January is quickly coming to a close, but it’s not too late to end the month with a bang, with kid-friendly events happening all weekend. Witness 12,000-pound trucks muscle their way around the track at Monster Jam in Newark, taste the hottest chili while looking at frozen sculptures at the Fire & Ice Festival in Mt. Holly, or soak up the shore at Seven Presidents Ocean Park’s Annual Open House in Long Branch. And just when you think you’ve pushed your family fun to the limit, don’t forget to check out our winter bucket list. (feature photo credit: monsterjam.com)
(Note: It’s always best to check ahead for in-person events)
January 27 – 29 at 1 PM and 7 PM
Get your adrenalin pumping with a monster truck showdown. First, join the fun at the Monster Jam Pit Party and see the 12,000-pound trucks up close. Snap a picture with your favorite driver and crew, and then get ready to watch the giant trucks and drivers compete for the Winner’s Circle with thrilling spins and turns.
Cost: Prices vary. All fans aged 2 and older are required to have a ticket.
25 Lafayette St, Newark, NJ 07102
Rutgers Geological Museum’s 55th Annual Open House
January 28 at 9 AM
Browse a selection of rare rocks, minerals, and fossils from New Jersey and around the world at The Rutgers Geology Museum, where the whole family can learn about the latest discoveries in geology. Kids 8 and older can create earth science-based hands-on activities. Arts and crafts activities will be set up around the museum for visitors of all ages.
85 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Mount Holly Fire & Ice Festival
January 28 at 10 AM
Back and bigger than ever, this lively festival will be full of wintery events all day. Sample chili and vote for your favorite fiery recipe, watch sled dogs, check out the art, build and eat s’mores and watch skilled ice cravers turn ice into frozen works of art.
High Street, Mount Holly, NJ 08060
Ground Hog Day Celebration
January 28 at 10:00 AM
Learn facts about Groundhogs Day as you take your kids on a journey to find Wally the Woodchuck. Kids and adults will experience what it feels like to chuck wood with a catapult or trebuchet and search for groundhog holes with nature experts. Children attending must be ages 5 and up; adult attendance is required.
Cost: Tickets cost $10 per adult; $5 per child.
31 Titus Mill Road Pennington, NJ 08534
Downtown Metuchen’s Lunar New Year Celebration
January 28 at 1 PM
Celebrate the Lunar New Year in Downtown Metuchen. Eventgoers will learn about the culture and history of this special day and enjoy Lion Dancers, crafts, and stories.
10 Station Pl, Ste 3, Metuchen, NJ 08840
14th Annual Yuletide Bonfire
January 28 at 6 PM
Bring on the hot chocolate and the bonfire—the whole family can gather for a fun evening of warmth and community. The event includes horse and carriage rides, hot chocolate and cookies, marshmallow roasting, and music.
32 Haver Farm Rd, Clinton, NJ 08809
Jersey Art Book Fair
January 28 – 29
Experience every book lover’s dream come true at the Jersey Art Book fair featuring over 60 exhibitors. Attendees can purchase art books, zines, posters, and other print ephemera. The packed program includes zine-making workshops, riso-printing demos, book signings, and kids’ activities.
888 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07306
Garden State Winter Fest
January 28 – 29
Comic fans unite at the Garden State Winter Fest. The whole family can enjoy comics, toys, collectibles, artwork, cosplay, and food trucks offering treats and specialties.
Cost: Tickets cost $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday. Kids under 10 are free all weekend. All tickets are sold cash at the door.
37 Plains Rd, Augusta, NJ 07822
January Family Sundays
January 29 at 10 AM
Enjoy an interactive play area open to kids of all ages. Or unleash your creativity with your family as you create your own keepsake box. After, enjoy the museum’s family-friendly exhibition, Animal Kingdom.
Cost: Free for members. $10 for nonmembers and $8 for children over 3 years old.
49 Washington Street Newark, NJ 07102
Wassailing the Apple Trees
January 29 at 1 PM
Celebrate an ancient British tradition with dancing and singing at Terhune Orchards, where everyone can join in to celebrate this traditional custom meant to ensure a successful crop next season. The whole family can enjoy music-making, hot cider, and singing by the Molly Dancers, and don’t forget to bring your own noise makers to partake in the fun.
330 Cold Soil Road Princeton, NJ 08540
Seashore Open House at Seven Presidents Ocean Park
January 29 at 1 PM
Soak in the seashore at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, where the whole family can partake in hands-on activities to learn more about the shore and the sea. You can speak with a Park System Naturalist about your own shell collection or the aquatic animals on display and create a beach keepsake to take home.
221 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Lunar Fest NJ 2023
January 29 at 12 PM
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit featuring a diversity of cultural performances, including Saung Budaya Indonesian Dance, Tari Merak (Dance of the Peacock), and Bajidor Kahot, a dance from West Java.
60 Woodland Rd, Maplewood, NJ 07040
See the planets and constellations in this extended version of the popular night sky presentations. Educators will share the ancient story of the constellations, take you on a journey to distant planets and stars, and share the latest space news and discoveries. You’ll see something new each time you visit as aspiring and seasoned amateur astronomers learn how to discover the night skies from their backyard.
Cost: $3 and up
Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028
The 20th Annual Antique Toy Train Show
At this lively display, adults and kids can observe vintage trains from the 1930s, 40s, and ’50s. There will be collections of Lionel, Marx, and American Flyer engines with adjoining cars that will race on two platforms along with vintage buildings and landscapes.
Cost: $3 for kids and $4 for adults
138 Andaalaro Way, Deptford, NJ 08093
Ice Bumper Cars
Sign up for a 45-minutes of non-stop slippery fun on the ice without skates. Kids and adults will enjoy this bumper-style version of ice skating that requires no-skating skill.
Cost: Starting at $20
Van Saun County Park, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652
Great Swamp Maple Sugaring
Learn how to make the sweet stuff by identifying and tapping maple trees, collecting sap, and making real maple syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. Then taste the syrup too. This program will be held entirely outdoors, so dress for the weather. The syrup will be available for purchase while supplies last. Preregistration is required.
Cost: $6 per person
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, 247 Southern Boulevard, Chatham Township, NJ 07928
Night Forms: Infinite Wave at Grounds For Sculpture
The whole family will love to see the Grounds of Sculpture reimagined after hours, with a multi-sensory light and sound experience designed to engage with the art and horticulture collection. Spend the evening outdoors exploring the lighting, sound, and video projection mapping, and join the interactive exhibits, which will delight kids and adults.
Cost: $22 and up
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
RWJBarnabas Health Events
Kids Snack Time
January 30 at 4:30 PM
It’s time for an after-school snack. Grab your apron and join Ms. Jenn for a hands-on cooking class in a demonstration kitchen. Young chefs aged 4 and up are welcome to attend with an adult.
LiveWell Center, 200 Wyckoff Rd. Suite 1200, Eatontown, NJ 07724
Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen
January 31 at 4:30 PM
Come in person or join virtually for this hands-on cooking for ages 8-12. Your child will learn how to cook with nutritious ingredients, how to read a recipe, kitchen safety tips, measuring techniques, and learn knife skills.
Online or Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Christian Community Health and Wellness Center at Newark Beth Israel
Medical Center, 208 Lyons Ave., Newark, NJ 07112
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