100+ FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey

Posted on: February 27th, 2020 by

Originally published in 2014, but currently being updated again for 2020. We continually work to keep this listing of free places to visit in New Jersey updated as well as to add stories about each of these places.

Free Places to Visit in NJ

Why drain your wallet to give your kids a fun time?

Check out these free places to visit in New Jersey.

Although admission is free, some may have an additional charge for shows, programs, and parking. We recommend you call ahead to these free places to go in New Jersey to confirm their hours of operation and parking arrangements. Some of these museums, because of their limited hours, do require advance reservations. There may also be a suggested donation. If you become aware that any of these attractions no longer offer free admission please let us know in the comments below.

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get great articles like this delivered to your inbox or visit our Calendar of New Jersey events to find things to do TODAY in New Jersey with kids.

Please bear with us as this page is currently under construction. ;-) We’re working to make it more user-friendly for our readers as well as provide you with the 2020 status of each of these free places to visit in New Jersey.

FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey – Free New Jersey Museums

Explore a culture other than your own, a specific time in the past or all kinds of art – for free! There are so many New Jersey museums that offer free admission.

African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey

661 Jackson Road, Newtonville, 609-704-5495 and 2200 Fairmont Avenue in Atlantic City. Atlantic County.

The African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey Atlantic City and Newtonville locations are home to unique permanent collections that focus on generations of African American history. Limited-time showings feature rarely-seen work by local artists.

African Art Museum

23 Bliss Avenue, Tenafly, 201-894-8611: Bergen County.

The African Art Museum of the SMA Fathers at Tenafly, New Jersey is one of five museums around the world founded and maintained by the Society of African Missions (SMA), an international Roman Catholic missionary organization that serves the people of Africa.

Established in 1980, the Tenafly museum is one of only a rare few in the United States dedicated solely to the arts of Africa. Its permanent collections, exhibited on a rotating basis, offer a unique advantage in the study and research of sub-Saharan sculpture and painting, costumes, textiles and decorative arts, religion and folklore.

  • Current Status: The African Art Museum is listed as open 8 am – 5 pm seven days a week, but their phone number is out of service.
  • For more information please visit their website.

American Hungarian Museum

300 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, 732-846-5777: Middlesex County.

The Museum’s collections capture the flavor of Hungarian immigrant life with a fine art, folk art and folk life focus. The short- and long-term exhibition area features shows of Hungarian naive art, one-man shows of American and Hungarian artists and photographers, as well as special aspects of Hungarian-American history, art, culture and traditions. Program services include tours for the public, schools and special interest groups, library research, traveling exhibitions and related lectures.

  • Current Status: The American Hungarian Museum is closed every July and August. They will reopen September 8.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Noyes Museum of Art

4 locations in Southern New Jersey, 609-347-5839: Atlantic County ~ See their list of locations here.

  • Current Status: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Noyes Museum of Art in Hammonton and the Noyes Arts Garage in Atlantic City are closed until further notice.
  • Read our Noyes Museum of Art museum review in Noyes Museum of Art – Explore Art with Your Kids.

Avalon History Center

215 39th Street, Avalon, 609-967-0090: Cape May County.

  • Current Status: The Avalon History Center is temporarily closed.
  • For more information please visit their website.
African American Heritage Museum of Southern New Jersey – Newtonville location

Brigantine History Museum

3607 Brigantine Blvd, Brigantine, 609-266-9339: Atlantic County.

The Brigantine Beach Historical Society was formed to preserve the Island’s past. Through their efforts and the efforts of Brigantine’s town historian, Howard “Fritz” Haneman, the Brigantine Historical Museum opened in 1992 and is located adjacent to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Exhibits include a large collection of photographs from the 19th and early 20th centuries as well as many artifacts from days gone by. Stop in and stroll through Brigantine’s unique past.

  • Current Status: The Brigantine Historical Museum has not opened for 2020 yet.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Cranbury Museum

6 South Main Street, Cranbury, (609) 860-1889: Middlesex County.

  • Current Status: The Cranbury Museum is open on Sunday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. Starting Sunday, March 15, 2020, The Cranbury Museum will be closed to the public until further notice. We are working to confirm an opening date.
  • For more information please visit their website.

The Alan Ewing Carman Museum of Prehistory in Cumberland County

1461 Bridgeton Road, Greenwich 856-455-8580: Cumberland County.

To visit the museum is to enter the world of the Indians who inhabited the lower Delaware Valley. At the end of the last Ice Age, the Paleo (Clovis) Indians were the first primitive people to penetrate this region. Many subsequent Indian cultures followed in their wake, leaving physical evidence of their passing in the earth’s archives. This salvaged evidence is exhibited in the form of stone and bone artifacts, pottery and native crafts. When combined, they illustrate the evolution of the Indian societies who occupied southern New Jersey. – Alan Ewing Carman Museum website

  • Current Status: The Alan Ewing Carman Museum of Prehistory in Cumberland County will reopen on July 8, 2020. To schedule an appointment for the Prehistory Museum please call 856-455-8580. 
  • For more information please visit their website.

Friar Mountain Railroad Museum

240 Demarest Rd, Sparta, 973-579-9833: Sussex.

  • Current Status: The Friar Mountain Railroad Museum is closed until further notice.
  • For more information please visit their website. For more information please visit their website.

Hancock House

3 Front Street, Hancocks Bridge 856-935-4373: Salem County.

  • Current Status: The grounds of the Hancock House are open but the house itself is currently closed.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Heritage Glass Museum

25 E. High Street, Glassboro 856-881-7458: Gloucester County.

  • Current Status: The museum is closed until further notice.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Historical Society of Moorestown

12 High Street, Moorestown, 856-235-0353: Burlington County.

  • Current Status: Smith-Cadbury Mansion is closed.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Hopewell Museum

28 East Broad Street, Hopewell, 609-466-0103: Mercer County.

  • Current Status: The Hopewell Museum is currently closed.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Keyport Fire Museum

86 Broad Street, Keyport, 732-739-5362: Monmouth County.

  • Current Status: The Keyport Fire Museum is currently closed.
  • For more information please visit their website.
  • Keyport Steamboat Museum, Broad Street Facing the bay, Keyport, 732-739-7379: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Maywood Station Museum, 269 Maywood Avenue, Maywood: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Meadowlands Museum, 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford, 201-857-7070: Bergen County. There is a suggested donation. For more information please visit their website.

Millville Army Air Field Museum

104 Ledden Street, Millville, 856-327-2347: Cumberland County.

The mission of the Millville Army Air Field Museum is to preserve and promote the WWII aviation and military history of “America’s First Defense Airport”, located at Millville Airport in Millville, New Jersey. It serves to recognize and commemorate all aspects of American aviation history, document and honor the lives of American veterans, be the proprietor of historic buildings and structures of the WWII period that exist on site, honor and promote the invaluable role of the P-47 Thunderbolt pursuit/fighter plane and its pilots during WWII, accrue, research, preserve, display and educate with collections of valuable historic materials, and to perpetuate these goals for all of posterity.

  • Current Status: The Millville Army Air Field Museum reopened Tuesday, July 7, 2020 and is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesdays through Sundays.
  • For more information please visit their website.
  • National Guard Militia Museum, Sea Girt Avenue & Camp Drive, Sea Girt: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.

New Jersey Maritime Museum

528 Dock Rd, Beach Haven, 609-492-0202: Ocean County.

The New Jersey Maritime Museum is dedicated to the preservation of New Jersey maritime history. Their collection includes rare documents, antique navigational equipment, over ten thousand rare and historic photographs, logs, video and artifacts spanning over one hundred years of maritime history!

  • Current Status: The New Jersey Maritime Museum is open June – July – August: daily 10 am to 4 pm. September – May, Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays: 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Click over to read more about our visit to the New Jersey Maritime Museum or visit their website.
11 Things to Discover at the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven New Jersey
  • New Jersey Museum of Boating, 1800 Bay Ave, Point Pleasant, 732-606-7605: Ocean County. For more information please visit their website.

New Jersey State Museum

205 West State Street, Trenton, 609-292-6464: Mercer County.

  • Current Status: As of March 12, the New Jersey State Museum was closed to the public until further notice. We have reached out for a reopening date.
  • For more information please visit their website.
  • New Jersey State Police Museum – 1020 River Road, Ewing Township, 609-882- 2000: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven, New Jersey.
New Jersey Maritime Museum
  • Ocean City Historical Museum, 1735 Simpson Ave, Ocean City, 609-399-1801: Cape May County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Pascack Historical Museum, 19 Ridge Ave, Park Ridge, 201-573-0307: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Princeton University Art Museum – McCormick Hall, Princeton, 609-258-3788: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Rutgers Geology Museum, 85 Somerset St, New Brunswick, 848-932-7243: Middlesex County. For more information please visit their website.
  • The Schoolhouse Museum, Ridgewood, 201-447-3242 :Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Shippen Manor Museum, Oxford, 908-453-4381: Warren County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Somerville Fire Department Museum, 23 N Doughty St, Somerville, 908-526-7098: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Southern New Jersey All Sports Museum and Hall of Fame – Burt Ave Rec Center Bridgeton, 856-451-7300: Cumberland County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Stone Harbor Museum, 9410 Second Avenue, Stone Harbor, 609-368-7500: Cape May County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Toms River Seaport Society and Maritime Museum, Hooper Ave, Toms River, 732-349-9209: Ocean County. For more information please visit their website.
  • West Milford Museum, 1477 Union Valley Rd, West Milford, 973-728-1823: Passaic County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Zimmerli Art Museum – 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, 848-932-7237: Middlesex County. For more information please visit their website.

Click over for our listings of all museums in New Jersey.

Free New Jersey Gardens & Arboretums

Any season is a good time to see what’s in bloom. Get outside and enjoy a garden or arboretum, for some of the more beautiful free places to visit in New Jersey.

  • Barton Arboretum, Medford Leas, 609-654-3000: Burlington County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Cedar Brook Park Shakespeare Garden, Plainfield, 908-527-4900: Union County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Colonial Park Arboretum, Somerset, 908-722-1200: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Cora Hartshorn Arboretum & Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills, 973-376-3587: Essex County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Cross Estate Gardens, Bernardsville, 973-539-2016: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • David C Shaw Arboretum  – Holmdel Park, 44 Longstreet Road Holmdel, 732-946-9562: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Egg Harbor Twp Arboretum, Egg Harbor Twp, 609-926-4093: Atlantic County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morristown, 973-326-7603: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Herrontown Woods Arboretum, Princeton, 609-303-0700: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
Hunterdon County Arboretum
  • Leonard J. Buck Garden, Far Hills NJ, 908-722-1200: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood, 973-962-9534: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Rutgers Gardens – 112 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, 732-932-8451: Middlesex County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Reeves-Reed Arboretum – 165 Hobart Avenue Summit, 908-273-8787: Union County. There is a suggested donation. For more information please visit their website.
  • Theilke Arboretum, Glen Rock, 201-444-1270: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Wagner Farm Arboretum, 197 Mountain Avenue, Warren, 908-350-7383: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Willowwood Arboretum, Chester, 973-326-7600: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
Hunterdon County Arboretum
Hunterdon County Arboretum

Click over for our listing of all Gardens and Arboretums in New Jersey.

New Jersey Nature Centers with free admission

The Garden State is of course filled with nature! Whether it’s beach, country or woods, a visit to these nature centers is a great free thing to do in New Jersey.

  • Albert J. Kolonich Jr. Nature Trail, Bridgeton, Cumberland County. For more information visit their website.
  • Alloway Creek Watershed, Elsinboro, 888-627-7437: Salem County. For more information visit this website.
  • Basking Ridge Environmental Education Center – 190 Lord Stirling Road Basking Ridge, 908-722-1200: Somerset County. For more information visit this website.
  • Cape May Bird Observatory, 701 East Lake Drive Cape May Point, 609-400-3868: Cape May County. For more information visit their website.
  • Closter Nature Center, Closter, 201-750-2778: Bergen County. For more information visit their website.
Estell Manor bear Estell Manor Nature Center
Estell Manor Nature Center
  • Cooper Environmental Center – 1170 Cattus Island Boulevard Toms River, 732-270-6960: Ocean County. For more information visit their website.
  • Demarest Nature Center, Demarest, 201-403-3183: Bergen County. For more information visit their website.
  • Duke Farms, Hillsborough, 908-722-3700: Somerset County. For more information visit their website.
  • Flat Rock Brook Nature Center, Englewood, 201-567-1265: Bergen County. For more information visit their website.
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – 32 Pleasant Plains Road Basking Ridge, 973-425-1222: Somerset County. For more information visit their website.
Strolling through Hawk Rise
  • Huber Woods Environmental Center, Middletown, 732-872-2670: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Kay Environmental Center, Chester: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • James McFaul Environmental Center Garden, Wyckoff, 201-891-5571: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Lorrimer Sanctuary – 790 Ewing Avenue, Franklin Lakes 201-891-2185: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
Manasquan Reservoir
Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center
  • Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue Cape May, 609-898 -8848: Cape May County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Meadow Wood Environmental Facility, Maurice River: Cumberland County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Palmyra Nature Cove, 1335 Route 73 South, Palmyra, 856-829-1900: Burlington County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Pequest Trout Hatchery, 1270-1272 Route 46 Great Meadows, 908-637-4125: Warren County. For more information please visit their website.
Teen with a turtle at the Rancocas Nature Center
Rancocas Nature Center
  • Plainsboro Preserve, Cranbury, 609-427-3052: Middlesex County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Poricy Park, Middletown, 732-615-2260: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Rancocas Nature Center, Mt Holly, 609-261-2495: Burlington County. For more information please visit their website.
  • The Raptor Trust, Millington, 908-647-2353: Morris County. There is a suggested donation. For more information please visit their website.
  • Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville, 908-396-7409: Somerset County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Schiff Nature Preserve, Mendham, 973-543-6004: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
Trailside Nature Center
  • Scotland Run Park Nature Center, Clayton, 856-251-6710: Gloucester County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Stony Brook Millstone Water Shed, 31 Titus Mill Road Pennington, 609-737-3735: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Tenafly Nature Center – 313 Hudson Avenue Tenafly, 201-568-6093: Bergen County. For more information please visit their website.
boy pretends to lead a class at an outdoor classroom with log benches and acorn seats at the Trailside Nature and Science Center
  • Warren E. Fox Nature Center – 109 Boulevard Route 50 Mays Landing, 609-625-1897: Atlantic County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Wells Mills Nature Center – 905 Wells Mills Road Waretown, 609-971-3085: Ocean County

Click over for our listing of all Nature Centers in New Jersey.

FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey – Free Zoos in New Jersey

Seeing animals can brighten anyone’s day. Seeing them for free is even better! There are two to choose from on our list of free places to visit in New Jersey.

Cape May County Park Zoo

4 Moore Road Cape May, 609-465-5271: Cape May County.

  • Current Status: The Cape May County Zoo is open every day 10 am – 4:30 pm.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Cohanzick Zoo

45 Mayor Aitken Drive Bridgeton, 856-453-1658: Cumberland County.

  • Current Status: The Cohanzick Zoo is open every day 10 am until 3 pm.
  • For more information please read our Cohanzick Zoo review or visit their website.
A Map of the Cape May County Park & Zoo
A Map of the Cape May County Park & Zoo

Click over for a list of all zoos in New Jersey.

New Jersey Historical Landmarks with free admission

We have so much history throughout our great state. Imagine you’re George Washington, or a 19th century landowner, or even a lighthouse keeper at one of these free places to visit in New Jersey.

  • The Bloomfield Historical Society Museum, 90 Broad St, Bloomfield: Essex County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Boonton Historical Society and Museum, 210 Main St, Boonton, 973-402-8840: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • C.A. Nothnagle Log House  – 406 Swedesboro Road Gibbstown, (856) 423-0916: Gloucester County.
  • Califon Historical Society, Academy St & Railroad Rd, Califon: Hunterdon County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Camp Olden, 2202 Kuser Rd, Hamilton: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Colonial House Museum, 653 1/2 Washington St, Cape May, 609-884-9100: Cape May County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Denville Historical Society and Museum, 113 Diamond Springs Rd, Denville: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Drake House Museum, 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, (908) 755-5831: Union County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Dr. William Robinson Plantation – Madison Hill Road, Clark: Union County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Fleming Castle Museum, 5 Bonnell St, Flemington, 908-782-4607: Hunterdon County. For more information please visit this website.
  • Fort Hancock Historic District – 128 South Hartshorne Drive Highlands, (732) 872-0115: Monmouth County. No fees in the off season. For more information please visit their website.
  • Hamilton Van Wagoner House, 971 Valley Rd, Clifton, 973-744-5707: Passaic County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Historic Walnford, 62 Walnford Rd, Upper Freehold, 609-259-6275: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Kuser Farm Mansion – 390 Newkirk Avenue Hamilton, (609) 890-3630: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum, Landing, 973-398-2616: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Old Schoolhouse Museum, 681 Petersburg Rd, Dennisvillle, 609-861-1899: Cape May County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Sea Girt Lighthouse – 9 Ocean Avenue Sea Girt, (732) 974-0514: Monmouth County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Somers Point Mansion – 100 Shore Road Somers Point (609) 927-2212: Atlantic County. For more information please visit their website.
  • State House – 125 West State Street Trenton, (609) 633-2709: Mercer County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Tuckerton Historical Society, 35 Leitz blvd, Little Egg Harbor, 609-294-1547: Ocean County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Twin Lights Historic Site– Lighthouse Road Highlands, (732) 872-1814: Monmouth County.
  • Washington Twp Historical Museum, 6 Fairview Ave, Long Valley: Morris County. For more information please visit their website.
  • Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield Park, 100 Hessian Avenue, National Park: Gloucester County. For more information please visit their website.
A bedroom at Dr. William Robinson Plantation
A bedroom at Dr. William Robinson Plantation

Click over for our listing of all New Jersey lighthouses.

FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey – Free Farms in New Jersey

Looking for more animals in a natural habitat? There are many farms in New Jersey and these are a few that will let you visit – for free of course! Farms on our list of free places to visit in New Jersey:

Historic Longstreet Farm

44 Longstreet Rd, Holmdel, 732-946-3758: Monmouth County.

Howell Living History Farm

70 Woodens Lane Lambertville, 609-737-3299: Hunterdon County.

  • Current Status: Pre-registered “Share The Harvest” tours are now available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons! The farm is still closed for general admission, and you MUST register for your tour at the Mercer County CommunityPass portal.
  • For more information please visit their website.

Click over for our listing of all New Jersey farms with children’s activities.

with goat at Funny Farm Animal Rescue in Mays Landing NJ
Funny Farm animal rescue

Free New Jersey Beaches

New Jersey is known for its extensive shoreline but a day at the beach in the summer can require beach tags at most New Jersey beaches. If you’re looking for free beaches in New Jersey that offer some ocean fun, head to these three free places to visit in New Jersey!

Click over for our listing of all New Jersey beaches.

Auer boys on the beach
Wildwood and Atlantic City Beaches are free!

FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey – Other free places to go in New Jersey

Historic Batsto Village

Route 542 Washington Township, 609-561-0024: Burlington.

The Korean War Memorial

Atlantic City Boardwalk (Behind Claridge): Atlantic.

The NJ Korean War Memorial was created to ensure that future generations remember and honor the pride and dedication of those who served, the legacy they continued, and the freedom they preserved.

  • Current Status: The New Jersey Korean War Memorial in Atlantic City is open daily.
  • For more information please visit their website.
New Jersey Splash Pads & Spraygrounds(2)

Click over for our extensive list of Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in New Jersey (many with free admission)

Parks & Playgrounds

Click over for our reviews of New Jersey Parks and Playgrounds.

Do you know of a great free place to go in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to pin me for later.

Free Places to Visit in New Jersey

18 thoughts on “100+ FREE Places to Visit in New Jersey

  1. There’s so much to explore in New Jersey and it should be on every traveler’s list while planning a visit to US. You have share some really good information and in detail. Thanks for sharing it with us, it was really helpful!

  2. NJ Traveller says:

    Paterson great falls is a amazing place…

    Also we had a great time at the Audubon’s Plainsboro Preserve.

  3. Kevin C Wolbach says:

    Fort Mott and Hancock house are two other great museums to include.

  4. Jim says:

    Red Bank Battlefield Park in National Park, Gloucester County is free as well.

  5. Peggy says:

    Strathmere beach is free also!

  6. Anj says:

    Stickly Museum is not free

  7. Natlands says:

    Glades Wildlife Refuge is a great free place to take the family for a hike.

  8. Stephanie Betts says:

    Would like to know if you have a mailing list?

  9. Bob L says:

    Forgot the Palmyra Nature Cove in Palmyra NJ

  10. LoveBeautyNglam says:

    Don’t see Smithville park. Historical site, playgrounds, long walking bridge, hiking/canoeing along the rancocoas creek, tour of smithville mansion, lots of picnic areas, etc.

  11. Trish from 4soils says:

    This is an awesome list Jennifer!! Thanks for Linking up and sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.