11 Strange Attractions in NJ You’ll Want To Check Out


Sure, it’s easy to fall back into the same old visits to your favorite NJ attractions, but why not shake it up with the more offbeat and less known? Visiting one of the strange attractions in New Jersey can be a welcome change. From walking through giant modern sculptures to uncovering a Martian landing site to ogling a psychedelic storybook house deep in the woods, there are peculiar, odd, and curious attractions all over the Garden State that the whole family will enjoy. Read on for these 11 quirky NJ attractions worth the trip. (featured photo credit: @noaamichael)

Here are 11 strange attractions in NJ to discover

Grounds for sculpture hand and arm

Strange attractions indeed—the interesting and unusual contemporary art at Grounds for Sculpture. Photo Credit: @groundsforsculpture 

Grounds for Sculpture
The wow factor is high at this NJ attraction, where you walk among larger-than-life-size sculptures looking both strange and familiar. Kids will be in awe of the giant and mesmerizing art of contemporary sculptures scattered over 42 picturesque acres (plan to spend a few hours). After exploring, stop by Rat’s across the way from the gardens for a bite. Named for a character in the children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows, Rat’s has a unique design reminiscent of the impressionist painter Claude Monet’s beloved town, Giverny.
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619

The Deserted Village of Feltville
This town has reinvented itself more than a few times since the early 1700s, but in the present day, it remains deserted. Located in the beautiful Watchung Reservation in Union County, this historical and archaeological site is a popular hiking trail for locals. You’ll come upon a half-mile stretch of road with a cluster of surviving historic buildings that will surely capture your kids’ imagination. Peek into the abandoned houses at this NJ attraction, read the posted history, and check out the Willcocks and Badgley family cemetery, including three Revolutionary War Patriots.
2 Cataract Hollow Road,
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922

colorful house in the woods Luna Parc nj

One of the strangest attractions in New Jersey, Luna Parc, is a treasure. Photo Credit: @jesscurry11

Luna Parc
For over 30 years, skilled multimedia artist and designer Ricky Boscarino has transformed his cabin in the woods into an indoor and outdoor fantasy-fueled work of art. The result is a house of storybook dreams that feels imaginary. His brightly colored, eclectic private home, studio, and gardens are filled with gorgeous mosaics, stained glass, religious artifacts, and numerous surprising collections he has cultivated over the years. Twice a year, it can be viewed in person when it’s open to the public for an Open House at this NJ attraction in the summer and fall (sign up for the mailing list), so mark your calendar to make sure you don’t miss it. If you can’t wait until then, tour it virtually on the website and get up-to-date details about the live tours.
22 Degroat Road, Sandyston, NJ 07827

Martian Landing Site
In 1938, when people still gathered around their radios for news and entertainment, the science fiction novel War of the Worlds was adapted for radio and read by Orson Welles. Though listeners were reminded throughout the broadcast that this “Martian attack” was fictional, many believed it to be a real newscast, and pandemonium ensued. It was history in the making—and the supposed Martians Landing site was said to be in Grover’s Mill, West Windsor, NJ. Read the park’s plaques that tell the broadcast story and lead you to the bronze Martian Landing Site Monument. Afterward, hit up some better-known landmarks at this NJ attraction, like Washington’s Crossing and the Battle of Princeton sites near Princeton University.
218 Cranbury Road, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550 

fluorscent rock sterling hill mine nj

One of the stranger NJ attractions for sure—fluorescent lights. Photo Credit: @sterlinghillminingmuseum 

Fluorescent Rocks of Sterling Hill Mine
Take a tour of this NJ attraction, a bright and cool mineral site that houses the most extensive collection of fluorescent minerals worldwide. Go into the 1,300-ft. tunnel inside the mine where the miners would start and end their workday and then head into the Warren Museum with more than 700 fluorescent minerals and objects on display. And during the season, kids and adults are encouraged to go mining for minerals at the Mine Run Dump and Sluicing (aka panning) stations.
30 Plant Street, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439

Tripod Rock 
An optical illusion, hiking to Tripod Rock—a massive boulder that appears to be hovering in the air—is worth the trip uphill on the trail. This rock was left behind by the Wisconsin Glacier over 18,000 years ago and is now balancing atop smaller rocks, creating a fascinating sight. You can find this rock in the Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area, which boasts over 1,600 acres of trails, fields, forests, rock outcroppings, and wetlands.
472 Boonton Avenue, Montville Township, NJ 07045

telephone phone farm with grass NJ strange attractions

Bet you have never seen an NJ attraction like this. Photo Credit: @letstart_ariot

Telephone Pole Farm
This offbeat “farm” started as a testing site for AT&T’s Bell Labs in the 1920s. The tidy rows of poles look like they are growing, but realistically, they were planted for testing purposes when the wooden telephone poles needed to be durable. They used woodpeckers and insects to test their durability, and later, it was adapted as a place for pole repair workers to practice their climbing. You can snap a few photos for the ‘gram at this NJ attraction and then head to the Evans Family Forest Preserve adjacent property, a scenic wooded area for hiking and spotting local wildlife.
North Road, Chester, NJ 07930

The Paranormal Museum – Paranormal Books and Curiosities 
If you are looking for weird, paranormal, metaphysical, and truly unique experiences, The Paranormal Museum and Paranormal Books and Curiosities is for you. At this strange attraction, you can take ghost-hunting glasses, learn about paranormal investigations, check out haunted dolls, or see a revolving collection of paranormal art exhibits. Book a private tour to enter the inner sanctum—you never know what outerworldly things you may find.
621 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712

girl feeding goats popcorn strange attractions in NJPopcorn Park Zoo is another top NJ attraction. Photo Credit: @therealyungfawn & @mylegsgavein

Popcorn Park Zoo
If your kids love animals (and really, who doesn’t?), this 7-acre unusual “zoo” is not to be missed. What makes this NJ attraction different than a regular zoo is that it doubles as a refuge for animals in need and has a casual, hang-out feel. They are home to over 200 animals and take in injured, exploited, abandoned, or elderly wildlife, birds, exotics, and farm animals. Though some animals are on special diets, you can purchase air-popped popcorn and peanuts on-site to feed the free-roaming birds and farm animals in their stalls. And if you’re looking to help take care of or even take home a “friend,” you’ll want to look into their sponsorship and adoption programs.
1 Humane Way, Forked River, NJ 08731

Batsto Village
Tucked into the Pinelands in Wharton State Forest, this village was incorporated in 1766 and looks the same as it was back then, surviving hundreds of years of American history. Today, you can journey back in time and visit the historic buildings learning about the iron works, glass blowing, and other industries that helped the village thrive back then. Make sure to stop at the post office (one of four of the oldest operating in the United States), the mansion, ice house, gristmill, and general store, all preserved to remain as they were in the 19th century. 
31 Batsto Road, Hammonton, NJ 08037

Water’s Soul  
Take a trip to the Newport section of Jersey City to marvel at the woman above in Water’s Soul by Jaume Plensa, an 80-foot public art sculpture made of resin, marble dust, and fiberglass. The massive sculpture commissioned by the waterfront developers is a marvel towering over the Hudson, depicting a woman with her finger pressed to her lips as a tribute to the Hudson River and the surrounding waterfronts. The sculpture’s message is that individual water droplets may not seem like much, but when they come together, they can create a tidal wave— similar to how people are stronger when they unite.
25 Park Lane South, Jersey City, NJ 07310

Which NJ attractions have you visited? 

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About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, smartbeautyguide.com, zwivel.com, and beautyinthebag.com, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.