Brain Boosting Winter Break Activities in NJ

Updated for 2017!

Are you looking for fun and exciting brain boosting activities for your kids to enjoy this winter break?

Of course your answer is YES! After reviewing what NJ has to offer families this winter break, we have put together a list of some wonderful educational programs your kids will LOVE! It is so important for kids to continue to be exposed to educational experiences when they are not in school. Here are some events that are so fun that kids won’t even realize they are learning!

Brain Boosting Winter Break Activities in NJ

Christmas Day Crossing Reenactment on Christmas Day from 1-3pm, 200 re-enactors will replicate General George Washington crossing the Delaware River in 1776.

Adventure Aquarium’s Christmas Underwater will continue through December 30, 2017. Families can enjoy live shows, daily appearances of Scuba Santa, character appearances and more!  You can read about our visit last year here!


Sea of Lights at Jenkinson’s Aquarium takes place from 6pm-9on on December 26-30, 2017.  Families can enjoy a decorated aquarium filled with lights along with holiday crafts and photos with Santa and more.

**Check out our article on 10 Educational Benefits for Visiting an Aquarium!

Rizzo’s Wildlife World will be offering amazing animal shows each day during winter break. Kids can visit with snakes, frogs, turtles and much more. They may even be able to pet them too!

Rizzo's Wildlife World

Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights will take place each night of winter break (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 5pm – 9pm. Families can visit with various animals while enjoying amazing holiday lights displayed all around the zoo. This event is FREE! Kids can also enjoy December Mini Camp from December 27-29. Read more about the holiday lights here.

Turtle Back Zoo

Holiday Break Zoo Camp at Cape May County Zoo will take place from December 27-29, 2017 for ages 5 – 10 years old. Participants will learn about a different Arctic animal each day.

**Check out our article on Explore, Play, Learn: 10 Benefits for Visiting a Zoo!

Liberty Science Center launches it’s annual 12 Days of Science which begins on December 22 – January 1, 2018.  hChildren can watch a Toilet Paper blizzard using a math theory as well as meet Penguins!  Check out the largest planetarium, Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, in the Western Hemisphere or enjoy some of the activities happening with the Cosmic Celebration.

12 Days of Science

Monmouth Museum is offering fun and educational programs for kids on December 26-30, 2017. Families can enjoy midweek programs like story time with crafts, planetarium shows and Math Monsters along with special holiday crafts. There will also be a fun New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament will be hosting a Junior Knight Training from December 24 & 26-30.  During select show each day, children can train with the knights.  Doors will open 90 minutes before the show and the training begins 75 minutes before the show.  On Christmas Eve, the first 100 participants keep their swords!

With so many amazing entertainers, Medieval Times makes for a wonderful introduction to the performing arts.

Garden State Discovery Museum is holding a Kwanzaa Celebration on December 28, 2017 as well as a fun New Year’s Eve parties for kids on December 31, 2017. Don’t forget to check out all their exciting and educational exhibits and play areas while you’re there!

Winter Vacation Celebration at Morris Museum will take place on December 27, 2017 from 11am-4pm. Kids can make a variety of crafts, enjoy exhibits like the Mega Model Railroad and discover toys from the 1800s. Check out our review of the Morris Museum!

Winter Art Studio arrives at the New Jersey State Museum. From December 26-29, 2017 children can drop to complete a winter art activity.  Each day a different project will be offered, inspired by art on view in the exhibition American Perspectives: The Fine Art Collection.

**Check out our article on 10 Benefits of Visiting a Museum!

Wild About Winter Mini Camp at Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center will take place December 26-29, 2017. Camps are available for ages 5 – 8 years old, and camp times vary based on age. Campers will explore nature, make crafts, hear stories and more!

Winter Break Camp at Tenafly Nature Center will take place December 26-29, 2017. Camps are offered in two groups: PreK – K and 1st – 5th grade. Participants will enjoy winter themed crafts, stories, hikes, games and more!

Winter Discovery Series at Duke Farms takes place December 26-29, 2017 for ages 6-12. Participants will gain knowledge of environmental science through fun experiments, group activities and play. Plus, each day will offer a new theme.

**Check out our article on Amazing Nature Centers in New Jersey!

Skylands Christmas Light Show will continue through winter break so don’t miss this amazing display of drive-thru holiday lights. It will be open December 26-30, 2017.

Skylands Light Show

Bounce U in Paramus is offering exciting opportunities to bounce and play during winter break. Special events include Sensory Bounce, Winter Break Camp and New Year’s Countdown.

Winter Break Bounce at Bounce U in West Windsor will let kids play and learn with friends during winter break. Sessions are offered December 26-30 then kids can enjoy Bouncin’ New Year’s on December 31.

Create and Bounce Winter Camp will take place at Bounce U in Cherry Hill December 27-29 9am-4pm allowing for all day fun!

Winter Camps at Pump It Up in Randolph, Freehold and Roselle Park will be offered December 26-29, 2017, with full and half-day options available. Kids will have fun bouncing while building social and motor skills. Don’t miss their Noon Year’s Eve Jump too!

**Check out our article on the Benefits of Open Play Sessions!

Winter Break Fun at Sahara Sam’s Indoor Water Park takes place all week during break. From December 26-30, the park will be open 10am-7pm. There will also be a special New Year’s Eve celebration, Midnight at the Oasis.


Winter Break is a great time to plan a day trip or family getaway! Here are some places we recommend!

The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia offers a fun learning experience for the entire family. Tiny Titans is one you can’t miss!

Take a trip to Hershey, PA and explore Hersheypark Christmas Candylane! The park is open every day now through December 31, 2017 (except for Christmas Eve and Christmas).

NOEL Holiday Light Show

Camelback Lodge offers fun family adventures around every corner. It is a short driving distance from NJ so it makes for a great quick getaway!

The Crayola Experience is a fun place for the entire family to get in touch with their creative side!

Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont is an amazing winter getaway where families can ski, snowboard, snowshoe and so much more!

This winter break, we are spending time in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. There are so many experiences the entire family can enjoy.

Please check back frequently as more events will be added as they are announced!

Also check out:

New Year's Eve Celebrations for Kids in New Jersey


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