When it comes to family vacations in New Jersey (NJ), most people think of getting away for weeks or even months to break away from the monotonous work and school life. Little do they know that getting out to one of the best family getaways in New Jersey during the weekend can be equally or even more satisfying.
However, getting a family weekend getaway with plenty of attractions and fun activities in New Jersey can be overwhelming, given the numerous options available. To take the burden off your shoulders, we have carefully selected the best family weekend getaways in New Jersey.
Whether you need a place with ski resorts, cultural amenities, quality restaurants, or unrivaled nightlife, our list of top-rated locations in NJ will get you sorted.
Trenton, also the New Jersey capital, is your go-to place if you are looking for a family vacation with plenty of social events, educational spots, historic sites, family parks, and other attractive gems. The city is named after William Trent — one of the leading landlords in the city and entrepreneur at the turn of the 18th century.
Trenton has a lot of attractions and activities to offer to families, lovers, and other types of visitors. For instance,
Once you get to the heart of the town, you can head straight to the Old Barracks Museum, where your family will get an in-depth history of the city. Besides the history, your family will witness the rustic weapons and artifacts used by the French and Indian colonialists before their independence.
Another family spot in the heart of Trenton is Cadwalader Park. Cruising this hidden gem will give your family access to 100 plus acres of beautiful landscape with friendly wilds like monkeys and bears moving all over the place.
If you visit the park during winter, your kids will enjoy activities like cross country skiing and dog sledding, among other activities that the place offers. This is not forgetting the Ellarslie Museum and The Civil War Memorial sites that your family will enjoy seeing on the park grounds.
Do not leave the town without taking your kids to Trenton’s Visual Art Center, where they will see the sculptures, paintings, and other artwork products from students and professional artisans from the state. Remember to pick some art items for installing to your favorite family space.
If you want to spend your night in the city, you can take your family to the Cure Insurance Arena, where they will watch live concerts, music, and other live shows as they are presented by professional artists and actors from all over the globe.
Besides the live shows, getting a ticket into the cure insurance arena can let you access the premium food options like pizza stands, Chickie’s & Pete’s that are on offer.
Finish your day’s schedule with a hearty meal and drink from Sky bridge Inn & Suites or any other food outlet in town.
The next family getaway on our list is Montclair town. It lies peacefully at the center of Essex County, New Jersey. Montclair Township is known for its many attractions and vacation activities for families, lovers, lone visitors, and friends.
Once you land at the township, you can visit the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) and enjoy more than 12,000 American and Native American items, comprising sculptures, paintings, prints, and drawings that date from the 18th century to the present.
Besides the artwork, the MAM offers art lessons to upcoming artists at the Yard School of Art. That said, any member of your family can join the classes at a later date to nail their artistic skills.
After leaving the Montclair art museum, you can take your family to Edgemont Memorial Park, where you will have fun playing on a rubber ground.
On the eastern end, the park features a tranquil pond, which gives the place a busier feel as it receives water from the fountains and flows peacefully to Toney’s brook. You can utilize the serene and elegant nature of the pond to capture several family photos, lest you won’t have something to show off to your friends.
The other attractive site within the pond is the World War I memorial, erected on an island at the center of the pond thanks to Charles Keck, the creator of this monument. While the monument can add beauty to your family photos, the bronze sculptures around it will remind you of the Heroes who died in world war I.
Included also in the park are footpaths, skating trails, and footpaths, allowing for diversity for family sporting and fun activities.
Though uplifting, getting away on the weekend can be tiring as well. Imagine engaging in family hikes, snow skating, engaging in field plays, and cruising on different vehicles for at least two days. Your body will be in pain at the end of the trip. That is why you must visit the Woodhouse Day Spa before turning your way back home.
The Woodhouse Day Spa is a wellness hub that offers various body rejuvenating treatments, including general body massage, seaweed body wraps, massage waxing, manicures, pedicures, and Vichy shower treatments.
The spa also offers indulgent massages like essential oil treatments to trigger deeper muscle relaxation, improve blood circulation and general wellbeing. In a nutshell, the spa has something uplifting for every member of your family. All you need is to plan your budget so that none of them leaves untreated.
Do not let your family starve during the vacation. Take them to one of Montclair’s top food outlets and restaurants. Examples include the MishMish Café, Zeugma Grill, Faubourg Restaurant and Bar, and Montclair House Grill.
Ocean City is one of the leading family getaway locations in the United States. Being an ocean city, it boasts of sandy beaches where you can relax and capture the energetic rays of the morning sun or relax as you watch surfers and kayakers make their trails in the ocean.
Additionally, the ocean city allows you to engage in family kayaking competition along the shores of the Atlantic. Or learn the different fish species in the ocean, especially if you are not good at kayaking and other water sports.
If your family members are not used to playing along the beach, you can take them to the Aqua Park, where they will enjoy exclusively tubular water sports under the guidance of trained staff. Remember to pick some bite for your family members at the dockside kitchen and the waterfront restaurant on the site.
Alternatively, you can engage in family biking competitions over the ocean city mountain biking trails. If you don’t have sufficient space to carry your bike with you, you can rent a bike from the local rental shops and enjoy exploring the ocean city and its environs on two wheels.
Run out of supplies, do not worry. Take a family walk to Asbury Avenue, the main shopping center at the heart of ocean city. There, you will find everything you need to make your vacation successful.
For instance, you can find supplies for your beach needs, family gifts, medical supplies, and any other personal items you may need to make your trip comfortable.
You will also find parlors and spas along Asbury Avenue, where you can get body treatments to help your body muscles recover from stress they might have undergone during the vacation activities.
If golfing is your favorite family sport, then Ocean City is your favorite place to engage in a golfing competition. This is because the place offers multiple golf courses, meaning you can’t miss a theme that everyone in the family can enjoy playing.
If you feel drained during the vacation, do not hesitate to recharge yourselves for the vacation activities. After all, you need the energy to keep going. Take your family to one of the top restaurants and hotels in the town to take their favorite meals. Examples of these food outlets include the Spadafora’s Restaurant & Clam Bar, Clancy’s by the Sea, and Yianni’s Café.
Remember to book your accommodation in advance if you must spend the night in the city with your family.
Have you ever been to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean? If not, you should make Atlantic City your next family getaway location for good. Besides the bustling nightlife and glitz casinos, the city gives you access to numerous attractions and a plethora of family activities to do at all price levels. For instance,
Once you land at the center of the city, you can take your family to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, which extends five miles along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. If you are gambling diehard, you can try your luck by playing around with the slot machines or card tables at one of the casino towers.
Located outside the casinos are piers that extend into the Atlantic Ocean, each with something interesting to view if not to do.
An excellent example of these piers is the garden pier and the steel pier. You can view different artistic works at the garden pier that speak more of American culture.
On the other hand, the steel pier has amenities for carnival games and thrilling family rides. For instance, you can board the roller coaster and enjoy taking turns on the rails. Or jump into the swinging carousel partner and enjoy the ride as the kids take rides on the bumper cars, teacups, or the silly steamer.
It will be a crime to leave the steel pier hungry since it is full of restaurants where you can take your family for a bite.
If you are operating on a low budget, the chicken bone beach has something to offer for every member of your family for free. You can make your way to the beach, where you will enjoy playing on the sand, engaging in family kayaking competitions, learning fishing, and swimming.
In a nutshell, the beach is full of free amenities, despite the anecdotal claims about its history.
Wait! You can’t leave the small beach city without learning about the ocean life at the Atlantic City Aquarium. First of all, the aquarium is strategically located at the beachfront, offering a great focal point for family photos and videos.
Upon your entry, you will delight in seeing fascinating ocean creatures like sea turtles, tarantulas, octopi, tropical fish, and stingrays. These creatures are confined in the replicated habitats to support their life as though in the ocean.
By walking around, you will notice things like beautiful coral, algae, seaweed, and plankton that offer the perfect environment for the creatures and give you the experience of swimming at the ocean bed.
If you want to spend the entire weekend in the city, then you should book accommodation at Tropicana Casino & Resort, Claridge Hotel, or any other lodge on the site.
Why not take a look at our guide to the best hotels for families with kids in Atlantic City to help you plan your trip?
Newark is the next family weekend getaway on our list. The city is famous for its wealth of scenic parks, theatres, unrivaled restaurants, cultural museums, sporting grounds, and bustling nightlife.
If your family loves art, you can drive them to the Newark Museum along Washington Street in downtown Newark. Being the biggest museum in New Jersey, the Newark Museum will give your family access to all-time art from all corners of the world.
Besides the art, you will delight in seeing over 70,000 natural science specimens and a planetarium at the Victoria Hall of Science.
From the Newark Museum, you can head straight to the River Front Park, where you can engage in family hiking as you explore the serene environment along the Passaic river banks. The riverfront park is found in Brill Street in the south of the Passaic River.
Not interested in walking? Meet the natives from the ironbound neighborhood and people from other corners to exchange life ideas.
If you still have some time to stay, make sure you visit the Prudential Center in Lafayette Street in the heart of Newark town. There, your family will enjoy viewing live basketball or hockey games.
If there are no hockey or basketball leagues on offer, your family will cherish the music and other live concerts like Disney on ice hosted during non-sport days.
Don’t let your family leave the Prudential Center before tasting the American delicacies and drinks offered at the onsite restaurant.
Another place worth family exploration in Newark is the Military Park. It is located between Rector Street and Broad Street Park Place.
The park spans over six acres. It was established as a training ground for soldiers from 1667 to 1869 when town commons were converted.
In the southwestern part of the park, you will find the ‘Wars of America’ monument, which you can use as a focal point for family photos, thanks to Gutzon Borglum (the monument’s sculptor).
The park offers many family activities like lawn games, Zumba, ping pong, yoga, and much more. The special events you can attend in the park with your partner include after-work music, dancing, and piano music. Meanwhile, you can let your kids engage in the “Imagination Playground” or the “Story Time.”
Suppose you decide to spend the night in the city. In that case, you can rent accommodation in Wyndham Garden Hotel, Springhill Suites, Newark liberty international, doubletree by Hilton hotel, or any other rentals on the site.
Jersey City can be your perfect place if you are looking for a getaway destination with a plethora of family activities to do and a mix of cultures to learn from.
Initially, the town was home to many immigrants who entered New Jersey through Ellis Island. As a result, the city ended up with a mix of many cultures, evidenced by the presence of many culinary offerings.
History aside, the town has many attractions to see and family activities to do. For instance,
At the center of the Jersey Historic district, you will find the 1.8 acre Van Vorst Park, which offers you two family playgrounds, one for older children and adults and the other one for toddlers. You can use the playgrounds to amuse yourselves to the fullest.
When tired of playing in the field, you can engage in a muscle stretcher family hike via the park’s hiking trails. Alternatively, your family members can engage in one of the park’s cultural events like the farmers market; they can buy locally produced products or learn effective ways to maximize the farm produce.
If you still have some time to explore the city, you can take your family to Kart Racing at Pole Position Raceway at the center of New Jersey City. An excellent example of the racing options you can find in the locality is the Arrive & Drive Option, which allows for family racing or racing in small groups.
The raceway offers adult and junior karts. The adult karts are ideal for family members who are 58 inches tall or more, while the junior karts are for persons of at least 48 inches in height.
Better still, the city offers your family members an opportunity to nail their culinary skills. All you need is to enroll them in the Zesty Basil, where they will get cooking lessons that are scheduled depending on the client’s schedule.
That said, you can be sure to find a culinary trainer who will be coming to train your entire family at home daily from 9.00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Do not let your kids and your perfect pair go hungry. Head to one of the restaurants in the city and let them take their favorite meal and drink. These restaurants include Fire & Oak Jersey City, VIP Diner/Restaurant, and Fire & Oak Jersey City, among others.
Long Branch can be a great getaway for families looking for a place with sandy beaches and a plethora of family activities to do.
Initially, some people used to call the place “the Hollywood of the east” as it could host the world’s most famous people, including artists, Presidents (especially American presidents), and numerous visitors from all corners of the globe.
Today, the town features numerous attractions to see and various activities for families, lovers, and friends.
One of the popular attractions in the Long Branch town is the seven president’s oceanfront park, which occupies 38 acres stretch along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
You can utilize the amenities at the park to engage in family activities like surfing competitions, playing volleyball, or bask on the sand as you observe the bustling activities at the shores of the Atlantic.
If you are used to Presidents’ Park activities, you can head to the Pier Village. The pier village features a vibrant commercial community, like boutiques and restaurants where you can get supplies should you run short of any.
Additionally, the Pier Village offers a variety of family activities like outdoor movies, farmer markets, arts and craft fairs, and other activities meant for amusement and educational purposes.
Did we mention that Long Branch has over 500 residentials where you can book accommodation? Do not forget to treat your family at one of the Long Branch resorts. Examples include:
- Ocean place resort and spa
- Wave resort.
- Asbury Ocean Club Hotel.
- The Breakers on the Ocean
Take Your Family to Their Favorite Getaway, NJ
Now that you are aware of the various family getaways in New Jersey, it’s now time to choose the best location for a family weekend getaway. When choosing, it’s crucial to compare the perks that the different getaway locations offerseven-president’s and then ask your family to pick a location they think will deliver the best experience.
Other places to consider for your family weekend getaway
If you’re considering other destinations for your weekend away with the kids, take inspiration from our other handy guides below!
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