There are two kinds of moms – those who love 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 many screens!
As I sit here typing away trying to get all the holiday articles done for our readers, I am trying to think ahead to winter break. 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.
How do we prevent the “I’m bored”, “There’s nothing to do.”? How do we keep our kids from being glued to screens? You need to turn to Jersey Family Fun. We have lots of ways for you to bust the boredom in your kids and have some great experiences while they are home from school.
Take our winter break ideas!
Get out there and have fun with these New Jersey Winter Break Activities!
The days after Christmas are filled with playing with new toys, hosting out of town guests, and just relaxing! But beware, the stir craziness of not being in the daily routine might just emerge. For those moments, check out this Jersey Family Fun guide to New Jersey winter break activities to bust boredom.
Be sure to share the experiences you are have in the comments below or online with the hashtag #JerseyFun. We can’t wait to see how your family spends this week off with these local winter break activities.
Winter Break Camps in New Jersey
Check out the details on these New Jersey winter break camps that allow kids to be active and engaged in fun activities while mom and dad work or just get a little time to themselves. To advertise your winter break camps, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multi-Day Winter Break Camps in New Jersey
- Details coming soon.
One Day New Jersey Winter Break Camps
- Details coming soon.
Special Events happening during winter break
New Jersey events happening over winter break
Free New Jersey events
- Drive around and enjoy local holiday lights and displays. Many will still be open until the kids go back to school.
- Read about Historic Smithville’s nightly Christmas lights and music show happening until January 6.
- Enjoy the Essex County Holiday Light Spectacular at the Turtle Back Zoo until December 31.
- Head into Atlantic City for the Tropicana’s Free Holiday Music Light Show until December 27. For more information visit our Calendar of Events.
- Jenkinson’s Boardwalk offers Sea of Lights on December 27-28 with games, photo ops and more. Rides are closed but the arcade, shops and aquarium are open! For more information visit our Calendar of Events.
- Gloucester County’s light show, Blight’s B-Lighted Christmas will be shining every night until January 2. For more information visit our Calendar of Events.
- Or head to Ocean County for the Ferone Family Christmas Light Spectacular, open and lit until January 1. For more information visit our Calendar of Events.
- Visit a local holiday trains display.
- More events coming soon.
Other great New Jersey events happening during winter break
Medieval Times New Jersey
- Travel back to the Middle Ages with knights, horses, jousting, and swordplay while enjoying a “hands-on” four-course feast as the story of bravery and love unfolds before you in this unique entertainment experience. The pageantry and thrills of an authentic medieval tournament come to life inside the walls of the King’s 11th century-style castle. Six armor-clad Knights on valiant horses seek the title of Champion amidst the clashing of lance and shield and heart-pounding combat.
- Tournaments occur multiple times a week.
- Read more about our Medieval Times New Jersey experiences in these blog posts.
- Buy tickets to Medieval Times New Jersey.
Hello Panda Vernon Lights Festival: 120+ Lanterns, Food, Market & More
- Vernon will shine even brighter this fall and winter seasons with the Vernon Lights Festival. The festival will feature a walk-through wonderland experience featuring millions of lights, Giant Panda and Friends, The Dinosaur & Animal Kingdom, Fantasy Land & Time Tunnel, The Million Light Maze, NJ’s Largest Lantern Christmas Tree, kid-friendly live entertainment, Light-up Dance Floor and heated tent with children’s playground. Lights, food, interactive and modern displays and music will support an international framework for arts and exciting cultural experiences for children of all ages and families. The attraction is teeming with huge handcrafted lantern exhibits, taking a page from the fine art of Chinese lantern making with magical displays of light and color, all handcrafted by world-class artisans.
- Event runs from date Friday, November 29, 2019 – Sunday, January 05, 2020
- Click to buy Hello Panda Vernon Lights Festival discount tickets from $0-$17.98
- Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live:
About the show: A family-friendly monster truck show that brings everyone’s favorite Hot Wheels to life. The trucks perform amazing jumps, crashes, and stunts to wow the whole family. Megasaurus—the car-eating, fire-breathing, prehistoric robot—as it makes its Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live debut. In addition to the Trucks, each show will feature specialty acts like the superstars of freestyle motocross. The Crash Zone Pre-Show Party will be open prior to all shows, giving fans a chance to come early to meet the Monster Truck drivers, get amazing close-up photos and see the unbelievable new Hot Wheels™ Monster Trucks up close and in person. Free with purchase of event ticket.
- CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton, 4 shows from December 27-29.
- Click to buy Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live discount tickets for $33.
New York City events happening over winter break
Free New York City events
- Visit Melanie’s great ideas for winter break activities in her Tips for Visiting NYC at Christmastime … with kids!
- More events coming soon.
Other great New York City events to attend during winter break
“Gazillion Bubble Show”: A Dazzling Display of Bubbles, With Artistry & Lasers
- This long-running New York City hit combines spectacular light and laser effects with masterful bubble artistry. The Yang family’s amazing transformation of ordinary soap bubbles has earned them international fame and 16 Guinness World Records. The Gazillion Bubble Show has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Late Show with David Letterman, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Fox & Friends, The View, the Today show and more. Young or old, this is an event the whole family will enjoy.
- Shows run from Friday, November 15, 2019 – Sunday, May 31, 2020
- Click to buy Gazillion Bubble Show discount tickets from $39-$59
The Wizard of Oz: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Family Classic
- Strap on your ruby slippers and join the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, too, for this adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Everyone loves the classic story of the girl who wakes up in a strange land filled with witches and wizards, munchkins and monkeys — and befriends a cowardly lion, a tin man without a heart and a scarecrow with no brain in her quest to find her way back home. Journey down the yellow brick road through the land of Oz to meet the Wizard while humming along to memorable songs from the Oscar-winning film, including “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and “If I Only Had a Brain.” The whole family will enjoy this zippy, one-hour version now playing at the Harlem Repertory Theatre in New York.
- Shows run from date Saturday, November 23, 2019 – Saturday, January 11, 2020
- Click to buy The Wizard of Oz: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Family Classic discount tickets from $5-$10.
Levitation, Mindreading & Comedy Magic With Matt Roberts
- Matt Roberts can read minds and levitate, all while having multiple card tricks up his sleeve. But this street magician’s greatest feat is making you LOL in between all the ooh’s and aah’s.
- Shows run from date Friday, November 29, 2019 – Monday, February 17, 2020
- Click to buy Levitation, Mindreading & Comedy Magic With Matt Roberts discount tickets from $15-$29.
NYC Winter Lantern Festival Lights Up the Night
- Ready to step into a world of light and color? There will be over 1,000 lanterns on display, sculpted into magnificent figures of luminescent art. After its success last year, the NYC Winter Lantern Festival is back to transform Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden into a whimsical world of light. Bring your whole family to wonder at eight acres of lights, live cultural shows, interactive exhibits, and more. The cultural performances include: Plate/Bowl Spinning, Seesaw Bowl Balance, Hoop Tumbling, Straw Hat Juggling, Hand to Hand Act, Tibetan Folk Dance and a Face-changing Magician, which is a sub-genre of Chinese Sichuan Opera — performers wear vibrant costumes and magically swap traditional opera masks from one to another. The dining options will feature international eats with Asian flair, and the gift shop has teamed up with local artists and craftsmen specializing in illustration and Chinese-influenced lanterns.
- Any available day through January 12, 2020
- Click to buy NYC Winter Lantern Festival discount tickets
A few more New York City events for kids
- Cheap movie tickets with AMC Theaters for $9 each.
- Harlem Globetrotters: Pushing the Limits at Madison Square Garden
- Harlem Globetrotters: Pushing the Limits at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
- PBR: “Unleash the Beast” at Madison Square Garden
- More coming soon.
Philadelphia events happening over winter break
Free Philadelphia events
- Cross over into Philadelphia for the Reading Terminal Market Train Display, on display until December 31.
- Check out these 8 FREE Must See Must Do Philly Activities for the Holidays you might have missed.
- More events coming soon.
Other great Philadelphia events to attend during winter break
- Details coming soon.
Local family attractions open during winter break
New Jersey family attractions open during winter break
- Weather doesn’t matter! Experience indoor water park fun in Camden County!
- Sahara Sam’s is open every day from December 21 until January 1, 2020, except Christmas Day. They are open 10 AM – 7 PM each day except New Year’s Eve, when they close at 5 PM.
- Read more about our experiences at Sahara Sam’s in our blog posts here.
- Don’t wait on line! Get your tickets to Sahara Sam’s.
- New Jersey’s construction amusement park is still open! Bundle up and get your fix of big machines before they close for the season.
- Diggerland USA is open for Winterfest, December 21 – December 30 and closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They are open 11 AM – 5 PM those days.
- Read more about our experiences at Diggerland USA in our blog posts here.
- Save time when you get there and get your tickets to Diggerland USA in advance.
- Visit the Tuckerton Seaport for indoor and outdoor fun by the water.
- Tuckerton Seaport is open every day, 10 AM – 4 PM.
- Read about the Tuckerton Seaport in our series here.
- Get your Tuckerton Seaport admission tickets at a discount!
- Rides, arcade games, great food and indoor golf simulation awaits at iPlay America. It’s our favorite indoor amusement park conveniently located in Freehold!
- iPlay America is open every day except for Christmas Day. Hours vary.
- Explore one of New Jersey’s best indoor theme parks at iPlay America.
- Read about iPlay America in our blog post series here.
Six Flags Holidays in the Park
- Read our article 3 Ways to Stay Warm at Six Flags Holiday in the Park.
- Visit Skylands Stadium where for $17-$20 a car you can see the Skylands Stadium Christmas Light Show and Christmas Village. Open through through January 1st): 4:30 PM to 10:00 PM but closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
For free New Jersey family attractions open during winter break visit these blog posts:
New York City area family attractions open during winter break
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square
- Marvel at hundreds of weird and unusual artifacts from around the world. Embark on a self-guided tour of more than 20 themed galleries on two separate floors, chock full of interactive, archival and video exhibits. Whether examining a six-legged cow, a lock of Elvis’ hair, 24 shrunken heads, a section of the Berlin Wall or a life-size albino giraffe, the Ripley’s Believe It or Not collection proves that fact is indeed stranger than fiction. This offer also includes one admission to Ripley’s Smash Dash, the only experience of its kind in New York. Don’t forget to check out Ripley’s Relic, the new immersive, interactive adventure. For a limited time, purchase a combo ticket and Ripley’s Relic is included free of cost!
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square is open daily from 10 am to 11 pm.
- Read more about our Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square experience.
- Click to buy Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square discount tickets from $12-$22.50.
- More coming soon.
For free New York City area family attractions open during winter break visit our listing of New York City Museums with FREE Admission and Pay What You Wish Days.
Philadelphia area family attractions open during winter break
Sesame Place Philadelphia
- It’s a perfect time, and they’re a perfect age, for Sesame Place, the nation’s only theme park based entirely on Sesame Street. So before little kids become big kids, bring the entire family to whirl on rides, splash down slides and hug everyone’s favorite furry friends. Get ready to sing, dance and clap along at daily character shows, as well as the Neighborhood Street Party Parade. Don’t miss the special opportunity to meet, greet and eat with Elmo & Friends! Celebrate the seasons and join us for a not-too-spooky fun time in the fall during The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, and a festive family-fun time during A Very Furry Christmas! So go before they grow.
- Sesame Place is open every day from December 26, 2019 to January 1, 2020.
- December 26, 2019 – December 28, 2019 from 11 am to 7 pm.
- December 29 & 30, 2019 from 1 pm to 7 pm.
- December 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020 1 pm to 6 pm.
- Click to buy Sesame Place Philadelphia discount tickets for $43, a savings of $33.
- More coming soon.
For free Philadelphia area family attractions open during winter break visit our listing of Philadelphia Museums with FREE Admission And Pay What You Wish Days.
MORE ideas for local winter break activities
- How about a visit to your local library? We have a listing of all NJ libraries, and our calendar of events is chock full of library story times, playgroups, movies and more.
- Take advantage of your library’s Library Pass Program and get your family into many museums for free.
- With so many traveling, lots of planes will be in the air. See where to find them with these local places to see airplanes.
Take a New Jersey day trip over winter break
You can see our statewide directories of New Jersey attractions by clicking on the below directories.
- Go skating! You can find ideas of where to skate in our 100+ Places to Skate in New Jersey.
- New Jersey Indoor Play Areas are a perfect place to play where none of the parents have to clean up after!
- Don’t stop the learning even though school is closed. Museums in New Jersey provide art, history, science and more.
- It might be cold but there are still plants and more in bloom at Gardens and Arboretums in New Jersey
- Part zoo, part museum, and all education – find a local Nature Center in New Jersey for a fun afternoon out.
- Celebrate the history and landscape of our nation at a National Parks in New Jersey.
- New Jersey State Parks & Forests offer many programs and events and of course, some fresh air for those school break days.
- Zoos in New Jersey might not be the place you think of for a winter day, but you might be surprised at how much you can do there!
- New Jersey Aquariums are a weather proof place to spend the day with friends.
- New Jersey Lighthouses – climb to the highest heights for outstanding views!
- New Jersey Planetariums. See the stars during the day with one of the family themed planetarium shows across the state.
- New Jersey Parks and Playgrounds. Plan a playdate or meet up for a day of swings & slides, scavenger hunts, ball game, or epic Nerf gun battle.
- Where to see Trains in New Jersey – many Christmas train displays run through the end of the calendar year!
Spend a day in New York City with one of these winter break packages!
Big Bus Tours – New York
- Hop on board Big Bus Tours’ sightseeing tour of the city that doesn’t sleep to experience the best views of its distinctive landmarks, and delve into its fascinating history. You can explore New York’s famous landmarks; from the Empire State Building to Times Square and the world famous Statue of Liberty. This really is the best way to discover all that New York has to offer. Our unique city tour stops at 30 key points of interest all around spectacular New York. Experience the diverse culture, beautiful parks, stunning architecture and picturesque views atop an open air bus. Hop on or Hop off at your leisure to create your own customized journey around the city.
- Buy a Big Bus Tours – New York experience.
Bike and Roll New York
- You’ll love NYC by bike! Experience car-free fun with an easy ride along the scenic Hudson River Park Greenway. Circle Manhattan on the Greenway Path and see the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, South St. Seaport, Central Park, Times Square, and more! The best way to see the Big Apple!
- Buy a Bike and Roll New York experience.
New York CityPASS
- The New York CityPASS® program covers admission to six top attractions, priced up to 42% less than the same tickets purchased separately. Plus, CityPASS® ticket holders skip most main-entrance ticket lines. Each CityPASS® ticket book contains helpful information, including insider tips, an attraction location map, attraction and transportation details, directions, and money-saving coupons. Books are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use.
- Buy a New York CityPASS experience.
New York Pass
- Your New York adventure just got easier (and less expensive) with the sightseeing card that offers access to more than 80 things to do, including the city’s most iconic activities and attractions. With fast-track access at many museums and locations and an informative guidebook to help you plan your itinerary, the New York Pass lets you spend more time exploring, instead of wasting your precious New York minutes in line.
- Buy a New York Pass experience.
New York City Explorer Pass
- The New York City Explorer Pass® is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Save up to 45% off retail prices on admission to 3, 5, or 7 attractions of your choice from over 50 choices. Enjoy the flexibility to choose attractions as you go and take up to 30 days to use your pass. Attractions include a hop-on hop-off bus tour, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island ferry ticket, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, the MET, and more. Plus, skip the line at select attractions.
- Buy a New York City Explorer Pass.
Plan a Winter Break Vacation with the help of our Family Travel articles
Cruise with Get Away Today
- Spend the winter break on a cruise to somewhere warm for your whole family, and you can save BIG when you book a cruise with Get Away Today. They partner with all major cruise lines, including Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess. Take an adults-only getaway or bring the whole family to destinations such as Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bahamas and more. With flexible payment plan options available and a variety of itineraries, you’re sure to find the perfect vacation. Plus, when you book with Get Away Today you can take advantage of savings on select sailings such as reduced deposits, onboard credit, prepaid gratuities and even stateroom upgrades. Browse all cruises at www.getawaytoday.com or call 877-510-2929 for personalized assistance. Be sure to tell them Jersey Family Fun sent you. Bon Voyage!
Spend some time with the wolves at Great Wolf Lodge
Bring joy to your family this holiday season when you spend your winter break under the enchanting spell of Snowland’s twinkling lights, holiday trees, and indoor snow showers that melt into perfect 84-degree basking weather in the Great Wolf Lodge water park. Book your family Great Wolf Lodge getaway now.
- Exclusive Offer! Enjoy up to 40% off at Great Wolf Lodge from Sunday through Thursday with promo code DECMDWEEK.
- Plan Your Next Family Getaway Now at Great Wolf Lodge. Save Up to 25% on Your Stay of 2 nights Or More with Promo Code WOLF2019.
Visit Mickey Mouse or Harry Potter in Orlando
We hear Florida is nice this time of year.
- If you’re planning an Orlando vacation, book with Get Away Today during! You’ll save when you combine theme park tickets with hotels for your vacation to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando. To find these deals, visit www.getawaytoday.com or call a travel specialist at 855-GET-AWAY.
- For a limited time you can enjoy 3rd Park FREE* at Universal Orlando Resort, valid on travel through May 22, 2020. Let them know Jersey Family Fun sent you!
- *Book by February 12, 2020.