Spring break in New Jersey in 2021 is looking like a staycation (again). But still, it’s a great time to take a break from the eat, hang and zoom routine we’ve all been doing these last few months. Make the week feel like a vacation by seeing what the animals have been up to at the zoo, letting your kids bounce all that inside energy out at a trampoline park, spending a night in nature at a farm in Cape May, or tasting your way through a mac and cheese festival. And don’t forget to check out our Easter guide and spring bucket list for more ideas on how to make the week fly by.
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Here are 7 things to do during spring break in New Jersey:
Spend the day with creatures big and small
Whether you want to check out the new exhibits at the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange or have been curious about the infamous Shark Bridge at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, spring break in New Jersey gives you an excuse to finally make the trip. Most zoos have officially re-opened for the season, and aquariums have extended their hours (check for advance ticketing, which many places are doing) and implemented social distancing measures. If you’re looking for locations near you, be sure to read our zoo and aquarium guides for all the up-to-date info.
Take a mini-local vacation
Getting away over spring break to a resort in the tri-state area is an option since New Jersey is not requiring quarantining after visiting a neighboring state. And with the shore so close, it (almost) feels like you’ve escaped somewhere down south. Kids will love the rocking chairs on the porch overlooking the ocean at the Congress Hall in Cape May or being among nature at the sister property, Beach Plum Farm. If your family loves the boardwalk, you can be close to it at the retro StarLux Boutique Hotel in Wildwood, or head to the woods and take a swim in the Biosphere pool at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg. For a spring break in New Jersey vacation, here is our list of the top 10 kid-friendly resorts in NJ.
Enjoy a day of play
If your kids are tired of being cooped up at home, head over to a trampoline park where they can literally bounce off the walls. Sky Zone Trampoline Park has nine locations in the state with capacity limits, and if you’re still a little wary about open jump sessions, your crew can rent out a private court. Or head over to LWG Lasertag in Egg Harbor Township for their Spring Break Open Play on a one-acre outdoor battlefield. Or your fam can check out New Jersey’s largest indoor amusement park, iPlay America — they even have a suggested Spring Break Escape iPlay itinerary: It starts with boardwalk games (and a much-needed coffee stop for the adults), loops in amusement rides, and a round of golf, and ends with a stop by Broadway Sweets to grab some sugary souvenirs.
Have a “daycation” in NJ
What should you do if you can’t go on vacation during spring break in New Jersey, but everyone is tired of having a “staycation” at home? Go on a “daycation”! For starters, Six Flags Great Adventure is opening a new Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure experience. Driving through the 350-acre “safari” will guide you through 11 safari adventure lands with animals from six continents like elks, elephants, giraffes, lions, bears, red foxes, tigers, baboons, and more. You can also explore some of the hidden gems of New Jersey, like the swinging bridge over Stony Brook in Princeton, Hamilton Park in Jersey City, and Papa’s Tomato Pies (the oldest pizza joint in the state) in Robbinsville. Make sure to read our full list of the best-hidden gems in the state.
Taste a new food at a farmer’s market or food festival
With the weather starting to warm up, you can hit up a farmer’s market or food festival to eat, shop, and enjoy the fresh air. While COVID has put a crimp in many spring festivals, a few are happening with limited capacity. Head over to Hoboken for an event that’s sure to interest your kids (and you) — it’s a mac and cheese festival. Each ticket includes a cup of cheesy goodness from eight locations, so make sure to come hungry. To support local farmers — and pick up some farm-fresh goods for the week — check out Princeton Farmers Market’s Winter Market Series. For more farmer’s markets happening in March and April, click here.
Check out an unusual NJ attraction
Everyone knows that New Jersey has beaches, farms, and cute towns — but have you heard about some of the stranger places in New Jersey? Schedule a day (or weekend) over spring break to explore some of the state’s stranger attractions with your crew. Explore the Martian landing site in West Windsor Township, take a tour of the Deserted Village of Feltville in Berkeley Heights, or stop by the Telephone Pole Farm in Chester. For more mainstream ideas, these NJ attractions are sure to be a fun time this spring.
Sign your kids up for virtual camp
Encourage your kiddos to take advantage of their time off to learn something new and fun from home. For the aspiring veterinarian in your family (or just your average animal-loving kid), St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center is offering a couple of animal-oriented Zoom classes. Or have your kiddos explore the worlds of STEM and STEAM through Little Ivy Academy’s engaging online classes — they’ll learn about building robots, coding video games, and building a smartphone app. And for a week-long camp filled with drawing, painting, sculpting, and getting crafty, check out West Windsor Arts Council’s Spring Break Arts Camp Online.
Go for a hike
Spring break in NJ is a great time to head outdoors and explore one of the many trails in the state. Bring your furry friend with you to Cheesequake State Park in Middlesex County, be enchanted by the fairy trail in Essex County’s South Mountain Reservation, or take in views of the NYC skyline while your kids marvel at the balancing act of Tripod Rock. For more great hiking ideas, check out our full list of the best hiking trails in NJ. If you’ve had your share of hikes and want to sit back and relax, go for a unique car tour on Sunday, April 11, with the Highlands Spring Trek — you’ll get to see some beautiful spring scenery, and you’ll learn about several items of interest as you drive through.