Yes, it’s cold outside (still), and if you’re staying put over the February President’s weekend, don’t worry—we’ve got a bunch of ideas to do over those days off to keep you and your kids active and entertained. Try sliding down the hills for a nighttime tubing session, head inside to play a family game of mini-golf, escape to a nearby ski resort to take on the slopes skiing or boarding, or get tropical vibes renting a cabana at an indoor water park for a mid-day escape. And if you’re looking for things to do that won’t cost a dime, check out Free Things to do in February for even more adventures.
Featured Photo Credit: American Dream
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Here are 17 things to do over President’s Weekend and Winter Break in NJ
Plan an epic long weekend at American Dream – the best place for family indoor entertainment
Staying in NJ? You can still escape for a whole day of family fun at American Dream. First up, book an exclusive Skybox Suite at DreamWorks Water Park, where you can unwind and take in one-of-a-kind water park views, all while enjoying perks like a flatscreen television, food from American Dream eateries, a private changing room, and a storage area to stash your stuff. Later on, take advantage of all the entertainment under one roof—ice skating, mini-golf, SEA LIFE Aquarium, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, and more. And if your crew can keep going, book Twilight Admission at special pricing to Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, for the last two hours of the day. You’ll ride coasters that glow, intertwine and offer breathtaking views of New York City.
Get your game on
Whether it’s a family challenge at indoor mini-golf, bowling, testing your speed at an indoor go-kart track, or bouncing it out at a trampoline park, you can have a ball no matter what the weather. Most of these places are more than just one activity—many offer arcades, laser tag, games, and gourmet cuisine to make a full day of it. Or take this as a chance to introduce your kids to the video games you played as a kid (hello, Donkey Kong), and head to a retro arcade in the Garden State.
Grab your skis or hop on a snowboard
Whether you want to take a day trip with the littles or a week-long family vacation, you don’t have to go far to get on the slopes. Sign up for lessons, spend the day on the trails, try boarding, or cozy up to an apres-ski fire pit—you can find a mountain to fit your family’s needs at Jack Frost Ski Resort or these ski resorts nearby.
Scout out some sweet treats
Who doesn’t love some sweet comfort foods, especially during all of this chilly winter? Whether you prefer to indulge in the perfect chocolate chip cookies, search for the ideal dessert spots, or warm up with some delicious hot chocolate, make it a day to discover the delicious sweet spots throughout the Garden State.
Take a trip under the sea
The temps may be dropping, but there is plenty of sea life to see indoors. From observing brilliant and bright fish at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach to seeing the sharks up close at the NJ SEA LIFE Aquarium in East Rutherford or hanging with the hippos at the Camden Adventure Aquarium, the aquariums in NJ are perfect for your little sea explorer.
Take on the thrill of snow tubing
If you’re 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 air while laughing the whole way down. Unlike skiing and snowboarding, no experience or lessons are required to enjoy this activity. Not sure where to go? Take a look at these snow tubing spots in and around NJ for a day of thrills.
Travel in space
Sit back, relax, and get lost in space while looking up at the stars and at a film presentation in the domes of New Jersey’s educational and entertaining planetariums. Kids (and parents) of all ages will get lost in the enchantment of the dome’s crystal clear projection – all while learning something new.
Shop at a winter farmers market
Many farmers’ markets have extended from the warmer months into open-air markets for the winter. Bundle up and find more than just produce—most farmers’ markets offer meats, baked goods, soups, chocolates, and artisan gifts all in one place. Check out these delicious winter markets around NJ.
Head out for a weekend road trip
A long weekend road trip has been a long time coming, and sneaking away can be just the thing you need to recharge your family’s batteries. Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly resorts in and around NJ for all ages and budgets you can drive to in under 2 hours when you want a little getaway. Or, if you are looking for something a little more remote, check out Cabin Rentals in NJ.
Think waterparks are only a summertime thing? Nope—you can plunge down a waterslide, drift in the lazy river, or get knocked down in the wave pool. There are a bunch of indoor waterparks to discover all over the state, including American Dream DreamWorks Waterpark in East Rutherford or Sahara Sam’s Oasis in Berlin. Kids will have a ball getting soaked indoors, and you’ll all feel like you want on a resort vacay miles away.
Move playtime indoors
Let your littles bounce around, climb the walls, or get imaginative in one of the many playspaces just for them. Visit the travel-themed, Exceptional Explorers play space in Livingston, check out the fishing zone at The Great Story in Ridgefield, or run and play at the Jellybean Jungle in Marlton. Wherever your littles let their sillies out, you can guarantee a naptime (even on the car ride home).
Entertain the whole family
Want a variety of things to do all in one entertainment space? Well, look no further than a space that creates entertainment for all ages. Hit indoor rollercoaster at the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park at American Dream Cheer, cheer on a jousting match at Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, load up your Power Card at Dave and Buster’s in Wayne, Woodbridge, or Blackwood, or become a kingpin at Humdingers in Paramus.
Climb to new heights
Climbing as a family at an indoor rock climbing space is a fantastic way to learn life skills and work as a team. Children and parents can work together to overcome a difficult wall or conquer unique challenges like blindfolded or three-legged climbing. And many also have zip lines or places to do bouldering, as well, making you feel like you’ve escaped to a mountain range activity park.
Glide around on an ice skating rink
Bundle up and try this classic winter activity where the whole family can get in on the action, whether it’s just learning together or having a blast sliding along to tunes. And with seasonal outdoor rinks and indoor ones offering fun ways to slide along (Friday night DJ skate, anyone?), this is a great way to spend the day or night. Find an ice skating rink near you for a few spins around the rink.
Go on a winter hike
Grab your jacket, water bottle, and mask and hit the trails—yes, even in the winter. You’ll get some fresh air, admire the beautiful scenery, and sneak in exercise. Plus, being outside is an exhilarating way to spend the day. And if you’re looking for a place you’ve never been to or want to find one close by, check out our hiking guide featuring the best hikes in the state.
See how maple sugar goes from tree to tap
If you’ve always wondered how the sweet stuff goes from tree to your table, you can see it up close at a maple sugaring demonstration. Check out the Great Swamp Education Center, Tenafly Nature Center, and Washington Crossing State Park —you’ll learn how to identify maple trees, tap, and how they boil down the sap to make the syrup.
Explore a museum exhibit
Now is a great excuse to get to that museum in New Jersey you’ve wanted to check out. Bundle up and witness art coming to life outdoors at the unique Grounds For Sculpture. Or head to Liberty Science Center, where kids can explore and learn in the 300,000 square-foot learning center.