With winter’s chilly days and even colder nights, it’s tough to get any outdoor play time. We know cabin fever is bound to set in…soon. Your mission: Get the kids out of the house. Now! You could swing by a library, see a movie, enjoy some indoor play or even ice fish or you could choose something off our list of ideas to break cabin fever. So get climbing, get inspired, get swinging or get laughing -- just get out! And remember, this weather won’t last forever. Daylight savings is only 44 days away (who’s counting?!)
Get Entertained: Dinner with the Family
Nothing beats a good laugh or a full belly. Break the dinner mold by taking your family out for some good old fashioned entertainment. The best part – no dishes to wash!
Medieval Times (Lyndhurst, NJ)
Hear ye, hear ye! Head over to the castle in the Meadowlands for two hours of pure family entertainment. From the jousting tournament to the inspiring horsemanship, your ringside seats at Medieval Times will bring together your entire clan as you cheer on your knight. Adult tickets are $59.95, children under 12 are $35.95, and lap children (under 3) are free. For questions, please call the National Contact Center at (866) 543-9637.
Dunellen Cinema Café (Dunellen, NJ)
New Jersey’s original cinema café allows families to enjoy dinner together while catching the latest kid’s movies. Now showing Parental Guidance, the Dunellen Cinema Café serves lunch or dinner to your table right in the theater. Adult admission is $8, while senior citizens and children under 11 are $6. For information on show times, please call (732) 968-9010.
The Pop Shop (Collingswood, NJ)
From February 25 to March 1, The Pop Shop will be hosting its Dr. Seuss Week! This café and creamery is a throwback to the 1960’s and serves up quirky American-diner comfort cuisine. Not only is this a kid-friendly restaurant with menus for kids and babies, but encourages your little American Idol to sing her heart out and do her homework. (Kids caught doing their homework get a free cone!) Call (856) 869-0111 for hours of operation.
Get Climbing: Rock Climbing Facilities
Whether you’re a novice or an expert, many of New Jersey’s rock climbing facilities have open climb times and structured children’s programs. So if your child is learning to belay or wants to earn a new Boy Scout badge, this activity is a definite confidence booster.
NJ Rock Gym (Fairfield, NJ)
This indoor climbing center includes a challenging lead roof, top rope, boulder, parties, memberships, lessons and scout programs. In addition, NJ Rock Gym also hosts a Kids Climb every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., as well as an eight week youth climbing program. The facility is open Monday thru Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Adult passes run $17 per day and student day passes are $13. Family options are also available, please call for details. For additional information, please call (973) 439-9860.
Gravity Vault (Chatham, NJ and Upper Saddle River, NJ)
Gravity Vault has two northern New Jersey locations: Upper Saddle River and Chatham. The Bergen County location has more than 13,000 square feet of indoor climbing and 35 foot high climbing walls, while the Morris County location is slightly bigger with 14,000 square feet of indoor climbing and 40 foot high climbing walls. Adult day passes run $18, students 14-21 are $14 and children under 10 are $12. Both facilities are open Monday through Friday 12:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m.to 6:00 p.m. To reach the Chatham location, please call (973) 701-7625. To reach the Upper Saddle River location, please call (201) 934-7625.
Rockville Climbing Center (Hamilton, NJ)
With a rolling enrollment for an afterschool kids program on top of open climb sessions; this Hamilton facility is available for small groups or large parties. Rockville Climbing Center is open Monday and Tuesday 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Wednesday to Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Day passes run $17 per adult, $14 for children under 12. Please call (609) 631-7625 for questions or to make a reservation.
Garden State Rocks (Morganville, NJ)
With two elevated viewing areas, more than 20 rope stations for climbing, rappel ledge and separate walls for private party, Garden State Rocks truly brings an outdoor experience indoors. This Morganville facility is open Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Adult day passes (geared included) run $23 per day and students under 22 run $19 per day. Please call (732) 972-3003 with questions.
Diamond Rock (East Hanover)
Diamond Rock boosts more than 3,000 square feet of uniquely sculptured surface. Your family can stop in for an open climb with instructor guidance seven days a week. The facility is open Monday to Friday 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday/Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For additional information, please call (973) 560-0413.
Get Inspired: Spend a Day at a Museum
Need a fun family activity that engages the senses? If rock climbing is not your cup of tea, spend a day a local museum. You and your little ones will be surprised at the treasures in our own backyard. To see a full listing of local museums, please visit the New Jersey Association of Museums website.
Montclair Art Museum (Montclair)
MAM is more than just a portrait gallery. This Essex County museum developed Family Guides, which includes scavenger hunts and take home projects, to encourage families to explore the world of art together. Tuck away on the museum’s third floor is the Family Learning Lab. Upcoming events include Building Montclair in LegoTM, as well as CineKids screenings. The museum is open Wednesdays – Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The museum is free for children under 12, $12 per adult and $10 for seniors. Museum galleries are free for everyone the first Friday of every month. Please call (973) 746-5555 for additional details.
Newark Museum (Newark, NJ)
Newark Museum is home to a planetarium, fire museum and a Look/Touch/Learn interactive center. With scheduled drop-in activities, lectures and family days, New Jersey’s largest museum hosts world-class collections including American, Asian, African and Classical art. Admission for adults is $10, and children are $6. Planetarium Admission is $5 per adult, children under 12 $3. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please call (973) 596-6550.
New Jersey State Museum (Trenton, NJ)
Located in the state’s capital, New Jersey State Museum is an eclectic mix of art, sculpture, culture, government history and science. The space boosts a 150 seat planetarium, a Civil War collection and full history of the garden state. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students/seniors. Children under 12 are free. Planetarium admission is $7 per adult, $5 for children 12 and under. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. For more information, please call (609) 292-6301.
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick, NJ)
This Rutgers University based museum to a collection of original illustrations for children's literature and is currently hosting a George Segal exhibit, as Lynd Ward Draws Stories: Inspired by Mexico's History, Mark Twain, and Adventures in the Woods. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission fees are $6 for adults and $5 for senior citizens. Children under 18 are fee. In addition, free admission is available for all visitors on the first Sunday of every month.
The Monmouth Museum (Lincroft, NJ)
The Becker Children’s Wing at the Monmouth Museum currently features an Ancients to Astronauts: How We Communicate exhibit. Designed as a hands-on experience for seven to 12 year-olds, the Becker Children’s Wing uses science and cultural history to educate and stimulate. The WonderWing, designed for children under six, features a pirate ship, tree house and whale slide. Please call ahead to confirm hours. General admission is $7; however, children under two are free. For additional information, please call (732) 747-2266.
Get Swinging: Batting Cages
Hey, batter batter batter, swing batter! Spring training is amongst us, so why not get your little Babe Ruth to the batting cages. This activity will not only get you out of the house, but you’ll start counting down to opening day! Make sure to call ahead and check for availability and prices.
In the Swing (Waldwick, NJ) is open seven days a week for: Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For additional details, please call (201) 444-3556.
Hit & Run Sports Center (Lake Hopatcong, NJ) is open to the public Monday to Friday 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please call (973) 601-3117 with questions.
Bat-A-Rama (Westville, NJ) is currently open Monday 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please call (856) 456-2675 for costs and details.
Lefty’s Sport Academy (Clifton, NJ) arranges special team hours for training. This facility is open Monday-Friday 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For information, please call (973) 777-2287.
Swingtime Family Fun (Howell, NJ) is a family fun center, which includes batting cages and an arcade. Open Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Friday 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.; and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Please call (732) 845-0093 with additional questions.
Bergen Batting Center (River Edge, NJ) offers a virtual pitcher for both baseball and softball - great for batting practice. This facility is open Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Please call (201) 525-1888 with questions.