrs, $45
1-4pm, 7-12yrs
Online RSVP Required, non-refundable

Field Station Dinosaursthings to do in jersey city

40 Fort Lee Road

Leonia, NJ 07605

November 10 & 11
School may be closed but the Field Station is open!
Come join us for a dino-mite time from 10a-5p.

Field Station: Dinosaurs is a world-class family attraction that combines cutting-edge science with the creative minds of great artists and teachers to create a one-of-kind experience that’s thrilling, educational and fun.

The Field Station is an oasis of natural wonder just minutes from New York City. Over thirty life-sized, realistic dinosaurs (including the ninety foot long Argentinosaurus, so big it’s visible from the Empire State Building) come to life thanks to the brilliant engineering of the world’s leading roboticists and the imagination of our artists.

 

Newark Museumthings to do in jersey city

49 Washington Street, Newark

The Newark Museum, in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, is the state’s largest museum. It holds fine collections of American art, decorative arts, contemporary art, and arts of Asia, Africa, the Americas, and the ancient world. Its extensive collections of American art include works by Hiram Powers, Thomas Cole, John Singer Sargent, Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, Childe Hassam, Mary Cassatt, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Joseph Stella, Tony Smith and Frank Stella.

Museum Hours  Wednesday-Sunday, noon-5 pm.

Museum Admission :Adults: $15
U.S. and Canadian Veterans & their families with valid I.D.: $8
Children, Seniors & Students with valid I.D.: $8
(2 years and younger: FREE)
Members: FREE
Newark Residents: FREE
Students attending colleges and universities in Newark with valid ID: FREE
Planetarium Admission (in addition to Museum admission)
Adults $6;
Children under 12, seniors, and college students $4
Members: Adults $4; children under 12 $3
For further information, call 973.596.6544.

This museum is close and lots of fun, especially for little ones who love art. They offer great family programs on the weekends and feature exhibits daily. The museum’s hours are Wednesday – Sunday from noon – 5pm. Right now you can have fun at one of the interactive galleries like “Dynamic Earth: Revealing Natures Secrets” , “Look/Touch/Learn: Nature & Art”, Fire Museum and more! One exciting feature of this museum is the Alice and Lenard Dreyfuss Planetarium. There will be special showings of Firefall on November 6th and 7th at 2pm and Legends of the Night Sky at 3pm both days. The Museum Café is open from noon – 3:30pm and offers an assortment of hot and cold beverages, desserts and snacks. Suggested museum admission is $12/adults and $7/children and students (kids 2 and younger are free). Admission for the planetarium is $5/adults and $3/children and students in addition to the suggested museum donation. They give AAA discounts, if you are a member. Also, check their list of corporate underwriters here. There are many sponsor companies that get in for free.

New York City Fire Museumthings to do in jersey city 

http://www.nycfiremuseum.org/index.cfm

278 Spring Street
Located at 278 Spring Street between Varick and Hudson Streets in Manhattan’s Hudson Square district, west of SoHo.
Open 7 days a week: 10:00AM to 5:00PM.

ADMISSION PRICES
$8.00 for Adults.
$5.00 for Children (12 and under), seniors and students with college ID.
Children under 2 free.
For groups of 15 or more:  $5.00 per person (Advance reservations are needed)
My son loves firemen and this is one of his favorite spots to visit in the city. They are open seven days a week from 10am – 5pm. The museum offers so many firemen-themed exhibits including uniforms, horse-drawn ladder wagon, early rescue gear and breathing equipment, a gooseneck pumper, double-decker Philadelphia style engine and much more. There is even an area for kids to try on some fireman gear. Plus, the gift shop has many child-sized gear and toys. Admission is $8/adults and $5/children 12 and under.


NYC Veteran’s Day Parade
things to do in jersey city

http://americasparade.org/#

NYC

The Veterans Day Parade has been organized in New York since 1929. Over 25,000 people participate in the parade each year, making it the largest in the nation.  It starts at approximately 11:15 AM  and concludes around 3:30pm on Friday, November 11. The parade will go north on Fifth Ave, from 26th to 52nd Street.

Take the kids to the largest Veteran’s Day event in the nation! They expect more than 600,000 spectators this year and it is broadcast on television. The parade begins at Madison Square Park at 11:25am and travels up Fifth Avenue to 52nd Street. This event is free.

Overnight trips close to Jersey City

There are so many great weekend getaway options for Jersey City families. We live in a great location and we’re close to so much. So, pack your overnight bag and hop into the car. Here are some overnight excursion or long weekend. Here is the list of Overnight trips close to Jersey City.

Woodstock, NYOvernight Trips close to Jersey City  The beautiful little town of Woodstock in upstate New York is only about a 2-hour drive from Jersey City. There is so much to do in the area and it’s a great weekend getaway option for winter and spring. On my last trip to Woodstock, I found a cute cottage to rent on HomeAway (this one, actually). The price was decent and it was very spacious. My son was about 9 months old at the time and we loved having the extra room to spread out for the weekend. Most cottage rentals are bigger than JC area apartments and the prices aren’t bad! A lot of them offer hot tubs (this house had one!), which is great for relaxation once the kiddies are in bed, and lots of property for older kids to play. You can even get a larger house and split with friends! There are so many things to do in Woodstock. Dining out is never a problem – there are many fantastic restaurant options. Also, there is a big art community in Woodstock, so there are galleries and shops galore. There are many family friendly activities, as well. The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary opens for the season in April (open weekends only). This is a place where kids can meet a whole host of animals and tour the whole sanctuary. They also have a guesthouse bed and breakfast that you can stay at year round. You can get arty at Fiber Flame Studios and take a class or simply walk in for some crafts and art for all ages. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts offers shows, performances, exhibits, workshops and more. During the warmer weather they even offer outdoor concerts, click here for upcoming show information.

The Jersey Shore, NJOvernight Trips close to Jersey City

The summer isn’t the only great time to go “down the shore.” Spring is actually the most enjoyable time to enjoy some of what the Jersey Shore has to offer. Avoid the lines, waits and crazy crowds of people and have a more laid back visit. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the shore. I grew up at the Jersey Shore, so I know how fun it is during spring and here are just a few of my faves. You can take a day trip to any of these places or find a hotel and stay overnight – the hotels are MUCH less expensive before Memorial Day.

Overnight Trips close to Jersey CityJenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach is a family favorite in my house! The boardwalk gets pretty crazy during the summer, but most things are open year round (and more open as the weather warms up). Visit Jenkinson’s Aquarium, when it gets a bit warmer ride the amusement rides, get sugared up at the Sweet Shop or just take a relaxing stroll on the beach. The kids need to get out and run after the winter we’ve had, so let them breathe in some fresh ocean air while doing it! Buy your tickets in advance on April 18 – 20 when the annual 2-for-1 Easter ride ticket sale returns. Buy tickets at the boardwalk from 11am – 6pm or online all weekend and get reduced rates on ticket books for the entire season.

Overnight Trips close to Jersey CitySpend the day in Asbury Park. Whether you are checking out the activities on the boardwalk or getting something delicious to eat, there’s a lot to do in Asbury! The Silverball Pinball Museum offers a ton of classic pinball machines to play and even has a café. If you have a kid interested in ghosts and the paranormal, check out Paranormal Books & Curiosities and the museum that features exhibits like “haunted objects” and “The Jersey Devil: Fact or Fiction.” They even do a walking ghost tourHot Sand is a glassblowing studio where you can blow your own unique piece of glass work or do a quickcast of your hand.

Overnight Trips close to Jersey CityCape May is a great place to drive to for the day (about 2.5 hours from JC), but the city offers many fun overnight options. There are many fun historic bed and breakfasts in Cape May. You may think that these are only for couples and although many B&B’s are “child free,” Cape May offers a host of child-friendly B&B options. Check out this list of historic B&B accommodations that allow children, some have age restrictions so be sure to check each individual website. There are also a lot of hotels that are very child-friendly like the Victorian Motel and even the luxurious Congress Hall. During the day, take kids to the NJ Audubon Nature Center and take a family workshop or learn about local wildlife, enjoy a trip to the Cape May County Zoo or take a trolley tour. Cape May boasts many delicious dining options. Some good kid-friendly choices include Cape May Peanut Butter Co., Della’s 5&10 Soda Fountain, The Lobster House and so many more.

Overnight Trips close to Jersey CityMystic, Connecticut 

This seaside town nestled in Connecticut is about a 2.5 hour drive from Jersey City. It is an excellent family destination with so many activities for everyone to enjoy. One of the big draws in the area is the Mystic Aquarium, which offers countless exhibits (Beluga Whales, Titanic, Arctic Watch and many more) a 4-D Theater and programs like the Encounter Program which allows kids get up-close and personal with their favorite animals. Plus, they offer family programs for various age groups. Another popular activity in Mystic is to take a ride on the high seas and embark on a half day or sunset sail! They offer different times of day and even private charters for larger groups. Olde Mistick Village is a fun-filled historic shopping experience for the whole family. Enjoy more than 60 small shoppes in a colonial setting. For your little (or big) train enthusiasts, don’t miss the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, which is the only steam train and riverboat connection in the country. Plus, dino-lovers will enjoy The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village in nearby Montville, CT. The area is host to many family-friendly accommodations including The Comfort Inn Mystic, Taber Inne & Suites and many others. Click here for a list of hotels for families. As far as food goes, no trip to Mystic is complete without a visit to the infamous Mystic Pizza (yes, the one from the 80’s movie) or try S&P Oysters for great seafood with a decent children’s menu.

Overnight Trips close to Jersey CityHershey, PA

Touted as “the sweetest place on earth,” if your family is the amusement park kinda family with a sweet tooth, this place is for you! There are so many things to do for families in Hershey. There is the obvious big draw, Hershey Park that offers everything your typical amusement park would offer, but includes chocolate. This is more of a summer park, but they will open for two weekends in April for spring weekends (April 12-13 and 18-20). My favorite attraction as a child was Hershey’s Chocolate World, which offers a factory tour so you can see how the chocolate is made! In April there are several dates that they will be breakfast with the Easter Bunny and characters, check here for dates and information. A new attraction they offer is called XOXO and allows you to create your own Hershey’s Kiss using the perfect mix of your favorite colors and flavors! A more calm activity is visiting Hershey Gardens, a flower garden with attractions including the Butterfly House and the Children’s Garden. The gardens open for the season on April 5. Another fun option is ZooAmerica, a year-round 11-acre walk through zoo. Being a family destination, there are many family-friendly accommodation options in Hershey, PA. The Hotel Hershey is currently offering spring packages and the Hershey Lodge offers more affordable accommodations for families. As with hotels, there are many dining options for families, including Hershey Pantry, Smoke BBQ Joint and many more.

6 Ideas for Long Weekend: Fun things to do in jersey city

Fun things to do in jersey cityFun things to do in jersey city

Although there are a ton of great things to do in Jersey City, when summer rolls around, sometimes you just have to get out of the hot city. Remember, New Jersey isn’t called the “Garden State” for nothing. There are plenty of farms with wonderful activities for kids of all ages… Click here to read more

Fun things to do in jersey city

Fun things to do in jersey city

Toddler in the house! Take these considerations and be hassle free at the beach. Click here to read more.

 

 

 

Fun things to do in jersey city

 

Things to do in jersey city

Did you know that Jersey has some of the best beaches in the Country? Click here to learn our top 5 picks for families:

 

 

 

Fun things to do in jersey city

Things to do in jersey city

Raise your hand if you want to know where are the best sprinkler parks and pools in Jersey City and Hoboken! Check them here and go to all of them.

 

 

Things to do in jersey city

 

Fun things to do in jersey city

Liberty Science Center will be open. Check the Calendar here 

 

Fun things to do in jersey city

Let’s go to the zoo! Check here some tips we have prepared for you.

 

 

 

Overnight trips close to Jersey City

Fun things to do in jersey city

 

 

13 Reasons to spend FieldTrip at Turtleback Zoo

Fun things to do in jersey city

1.-Free Parking. It’s VERY CLOSE to the entrance. And it’s in a covered garage with an elevator. We’re from Jersey City – we feel the value of this feature in our souls.

2.-It’s not a long drive. It’s on 280 just past Newark. If you’re paying attention and don’t get on 280 the wrong way, you’ll make it in 30 minutes. The kids can handle the drive without wearing a pull-up or having a major meltdown fit. Plus there are dozens of low flying airplanes and construction vehicles on the side of the road to entertain them.

3.-There’s a Dunkin Donuts literally across the street from the zoo, so if you (like me) rush out of the house un-caffeinated, you can grab one in the drive-thru before you go in.  Which brings me to my next point.

4.-You can bring your own snacks. There is a beautiful dining area, which sells food in case you forget or just don’t have enough time to get it together in the morning, but if you’re on a budget or simply want your kids to eat the carrots you bought the day before, you can bring them with you. No one will yell at you.

5.-They sell memberships. Family memberships pay for themselves if you get out to the zoo twice. Which you will. They’re open all year and this place doesn’t get old. You’ll definitely use it twice.

6.-You can bring your stroller but you don’t have to. Of course, this depends on the age of your kids (and whether or not you have a backpack – let’s face it, the stroller is used mostly to lug all our stuff around) but it’s not so huge that they can’t walk around the zoo. More like run, really – it’s an exciting place for kids. Or you can rent the carts there if you need to. They look like safari jeeps.

Fun things to do in jersey city7.-The animal enclosures are really close to you, and to each other. It’s not a giant zoo where you might see one animal every two hours. As soon as you walk in, there’s a half a dozen penguins swimming and strutting about. They’re right on the other side of the glass and they appear as if they appreciate the attention. It’s a great way to start a trip. They also have monkeys, a petting and feeding area, bison, wolves, a butterfly tent, a bird sanctuary where kids can feed the birds using popsicle sticks, sea lions, giraffes… The giraffes are new this season and my kids LOVED them, especially since we read Giraffes Can’t Dance the night before.

8.-There’s a playground with a huge climbing frame and a shielded area where moms can sit and gossip in the shade.

9.-They have a train that goes past the giraffes, the pond, and through a tunnel. I recommend doing this first – the line can get long and kids get impatient but I find that if you do it first, they’re still electrified about being at the zoo and are more tolerant of the wait. Plus they love the train. It’s worth the wait.

Fun things to do in jersey city10.-The carousel has different animals on it instead of just horses, and also they require parents to go with kids, which is awesome because you don’t have to tell me twice to get on a merry-go-round!

 

Fun things to do in jersey city11.-Pony rides! Need I say more? The ponies are pretty small and the white one had a pink harness that every little girl in the line discussed at length.

12.-Dunkin Donuts is across the street. Did I mention this already? It’s great on the way out too. Maybe I have a problem. Don’t judge me.

13.-My kids fall asleep on the way home, which means I get to sit in my car and drink my coffee while reading a magazine once we get home. This might seem like a minor point, but hey – there are no dishes to wash or laundry to fold in the car.

Fun things to do in jersey city

Mel Kozakiewicz is the founder and CEO of The Moxie Group, a marketing and consulting company in Jersey City. www.jerseycitymoxie.com

 

Summer in the City: Outings in the City and Nearby

Things to do in Jersey City

It’s the perfect time to get out of the house (and maybe out of the city) for the day and enjoy some of the great things that there are to do in and nearby our lovely area of New Jersey! Here are some great summer spots that are easy to drive or take public transit to.

Things to do in Jersey CityTurtle Back Zoo, West Orange, NJ

If you haven’t made the trip out to Turtle Back Zoo yet, I suggest you do so soon! It’s the perfect place for warm weather fun with kids of any age. It is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Jersey City or is accessible via public transit by using the PATH and a bus, which would take about an hour and 20 minutes. The zoo is a good size to conquer in one day, unlike some of the area’s larger zoos. Some of the more popular exhibits include the Sea Lion exhibit, the Southeast Asia exhibit (which includes leopards) and the Reptile Center. The train is one of the most popular features at the Turtle Back Zoo. Unfortunately, as the day goes on, the lines for it get longer and longer. A tip that I’ve discovered is to arrive at the zoo early and take a ride on the train first. The lines are always much shorter and the heat hasn’t really kicked up yet, so waiting doesn’t feel as daunting. A great destination for younger kids is the Essex Farm, which welcomes children to get hands-on with animals like sheep, goats and ponies. My son’s favorite area was the carousel, which is located inside of a carousel house and costs $2. You can also get ice cream in the plaza outside of the carousel, so it’s a big attraction for everyone! Feel free to bring your own lunch or coolers and eat in the shade covered picnic area. You can also grab lunch at the Food Pavilion which offers climate controlled indoor seating and the Zoo Café. Weekends bring live entertainment and other events, so be sure to check the events calendar for more information. The zoo is open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 4:30pm and Sunday from 11am – 5:30pm. The rates are $11/adult and $8/child (children under 23 months are free).

The Turtle Back Zoo is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange, NJ and easily accessible by car via I-280. Things to do in Jersey City


Victorian Gardens at Wollman Rink,
Central Park NYC

This whimsical family amusement park sits in the middle of Central Park in NYC. During the winter Wollman Rink is used for ice skating, but it becomes this fun summer destination in the warmer months. It features hand-crafted rides including Aeromax, Bumper Boats and Family Swinger. Play games with the kids and win lots of fun prizes. There are also live, interactive shows from entertainers like Ben Nemzer, Will Shaw and Sammie & Tudie. Don’t miss out on classic concessions like cotton candy, caramel corn and ice cream! Guests can purchase a “pay as you go” admission for $7 on weekdays and $8 on weekends, which offers you the option of paying for tickets for rides as you go. Guests can also opt for the “unlimited ride” option, which costs $14 on weekdays and $16 on weekends for a wristband plus the entrance fee (total $21 on weekdays and $24 on weekends). Hours of operation vary, so be sure to check the calender for information before you make plans.

Victorian Gardens is located at Wollman Rink in Central Park. Enter Central Park from 59th Street and 6th Avenue and walk north. Click here for subways or buses that will get you there.

Things to do in Jersey CityStatue of Liberty National Monument, Jersey City

Believe it or not, many local people still haven’t gotten to the Statue of Liberty…and it’s right here in our city! Plus, it’s so close for us here in Jersey City. Liberty Island is accessible via ferry, which you can catch in Liberty State Park. Tickets range in price depending on what you want to do. Tickets for a ferry ride to Liberty Island (from Liberty State Park) with Pedestal Only Access are $18/Adult and $9/children ages 4 – 12 (children under 4 years of age do not require tickets). With this ticket you will have access to the grounds at Liberty Island and Ellis Island and audio tours of both islands are included. If you are feeling more adventurous, go for the Crown Ticket. Crown Tickets cost $21/Adult and $12/Children ages 4 – 12. This ticket gets you access to everything in the above ticket option, plus it will get you all the way up to the Crown. The Crown is a popular destination and only reopened last year to the public. You can reserve your ferry and crown time when you buy your tickets. Make reservations and purchase tickets here. If you have a kid between the ages of 7 – 12, try the Junior Ranger Program, which gives kids the opportunity to learn about the Statue and Island. The first ferry departs Jersey City at 8:30am and the last departs at 5pm. The last ferry off of Liberty Island departs at 6:45pm (these are summer hours). Keep in mind that you do have to pass through an airport style security checkpoint, so plan ahead. There is an additional security screening area for Pedestal and Crown ticketholders and this area closes at 4:30pm daily. There is a concession stand on Liberty Island, but you may bring your own food – large coolers will not be allowed through security screening.

Liberty Island is accessible via ferry from Liberty State Park. The ferries are located at the end of Audrey Zapp Drive. There is on-site parking available or you may take the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail to the Liberty State Park Station and walk one mile to the end of Audrey Zapp Drive.

Things to do in Jersey CityAsbury Park Boardwalk, Asbury Park, NJ

This Jersey Shore town is only about an hour’s drive from downtown Jersey City. You can also take a NJ Transit train from Newark Penn Station directly to Asbury Park. There are so many things to do in this up-and-coming beach town. The boardwalk is infamous, so that’s a must see! Beach badges are $5/person weekdays and $6/person weekends. Badges are sold between 1st and 2nd Avenues and it is cash only, so come prepared. Parking is metered, so be sure to pay and move your car accordingly. Lots are also available near the boardwalk for your convenience. On the boardwalk there is something for everyone! Kids love the Asbury Splash Park which is open daily until 7pm. Challenge the family to a game of minigolf at Asbury Eighteen open daily from 10am – 10pm. If you’ve got pinball fans in your family, be sure to check out the Silverball Museum. If you are hungry, you’re in luck because there are some great places right up on the boardwalk! Langosta Lounge offers global fusion that’s straight up yummy. McLoone’s Asbury Grille offers a great casual menu in a relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. If you are in the mood for something sweet, head on down to Eddie Confetti Ice Cream and Café.

Asbury Park Boardwalk is located at Ocean Avenue between Asbury and Sunset Avenues in Asbury Park, which is exit 102 off the Garden State Parkway.

Things to do in Jersey CityTerhune Orchards, Princeton, NJ

This farm has it all! It’s a great place for a day trip on a beautiful summer day. This farm truly offers something for the whole family! There are festivals all year long. The Firefly Festival takes places on June 22 from 4pm – 9pm and kids will enjoy making their own wings and bug boxes. There is even a gymnastics “Art of Flying” mini obstacle course. Plus, musical entertainment and lots of great food! The Read & Pick events are held throughout the year and the next is on July 1. Each one has its own theme and integrates reading with related activities. Don’t miss the Blueberry Bash on July 5 – 6! Celebrate the opening of pick-your-own blueberry season with a celebration of everything that is blueberry, including a Blueberry Bash Bake-Off and Buffet. The farm offers many pick-your-own options. Summer’s options include cherries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches and more. Don’t miss the Farm Store, where you can buy a ton of produce, baked good, homemade jams and more. There is even a winery on-site. Other farm activities that are offered include barnyard animals, tractors, a farm walking trail, wagon and pony rides and much more! Things to do in Jersey City

Terhune Orchards is located at 330 Cold Soil Road in Princeton, NJ. It is about an hour car trip from downtown Jersey City and is accessible via NJ Turnpike and Route 18.