Sick of being housebound and wrapped up in a cocoon of TV and tablets? We hear you, so vow to make this weekend a break from the electronics and get the family outdoors for wintery fun. Learn how to Tap That Tree for maple syrup at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, lace up your hiking boots for High Point State Park’s Winter Festival in Sussex or spend the day celebrating the British tradition of Wassailing the Apple Trees at Terhune Orchards in Princeton. So get to it mamas—there are plenty of ways to have fun this weekend, no video games required.
Here are 7 family-friendly things to do this weekend in New Jersey:
Tap that Tree!
January 25, 10AM – 11:30AM
If your kids are maple syrup lovers (and really, who isn’t), then you’ll want to bring them to learn all about how their fave condiment is made. Join the fun at Reeves-Reed Arboretum as the maple trees are prepared for this season’s sap flow: After a short explanation about the hows and whys behind tapping trees, everyone can pitch in to tap.
Cost: Non-member $15, Member $5 , Registration is required.
Fire & Ice Festival
January 25, 10AM – 4PM
This whole day of family fun celebrates the best of winter with amazing ice sculptures, food and drink tastings (hello craft beer tent) and a ton of family entertainment geared to all ages. Kids can watch a magician, ride a firetruck or pet an alpaca, while you listen to Springsteen covers from Suze & Watson, all while sampling chili and voting on this year’s absolute best.
Downtown Mount Holly, NJ
Mac & Cheese Mayhem
January 25, 11AM – 8PM
In celebration of the ultimate comfort food—and a childhood favorite—this first annual mac and cheese expo will let you and the fam experience gourmet, chef-inspired twists on the classic. Sample small plates of the ooey-gooey goodness from local chefs and restaurants and then vote on your faves. And once you’ve had your fill, there’s still plenty to do that doesn’t involve eating with vendors, kid activities and music.
Morristown, NJ $5 for general entry, food vendor prices vary for Mac and Cheese plates.
High Point State Park’s Annual Festival
January 25 ,12PM – 3PM
If snow is in the forecast (or not), you can join High Point State Park for their winter festival that includes outdoor activities like ice fishing, curling, hiking and snow-shoeing. There are things to do even without the snow— go inside to talk with a meteorologist about the weather, make a bird feeder, relax during storytime or join in a sing-a-long, all while enjoying light refreshments.
High Point State Park
Cost: $5 Suggested Donation
12th Annual Town of Clinton Bonfire
January 25, 6PM – 8PM
Spend a Saturday night enjoying some good old fashioned family bonding time, at this popular event that features a spectacular bonfire. Kids will love the horse and carriage rides, sipping hot chocolate, roasting marshmallows and feasting on cookies while watching the crackling fire. Don’t forget to bring canned goods to donate to the local food pantry.
Hunts Mill Park
Haver Farm Rd, Clinton, NJ
Jersey Shore Comic Book Show
January 26, 10AM – 4PM
Your kids will love seeing what you used to play with at this show that features vintage comic books, toys and collectibles. As you walk down memory lane perusing the vendors, kids will be entertained with performers, games and more, and find plenty of new (old) friends to bring home.
Toms River Elks Lodge
600 Washington Street, Toms River, NJ
Cost: Kids 12 and under are free, $4
Wassailing the Apple Trees
January 26, 1PM – 4PM
Get outdoors and experience the ancient British tradition of wassailing the apple trees, a winter ritual that’s done to protect the orchards and ensure a successful crop for next year. As you sip hot cider, you’ll be entertained with dancing and singing, as well as re-enactments of traditional old English customs. After, place gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches (meant to ward off evil spirits) while chanting the lively words of praise and New Year. The party continues with a rousing bonfire, live music and treats indoors.
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ