If you are spending spring break in NJ, we have good news—there are plenty of things to do without traveling far, making this staycation spot feel like a real getaway. From heading to the only construction theme park in the US at Diggerland in West Berlin to basking in the balmy temps at Aquatopia in nearby PA to hitting those history-making spots in Revolutionary-era Morristown or booking a mid-week shore getaway in Cape May, we’ve got you covered. And for things to do all spring to fill your bucket list, click on our list of spring activities too. (featured photo credit: Diggerland USA)
Here are 25 things to do during spring break in New Jersey
Big Kahuna’s Water Park
Sahara Sam’s is now Big Kahuna’s Water Park, and the popular year-round day trip destination in West Berlin has been given a refresh with a new name and island theme. No matter what the season, you can bring the whole family for a vacation day full of water rides and slides, including a family raft ride, body slides, a water obstacle course, a water adventure playland, and more. Make sure to test your boogie boarding skills on the Flowrider, race friends on the Raging Rivers Mat Racers, and then float on the Tiki Tides Adventure River. Once you work up an appetite, enjoy the updated menus in The Island Time Café and The Chill Zone, or enjoy an adult beverage from the Sandbar. What’s more, Big Kahuna’s has free parking, a state-of-the-art arcade, cabana rentals, and private party rooms where you can party like The Big Kahuna with NEW party package options. Delight in a tropical paradise anytime throughout the year with the 2023 Season Pass now on sale. Purchase one-day tickets or the 2023 Big Kahuna’s Season Pass online, and don’t forget to use promo code: NJMOMS.
Dig into a new adventure at Diggerland USA
It’s official—Diggerland USA reopens on March 11, 2023, from 11 AM-5 PM on weekends for your little construction enthusiast. And if you’re staying close to home during spring break, the park will be open every day on April 1-16 from 11 AM-6 PM (even on Easter!). Don’t miss the new additions to the park, including the Lumber Jack Claw, where families can experience maneuvering a log loader and massive claw with a joystick. And for touch-a-truck fans, the Hook & Ladder: Station 100 is where you can see, touch (during daily touch times), and climb aboard several EMS vehicles on display. Ready to make a plan? Don’t miss the EXCLUSIVE NJMOM TICKET SALE and save $4 off each regularly priced ticket for a limited time and quantity. Tickets are on sale for ($49.95 at the gate) and $45.95, and group discounts are now available and booking with limited availability.
Make it a zoo day
Heading to a zoo for fresh air and spring break fun should be at the top of your list for a staycation. See exotic animals from your car at Six Flags Drive-Thru Safari (opening April 1), visit the Africa pavilion with lions and giraffes at the Turtle Back Zoo, or see bears and flamingos, and monkeys for free at the Cape May County Zoo. And if you’ve already done those, there are other zoos in NJ to check out. Got kids who love farm animals? Be sure to put a petting zoo on your list of things to do during spring break too.
Ride into fun
Spring is the start of amusement park season, with Diggerland USA, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Storybook Land having opening days and special hours during spring break. It’s a great chance to get in on the action before the summer, where you can take advantage of the new rides and fewer crowds. Check out our guide for more ideas on where to go and the scoop on season passes.
Hop into a good time
With spring break falling around Easter, now is the time to take advantage of those bunny experiences during the week. Hop aboard a bunny train ride where kids can scoop up eggs and candy, go on an egg scavenger hunt, book a brunch with the bunny hopping by, or dress up your kids in their Easter best and visit Peter Rabbit in his garden lair for photo ops. Check out our guide to lots of bunny fun in the Garden State.
Dive into an underwater adventure
Make a splash this spring break and dive into an aquarium where the whole family can learn about sea life and conservation. Head to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden to see rare blue penguins and playful hippos. Or stop by the boardwalk to catch a sloth show at Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Curious about more? Our NJMOM guide to aquariums has everything you need to know about ocean life this spring.
Get active at a playground
Spending time at a playground is a top spring break activity for littles, so why not make it one with water views? Pack a picnic and head down to the water to swing and slide over the sand at one of the beach playgrounds by the shore. And if you can’t get to the shore, the Regatta Playground in the South Mountain Recreation Complex overlooking a pond will give you waterfront vibes while your kids climb on a giant ship.
See history come to life
In New Jersey, we have a little bit of everything, but our historical landmarks are some of the oldest sites in the country. See everything from Washington’s Headquarters during the Revolutionary War in Morristown to Thomas Edison’s laboratory where he invented the light bulb in West Orange. If you are looking to keep the learning going over spring break, make sure you have these historical sites on your list.
Have an intergalactic experience
Rainy days call for a chance to get lost in space while looking up at the stars in the domes of New Jersey’s educational and entertaining planetariums. Kids (and parents) of all ages will be amazed at the enchantment of the dome’s crystal clear projection—all while learning something new.
Get cozy with the alpacas
Did you know that alpacas are from the camelid family? And did you know that there are numerous Alpaca Farms in NJ too? Your littles will love cozying up to the gentle creatures and learning how their fur is used to make lots of products yearly (all 100% safe and animal-friendly).
Climb like a rockstar
Climbing high in an indoor rock climbing space is an excellent opportunity to learn life skills and work together as a team. The whole family can climb with different levels and terrains available. Many locations also have zip lines or places to do bouldering, so even if you aren’t away, you will feel you are ziplining through the hills of Peru.
Splash around indoors
When you want to feel like you’ve gone to the islands, head to one of the indoor waterparks for a tropical escape (and with temps always in the 80s, it’s a swim day no matter what it’s like outside). Make a splash down the slides at Dreamworks Water Park at American Dream or get drenched under the splash fountains at Aquatopia in nearby PA. Whether you stay in NJ or travel close by to New York or Pennsylvania, there are plenty of waterparks to give you those vacation vibes all spring.
Head to the big city
Whether you drive north or south, we are lucky enough to be close to two major cities with a bunch of activities for the whole family. If you want to spend time in the City of Brotherly Love, don’t miss our extensive list of what to do in Philly with kids. Or, if you’ve been there and done that, check out other unique experiences in Philadelphia, like the Neon Museum or Magic Gardens. Looking for the newest things to do in the Big Apple? Don’t miss experiences like Edge NYC or the Museum of Ice Cream. Or check out all of the fantastic attractions NYC offers, including the classics like the Empire State Building, Central Park, and the American Museum of Natural History. You can’t go wrong at either, no matter which direction you choose.
Keep the learning going
Keep the kids thinking, and you might even learn something new at an NJ museum for spring break 2023. Rediscover Liberty Science Center, where special exhibits like Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails will pique your kids’ interest and inspire them to think about their favorite characters. Give your kids a chance to create at the Newark Museum of Art or trick their brains with optical illusions at The TiLT Museum. Kids will appreciate the interactive exhibits, and you can also sneak in some hands-on learning.
Book a close getaway
Finding an escape that appeals to everyone in the fam is not always easy. But how does an indoor pool where the sun shines through at Crystal Springs Resort sound? Or head to Cape May, where the crowds are less, and the resorts, like Congress Hall, host Spring Break activities for kids that take advantage of the natural surroundings. Whether you are bringing the littles to local kid-friendly resorts or looking for an adult-friendly retreat, check out our list of area luxury resorts and hotels.
Find indoor fun everywhere
While it still can be chilly for spring break in NJ, it doesn’t mean you have to stop the fun. Sharpen those skills at indoor mini-golf or strike up the day with bowling, which the whole family can enjoy. Older kids with a need for speed can get their race on at an indoor go-kart track. And the entire family will love competing in a lively game of laser tag.
Listen to nature at a waterfall
New Jersey is known for many things, but did you know it is also full of waterfalls? Some are easily seen from a roadside lookout, while others require a hike (check out what’s doable for your family before you go). When the temps break 60, pack a picnic and try an outdoor excursion at Paterson Great Falls, one of the most iconic in the state and rivals Niagara Falls.
Explore NJ downtowns with your kids
Spring break can be a time to try something new, and New Jersey is full of charming towns and historical sites to explore. Head to Princeton to stroll the grounds of the University, get Hudson River views in Hoboken without the crowds of the Big Apple, or see where “Haddy,” the Hadrosaurus dinosaur roamed in Haddonfield. Want more exciting and unique towns to visit? Find one in our guide to downtowns for families.
Plan a park day
During spring break, heading to a state park is a must—pack a picnic and go out and explore what NJ has to offer. From the promenade at Liberty State Park to spending time in the sand at a historic lighthouse at Cape May Point, there’s an NJ state park that will wow your family. Or stick to a local one, where you can find unique vistas and wide-open places to enjoy a hike, fishing, or a picnic.
See blooms in the gardens
Taking time to smell the flowers in a public garden space is a good way to relax and let your kids discover the beauty of natural spaces. And with so many gardens in our Garden State, you can find famous ones or even lesser-known spots to spend time in, especially during the beginning of April when buds bloom. Head north to Van Vleck House or south to Deep Cut Gardens and read The Best Garden and Nature Centers in New Jersey for more places to go.
Climb to the top of a lighthouse
There’s no better place to take in shore views on a clear day than at the top of an NJ lighthouse. With Sandy Hook to the north, Absecon Lighthouse (NJ’s tallest and is open every day during spring break) to the south, and Finn’s Point out west, there are many options to see a lighthouse or lightship in the state. Not sure where to start? Our guide to NJ lighthouses will show you the way.
See cherry blossoms without going to Washington, DC.
Cherry blossoms are peaking during spring break this year, so skip the trip to DC and stay local. In fact, Branch Brook Park in Newark has more cherry blossom trees than our nation’s capital. Stop by their Cherry Blossom Festival starting on April 1, with activities happening through April 16. Can’t make it there? Find plenty of spots in NJ to see these beauties at their best. But go quick—the peak lasts about a week and usually happens at the beginning of April.
Find ways to jump around inside
If your kids are literally climbing the walls, time get imaginative and out of the house where they can do it at one of the playspaces just for them all over the state. Wherever your littles let their sillies out, you can guarantee a naptime (even on the car ride home). And for older kids trying to couch surf at home, making a trip to a trampoline park will give them an excellent way to get their energy out.
Bike and hike the Garden State
Biking and hiking are two spring break activities you can do whenever the mood strikes. Ride through towns and trails or discover a new bike path with our NJMOM guide to NJ’s most scenic bike paths. Need some wheels? Find a smooth ride at the best bike shops around. Or, for family-friendly hikes that appeal to all ages, explore our list of NJ hiking trails you’ll want to know about.
Discover a new (to you) attraction
From Lucy The Elephant to Battleship New Jersey, spring break is a great time to cross off one of these NJ attractions on your bucket list. Whether you are looking for a free NJ attraction like Big Brook Park Preserve to search for fossils or a strange attraction like the Martian Landing site in West Windsor, you can find so many new things to do to keep your spring break calendar full all week long.
What are you planning for spring break in NJ?
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