Just 25 miles west of NYC, Morristown is rich in history and culture, and it offers lots of fun for families. Where else can you walk alongside a seeing eye dog in training, shop at one of the best chocolate shops in the area, catch a kid-friendly theater performance, and visit a few places where George Washington actually slept! I've had a blast exploring Morristown for more than a decade with my brood, and I've compiled my top 25 fun, and mostly FREE things to do in this great suburban town.
1) Washington's Headquarters is one of the 12 National Parks located in New Jersey, and we've found this historical gem to be both a fun and educational experience for kids.
2) Check out one of the many reasonably priced, kid-friendly shows at Mayo Performing Arts Center. This family-friendly venue is easy to access from major North Jersey highways and has convenient parking, which is a huge a plus for families with kids!
3) Continue the history fun at Jockey Hollow, a great follow-up to Washington's Headquarters. You will see the soldiers' encampment and learn more about life during the Revolutionary War. It's also an amazing place to hike with the family as well, as there are trails for all levels.
4) Spend an afternoon at the Mommy Poppins–approved Morris Museum! This fantastic museum not only provides art, culture, and history, it also offers some amazing family events throughout the year! Admission is pay as you wish on the second and third Thursdays of every month from 4–8 p.m.
5) While at the Morris Museum, take in a children's show at the Bickford Theater.
6) Stroll through the George G. Frelinghuysen Arboretum, which has an impressive collection of trees and shrubs, as well as an Education Center. It offers a variety of classes for children and families.
7) Stock up on all your soccer, lacrosse, and rugby gear for your little ones at the Soccer Post.
8) Have a picnic at Loantaka Brook Reservation! Not only does this park provide a lovely shaded spot to dine, but there's a great playground for the kids to play. We also love riding our bikes, walking, or scootering on the miles of paved (and fairly flat) and shaded trails.
8) While you are at Loantaka, check out the horses or take a riding lesson next door at the Seaton Hackney Stables.
9) Learn all about seeing eye dogs at the Seeing Eye Institute or watch them train the dogs around town.
10) Hop on the NJ Transit Midtown Direct to visit NYC (45 min ride) or another great town in NJ.
11) Fill up on the season's bounty at the Morristown Farmer's Market on Sundays from June through November.
12) Stop by the Morristown Green for a picnic lunch or visit during one of their great festivals (Fall Festival on the Green in September or the Winter Festival in December).
13) Enjoy a day on the farm at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm. You can explore the farm via horse drawn carriage or participate in some great seasonal programs as well.
14) Bargain shop 'til you drop at Century 21! With three levels of shopping goodness, you'll be sure to find something for your kids, or even yourself.
15) Learn all about the birthplace of the telegraph and participate in great families programs at Historic Speedwell.
17) Get your ice skating fix at Mennen Ice Rink.They offer lessons for skating novices, as well as open skating and DJ nights on Fridays.
18) Have a party or drop in at Glassworks to create beautiful pieces from fragments of glass. Definitely for school-aged kids and up, since young kids and shards of glass don't really mix well.
19) The Morristown Library has an amazing children's library as well as a ton of children's programs available throughout the week.
20) Marvel at the amazing creations at Enjou Chocolat, and perhaps indulge your sweet tooth with some of their fantastic chocolate.
21) Get your self-serve yogurt fix at the delicious, spacious, and awesomely Beatles-themed Strawberry Fields.
22) Bring out your inner girl power watching a Jerzey Derby Brigade Roller Derby bout. Kids 12 and under are free at these family-friendly events.
23) Celebrate Earth Day at Sunrise Lake. Or perhaps partake in swimming, hiking or their annual overnight camp out on the beach.
24) Celebrate St. Patrick's day at the largest family-friendly St. Patrick's Parade on South Street.
25) Visit the Grow it Green Urban Farm at Lafayette to see a farm in action and learn all about life on the farm. During the summer months they have Mommy and Me classes and produce sales.
Image: A Revolutionary War reenactment at Jockey Hollow encampment. Courtesy of Morristown National Historical Park.
Originally published 2011