22 Best Things To Do in Princeton, NJ, with Kids

Palmer Square is a great place to relax in the heart of Princeton. Photo courtesy of Palmer Square
Palmer Square is a great place to relax in the heart of Princeton. Photo courtesy of Palmer Square

Princeton, NJ, is well-loved for its perfect mix of historical charm, trendy artistic feel, and sophisticated shopping and dining. At just 17 square miles, there's no shortage of things to do with kids in this Central NJ town. 

Read on for fun ways for families to have a great time in Princeton and the inside scoop on hotels and where to eat. And be sure to check out the Mommy Poppins Day Trips in NJ Guide for other great destinations in the Garden State. 


Best Attractions in Princeton for Families

1. Terhune Orchards 

This MP fave is a beautiful pick-your-own farm that offers all the usual fare: pumpkins, apples, strawberries, cherries, and more. Don't miss the “read and pick” program, where children are read a story about a certain fruit or flower and then go off to pick it. And every year in May is Terhune's annual spring festival, Kite Day.

2. Morven Museum and Garden

Families can enjoy storytime, crafts, and other events for children at the Moren Museum and Garden.

3. Pi Day Princeton (3/14)

It's said to be the planet's biggest celebration of Pi Day and Einstein's birthday with pie eating, an Einstein lookalike contest, a Pi recitation contest for pre-teens, performances, and more.

4. Go canoeing

From March through November, rent a canoe and paddle down the D&R Canal, Stony Brook, or Carnegie Lake.

5. See a show

Princeton has great places to see live performances, such as the renowned McCarter Theatre or Paul Robeson Center for the Arts.

6. Princeton University Art Museum

Enjoy self-guided tours at Princeton University Art Museum and drop-in Saturday morning Family Time, which includes an activity followed by a related art project. Note that the main museum is under construction and will reopen in 2025.

Best Things to Do in Princeton with Kids

7. Princeton Playspace 

Princeton Playspace is a 5,000-square-foot indoor playground featuring a jungle gym, construction area, train table, tree, pretend town, and other attractions.

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Enjoy kid-friendly activities at the Communiversity Arts Festival. Photo courtesy of the Princeton Arts Council

8. Communiversity ArtsFest

This spring arts festival features 225+ artists, crafters, merchants, continuous live entertainment on six stages, kid-friendly activities, food, and more.

9. Take a tour

Join up with Princeton Tour Company and take a weekend walking tour of Princeton, or a ghost tour...if you dare!

10. Princeton Festival

Introduce kids to opera and classical music at the Princeton Festival, a performing arts summer festival featuring workshops, choral music, musical theater, jazz, opera, and chamber music.

11. Go shopping

Shop and grab a bite at the park-like Princeton Shopping Center or Palmer Square. Look for events at Palmer Square like the annual kids block party sponsored by jaZams (an independent toy and book shop), storytime at Homestead, and the annual Christmas tree and Menorah lighting in December.

12. Tumbles Princeton

Enjoy open gym (ages 4 months to 10 years) or the Tumble Zone (ages 3 and up) at Tumbles Princeton, where kids can slide, crawl, bounce, and tumble. Open for parties and classes, too.

13. See Einstein's house

Take a tour of Einstein's home and see some of his personal belongings and furniture.

Fun Free Things to Do in Princeton with Kids

14. Head to the library

Read a book in the whimsical Cotsen Children's Library, where Bookscape's adorable reading nooks, trees, and animal statues will charm children of all ages. 

15. See Princeton University

Wander Princeton University's gorgeous leafy campus and take in the beautiful buildings and landscape.

16. Take a hike

Walk a trail at Herrontown Woods Arboretum and see beautiful flowers along the way in the spring, summer, and early fall.

17. Experience the Annual Book Festival

Take the kids to the annual Children's Book Festival, held every fall and sponsored by the Princeton Public Library.

Best Restaurants for Kids in Princeton

18. Pj's Pancake House

Have an amazing meal at the legendary Pj's Pancake House, which features more than 15 types of pancakes.

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Treat the family to delectable ice cream and baked goods at The Bent Spoon. Photo courtesy of the shop

19. The Bent Spoon

Grab a cone at The Bent Spoon, an artisan ice cream shop that also features delectable baked goods.

20. Nomad Pizza Company

Enjoy artisanal wood-fired pizza made with fresh, local ingredients at this rustic pizzeria.

Where to Stay in Princeton with Kids

21. Nassau Inn

This beautiful hotel is located in downtown Princeton and has a modern, sophisticated feel. Dine at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, a great gastropub with indoor and outdoor dining.

22. Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center

This hotel offers accommodations in both the well-appointed main building and the historic Laurie House, which now serves as a bed and breakfast. There's a heated indoor pool and a breakfast room with panoramic views of the lake.

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