Some landmarks in NJ are iconic—Paterson Great Falls and Lucy The Elephant, to name a few—while others are less obvious, but New Jersey is home to some truly awe-inspiring sites. Whether it’s tall lighthouses, one-of-a-kind farms, historical sites, lively amusements, or sporting venues, there are fascinating landmarks all over the state. With so many destinations to experience, your family will have a blast crossing each one off your bucket list.
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Here are 30 Must Know Kid-Friendly Landmarks in NJ:
Beach Landmarks in NJ:
Located in Atlantic City, this sky-high landmark in NJ is the tallest lighthouse in the state. Kids will love taking the adventurous climb to the top to be rewarded by the spectacular coastal views when they arrive. There are also different kid-friendly activities offered throughout the year at the lighthouse so children can have fun while learning about the history of this iconic structure (they are periodically adding events in 2021). We love this site so much it’s number one on our 11 NJ Lighthouses to Visit With the Kids.
31 S. Rhode Island Road Atlantic City, NJ 08401 | 609-449-1360
As all Jersey natives know, the shore is one thing that makes our state so unique. Specifically, the boardwalk located in Asbury Park is one of the more eclectic spots to check out. Family-friendly events are offered year-round, and you can’t match the view of the beach paired with restaurants and entertainment anywhere else. It’s a one-stop hit for summer fun, and if you have time to explore more downtown, Asbury Park is featured on our 10 Best Family-Friendly Downtowns in NJ.
1300 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
If your kids need a break from the sand in the summer, the Lighthouse in Cape May is the perfect place to take them. They’ll love the adventure of climbing to the top and looking out onto the vast ocean. They can also learn all about the water, sailors, and other maritime information at the on-site Oil House, a great landing zone if your child doesn’t feel up to climbing the lighthouse. There are plenty of fun events and activities happening at the Cape May Lighthouse, and learn more about this site with our 11 NJ Lighthouses to Visit With the Kids.
215 Lighthouse Ave, Cape May, NJ 08212 | 609-884-5404
Lucy the Elephant is the oldest roadside attraction in the US and the most iconic landmark in NJ. Standing at an impressive six stories tall in Margate, New Jersey, Lucy is a staple tourist attraction. Kids can climb inside Lucy to the top to see incredible views of the beach. Make sure to pack a snack or lunch because after exploring Lucy, kids can play in the comfort of the fenced-in park and enjoy their picnic-style meal. Did you know that Lucy the Elephant is also an Airbnb? Learn more about it in our Lucy the Elephant: A Gigantic Adventure in New Jersey.
9200 Atlantic Avenue, Margate, NJ 080402 | 609-823-6473
With three different piers and two unique water parks, Morey’s Piers in Wildwood has entertaining and thrilling attractions. This iconic location offers rides and rollercoasters for every age, in addition to water rides and carnival games. A plethora of classic boardwalk food and more refined dining options are also available, ensuring that Morey’s has every ingredient for the perfect recipe of beach fun.
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260
6. Ocean City
Known as “America’s Greatest Family Resort,” Ocean City lives up to its nickname. The coastal island is full of kid-friendly activities, including hitting the beach and boardwalk, biking, fishing, golfing, and kayaking, as well as surfing and other water sports. Ocean City is also home to fabulous bakeries and ice cream shops for when your little ones need a quick, tasty snack. Ocean City is always thriving with activity and is a treasured destination for New Jersey natives and tourists alike.
Ocean City, NJ 08226 | 1-800-232-2465
Outdoor Landmarks in NJ
7. Abma’s Farm
At Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff, you get a market, greenhouse, and petting zoo all in one. Marked as “Bergen County’s Poultry and Produce Farm,” Abma’s is as fun for kids as it is for adults. At the Barnyard, kids can pet and feed animals, watch a chick hatch, take a hayride or a pony ride, and attend programs and summer camp. After enjoying the fun of the barnyard, the perfect place to grab a snack is in the market with locally grown food.
700 Lawlins Road Wyckoff, NJ 07481 | 201-891-0278
Hike a trail, go fishing, or admire the awesome waterfalls at the Delaware Water Gap. This outdoor area is on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and countless outdoor areas to explore. From kid-friendly hiking trails that are easy enough for the littlest adventurer to more challenging routes with steep vertical and breathtaking mountain views, Delaware Water Gap Recreational Area continues to be a nature lover’s paradise in New Jersey.
Old Mine Road, Hardwick Township, NJ 07832 | 570-426-2452
9. Duke Farms
Set in Hillsborough, Duke Farms prides itself on providing “a fresh experience.” Your kids can take fun workshops such as Peeps and Croaks and learn all about the toads and frogs in New Jersey while playing games. Bike rentals make it easy to cruise the farm’s easy-to-ride bike paths, and a café with local ingredients is also a highlight of this family-friendly wildlife sanctuary. Duke Farms is among The Best Gardens and Nature Centers in New Jersey, in our opinion.
1112 Dukes Parkway West Hillsborough, NJ 08844 | 908-722-3700
This one-of-a-kind outdoor museum in Hamilton, New Jersey, exposes children to fine art in an untraditional way. Featuring unique sculptures, roaming colorful peacocks, and peaceful garden space, Grounds for Sculpture is a unique, kid-friendly sanctuary that emits creativity. This place is perfect for the artists in the family or kids that love interacting with rare and exciting attractions. Learn more with 6 Things To Know About Grounds For Sculpture.
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619 | 609-586-0616
At High Point State Park, families can hike, swim, camp, picnic, and bike together. You can also take a break from the action and admire the spectacular views from the High Point Monument (currently closed due to COVID-19). This beautiful landmark encourages families to be active together, and it’s one of our 18 NJ Parks To Explore In 2021.
1480 Route 23, Sussex, NJ 07461 | 973-875-4800
Centered around the Passaic River’s breathtaking waterfalls, this landmark is unlike any other in its naturally breathtaking views. Kids love to explore the falls and outdoor park on a beautiful, sunny day and enjoy a picnic with the whole family with the sound of refreshing, falling water in the background. Learn Why Paterson Great Falls Should Be On Your NJ Bucket List.
72 McBride Ave, Paterson, NJ 07501 | 973-523-0370
13. Rutgers Gardens
Kids can dive into the gardening world on the educational campus of Rutgers University to learn all about the environment in this comfortable atmosphere. Children’s programs are offered at Rutgers Gardens for any child interested in the outdoor world of plants, animals, insects, or gardening. See why we found Rutgers Gardens to be among The Best Gardens and Nature Centers in New Jersey.
130 Log Cabin Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | 732-932-8451
14. Sandy Hook
This popular national park has a unique ecosystem because it has a beach and a maritime forest with a large population of wildlife. Some designated picnic areas are now available to the public, along with basketball and tennis courts, and of course, the beach. Restrooms are open, too, and beach parking is free until Memorial Day. Don’t miss it on our NJ Attractions to Enjoy This Spring Guide.
128 South Hartshorne Drive, Highlands, NJ 07732 | 732-872-5970
Historical Landmarks in NJ
Go back in time by visiting The Historic Village at Allaire in Farmingdale. Experience how people lived every aspect of their life in the 19th century, from the carpentry shop and the schoolhouse to the blacksmith shop and home life; kids can experience our state’s history in a fun and interactive ways. Tours, exhibits, and programs make sharing our past unique and exciting.
4263 Atlantic Ave, Farmingdale, NJ 07727 | 732-919-3500
This battleship is the spot for your little adventurers. Battleship New Jersey, located just across the river from Philadelphia, is home to America’s most decorated battleship, and now you and your kids can go inside and explore it. Battleship also offers overnight stays for your little ones (starting again in September 2021), where they get the chance to live, sleep, and eat like real sailors. It’s on our NJ Attraction List; is it on yours?
62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103 | 856-966-1652
Take part in honoring the New Jersey residents lost during 9/11 by visiting this beautiful memorial. The impressive monument and stunning views of New York City make this location extremely special. It’s a spot to reflect, remember, and teach our children about our country’s past. To learn more about it, check out our NJ Attractions Guide.
1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305
No New Jersey landmark list would be complete without the New Jersey State House in Trenton. This location is full of rich history, art, and architecture and one of the best places to learn about our state. State House Tours are suspended at this time due to COVID-19.
125 W State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608 | 609-292-2121
This place is not just a museum about Thomas Edison, but rather, his actual house and laboratory. Located in West Orange, the Thomas Edison National Historic Park allows children to tour the mansion, greenhouse, farm, and of course, the lab where he first discovered electricity. Kids can also see where much of their daily life in music or movies started. The Historic Park is opening in a phased approach at this time; check the website for updates.
211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052 | 973-736-0550
Learn about an essential part of our country’s past during a visit to Cape May. The World War II Lookout Tower is the last remaining and restored tower from WWII in New Jersey. Kids can climb to the top and learn some history while also remembering those who gave their lives for our country. There are also interactive exhibits at each tower level, so little ones can take a break from walking and learn more about what life was like during the war.
Sunset Blvd, Cape May, NJ 08204 | 609-884-5404
American troops under General George Washington defeated the British on the morning of January 3, 1777. The Battle of Princeton lasted over ten days, and it began with Washington’s famous crossing of the Delaware on December 25, 1776. The famous Mercer Oak once stood in the middle of the battlefield not far from the spot with General Mercer fell during the battle. Now, this State Park is full of education, trails, recreation, bird and wildlife viewing, and more.
500 Mercer Road, Princeton, NJ 08540 | 609-921-0074
Mine tours are temporarily closed at this NJ attraction (they plan to reopen in July), but we couldn’t keep this kid-friendly landmark in New Jersey off our list. This location has been a National Historic site since 1991, and it houses the most extensive collection of fluorescent minerals in the entire world. When the mine reopens, take a guided tour of the 1,300 ft. tunnel inside the mine, the Zobel Hall Museum where the miners would start and end their workday, and the Warren Museum with more than 700 fluorescent minerals and objects on display. Kids and adults are encouraged to go mining for minerals at the Mine Run Dump and sluicing (aka panning) stations. To learn more about this site and others, visit our 7 Strange NJ Attractions That You’ll Want To Check Out.
30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439 | 973-209-7212
Did you know that Cape May has the second most extensive collection of Victorian houses just behind San Francisco? The historic district of Cape May is 380 acres with over 600 buildings in this late Victorian-style resort town in New Jersey. There is so much more to Cape May with its beaches, lodging, shopping, top eateries—the town has been hosting tourists since the mid-18th century, and it was considered one of the finest resorts in America by the 19th century. And while you are there, don’t miss the nearby Cape May Zoo.
513 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204 | 609-898-4500
Ellis Island was the first and most significant federal immigration processing station, and it reopened to the public in 1990 as the country’s primary museum devoted to immigration. The museum’s main building is in New York, and the expanded territory is mostly within New Jersey. The entire island has been Federal property since 1808. Learn all about your ancestors, and don’t forget to visit the Statue of Liberty at this historic landmark. Ellis Island is currently in a limited reopening phase; check the website for updates.
Ellis Island Receiving Center/Statue of Liberty National Monument Jersey City, NJ 07305 | 212-363-3200
About 7,400 acres occupy the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Lakehurst, NJ. The Air Station was the hub of naval “lighter-than-air activity” with airships, and it even hosted the Graf Zeppelin, which was in the process of making a trip around the world. The first major facility at this site was Hangar #1. Lakehurst Naval Air Station is also known for being the infamous location of the crash of the largest airship ever built, the Hindenburg. The Naval Air Station tours and gift shop are currently unavailable due to COVID-19.
Landsdowne Road, Lakehurst, NJ 08733 | 732-818-7520
Amusement Landmarks in NJ
Home to the east coast’s most extensive collection of sharks, Adventure Aquarium in Camden is the place to be for all things aquatic. It has over 8,500 species, including a hippo exhibit, making it the only aquarium in the world featuring these giant creatures. Kids can also participate in daily feedings and meet the diving team. This aquarium goes above and beyond normal expectations, and here are 6 Things To Know About Adventure Aquarium.
1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103 | 844-474-3474
From the T. rex Experience and Hot Wheels: Race to Win to Microbes Rule and Boom Time, Liberty Science Center has it all. Located in Jersey City, this location offers all things science. Pixelpalooza, Brain Games, and Communication exhibits are just a few of the cool and mind-blowing interactive options for your kids to try. Bees to Bots and the Wonder Why exhibit are two more of the fun and crazy things to see at Liberty Science Center. Your kids will love the weird and cool things they find here.
222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305 | 201-200-1000
Take a spin on the carousel, get dizzy on the enchanted teacups, and experience all the thrills on some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world in Jackson, NJ. Six Flags Great Adventure is a fun day for all ages. You can find gentle rides for littles, moderate ones for everyone, and mind-blowing attractions for older kids, teens, and adults, like the Jersey Devil Coaster, which is expected to debut sometime in 2021. If animals are more your speed, view 1,200 exotic animals from six continents all from the comfort of your car at the Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari.
1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527 | 732-928-2000
Sports Landmarks in NJ
29. MetLife Stadium
MetLife Stadium is an iconic sports landmark in New Jersey and known nationally. The stadium is home to classic sports teams such as the Giants and Jets and the host of international soccer games as well as the New Jersey State Fair (which runs from June 18-July 11 2021); no matter which event you attend, it’s bound to give your family an exciting and unforgettable experience.
One MetLife Stadium Dr. East Rutherford, NJ 07073 | 201-559-1500
As another sports landmark in New Jersey is the Prudential Center, located in Newark. Home to the New Jersey Devils, this venue also hosts a plethora of concerts performed by the biggest names in the world. Your kids will love experiencing their first big sporting event or concert at such an impressive arena.
25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ 07102 | 973-757-6000