Thanksgiving is almost here, and when you’ve had your fill of the turkey—and ahem, kids running around like wild turkeys—it’s time to take a real break. Use these next few days to bond with the fam: Check out the holiday train show at the New York Botanical Garden, the Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit at Liberty Science Center or skating at Pier Village’s Ice at The Pier. So, get going mamas—with so much to do, you’ll have a hard time fitting it all in!
Featured photo via New York Botanical Garden
Here are 14 things to do this Thanksgiving break:
Don’t miss Diggerland’s Winterfest
We know how much your littles love trucks, so why not take them to celebrate all the magic of winter and operate a few of big ones during Diggerland’s Winterfest? Enjoy fun holiday events each weekend including a holiday parade, live music and cozy bonfire, not to mention those awesome machines. If you can’t make it this weekend, no worries—the festivities keep going all season until Dec 29th.
100 Pinedge Dr, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Fly high at an indoor trampoline park
After a day of eating and watching football, everyone needs to get some energy out, so head to open gym time at one of New Jersey’s indoor trampoline parks. From jumping and landing in a foam pit, to showing off dunking skills on slam ball courts, your fam will have a ball bouncing their way through an afternoon. Bonus: Everyone will be conked out by dark.
Altitude Trampoline Park in Woodbridge
Get Air Trampoline Park in Freehold
Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Park in Edison
Sky Zone in Ocean
Urban Air Trampoline Park in South Hackensack
Sky Zone in South Plainfield
Launch Trampoline Park in Linden
Rockin Jump Trampoline Park in Wayne
Hit the ice at Pier Village’s Ice at The Pier
Lace up your skates and live out your Olympic ice dreams with the whole family at this ice rink by-the-sea. After skating, stroll along the boardwalk, take in the ocean views and enjoy Pier Village’s premiere seaside shopping and dining options.
50 Chelsea Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740
Visit one of the featured exhibitions at Liberty Science Center
Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon
Through April 19th, 2020, kids of all ages will be challenged both physically and mentally as they enter this interactive adventure based on the popular game, Angry Birds. Explore science, tech, engineering, arts and math, all in an extreme hands-on environment that’s sure to entertain everyone (including moms and dads).
Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit
Through January 20th, 2020, join a curious Tyrannosaurus Rex on a globe-trotting expedition to discover everything there is to know about dinosaurs. This exhibit, featuring characters from the hit TV series, Dinosaur Train, will allow littles to travel back in time and uncover the wonders of natural history and paleontology.
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Be dazzled by the holiday train show at New York Botanical Garden
OK, so this isn’t technically in NJ, but it’s close enough: Step into a miniature city re-created from natural materials where famed New York architecture, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium and the Statue of Liberty, are displayed under a canopy of twinkling lights. For more hands-on fun, littles can pretend to ride the rails in a child-sized train and caboose or create some evergreen-scented botanical crafts.
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
Enjoy Frozen II at Cinemark Theatres
It’s the sequel moment we’ve all been waiting for since 2013: Catch a matinee of Frozen 2 at your local Cinemark Theater (NJ locations include Hazlet, Watchung, Wayne and Somerdale) that turns movie viewing into an epic event. Sit back and relax in luxury lounger seats with adjustable cushion warmers, while you snack on treats from Edy’s Ice Cream, Pizza Hut and Starbucks (Peppermint Mocha and Frozen 2 = YUM). Don’t worry about finding a seat in the dark either—reserve seats in advance online to avoid sell outs and lines. Oh, and if your kiddos are Funko Pops fans, they’ll be plenty of Frozen 2 characters for sale, including a Cinemark-exclusive Anna.
Go on a scenic family bike ride
The fam that rides together stays together. Pack your bikes onto the car and head to one of New Jersey’s beautiful bike paths to savor some precious outdoor time before winter arrives. It’s the perfect time to relax, take in the scenery and breathe in the fresh air. Check out our guide of 12 Scenic Bike Paths to find a family-friendly ride near you.
Enjoy nature with special events at Morris County Parks
If you’re itching to get out and about, or just want to stretch out the last days of autumn, head to the Morris County Park Commission this upcoming weekend. From finding decorated scarecrows to watching (and tasting) apple cider demonstrations, your whole crew can get back to nature and have some fall fun before the season fades away.
November 29, 30 & December 1: Family Photo Scavenger Hunt in Morris Township
November 29, 30 & December 1: Scarecrows in the Garden in Morris Township
November 30 & December 1: Apple Cidering in Chatham Township
Catch a local high school football game
Football and Thanksgiving go together like turkey and stuffing. Instead of paying the big bucks for NFL tickets, keep it simple and cheer on your hometown high school’s football team at a local game. Not only will you be supporting your community, but you won’t have to deal with the hassle of a big stadium with lots of lines, stairs, and crowds. Pack some snacks, a comfy blanket, and make a day out of it while cheering on your team.
Visit https://highschoolsports.nj.com/football/schedule/2019/11/28 for a full schedule of New Jersey’s high school football games over Thanksgiving break.
Stargaze at the Newark Museum Planetarium
Travel through the solar system, visit distant galaxies and soar into space all from the comfort of a cushioned seat in Newark Museum’s dome-shaped Planetarium. This awe-inspiring theater offers families the chance to learn about astronomy and space science in a fun and interactive way.
49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Get ready for fun and games at IPlay America!
Where else can you find boardwalk-style games, thrilling theme park rides and laser-tag all under one roof? This month-old, indoor amusement park has it all. With mini-bowling, a kids rope course and a go-carts speedway, IPlay America is sure to become an instant fave with your family.
110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 07728
Spend a day at the aquarium
Aquariums offer a magical glimpse into the deep, blue sea. You and your kids will love gazing at all the fascinating creatures from the ocean’s depths and be mesmerized for hours. With hands-on tanks and educational exhibitions, your kids can soak up lots of new knowledge about the seas—just don’t tell them they’re actually learning.
Tackle a rock climbing wall
Reach new heights with your entire clan at one of New Jersey’s indoor rock climbing gyms. Whether you’ve got a new little climber or a seasoned pro, everyone can take on the challenge of the impressive obstacles. Each family-friendly climbing gym offers you and your kids the opportunity to be active together and step outside of your comfort zones.
The Gravity Vault Indoor Rock Gyms in Chatham, Upper Saddle River, & Middletown
High Exposure Rock Climbing, Ninja Warrior, & Parkour in Northvale
New Jersey Rock Gym in Fairfield
Randolph Climbing Center in Randolph
Garden State Rocks in Morganville
Rockville Climbing Center in Trenton
Elite Climbing in Maple Shade Township
ClimbZone in Howell Township
Swim at an indoor pool
Who said swim season was over? A day at the pool this weekend may be just what you need to unwind during this busy holiday season and spend some quality time with the fam. We’ve listed a few below, but you can always check your local YMCA location near you.
If the weather outside is frightful this Thanksgiving break, check out our #NJMOM Rainy Day Adventures Guide.