7 Family-Friendly Things to Do This Week


It’s the last week of January, mamas, and make the most of it with a family-friendly activity outside or in. Check out the final days of the 18th Annual Antique Toy Train Show, learn about all things icy at the Howell Farm Reopening, or head to be the beach to spot seals during a guided Searching for Seals walk in Sandy Hook. 

Psst! We love seeing your social-distancing New Jersey adventures. Be sure to tag your photos with #NJMOM and @njmom for a chance to be featured in our round-up next week.

Wondrous Winter Walks at Thompson Park
January 27th from 10AM – 11:30AM
Get outside on a guided nature walk and learn about what secrets might be hiding in the woods. A park system naturalist will be on hand to explain what happens in the forest during winter, and with each step, you’ll discover how winter is the quietest time of year to be in nature. Wear sturdy footwear since some parts are on an incline.
Thompson Park
805 Newman Springs Road

The 18th Annual Antique Toy Train Show
January 28th- January 31st, from 10AM – 3PM
Do you have kids that can’t get enough of trains? Bigs and littles will love this exhibit, which features toy trains dating from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Watch the trains race on two platforms among vintage buildings and displays all around the tracks. After, check out the other exhibits of local artifacts from colonial times. This show closes on January 31st, so make sure you catch it before next year. 
$4 per adult, $3 per child
The Museum of American History
138 Andaloro Way

Howell Farm Ice Harvest
January 30th, 10AM – 4PM
Bundle up and have the whole family check out this “cool” experience at Howell Living History Farm on reopening day. Demonstrators will take you back in time to teach you about ice harvesting, which was once a successful business from the onsite pond to provide ice to neighbors nearby. Guests can try their hand using an ice saw, chip ice for ice cream, and make an ice candle to take home. 
Howell Living History Farm
70 Woodens Lane

Mount Holly Fire & Ice Festival
January 30th, 10AM – 4PM
This annual festival may not be having all the usual activities due to COVID, but Mt. Holly is still planning to show off the fantastic ice sculptures with a COVID-friendly exhibit. Watch the ice carvers do their magic, stop by the shops, pick up steaming cups of cocoa at the local restaurants, and stroll along the sidewalks taking in the frigid and decadent works of art on Saturday afternoon.
1 High Street
Mount Holly

53rd Annual Rutgers University Geology Museum Open House
January 30th from 9:30AM – 2PM
Fire up the laptop, get comfy on the couch and log on the Zoom links for a day of paleontology-related activities. LIttles will love creating an asteroid from materials you find around the house, answering dinosaur trivia questions, or making a paper origami dinosaur. Let your kids’ imaginations go wild while they learn fun facts about dinosaurs, fossils, and minerals throughout the day. 
Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences

Family Brunch at Calandra Mediterranean Grill
January 31st from 11AM – 2PM
Sick of eating in? This brunch is outside in a heated tent (or at reduced capacity indoors) and will give your fam plenty of breakfast favorites like pancakes, scrambled eggs, and bottomless Bloody Marys and Bellinis for you. Kids will have lots to look at—entertainer and magician Tom Durnin will be joining the party with balloon creations, magic, juggling, and more while you’re enjoying your meal.  
Calandra Mediterranean Grill
118 US Highway 46

Searching for Seals
January 31st, 1PM – 3PM
Even if the weather’s chilly, Sandy Hook is still fun to visit and observe winter sea life at this time of the year. Take a guided tour to see the seals lounging and swimming during their annual migration and learn about other marine mammals as you walk.
Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area
128 South Hartshorne Drive


About Author

Jillian is a born and raised Jersey Girl from Lincroft—where she currently resides. As someone who has taught preschoolers and middle schoolers, and also mentored elementary schoolers, Jillian understands the complexity of child development and is excited to introduce families to New Jersey activities that can accommodate anyone. You can typically find Jillian doing creative writing, having game nights with her family, and hanging out with her two teenage cousins. Jillian's favorite activities in New Jersey include hanging out with friends at Sandy Hook, going for a scenic walk or run through Thompson Park, and enjoying some mouthwatering donuts from Delicious Orchards.