January is coming to a close, and we’ve got plenty of family fun this weekend before it ends. Watch trucks do amazing tricks at the Monster Jam at the Prudential Center in Newark, celebrate Wassailing the Apple Trees with music, dance and cider at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, or watch ice sculptors create art out of ice at the Fire and Ice Festival in Mount Holly. And for more things to do with the fam, check out our guide to free stuff to do this month.
Featured Photo Credit: Monster Jam
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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)
Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center Maple Sugaring
Every weekend until March 12
Learn all about identifying and tapping maple trees, collecting sap, and making real maple syrup over a wood-fired evaporator. You can even bring home the freshly made syrup for pancakes. Make sure to bundle up since you’ll be outside the whole time.
Cost: $5 per person—this program is for ages 5 and up, and preregistration is required.
Great Swamp Education Center, 247 Southern Blvd., Chatham Township, NJ 07928
January 25 at 9 AM
Join a Park System Naturalist for a laid-back morning bird walk at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, Long Branch.
Cost: Free, open to all ages, under 18 with an adult.
221 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740
January 26 at 10 AM
Get ready for a winter walk along with a Park System Naturalist as you explore Hartshorne Woods Park in the wintertime. Make sure to wear sturdy footwear.
Cost: Free; all ages under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
1402 Portland Road, Highlands, NJ (Rocky Point Entrance) 07732
Sundays until March 27 at 2 PM
Families with younger kids can enjoy the planetarium for shorter family shows with themes that change monthly. January is “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion,” February is “Peter and the Wolf (Laser),” and March is “The Little Star That Could.”
Cost: $2 per person
Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028
January 28 at 5:30 PM
It’s the Sixers family-fun night with 76ers Tyrese Maxey, 76ers Public Announcer Matt Cord, and 76ers mascots Franklin the Dog. There will also be balloon sculpting, face painting, magic games, prizes, and you can bring items to be signed.
Cost: Family events are free, but tickets are required to meet Tyrese Maxey and range from $29 and up
Deptford Mall, 1750 Deptford Center Road, Deptford, NJ 08096
January 29 at 10 AM
Check out the frozen sculpture art and have a steaming bowl of chili when professional ice carvers and chili chefs from up and down the east coast come together at this annual festival. Sample the hot chili, vote for your favorites, and be sure to snap lots of selfies for the ‘gram.
Downtown Mount Holly, NJ 08060
January 29 at 10 AM
Howell Living History Farm was once known as an “ice farm” because people could buy ice from the pond to keep their milk cold on the way to the train station. Visitors can learn about the process, help pull blocks up the ramp to the ice house, chip ice to make ice cream, and make an ice candle (small fee).
70 Woodens Lane, Lambertville, NJ 08530
Cancelled for January 29 and Rescheduled to May 19 at 2 PM and 5:30 PM
Bring the kids to a live performance again—watch O The Owl, Miss Elaina, Katerina Kittycat, and more friends join Daniel Tiger on stage at this family-friendly show.
The Count Basie Center For The Arts, 99 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ 07701
January 29-30, times vary
Bring the whole family to see your favorite monster trucks and hear the roar of the engines. You can even join the Monster Jam® Pit Party, where you can see the massive trucks up close, watch live pre-race interviews, participate in Q&As with the drivers, and take pictures too.
Cost: $15 each and additional costs for the Pit Party
Prudential Center, 25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ 07102
January 30 at 1 PM
The Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center in Long Branch has its annual Open House to enjoy seashore fun. The whole family will love engaging in hands-on activities about the shore and the sea. Don’t forget to take a beach keepsake to take with you.
221 Ocean Avenue, Long Branch, NJ 07740
January 30 at 12 PM
Take a guided hike to look for winter animals and hear how they survive the cold winter. Make sure to dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and bring binoculars if you have them.
Cost: Free for ages 5 and up with an adult; call on the day of the event to check for weather cancellation.
Liberty State Park, Nature Center, 200 Morris Pesin Drive, Jersey City, NJ 07305
(201) 915-3400 x503
Wassailing the Apple Trees at Terhune Orchards
January 30 at 1 PM
This annual tradition of blessing the orchards for a good season to come includes dancing and singing by the Molly Dancers and re-enactments of Old English rituals with chants and music-making. Toast the trees with hot cider and place gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches. After, warm up by the bonfire with marshmallows and live music.
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ 08540
Let it Glow: A Lantern Spectacular
Now-January 30, Thursday through Sunday starting at 4 PM
This is the last weekend to take an enchanting stroll through the Bergen County Zoo to see over 30 scenes of handmade delight and the animals that live there. After, hop aboard the train for more scenic views.
Cost: $15 for adults, $7.50 for children, under 2 is free
216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652
WinterFest Ice Skating at Cooper River
Thursdays-Sundays and some special holidays through February 21
Tie up your skates for WinterFest Ice Skating at Cooper River Park. After, grab a hot cocoa and snack and warm up in the lodge.
Cost: Adults $7.50 and Children 5-12 are $5.50 rentals $6 and sharpening $6.50
Cooper River Park near the corner of Cuthbert Blvd. and Park Avenue in Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
King George’s Winter Walk
Run, walk, or roll 22 miles at your own pace through Washington’s Birthday (February 22). This walk is open for all ages. Return a completed walker’s log by March 1 to enter a lottery for a Washington’s Birthday surprise.
Cost: Donations appreciated
Grounds For Sculpture Night Forms
Now-February 27, select dates at 5 PM
Glowing trees, sounds, art—it’s a multi-sensory experience at Grounds For Sculpture. Night Forms: dreamloop by Klip Collective takes place after hours, and it is a combination of video projection, light, sound, and storytelling.
Cost: $14 and up
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
Tuesdays-Sundays in January and February
Head to an adorable winter wonderland featuring live bands, firepits, igloo rentals, skating, sleigh rides, and more packed with family fun. A part of the proceeds supports Harbaugh House, a foundation that helps displaced families with the resources and tools they need to get back on their feet.
Cost: Tuesday-Wednesday $5 Thursday- Sunday $10, ice skating, igloos, and fire pits areas are extra
174 Route 77 Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
Morris County Winter Farmers’ Market – Grow It Green
Now-March 27 (except December 26) at 9:30 AM
The Morris County Winter Farmers’ Market features more than 20 farmers and local food vendors to develop a local food system that patrons can eat locally and seasonally. There will be freshly grown produce, farm-raised beef, pork and poultry and fresh seafood, baked goods, farm eggs, and so much more.
Convent Train Station, Convent Road, Morris Township, NJ 07960
Now–into Winter 2022
Wrap yourself in the warmth of the season as the grounds of Cape May’s only Victorian House Museum—the Emlen Physick Estate—will be lit up and glowing all winter. Take a self-guided walk on the grounds and view these fun and whimsical display of winters’ past.
1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204
RWJBarnabas Health: Virtual Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try My First Cooking Class in Hannah’s Kitchen, a beginning cooking class for 4-7-year-olds.