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

Posted on: December 22nd, 2020 by

There are two kinds of parents – 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 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! But this year is different. This year, we are in the midst of a pandemic.

There’s likely no out of town guests. Instead, you’re probably spending even more time with the same people as you have been these last few months. Some of your favorite winter activities may be closed or facing restrictions. 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 ahead to winter break in New Jersey. There will be no trips into Philadelphia to see Christmas Village. There will not be a bus ride into New York City to explore Times Square. New Jersey State Parks have cancelled New Year’s Day hikes.

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 everything 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 this is an unusual 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 are 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

Lets start with winter break activities in New Jersey that haven’t been cancelled.

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.

Christmas-Lights-in-Washington-Township-at-18-Silver-Birch-Road

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

Look up to see airplanes

With so many still 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.

Sip your way through the South Jersey Hot Chocolate Trail

Visit South Jersey, South Jersey’s state-designated tourism marketing nonprofit, has assembled a trail map to South Jersey’s must have hot cocoa beverages.

South Jersey Hot Chocolate Trail

Books & crafts to go

Check out your local library. While many might be closed, several are offering curbside pickup. We even found some libraries have craft kits to go. 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 at home

Most New Year’s eve events are cancelled in New Jersey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a blast kissing this year goodbye. Check our our ideas for celebrating New Year’s Eve at home with kids.

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.

  • Plan to wear a mask. All indoor New Jersey attractions are requiring guests to wear a mask and many outdoor attractions are as well.

  • 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. While many fast food restaurants have their drive thrus open for food the restrooms inside those buildings may be closed. Here’s a few options we’ve learned about the hard way:
    • McDonald’s restrooms are closed.
    • Chick Fil A restrooms are closed.
    • Dunkin Donuts restrooms are closed.
    • Wendy’s restrooms are closed.
    • Wawa’s with gas stations restrooms are open.
    • Home Depot restrooms are open.
    • Lowe’s restrooms are open.
    • Michael’s restrooms are open.
    • You can also read our Portable Potties Help Kids Pee & Poop Outside with options for portable potties that can be used within a car too.
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 9 pm until January 3, 2021 for Holiday in the Park. From about 1- 4 or 5 pm will be the traditional walk through the park. From about 5 pm to 9 pm will be the drive thru experience. Additionally, the all-new Six Flags Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience will run from January 4 through January 10, 2020 from about 6 – 9:30 pm! Read about it here.
  • Visit their site at sixflags.com/greatadventure.
Six-Flags-Great-Adventure-drive-thru-Christmas-lights-2

American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe

  • Details coming soon.

The East Hanover Funplex

  • The Funplex East Hanover is open during the winter break. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays indoor rides, bowling, and the arcade are open. They are also open December 23, December 24, and daily from December 26, 2020 through December 31, 2020. In January they are open Saturdays and Sundays. 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 funplexeasthanover.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 expects to be opened Saturdays and Sundays beginning January 3, 2021. Hours are 12 noon into the evening hours.
  • Visit their site at steelpier.com.

Storybook Land

  • Storybook Land is open but reservations are completely FULL through December 29, 2020. Currently, there are no hours listed on their site for after December 30, 2020. Last year, they were closed from January – April.
  • Visit their site at storybookland.com.

The Mt Laurel Funplex

  • The Mt Laurel Funplex is open during the winter break. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays indoor rides, bowling, and the arcade are open. They are also open December 23, December 24, and daily from December 26, 2020 through December 31, 2020. In January they are open Saturdays and Sundays. Check their website for specific hours.
  • Read our review of The Funplex- Mt. Laurel here.
  • Visit their site at funplexmountlaurel.com

Diggerland USA

  • The Diggerland USA holiday light show is open most evenings 5:30 – 9:30 pm until January 3, 2021. Rides are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am to 5 pm. Starting December 26, 2020 Diggerland will be open for rides and Winterfest through to January 2, 2021, 11 am to 5 pm.
  • Click over to read everything you want to know about Diggerland USA
  • Visit their site at diggerlandusa.com.

Gillian’s Wonderland Pier

  • Gillian’s Wonderland Pier is open Saturdays and Sundays in December from 12 pm to 5 pm.
  • Visit their site at gillians.com.

Morey’s Piers

Playland’s Castaway Cove

  • Playland Castaway Cove is closed for the season. They expect to reopen in late March 2021.
  • Visit their site at oceancityfun.com.

Blackbeard’s Cave

Casino Pier

Eagleswood Amusement Park

Fantasy Island Amusement Park

  • The Fantasy Island Amusement Park arcade is open on weekends. Beginning December 26, 2020 the arcade will be open daily until January 3, 2021, except for New Year’s Day.
  • Visit their site at fantasyislandlbi.com.

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk

Will any New Jersey water parks be open?

Splashplex at The Funplex (Mt. Laurel & East Hanover)

  • The Splashplex is closed for the winter season and expects to reopen on Memorial Day.
  • Visit their site at thefunplex.com.

Tomahawk Lake Water Park

Mountain Creek Waterpark

Land of Make Believe & Pirate’s Cove

  • They are currently closed and expect to reopen for the summer of 2021.
  • Visit their site at lomb.com.

Waterworks Aquatic Park

  • Closed until summer 2021.
  • Visit their site here.

Crystal Springs

Runaway Rapids

CoCo Key Indoor Water Park

OC Waterpark

Morey’s Piers Raging Waters and Ocean Oasis

Splash Zone Water Park

Thundering Surf Water Park

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor

Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach

Are New Jersey museums open for winter break?

Tuckerton Seaport

  • Visit the Tuckerton Seaport Saturdays-Sundays-Mondays for outdoor, self-guided tours from 10 am to 5 pm. The Welcome Booth and Pop-Up Gift Shop will also be open during those times. Creek Tours are available on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. Online reservations are now required in advance for all tours and tickets.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Grounds for Sculpture

  • Grounds For Sculpture plans to remain open through the winter – it is beautiful in every season! They are open Fridays through Mondays from 10 am to 6 pm, until March 31, 2021.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Liberty Science Center

  • The Liberty Science Center is open Thursdays through Sundays 10 am to 4 pm (till 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.) They are closed December 21-25, 2020. December 26 – 30, 2020 they are open 10 am to 5 pm. They are closed December 31, 2020 and January 2, 2021. 
  • Visit their website for more information.

Garden State Discovery Center

  • The Garden State Discovery Museum closed temporarily beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. No reopening date has been set.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Morven Museum & Garden

  • The Morven Museum & Garden is open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please note: There will not be regularly scheduled docent led tours indoors at this time. They are closed from 1:00 to 1:30 pm for a cleaning
  • Visit their website for more information.

The Children’s Museum of Somerset County

  • The Children’s Museum of NJ is volunteer-run and does not appear to have any open hours of operation at this time.
  • Visit their for more website information.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum

  • Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum is open Thursdays through Tuesdays. Beginning December 26, 2020 they are open every day until January 5, 2021 when they go back to their regular schedule. Hours vary by day. 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

  • Open Thursdays through Mondays through Monday, December 21, 2020, 11 am to 4 pm. Closed for the holidays December 22, 2020 through January 1, 2021. Reopens Saturday, January 2. 2021 for regular hours.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Lucy the Elephant

  • Open Wednesdays through Sundays for December, but closed Christmas day. The hours vary by day. See their website for more specific information. In January they are open Saturdays and Sundays, 11 am – 4 pm.
  • Visit their website for more information.
Lucy-the-Elephant-Zoom-Background

Roebling Museum

  • Due to COVID-19, Roebling Museum is closed until further notice.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Battleship New Jersey

  • The Battleship New Jersey will close for tours for the year on Sunday, December 27, 2020. The Battleship will remain closed for tours in January and February, and plans to re-open for tours on Saturday and Sundays in March.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Historic Cold Spring Village

  • Historic Cold Spring Village is open only for special Winter Walking Tours. The Village grounds are private property and closed to the general public. The Village is scheduled to resume operation in June 2021.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Insectropolis

  • The Insectropolis is closed temporarily- until further notice.
  • Visit their website for more information.

Which zoos are open for New Jersey winter break?

Bergen County Zoo

  • Admission to the Bergen County Zoological Park is currently free. No tickets are required for admission on Mondays – Sundays from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Free admission to the Zoo will close promptly at 3:00 pm.
  • Visit the Bergen County Zoo website.

Turtle Back Zoo

Space Farm Zoo

  • Closed until March 2021.
  • Visit the Space Farm Zoo website.

Popcorn Park Zoo

Are New Jersey aquariums open?

Adventure Aquarium

Atlantic City Aquarium

Jenkinson’s Aquarium

  • Jenkinson’s Aquarium is open daily, every day in December, including Christmas from 10 am to 4 pm (till 5 pm on weekends). 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.

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

Posted in: All, Things to do in Central Jersey, Things to do in New Jersey, Things to do in North Jersey, Things to do in South Jersey

Jennifer Auer is the hyperlocal mom blogger who runs Jersey Family Fun. From New Jersey, this mom of 3 boys just can’t sit still! Her husband likes to say she’s a work-at-home mom who never stays home. Jennifer started traveling as a child and hasn’t stopped since. Instead of letting her husband and boys slow her down, she brings them along! As her boys transition from tweens to teens there’s still so many places she wants to discover with them both across the U.S. and internationally. She has been a Jersey Girl for 35+ years, and a Jersey Mom for 15+ years and a New Jersey mom blogger for 10 years, although she'd much rather be referred to as an influencer or just by name. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a focus on Entrepreneurship from Bryant University in Rhode Island.

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.