What's the best cure for the post-holiday blues? Sending the kids back to school, of course! But here's the second-best: finding fun new activities to enjoy in the New Year.
Start 2018 right with some fun things to do as a family on New Year's Day, then plan ahead for more adventures throughout the month. You can have breakfast with the animals at Jenkinson's Aquarium, camp in at Liberty Science Center, and check out performances ranging from Disney on Ice to the Cirque du Soleil–esque Underwater Bubble Show. Got a model train lover or a monster truck fanatic? You'll find something for them, too.
For more wintry fun, check out our Winter Activity Guide, and discover the best places to play indoors when the temperature plummets. And as always, you can find many more great things to do in our Event Calendar.
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Princess Anna joins a host of other beloved characters in Disney on Ice: Reach for the Stars. Photo courtesy of Disney
Disney on Ice: Reach for the Stars – Newark and Atlantic City
January 4-7 and 18-21
Disney's latest ice spectacular features characters from Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and more. NJ shows will take place at the Prudential Center and Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall.
Breakfast with the Animals – Point Pleasant
Start your day with some of the residents of Jenkinson's Aquarium in this special program for kids ages 5 and up (accompanied by an adult). Participants receive special early entry to the aquarium, a continental breakfast, and time to ask questions about the animals. Pre-registration required.
It's your last chance to catch the Model Railway Show. Photo courtesy of the Garden State Model Railway Club
60th Annual Model Railway Show – North Haledon
These are the final two days to catch the Garden State Model Railway Club's annual show, where you can view steam and diesel locomotives, miniature scenes packed with detail, and working signals. A must-see for train enthusiasts big and small.
Pinkalicious the Musical – Morristown
In the musical version of the beloved children's book, a girl's indulgence in too many pink cupcakes causes a severe case of Pinkititis, and hilarity ensues. The show comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center for two afternoon performances.
Dinosaur Time Trek – Secaucus
Visitors to this interactive dinosaur exhibit at the Meadowlands Exposition Center can cuddle with a baby dino, meet a life-size, roving dinosaur skeleton, compete in a live-action family game show, and more.
Journey to Bubblelandia in this beautiful underwater fantasy. Photo courtesy of The Underwater Bubble Show
The Underwater Bubble Show – Englewood
Immerse yourself in an imaginary underwater world filled with bubbles, fantastical creatures, and other magical visions.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Celebration – Newark
A reading of "Letter from Birmingham Jail," a musical performance, scavenger hunt, and more are part of the festivities celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Newark Museum. Free for Newark residents; $5 for others.
Milk & Cookies: Robbi Kumaro – New Brunswick
Keep the beat with “Robbi K,” a multi-talented storyteller and musician who has performed with such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, and Mary J. Blige. With lots of audience participation, Robbi performs childhood favorites and original songs and stories.
Lambertville – New Hope Winter Festival – Lambertville, NJ, and New Hope, PA
The two neighboring towns celebrate winter with a week-long festival that includes a host of free family activities.
Girls' Camp-in at Liberty Science Center – Jersey City
It's girls' night at LSC. Explore Liberty Science Center at night, then stay and sleep under your favorite exhibit. The night includes film screenings, live presentations, and interactive activities.
Frozen Sing-Along at bergenPAC – Englewood
Elsa and Anna are back on the big screen, and everyone is invited to sing along. Princess Anna and Queen Elsa will be on hand during the movie screening to lead the audience in singing along with the iconic songs. They'll also be available for photos before the show.
See some impressive ice carvings at the Fire and Ice Festival. Photo courtesy of the festival
Fire and Ice Festival – Mount Holly
The stunning creations of more than a dozen professional and amateur ice carvers will be on display in downtown Mount Holly, along with a variety of family entertainment. FREE
Groundhog Day Celebration – Pennington
Celebrate Groundhog Day at the Watershed Reserve by visiting several burrows of these furry weather forecasters. Learn about their history and role in the ecological community, and enjoy the challenge of the hibernation game. After the hike and game, warm up by an outdoor fire to enjoy a warm beverage and roasted marshmallows. FREE
Monster Jam celebrates 25 years of monster trucks with a North American tour in 2018. Photo courtesy of the event
Monster Jam Triple Threat Series – Newark
It's all about monster trucks this weekend at Prudential Center. The event will feature ATVs, speedsters, and Monster Jam trucks—which are more than 10 feet tall, 17 feet long, and weigh 10,000 pounds.
Beauty and the Beast Jr. – Red Bank
The students of the Count Basie Theatre Performing Arts Academy put on a production of the tale as old as time.