What to do around New Jersey

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Atlantic City

A constant balancing act between an old fashioned New Jersey shore resort and a Las Vegas imitation. On the boardwalk, newly refurbished casino-hotels are taking over – a great place for monolithic hotels, amusement areas, parking garages, concession stands and elegant stores.
Take a stroll through the casinos – they are amazing! Go into a show or visit Ripley’s Believe it or not Museum – or walk around all day in Ocean One Mall (three floors).


Shades of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Golden lads and lasses walk the well-clipped paths between venerable University halls while russet leaves flutter overhead from rows of sturdy trees. Time, scholarships, and the inclusion of girls have changed the atmosphere at this Ivy League bastion somewhat. But still, for a ‘trip to a true University town that combines history, culture and typical collegiate Gothic architecture, nothing beats a visit to Princeton.
Free tours to see the campus sights are offered by the Orange Key Guide Service. Just go to MaxLean House on campus during college season – call 609-258-3603 to check.
Always a great experience: visit a football game e.g. Priceton vs. Yale.

Liberty Science Center

A gleaming white building with a campanile style tower and sperica hump close to Exit 14B on the Turnpike – this is a science and technology museum “to get kids to like science”. Several different exhibits and lot’s of hands on projects are not only interesting for kids – an IMAX theater and a 3D-theater provide more interesting shows.

Other Children’s Museums

They’re popping up all over the place – whatever you call them. Here are some in NJ:
New Jersey Children’s Museum: Dedicated to the proposition that children learn through play and experience. Children from 3 to 8 can touch, climb, put on cloth, and play-act to their hearts content. The walls are brightly painted, the floor is carpeted and at first it may remind you of a giant nursery school. There is a Hughes 269 helicopter, a fire engine with firehouse and bell and 40 other interactive exhibits. Paramus (201-262-5151)
Imagine That! A discovery center with 35 hands-on activities. Ballet room, computers, art, music,… East Hanover, Moriss County (973-952-0052) and Middletown, Monmouth County (908-706-9000)
Discovery House: Over 100 activities including a live-action TV news show, huge kaleidoscopes, larege spin-art table, crafts, magic castle, a Volkswagen “Beetle”… East Brunswick, Middlesex County (732-254-3770)
The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum:
Inside the East Orange Library, this non-commercial museum is dedicated to bring the Afro-American heritage alive for children. East Orange (973-673-6900)

Toms River Seaport Museum

Devoted to boat restoration and maritime memorabilia, especially of Ocean County. Specialized library. Toms River, Ocean County (732-349-9209)

New Jersey Planetariums

Aside from the planetariums you find within major museums, there are a number of places star-seeking New Jersey-ans can visit for sky programs. Some do not admit kids under six – some do have special programs like “Stars for Tots”.
Ocean County College: Robert J. Novins Planetarium on a large campus has year around shows and also offers a special astronomy curriculum for school grades 1-6 during the public school year, and also vacation programs. Toms River, Ocean County (732-255-0342)
Trailside Planetarium: Mountainside, Union County (908-789-3670)
Raritan Valley College: A very new planetarium for New Jersey, many school shows and public showings. North Branch, Somerset County (908-231-8805)
Morris County College: Shows and also courses, Randolph (973-328-5076)

– Some parts of this page are taken from the Book “New Jersey Day Trips – a guide to outings in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania & Delaware” by Barbara Hudgins – Phone numbers might have changed

You have an interesting place to go or to take your kids to? Help other AuPairs find something to do and to get out of the house and write us – we’ll publish it! 

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