Last Thursday, December 29, Jersey Family Fun readers and their families met with a dinosaur, saw a 3D holiday show, learned about New Jersey history, and passed a bill in Trenton. And it was all pretty much free.
It was our first Jersey Family Fun Day. We all know kids can get crazy being home for so long. So what better time to kick off these fun days than with a trip to Trenton during the winter break from school. We wanted to give families something fun to do and show off how family friendly and affordable a trip to Trenton can be. Our day was packed with activities and filled with fun.
We started by meeting up at the New Jersey State Museum. Guests checked in and then had free time to explore the museum. At about 10 am, Field Station: Dinosaur exhibition paleontologists took us on a tour of the dinosaur fossils on exhibit. Did you know that the first 20 years of dinosaurs discoveries happened in New Jersey? We all learned some interesting facts from Paleontologists Dave and Jason and they answered our questions.
After that, the kids joined Sam, the Dinosaur Troubadour in a dinosaur sing a long.
The singing must have got the attention of a certain T Rex. As the kids were still singing he headed around the corner, paused for a drink, before making his grand entrance.
One of our guests even offered up their older brother for a snack for the T Rex, caught on film by the Trenton Times. Thankfully, it wasn’t to the dinosaur’s liking. He posed for pictures and allowed the kids to pet him.
After our dinosaur fun was over, we moved onto the New Jersey State Museum Planetarium to see the Laser Nutcracker Planetarium Show. It was Patriot’s Week so our speaker showed us what the sky would have looked like during Christmas years ago when Washington crossed the river. Then, it was time to put on our 3D glasses to enjoy the show. Neon images danced as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa songs played and some of us sang along.
We had lunch in a room in a nearby building. Most of us snacked on peanut butter and jelly, but we ended our lunch with yummy goldfish and Milano cookies from Pepperidge Farms and doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.
The fun didn’t end with lunch. We divided up into smaller groups. Some of our families returned to enjoy the New Jersey State Museum’s 4 floors of exhibits.
Others families headed to the New Jersey State House. Barbara, our guide led us on an extensive tour of the State House sharing a wealth of information about the State house’s history and symbolism of many of the details.
We didn’t meet the governor or any of our representatives, but we did get to see some areas most visitors don’t. Since the assembly was not in session, we got to visit the rooms were our Senate and Representatives meet and where the Governor holds his press conferences.
After the tour, older children participated in a Make a Law program in the visitor center classroom. They even passed a bill.
Younger kids waited outside the classroom, playing with the interactive exhibits, and building the State House with blocks.
I love that everyone had a fun time. My favorite part was hearing parents say they didn’t realize that Trenton had all that to enjoy. It does and it’s free! Both the New Jersey State Museum and the New Jersey State House offer free admission and free parking. That is part of our passion at Jersey Family Fun. We want to share the treasures of our state. We want to show you what fun there is for your family that you might not have realized. I’d say this trip did just that. :)
To see more pictures from our event visit our Facebook Gallery.
To read our tweets from the day search the #JFFFunDay hashtag.
Our thanks to PBS Kids, Allied Integrated Marketing, Pepperidge Farm, and Krispy Kreme who provided our guests with swag materials and to Field Station Dinosaurs who arranged the dinosaur visit during our event.
In full disclosure, we did not receive payment for hosting the event. The event was organized by Jersey Family Fun in cooperation with the New Jersey State Museum and The New Jersey State House. It was open to all of our readers who registered to attend the event before hand. All activities were free except the planetarium show.