Tired of doing the same old activities with your kids? Luckily Jersey City is close to many wonderful cultural venues so there’s always something new to check out. The next time you’re planning an outing, consider one of these ten great options for kids, all offering tons of family-friendly programs. Read on for all the details on upcoming shows, exhibits and more!
Big Apple Circus: Luminocity (Bridgewater, NJ)
February 27-March 16
This entertaining and high-energy show features traditional circus acts such as trapeze artists, clowns, acrobats and a very talented group of pups! It’s the perfect show for little ones who might be too scared or overwhelmed by larger three-ring circus shows. The show takes place at the TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, about 45 minutes from Jersey City. Tickets range from $25-80 and discounts are available online.
Children’s Museum of Manhattan (New York, NY)
Explore five floors of interactive exhibits at this popular New York City museum. Kids can play with Alphie the talking dragon, drive a fire truck, dig in the sand and so much more! Current exhibits include Adventures with Dora & Diego, Eat Sleep Play and Red Grooms’ New York City. Children can also participate in daily activities such as art projects and story time. Admission is $11 for adults and children 1 and up. Babies 0-12 months are free. The museum is accessible via car or NYC subway.
Children’s Shows at Paper Mill Playhouse (Millburn, NJ)
Paper Mill Playhouse is known for their top-notch adult productions but they also offer a series of wonderful shows just for children. Upcoming performances include Junie B. Jones on March 22, Charlotte’s Web on April 26, Seussical on April 27 and Are You My Mother? on May 3. All shows are suitable for ages 4-12. Tickets are $12.75 per person. The Paper Mill Playhouse is about 30 minutes from Jersey City by car. Travel by NJ Transit train is also available.
Fluff: A Story of Lost Toys (New York, NY)
April 26-May 4
The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street is one of the best spots in the city for children’s performances. They feature many wonderful events throughout the year, including this innovative and funny show straight from Australia. Meet the Ginghams, an offbeat trio who welcome long-lost toys into their home. Best for ages 5 and up. Tickets range from $14-38. Member discounts are available. The theater is easily accessible via subway or PATH trains.
Gazillion Bubble Show (New York, NY)
Now through September 2014
Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles! This spectacular show includes lasers, light effects and amazing bubble masterpieces sure to delight the kids in your family. The show takes place at New World Stages in midtown Manhattan, accessible via car or subway. Tickets range from $55-75 per person. Lap seats for children 2 and under are $20.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (New York, NY)
Visit the only museum where you can experience an aircraft carrier, space shuttle and submarine–this is definitely a local treasure you don’t want to miss! Kids can climb into a helicopter, jump into a lifeboat and check out a 22-foot model of the Intrepid made out of Legos. Stop by the Discovery Deck on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for special craft projects and demonstrations related to sea, air and space themes. Tickets are $31 for adults, $24 for ages 7-17, $17 for ages 3-6 and free for children under 3. All access passes are also available. The Intrepid is located on the west side of Manhattan, accessible via NYC subway or bus.
Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ)
Permanent exhibits at this family-friendly museum include Digging Dinosaurs, Trains & Railroads and Rocks & Minerals. Kids will love climbing into a dinosaur’s egg, watching the model trains go round the track and checking out rock specimens. The museum hosts tons of programs for kids, including monthly Tot Tours, Super Science Saturdays and special family festivals such as Astro Day on March 22 and Dino Day on April 26. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for children 3-12 and free for kids under 3. Morris Museum is approximately 40 minutes from Jersey City by car.
Newark Museum (Newark, NJ)
The Planetarium at Newark Museum is the perfect destination for any kid interested in space. Special shows include “Little Star That Could” for ages 5-8 and “Back to the Moon” for ages 9 and up (both starting April 2). The galleries feature many hands-on exhibits such as Dynamic Earth and the Fire Museum. And don’t miss their special family events such as Generation Fit Family Day on March 15 and Mini Maker Faire on April 5. Admission is $12 for adults, $7 for children and free for kids under 2 years. Newark Museum is accessible via Light Rail.
March 16, May 18
This series offers performances specifically created for children with autism and other sensory sensitivity. The volume will be lowered and the lights will stay on during each show. Upcoming productions include the ballet Sleeping Beauty on March 16 and Aesop’s Fables, starring puppeteer Jim West, on May 18. Seating is general admission and all tickets are $8. The Union County Performing Arts Center is about 30 minutes from Jersey City by car.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Newark, NJ)
New Jersey Performing Arts Center presents this lively adaptation of the classic children’s book featuring a father and his four children as they track down a bear. This interactive production contains catchy tunes and is a perfect first theater performance for young children. It’s recommended for ages 3-8. Tickets are $22 for adults and $13 for children. NJPAC is accessible via PATH or Light Rail trains.
Jennifer Battista is proud to be a Jersey Girl. She lives in Berkeley Heights with her hubby, two sons and kitty. Jennifer works as a freelance writer and editor for several websites, including Mommy Poppins. She loves to plan activities for her family and friends, and to discover new places all over the Garden State. You can follow Jennifer on Google+ or on twitter.