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Some Unexpected Winter Activities in NJ to Get You and the Kids Out of the House!

Updated: Feb 5, 2022

Full disclosure: I have no idea when my daughter and I took this picture! I think it was last winter and she definitely won the snowball fight!

New Jersey has many fun winter activities like ice skating, skiing/snowboarding, and snowtubing. But, the Garden State also offers some unexpected winter fun for you to explore. (Updated 2022)

I know I‘m sick of the cold and need to get my kids away from their computers and get out of the house…so I thought some of these ideas sounded awesome. Hope you do too! Let me know if you try any!

1. Ice Fishing

February is the perfect time for ice fishing in New Jersey, as the cold winter months mean a solid ice base for heading out on the lakes. Find your perfect fishing spot at these popular ice fishing locations.

Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong at Hopatcong State Park in Landing, where you can reel in winter catches such as perch and pickerel. Assunpink Lake in Allentown is home to an array of fish, from pickerel to crappie to bass. Wawayanda Lake in Hewitt is stocked with everything from trout to landlocked salmon.

2. Maple Sugaring

With New Jersey’s vast woodlands and numerous nature preserves, the Garden State is the spot to discover one of nature’s best sweets: maple sugar. Bundle up and head to the forests, where you can get a glimpse into this fascinating industry during the height of the maple sap season.

Learn how to identify a maple tree at the Tenafly Nature Center. Discover the history of syrup making and how technology has changed the way sap has been gathered over the centuries.

3. Polar Bear Plunge

If you're looking for an invigorating, thrilling experience this winter, there's nothing to get your heart rate going like an icy dip into the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Take the plunge at this charitable event on Jersey Shore.

On February 26, 2022, take part in a good cause when you do the Polar Bear Plunge at Seaside, a fundraising event for the Special Olympics New Jersey, which provides sports training and health screenings to more than 25,000 athletes. 

4. Train Museums

Train enthusiasts of all ages will love spending some time indoors with their favorite hobby. New Jersey has train museums and lots of train rides!

At Northlandz in Flemington, watch with delight as more than 100 miniature trains chug along more than 8 miles of track, passing by tiny houses, cities and forests. Start planning ahead by booking your trip for the Easter Bunny Express train ride at Black River & Western RailroadDelaware River Railroad Excursions or the Whippany Railway Museum. The train travels throughout New Jersey, along with the Easter Bunny, which you can have your picture taken.

5. Escape Rooms

Go on an adventure indoors when you enter the immersive experience of escape rooms.

The Other Tales Escape Rooms in Hawthorne, work with your friends to solve puzzles and mysteries. Trap Door Escape Room (Morristown and Red Bank), go on an adventure that combines immersive theater and video game technology for a thrilling experience teeming with spooky creatures such as zombies or witches. At Montclair’s Adventure Rooms, use your knowledge and street smarts to gather clues and solve puzzles that will set you free.

6. American Dream Mall

The American Dream Mall is one of the largest malls in the nation - and is so much more than a mall. In fact, more than half of the complex is dedicated to entertainment. They have so many attractions -- the list goes on, from Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park to DreamWorks Water Park!

7. A Few of My Favorite Indoor Winter Activities

Go to Circle Lanes in Roxbury, hit the city and spend the day like a tourist going to the Sugar Factory and Madam Tussauds, or go to a dine-in movie theater! Take the kids to a trampoline park, rock climbing, or to a ninja warrior course.

If you're looking for winter activity ideas for adults, check out 1776/Top Golf in Morristown or try your hand at axe throwing! If you want to get away but hate being outside try a nearby indoor water park or the ropes course at the Palisades Center in NY! Whatever you do, just get out of the house!

For more ideas in NJ go to or check out our own Things to Do in NJ page!

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