Fossils, Trains, And Imagination At The Morris Museum

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Whatever your kids are into at the moment—science, history, dinos, or the arts—a day trip to the Morris Museum will satisfy their curiosity and keep them engaged. With a model train that whizzes around detailed scenes, the Spark!Lab for innovative fun, mechanical instruments that play themselves, and a real dino egg, kids will be immersed in a world of education and fun all wrapped up in one that will have them wanting to come back again and again. Read on for what to expect when you visit, and make sure to check out this and others in the guide to our favorite museums in New Jersey. (featured photo taken at Morris Museum)

Enjoy the Mega Model Train Gallery. Photo taken at Morris Museum.

Explore the museum

As soon as you enter the interactive museum, you will want to plan your stops to match your kids’ interests and appeal to all. Hone in on the permanent collections, including the Guinness Collection of Mechanical Music and Automata, where mechanical dolls and figures come to life through movement and music in a collection that spans over 400 years of how civilizations enjoyed art and music. If your kids are into more local history, make sure to pop into the Native American Gallery, filled with artifacts found in NJ and throughout the US, and The Dodge Room, a living room filled with memorabilia dedicated to Geraldine S. Dodge, a benefactor of Madison, NJ. After you have made your way through these first-floor sections, head up the staircase to the highlight for choo-choo lovers—The Mega Model Train Gallery, a state-of-the-art train set with tiny details and whimsical scenes along 50 feet of interactive tracks. Kids will have a ball pushing one of the 48 buttons that light up, make sounds, and activate different landscape features. Make sure you don’t miss all the little scenes (look for skeletons and a family of bears), and for more train fun, challenge your kids to a rousing game of I-Spy to see how many different buildings and scenes you can spot. 

Spend some time using your imagination at the Spark!Lab. Photo taken at Morris Museum.

Visit The Spark!Lab

One of the coolest experiences at the museum is the Spark!Lab, a studio that offers an informal approach to hands-on learning. This museum area is intended to ignite kids’ ingenuity through fun and interactive challenges. There are no instructions for what kids can do, but instead, they can use their imagination to tackle engineering and design challenges. With multiple project stations, kids ages 5-12 can get a free Spark!Lab passport and get a stamp each time they visit the lab for an exclusive prize. Younger kids can work at the Young Inventor Space, where they can take in a train and exploration table geared toward their age.

Check out the dinosaur fossils in the Earth Science Gallery. Photo taken at Morris Museum.

Enjoy the Earth Science Gallery

If your little one is into dinosaurs, fossils, or rocks, stopping at the Earth Science Gallery is a must during your visit. Make sure your little ones use the dinosaur tracks on your way into the gallery. Your littles will be able to touch a real dinosaur egg, hear the simulated sound of a honking Hardosaur, check out prehistoric fossils, see a huge amethyst geode, explore petrified wood that is millions of years old, and so much more. Kids will be in awe when they look at the fossils and other clues to learn about the animals that roamed the Earth so many years ago and what our state looked like while they were alive. 

What to know before you go

Tickets to the museum are $12 for general admission, $8 for 65+ or children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and under. Free admission is granted to museum members and active military personnel and their families. The museum is open from 11 AM to 5 PM, Wednesday to Sunday, and only to museum members the first Tuesday of every month from 11 AM to 2 PM. There is a gift shop where you will find science toys, a dinosaur train, and small snacks. Throughout the year, the Morris Museum hosts family events and live performances at the attached Bickford Theater, so check the calendar on the website for more information.

Morris Museum 
6 Normandy Heights Road
Morristown, NJ 07738
(973) 971-3700

Learn more about Morris Museum by visiting their websiteFacebook, and Instagram.

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About Author

Karen lives in Central Jersey with her two dogs, one cat, husband and daughter Olivia. Graduating from Seton Hall University with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations, she has been writing and working in the social media field for a few years. One of her proudest moments as a writer so far has been interviewing Tim Gunn from 'Project Runway' and subsequently winning Honorable Mention in NJ for Feature Writing. When she is not busy as a mom, she enjoys reading, going to the beach and watching the Real Housewives. She is very excited for the opportunity to be a part of the NJ Mom team!

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