Enjoy your share of fresh, crisp winter air by enjoying some of New Jersey’s best kid-friendly outdoor activities this January as a family. Get your adrenaline pumping at NJMOM‘s top picks for sledding, skiing/snowboarding, and snow tubing locations, attend special winter events like the Wondrous Winter Walk in Lincroft, learn something new by maple sugaring at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit or wassailing apple trees at Terhune Orchards in Princeton, plus much more this month in New Jersey.
Here are 10 outdoor activities to do in January in New Jersey:
Grab your skis or hop on a snowboard
Whether you’re looking for a day trip with the littles or a week-long family vacation this January, New Jersey has access to plenty of Family-Friendly Ski Resorts to choose from. These all-inclusive facilities have everything you need for a day trip, or week-long ski vacation. With on-site rental shops, restaurants and cafes, repair shops, retail stores, and cozy lodges, you will feel comfortable during your stay at one of these premier Ski Resorts for families. Check out NJMOM’s Best Ski Resorts for NJ Families.
Search for clues at Reeves-Reed Arboretum
January 12, 1PM – 2:30PM
This winter the Reeves-Reed Arboretum wants you to bring your entire family for a family winter challenge at the arboretum. With a map and compass, your family sets out for clues in the woodlands and arboretum. When you get back inside, you’ll enjoy hot chocolate and putting the clues together as a team!
Cost: $15 per family(members), $25(if not)
Go on a Wondrous Winter Walk in Thompson Park
January 3, 10AM – 11:30AM
Your family will enjoy the gorgeous winter scenery that we are lucky to have almost every year in New Jersey, with the help of Jack Frost. Explore the serenity of nature in Thompson Park as you follow along with a Park System Naturalist.
Choose from over 50 hills to go sledding in NJ
Are you crossing your fingers for our first major snowstorm? There is no doubt that sledding is one of the best ways to spend a snow day – it’s fun, active, and free. With so many mountains and hills in New Jersey, it’s easy to find that perfect sledding location for your family. Grab your toboggan, bundle up, and head to one of NJMOM’s 50 favorite sledding hills throughout New Jersey.
Welcome winter at Mountain Lakes Preserve
January 5, 9:30AM – 11:30AM
Join Education Director Jeff Hoagland on a morning walk at the Mountain Lakes Preserve in Princeton to explore the wonders of the natural world in winter. Discover the unique survival strategies of local plants and animals, learn where animals store food and how they survive the season’s relentless chill. If weather permits, the group will play the ‘Hibernation Game’. Dress warmly, boots are recommended. Recommended for families with children ages 5 and up.
Mountain Lakes Preserve
Try family snow tubing
For families who are looking for more of a thrill than a traditional sledding day, but aren’t quite ready to hit the slopes of the ski mountain – this activity is for you. Snow tubing is a great way to get outside and breathe in the crisp, winter air while laughing the whole way down. Unlike skiing and snowboarding, no experience or lessons are required to enjoy this activity. Head to the Pocono Mountains for a fun weekend destination or day trip, and jump in the family-sized tubes at Blue Mountain, with up to 39 lanes, 3 lifts, and a 1,000 foot ride to the bottom. For snow tubing fun right in New Jersey, take a trip up to Mountain Creek in Vernon for some local adrenaline sliding.
Bring the pups for a walk at Lord Stirling Stable
Saturday morning dog walks at Lord Stirling Stable in Basking Ridge are bound to be a weekend tradition that the whole family will treasure. Bring your fur babies out for a morning of outdoor activity this month, and walk the scenic paths around Lord Stirling Stable. Consider making the time for this active outing as a way to kick-start your weekend on a healthy, high note. Not only will the kids enjoy being in charge of the dog’s leash and seeing new places, but mom will get in some exercise (talk about two birds with one stone!) The friendly, professional staff of Lord Stirling will guide you through the best walking areas in the area, allowing for families to simply enjoy the scenery.
Lord Stirling Stable
Basking Ridge, NJ
Enjoy outdoor ice skating
It’s the classic winter activity that you simply can’t skip. Little ones and adults alike can enjoy this family activity, whether you are looking to spend an afternoon full of fun, or something to do in the evening after dinner this weekend. Plus – who couldn’t use a little exercise? The price of this activity won’t cost you an arm and a leg either; admission to skating rinks typically cost $5-$15, while skate rentals run about $7 – $15. If you have fond childhood memories ice skating in the cool, crisp winter air, then consider giving your children the same experience this season. If you prefer to stay indoors, check out NJMOM’s guide to the 13 Top Ice Skating Rinks in NJ.
Outdoor Skating Rinks in New Jersey:
Newport Skates, 95 River Drive South, Jersey City, NJ 07310
Roosevelt Park Family Ice Skating Rink, 151 Parsonage Road, Edison, NJ 08837
Ice at the Pier, 50 Chelsea Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Winterland Ice Skating Rink, 101 Rowan Boulevard, Glassboro, NJ 08028
Learn about wassailing the apple trees at Terhune Orchards
Every year, Terhune Orchards asks for your family’s help in celebrating the ancient British tradition of wassailing the apple trees. Partake in the historic customs of gathering round the apple trees while singing and celebrating together to keep the trees safe and protect the orchard for another year of abundant harvest. Activities include dancing and singing by the Molly Dancers and re-enactments of old English traditional rituals. Warm up by the fire and toast marshmallows, enjoy wagon rides, and hear the traditional live music of the Spiced Punch Quartet. This free event is a wonderful winter celebration that will teach the young and old alike about traditional community customs.
Tap trees for maple sugaring at Reeves-Reed Arboretum
Kick off maple sugaring season in New Jersey at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, New Jersey. Join Director of Children’s Education Jackie Kondel as she taps the Arboretum’s maple trees in preparation for this season’s sap flow. Not only will families learn the hows and whys behind tapping trees, but will get first-hand experience actually helping in the maple sugaring process.
Cost: $15 per family(if members), $25(if not)
More fun things to do in January:
50 Best Sledding Hills NJ Has to Offer
10 Best Ski Resorts for NJ Families
13 Top Ice Skating Rinks in New Jersey
Best Light Shows in NJ This Holiday Season
20 Winter Markets Around NJ
Diggerland’s Winterfest at the Park
Where to Take Pictures with Santa in NJ
Aquariums around New Jersey
Museums around New Jersey