If it’s an indoor kind of day, Monmouth Museum in Lincroft is where kids will have a blast and sneak in some learning (mom win). Thanks to the history, science, and interactive exhibits, littles can get busy without even realizing they are honing motor skills and gaining STEAM knowledge. And with 15,000 square feet of space, two children’s wings, two galleries with rotating exhibits, plus a whale of a slide, the Monmouth Museum is an indoor activity go-to all year round. Read on for more details to know, and if you can’t make it to Monmouth, there are plenty of NJ museums you can visit near you. (featured photo taken at Monmouth Museum)
Explore the Wonder Wing
If your kids love to explore, climb, interact, and create, then The Wonder Wing is where they will want to while away an afternoon. This wing is catered to ages 6 and under, but there are paths for adults and older kids to stay close, so there is no need to split up. Kids will adore the under-the-sea theme that offers everything from a puzzle corner, stage area, treehouse, lighthouse, rope bridge, ship, and the adorable whale slide that is accessed by a stairwell, with a mouth opening at the bottom onto a padded landing. There is also a craft area that offers rotating crafts plus crayons and paper for doodling. Need a minute? Take a break on one of the adjacent benches where you can keep an eye on littles and relax.
The Becker STEAM Wing and The Garrett Reisman Center for Air & Space
Kids of all ages will want to head to the Becker Room, where STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) exhibits and activities give them plenty of ways to discover and learn about the world around us. With exhibits as varied as fossils, dinosaurs, horseshoe crabs, a recycled arts studio, an innovation lab, and an aquaponics system, there’s plenty to keep kids engaged. Upstairs, The Space Center has TV displays showing the astronauts in space and a constellation station where you can match and form your name with stars. Downstairs, park toddlers and babies on the carpeted open play space with toys like musical instruments, soft plushies, and puzzles. If your kids want to create, don’t miss the recycled craft station that offers a daily craft activity.
Choo-choo holiday fun
From mid-November to early January, the Monmouth Museum Holiday Train Display takes center stage alongside their themed 20-foot tree in the Main Gallery. Kids will be amazed to watch the vintage Lionel trains whiz through a miniature winter wonderland, and they will be thrilled to interact with the display by pushing one of the little buttons to light up the lights or sound the train horn. The exhibit makes it feel like a miniature village, with real, local businesses featured throughout, including Oak Hill Farms, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Ocean First Bank, and Shore Points Acupuncture. Tip: Pick up a Holiday Train Scavenger Hunt sheet even if your kiddos don’t want to participate because it gives extra details to ensure you catch everything. Keep in mind that to preserve the antique trains, they run for 45 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
What to know before you go
The museum is closed on Mondays. The Becker STEAM Wing and Garrett Reisman Center for Air & Space are only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Hours are subject to change, so it’s always best to check them beforehand. Admission provides access to all areas, and general admission is $14, free for children under 2 and for Brookdale Community College staff and students and active military families with a valid ID. Members get unlimited visits for the year and perks like discounts to events. Buying tickets online ahead of time is recommended for a quicker check-in. There is stroller parking around the corner, but the museum itself isn’t stroller-friendly. Baby changing areas are available, and a private nursing area is in the ladies’ room off the main hallway. Food and drinks are not permitted inside, but there are two nature garden spots with picnic tables available, weather permitting; if you are coming with a larger group, make sure to call in advance to reserve the space. You can book a birthday party at Monmouth Museum in the Wonder Wing and Craft Room. Check out their special event calendar, including Storytime and Crafts and other events like Ocean Explorers and a Juried Art Show.
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738
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