Brain Boosting Winter Break Activities in NJ

Updated for 2020!

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


Winter Wonderland is taking place at Cape May County Zoo through January 3. There will be a scavenger hunt, photo opportunities, holiday decorations to admire, and more. Admission and parking is FREE.

Bergen County’s Winter Wonderland is offering endless family fun through February 21. Ice skating, train rides, and carousel rides are also available. Tickets must be purchased in advance. While there make sure to take a trip over the the Bergen County Zoo to visit the animals.

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

Liberty Science Center is offering Holiday Adventure through January 3. Families can enjoy sock skating, live experiments, holiday shows in the planetarium, a snowman scavenger hunt, and much more. Learn more in our Holiday Adventure review post.

Holiday Adventures at LSC

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

Virtual Wild About Winter Mini Camp through the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center will take place December 28-30 10am-11am. The cost is $10/child per day.

Winter Break Camp at Tenafly Nature Center will take place December 28-31. Camps are offered in two groups: 1st-2nd and 3rd-6thth grade. Participants will enjoy winter themed crafts, stories, hikes, games and more!

Enjoy a Family Photo Scavenger Hunt at Frelinghuysen Arboretum December 26-31. Find all the stars scattered around the arboretum and win a prize. The cost is only $10/family.

**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 through January 3.

Skylands Light Show

For more drive thru holiday light shows, click on the picture below!

Amazing Drive Thru Holiday Lighs

Bounce U in Paramus is offering exciting opportunities to bounce and play during winter break, including a Countdown to New Year’s Eve.

A December Mini Camp for ice hockey is being offered at Skylands Ice World in Stockholm, NJ. The event takes place December 26-29 is $40/sesson or $120 for all 4.

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

Winterfest at Diggerland will take place through January 3. Ride and maneuver real construction vehicles while also enjoying some holiday fun!

Digger Derby

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure is open to guests through January 3. Guests can enjoy beautiful holiday lights, character meet and greets, fun holiday games, thrilling rides, and so much more. A drive-thru holiday lights option is also available.

Christmas Tree at Holiday in the Park

Go HIKING! It might be chilly but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun hike with family! Check out our list of amazing hiking destinations in NJ!


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

Enjoy some Galactic Tubing this winter break at Camelback in the Poconos. It is in out of this world experience.

Take a trip to Hershey, PA and explore Hersheypark Christmas Candylane! The park is open every day now through January 1 (except for Christmas Eve and Christmas).

Holiday Lights in The Hollow at Hersheypark


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

Go Skiing! There are so many places in and around NJ to hit the slopes this winter break!


**The following events are cancelled due to covid-19, but we are hoping they come back next year!

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

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. Read more about the holiday lights here.

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!

Sea of Lights at Jenkinson’s Aquarium takes place from 6pm-9on on December 26-28. Families can enjoy a decorated aquarium filled with lights along with holiday crafts, photos with Santa and more.

Garden State Discovery Museum is holding Kwanzaa Celebrations on December 28-29 as well as a fun New Year’s Eve parties for kids on December 31. Don’t forget to check out all their exciting and educational exhibits and play areas while you’re there!

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

Also check out:

New Year's Eve Ideas

Ways to have Fun Outdoors this Winter

Amazing Places to Play Indoors in NJ

Amazing Places to Ski in NJ and Beyond

Amazing Places to Go Ice Skating

Dinosaurs In NJ


Amazing Places for Tweens and Teens to Play Indoors


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