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New Jersey Winter Break Activities – What’s Open? What’s Closed?

There are two kinds of parents – those who love it when their kids are home from school and you can sleep late, laze around the house and just be together. And the ones who need to keep kids occupied or there’s fighting or too much screen time! Which one are you? How are you feeling about this year’s New Jersey winter break from school?

The days after Christmas are usually filled with playing with new toys, putting together Lego sets, hosting out-of-town guests, having some winter adventures and just relaxing! After a few years of not being able to have everyone together, this year things are starting to return to normal, or at least a new kind of normal.

If you have family and friends visiting or the kids are just getting to be too much and you need something new to do, we understand. What’s a parent to do when they don’t know what’s open in New Jersey or things to do during winter break?

Like me you probably want to get out. You want fresh air. You want a change of scenery. As I sit here typing away trying to make sure all the holiday articles are done for our readers, I am also thinking about winter break in New Jersey, it snuck up on me this year.

How will I fill the days to keep my three boys busy and not driving me nuts? I imagine you all have the same concerns when it comes to your own kids. In a time when a lot of things seems closed in New Jersey, how do we save winter break?

New Jersey winter break activities square image

We can and we will save winter break. But first, give yourself grace. We all know the holidays can be a busy stressful time, so if you don’t want to do anything, that’s perfectly fine. Have a PJ day and binge watch movies. Have a video game marathon WITH your kids. Or let them play their games in one room while you catch up on your shows in another. Then, come back together for meals and special snack times.

For those moments when you just need to get out of the house, check out this Jersey Family Fun guide to New Jersey winter break activities to bust boredom. We’ve gone through some of New Jersey’s most popular family attractions to check on their status for winter break. Each of them is listed below. We tell you which New Jersey attractions are closed, which New Jersey family attractions are open, and what their hours are.

Bookmark this list and come back to it often. As we find new information we’ll be updating this list.

New Jersey Winter Break Activities

Let’s get started with winter break activities in New Jersey.

See the holiday lights in New Jersey

Drive around and enjoy New Jersey local holiday lights and displays. Many will still be open until the kids go back to school.

Lights-at-Freehold-Estates-Christmas-lights-in-freehold-ariel-view-of-several-homes

Get your game on at iPlay America

Celebrate the holiday season and winter break with the family during extended hours at iPlay America!

Winter break activities at iPlay America in Freehold New Jersey

Come experience Central Jersey’s LARGEST indoor arcade, Brand-NEW rides and attractions – like Ballocity and High Flyer – laser tag & SO MUCH MORE!

air hockey one of the Winter Break Activities at iPlay America in Freehold New Jersey

Learn more about iPlay America and view their operating hours over winter break.

Roller Skate at Cape May Convention Hall

The annual tradition of roller skating at Cape May Convention Hall is back! For just $5 a person, the kids, you, and everyone in your family can skate nearly every day of winter break. Learn more in our event listing.

Watch Christmas train displays

Christmas may just be one day, but these Christmas train displays in New Jersey run for at least a few weeks.

sals trains

Experience Nightforms at Grounds for Sculpture

Experience the magic of Night Forms: Infinite Wave with your family over the winter break. We had a chance to experience this a few weeks ago and the lights were stunning!

Nightforms at Grounds for Sculpture - Winter break activities at Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton New Jersey

Grounds For Sculpture is open December 24 and daily December 26 through January 1, 2023.

Nightforms at Grounds for Sculpture - Winter break activities at Grounds for Sculpture in Princeton New Jersey

Night Forms, created by Klip Collective, is a reimagined after-hours, multi-sensory light and sound experience designed to engage with the Grounds For Sculpture art and horticulture collection. Building on the success of last year’s exhibition, Night Forms: Infinite Wave is unique, offering a new route through the grounds as more than a dozen installations punctuate the dark. Learn more and get tickets.

Look up to see airplanes

With so many traveling by air there will be lots of planes to see in the air. See where to find them with these local places to see airplanes.

Go on a scavenger hunt!

The Family Photo Scavenger Hunt in Morris Township at Haggerty Education Center will still be available over winter break. Bundle up and get outside and explore the gardens with a family photo scavenger hunt. Get all the details in our event listing.

Books & crafts to go

Check out your local library. While some might be closed, several are offering craft kits to go. Some are even hosting special movie days and gaming afternoon for kids over the winter breat. Visit your local library’s website to find out what’s available and how to take advantage of it.

Speaking of crafts to go, you can shop local to pick up activity kits at businesses across New Jersey. Check out these guides.

boy peels stencil back from a DIY paint kit from Board and Brush Red Bank

Try a NEW New Jersey winter activity

Why not try something new during the kids New Jersey winter break from school? Our new New Jersey winter activities guide is packed with wonderful ideas of things to do in New Jersey this winter with great suggestions for New Jersey winter activities, events, day trips, and destinations.

New-Jersey-winter-activities-to-try-this-winter

Celebrate New Year’s Eve

New Jersey New Year’s eve events are back! Want to go out with the kids? Take a look at our The BEST New Jersey New Years Eve Events for Kids for family-friendly events.

Rather stay home? Check out our ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at home with kids.

Local New Year's Eve Events for Kids (Twitter)

Enjoy New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day presents many opportunities to make the winter break extra special. There are first day hikes, first day climbs, events on the beach, and more. Visit our list of New Jersey New Year’s Day Events for Families for ideas.

New Jersey New Year's Day Events for families

Save Money on these New Jersey Winter Break Activities

Thanks to our partnerships with these organizations we can help families save money while experiencing family fun during winter break.

Sea Life Aquarium New Jersey

jellyfish-disco-at-Sea-Life-Aquarium

Legoland Discovery Center New Jersey

Legoland-Discovery-Center-ninjago-play-gym

Medieval Times New Jersey

Boys cheering on the knights at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in New Jersey photo credit Jersey Family Fun

Find more discount tickets at our online ticket booth.

Winter Break in New Jersey – What’s Open? What’s Closed?

Moving on to New Jersey family attractions there are some open for winter break in New Jersey.

A few things to consider before packing up the kids for a day trip.

  • Bring a mask, just in case. Some indoor New Jersey attractions are requiring guests to wear a mask.
  • Don’t just show up. Many of the attractions that are open in New Jersey are requiring advanced reservations. Even if admission is free, even if you have a season pass, or generic any day tickets, visit their website or call ahead to see if you need a specific reservation.
  • Call before you go. Things change. People get sick. Staffing shortages or other things beyond everyone’s control happen and the plan you had for the day may need to change. Always call ahead to confirm a location is open before you head out the door.
  • Have a potty plan. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Make a plan for how to handle potty breaks and where to go. Don’t let surprises turn into emergencies. If the location you are visiting does not have a restroom you need to know where to go.
New Jersey winter break activities horizontal image

Are any New Jersey amusement parks open for winter break?

Six Flags Great Adventure

  • Six Flags Great Adventure is open daily from 1 pm to 8 pm from December 26, 2022 until January 1, 2023 for Holiday in the Park. Visit their site at sixflags.com/greatadventure.

American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe

  • American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe is open every day of winter break including Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Visit their site or reserve tickets through our affiliate link.

The East Hanover and Mount Laurel Funplex

  • The Funplex in East Hanover and Mount Laurel are open during the winter break from December 23 daily until January 1, 2023, They are closed for Christmas Day. The indoor attractions, bowling, and arcade will be open for guests. Check their website for specific hours.
  • Read our review of Funplex East Hanover – 5 Things You Need to Know About Funplex East Hanover.
  • Visit their site at thefunplex.com.

Land of Make Believe

iPlay America

  • Currently, iPlay America is open Wednesdays through Sundays. They will be open for Christmas eve and closed Christmas day. Starting December 27, they will be open daily through January 3, 2021. Please check their website for specific hours.
  • Read all about iPlay America here
  • Visit their site at iplayamerica.com.

Keansburg Amusement Park

Steel Pier

  • The Steel Pier in Atlantic City is closed for 2022.
  • Visit their site at steelpier.com.

Storybook Land

  • Storybook Land is open daily until December 30, 2022. They are closed for Christmas eve and Christmas Day. Last year, they were closed from January – April.
  • Visit their site at storybookland.com for more details.

Diggerland USA

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier

  • Gillian’s Wonderland Pier is not open.
  • Visit their site at gillians.com.

Morey’s Piers

Playland’s Castaway Cove

  • Playland Castaway Cove is closed for the season.
  • Visit their site at oceancityfun.com.

Blackbeard’s Cave

  • Blackbeard’s Cave is closed for the season.
  • Visit their site at blackbeardscave.com.

Casino Pier

Fantasy Island Amusement Park

  • The Fantasy Island Amusement Park arcade is open daily until January 2, 2023, except for Christmas Day.
  • Visit their site at fantasyislandlbi.com.

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

  • The Jenkinson’s Amusement Park and Beach are CLOSED for the season.
  • Read our Jenkinson’s Boardwalk reviews.
  • Visit their site at jenkinsons.com.

Will any New Jersey indoor water parks be open?

CoCo Key Indoor Water Park

  • The Hotel ML and CoCo Key Water Resort is currently closed indefinitely.
  • Read our Coco Keys review.
  • Visit their site at mtlaurelcocokey.com.

Dreamworks Water Park

  • Dreamworks Water Park is open every day of winter break including Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Visit their site or reserve tickets through our affiliate link.

Big Kahuna

  • Big Kahuna Water Park is open every day of winter break except Christmas.
  • Visit their site at bigkahunas.com.

Are New Jersey museums open for winter break?

Tuckerton Seaport

  • Visit the Tuckerton Seaport for holiday lights and self-guided tours from 10 am to 6 pm. They are open daily, weather permitting, until January 8, 2023, except for Christmas.
  • Visit their website for more information or their Facebook page for updates to their schedule.

Grounds for Sculpture

  • Grounds For Sculpture plans to remain open through the winter – it is beautiful in every season! They will be open every day (December 26, 2022 – January 1, 2023) for daytime admission 10 AM-4 PM and then for Nightforms 5 PM-11 PM. See more about Nightforms above.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Liberty Science Center

  • The Liberty Science Center will be open over the winter break. Most days they are open at 10 am and close at 4 or 5 pm. They are closed on Christmas and January 2-4, 2023.
  • Visit their website for more information.
Liberty-Science-Center-infinity-climber

Morven Museum & Garden

  • The Morven Museum & Garden is open Wednesdays through Sundays, 10:00 am through 4:00 pm. They are closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
  • Visit their website for more information.

The Children’s Museum of Somerset County

  • The Children’s Museum of NJ was volunteer-run and is no longer in business.
  • Visit their for more website information.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum

  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium will permanently close on December 31, 2022. Hours vary by day. Until then they are open daily from 11 am to 5 pm, except Wednesday and Christmas. Please check their website for more information.
  • Visit their website for more information.
Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City
Absecon Lighthouse

Historic Absecon Lighthouse and Museum

  • Absecon Lighthouse is closed from December 20, 2022 – January 1, 2023, reopening Monday, January 2nd.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Lucy the Elephant

  • Lucy the Elephant has reopened after a magnificent renovation. She is open daily through December 31, 2022, except for Christmas Day.
  • Visit their website for more information.
Lucy-the-Elephant-Zoom-Background

Roebling Museum

  • Roebling Museum will be closed Saturday December 24 and Saturday December 31, 2022. Outside of that, they are open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through end of December.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Battleship New Jersey

  • Through December 31, 2022, the Battleship will be open every day, except Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, from 10 am with the last tour of the day departing at 4 pm through December 31, 2022, for self-guided tours. The ship itself doesn’t close until 5:30 pm.
  • During the week of December 26 through December 29, the Battleship will also offer guided tours each day at 12 pm. The guided tour can be purchased at the Battleship’s Ticket Office or at their website.
  • Visit their website for more information.
battleship NJ beds
Check out the beds aboard the Battleship New Jersey.

Historic Cold Spring Village

  • The Historic Cold Spring Village will be open, but the buildings will not be available for inside viewing until June 2023.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Insectropolis

  • Insectropolis will be closed for the holidays and opening again on January 6, 2023.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Which zoos are open for New Jersey winter break?

Cape May County Park and Zoo

  • The Cape May County Park and Zoo is open daily except for Christmas. Winter hours are 10 am to 3:30 pm. Christmas eve and New Year’s Eve they are open from 10 am to 2:30 pm.
  • Visit the Cape May County Park and Zoo website.
Cape May Zoo

Bergen County Zoo

  • During the winter season (November 1–April 30), the zoo is open to the public for FREE from 10 am-3 pm (last entry at 2:30 pm). Free admission to the Zoo will close promptly at 3:00 pm.
  • Visit the Bergen County Zoo website.

Turtle Back Zoo

  • Turtle Back Zoo is open daily from 10 am to 3 pm.
  • Please be advised the Zoo will be closed on Sunday, December 25th during the day and for the Holiday Lights. The zoo is closed on Sunday, January 1st, 2023.
  • Read more about this North Jersey zoo in our review of Turtle Back Zoo or our articles about Turtle Back Zoo.
  • Visit the Turtle Back Zoo website.
frog at playground at Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange NJ

Space Farm Zoo

  • Closed until April 2023.
  • Visit the Space Farm Zoo website.

Popcorn Park Zoo

  • The Popcorn Park Zoo website lists their hours as 11 am to 5 pm daily and 11 am to 2 pm on holidays.
  • Read more about this South Jersey zoo in our review of Popcorn Park Zoo or our articles about Popcorn Park Zoo.
  • Visit the Popcorn Park Zoo website.
Popcorn Park Zoo, peacocks
Popcorn Park Zoo

Are New Jersey aquariums open?

Adventure Aquarium

  • Adventure Aquarium is open daily throughout the winter including Christmas Day. Adventure Aquarium is one of the most popular New Jersey attractions to visit during winter break. It is strongly recommended that you purchase tickets in advance.
  • Click over to read our Adventure Aquarium review.
  • Visit their website at www.adventureaquarium.com.
Posing with reindeer at Adventure Aquarium in Camden NJ

Atlantic City Aquarium

Jenkinson’s Aquarium

  • Jenkinson’s Aquarium is open daily, every day in December, except Christmas. Their hours for January were not listed on their website at the time we published this article.
  • Click over to read our Jenkinson’s Aquarium review.
  • Visit their website at jenkinsons.com/aquarium.
penguins at Jenkinson's Aquarium
It was so cute watching the penguins eat their fish, they knew when it was time t eat!

If you know someplace in New Jersey that is open for winter break, please let us know in the comments below.

Local New Jersey Winter Break Activities to Bust Winter Break Boredom

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