Mine through the Rainbow Tunnel at The Sterling Hill Mining Museum


Talk about a hidden “gem”- The Sterling Hill Mining Museum, in Ogdensburg, is a must to add to your list for an #NJMOM day trip. It’s an adventurous underground museum with so much to see, including its colorful, super cool Rainbow Tunnel. Inside it, the walls shine bright neon colors, a product of the intensely flourescent zinc ore being exposed to light. It’s like a beautiful light show and science lesson in one, and part of the daily mine tour that’s open from April through August.

featured image via @marissa.cafaro17

Go on an underground adventure at The Sterling Hill Mining Museum


The Sterling Hill Mining Museum was once one of the world’s richest zinc ore deposits and zinc mines, and now it’s where your family can witness how gems and minerals light up, all thanks to nature. Your littles will love going inside the mine, winding through 1,300 feet of tunnel, all while seeing real mining equipment, drilling and blasting demonstrations, and of course the Rainbow Tunnel. The colors are truly incredible, a natural result of the minerals being exposed to ultraviolet light.


What to know before you go

It’s a walking tour, so keep that in mind- but it’s stroller and wheelchair accessible. You’re guided throughout the way, learning about mining equipment, the mine’s history, working conditions, and the geology. The mine is easy to walk through; mostly flat, but a little chilly! The temperature stays around 56 degrees year round, so a light jacket is recommended. Don’t worry about flashlights or headlamps though, the entire tour is well-lit.

In addition to the Rainbow Tunnel and mine tour, the Rock Discovery Center has lots of educational fun for little ones. Kids over 7 can even look for their own collectible minerals, sorting through the Mine Run Dumptwo huge piles of minerals; some from all over the world. Your family can also visit the Zoben Hall Museum or the Warren Museum of Fluorescence, watch drilling and blasting demonstrations, and even try sluicing (mining for your own gems) from April to November.


From April through June, your family can take a tour daily at 1PM. From July through August, tours are held daily at 10AM and 1PM.

For more information, visit The Sterling Hill Mining Museum on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.

Cost: Adults $12, Kids $9 (ages 4 -12), Free (under 4)

The Sterling Hill Mining Museum
30 Plant St.
Ogdensburg, NJ 07439
(973) 209-7212

Psst! We love sharing your adventures around New Jersey. Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmom and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

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About Author

Erika is a yogi, writer, coffee enthusiast, and world traveler. If she's not at the beach or chasing the sunset, she's looking for the best iced coffee she can find and planning her next adventure. Her favorite NJ spots include The Saint, Island Heights, and Lava Java House.