November is here and it brings with it many, many days off for public school kids. Public schools in Jersey City are closed Tuesday 11/4 for Election Day, Thursday 11/6 and Friday 11/7 for NJEA Teacher’s Convention, Tuesday 11/11 for 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. Current exhibits include “Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World”, Beyond Rubik’s Cube, Lightning Show and more. 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 “To The Arctic”, Mysteries of the Unseen World or Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. IMAX tickets are between $8 – $10. General admission to LSC is $19.75 for adults over 13 years of age and $15.75 for children ages 2 – 12. You can also buy combo tickets that include movies.
Lincoln Center, NYC
Big Apple Circus is a fun, family-friendly event that the kids will love. Now through January 11th you can experience it at Lincoln Center in New York City. The theme this year is “Metamorphosis.” Choose from two shows on 11/4 (at 12:30pm and 4:30pm), two shows on 11/6 and 11/7 (at 11am and 6:30pm) and two shows on 11/11 at 12:30pm and 4:30pm. On Thursdays they offer a “Dinner & Show” special for the 6:30pm show time. Choose from two packages: the $80 package includes a premium or preferred seat and a premium “circus meal” and the $45 package includes a preferred or side seat and a “classic circus meal.” Tickets range in cost from $25 – $175 depending on your seat location. Children under the age of three may be seated on the lap of a parent.
This cool festival is open for all ages and runs from November 6 – 8. View beautiful light installations and listen to musical performances all under the archway of the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. The festival takes place after dark, of course. The hours: 11/6 from 7pm – 11pm and 11/7 and 11/8 from 5pm – 11pm. This event is free and open to all.
One Dinosaur Way, Secaucus
If you have a dinosaur lover in the house – this is the place to go! Even little ones that aren’t dino enthusiasts will enjoy Field Station Dinosaurs. Plus, it’s super close to Jersey City (less than a 20 minute drive). The season ends November 9th, but you are just in time to catch the last few days. Thursday – Sunday, November 6 – 9 it is open 10am – 5pm. Check out more than 30 life-sized, realistic dinosaurs, including the 90-foot long Argentinosaurus, the largest animatronic dinosaur ever made. While you are there, watch the “Dinosaurs Alive! 3D” movie. For the month of November, ticket prices are reduced. Tickets are $15 for adults and children (day passes) and you may add a 3D movie on for $5/person.
278 Spring Street, NYC
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.
49 Washington Street, Newark
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.
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.