40 Things To Do in New Jersey with Tweens

Careen down the supercharged white water raft ride, Colorado River, at Mountain Creek. Photo courtesy of Mountain Creek
Careen down the supercharged white water raft ride, Colorado River, at Mountain Creek. Photo courtesy of Mountain Creek

Looking for things to do in New Jersey with tweens? Read on for our top picks. 

Your tweens may be too big for bouncy houses and tea parties, yet too young for solo outings with friends. But they still love family fun–even if they won't always admit it. When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing things to do in New Jersey with tweens. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling or tackling the fast slides at a water park.

Read on for 40 ideas that are cool enough for big kids and find more fun things to do in New Jersey with tweens in our Tweens and Teens Guide to NJ, which includes our rundown on birthday party ideas for teens in New Jersey

Subscribe to our newsletters to get stories like this delivered directly to your inbox.

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Paper Mill Playhouse
Take in a performance at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo courtesy of the theater

Things To Do in NJ with Tweens Indoors

1. See a Show

Take in an almost-Broadway show at one of New Jersey's celebrated regional theaters, like Paper Mill Playhouse, McCarter Theater, or the State Theater.  

2. Go to a Game

Show your Scarlet Knight or Pirate pride at a Rutgers or Seton Hall sporting event. 

3. Meet Lady Liberty

Head to Liberty State Park and catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty Museum.

4. Let the Good Times Roll

Lace up your skates for a whirl around a roller rink—glow necklaces and 80's shades optional.

5. Win Big 

Show them your favorite old-school games at these NJ arcades.

RELATED: Family-Friendly Escape Rooms in New Jersey

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens laser tag at iPlay America
Do some laser-tagging at iPlay America. Photo courtesy of the venue

6. Burn Off Energy

Spend an afternoon playing, climbing, and exploring one of New Jersey's mega indoor fun spots, like iPlay America or Branchburg Sports Complex. 

7. Visit a Museum

Gaze at the artwork at a New Jersey museum, like the Montclair Art Museum or the Newark Museum, which has one of the country's finest collections of American art. 

8. Get Creative

Create some art of your own at one of New Jersey's painting studios

9. Make a Gift for Grandma

Create beaded jewelry or pottery at a local studio

10. Rock Out

Treat them to their first rock or pop concert. 

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center offers plenty of rotating exhibits to keep kids coming back over and over, even as they grow. Photo by Kaylynn Chiarello Ebner

11. Learn Something New

Explore one of the many cool science museums in and around New Jersey.

12. Tee Up

Tee up for a round of outdoor digital golf, tracking your scores with a micro-chipped ball. 

13. Take Flight

Go skydiving—without jumping from a plane—at iFly in Paramus

14. Play Tag

Face off in a game of laser tag

15. Strike it Big

Roll some strikes without bumpers at your favorite bowling alley

RELATED: Liberty Science Center: Best Things To Do With Kids

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Ho Sand
Your tweens are old enough to give glass blowing a try. Photo courtesy of Hot Sand in Asbury Park

16. Blow Your Own Glass

Step up your arts and crafts game with glass blowing

17. Make Music

Get hands-on with musical instruments and learn about local music history at the GRAMMY Museum

18. Plan Your Escape

Escape from a family-style escape room

19. Get Pampered

Relax with a tween spa treatment or mani-pedi at one of New Jersey's many spas or salons, like Glitter & Glam in Paramus. 

20. Enjoy a Sweet Treat

Enjoy a sweet treat together at a popular ice cream spot or retro candy shop

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Urban Air Adventure Park
Tackle an obstacle course at Urban Air Adventure Park in Milltown. Photo courtesy of the park

21. Have an Adventure

Enjoy some Ninja Warrior–style fun at an awesome indoor obstacle course

22. Jump Around

Bounce and flip at an indoor trampoline park.

23. Sing a Song

Gather a group of friends and belt out your favorite tunes at Songbird Karaoke.

24. See Some Stars

Go stargazing at the biggest planetarium in the country!

25. Make a Splash

An indoor water park is a good idea any time of the year.

RELATED: NJ Playgrounds Cool Enough for Big Kids

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens American Dream
American Dream offers an eye-popping array of attractions—including a multi-story candy wonderland—sure to impress even picky tweens. Photo by Jody Mercier

26. Live the American Dream

You could easily spend an entire day at this entertainment complex, between Angry Birds mini golfNickelodeon Universe amusement park, and the largest indoor water park in North America.

27. Strike a Pose

Get the perfect snap at Selfie Station, an Instagram and TikTok-inspired photobooth wonderland.

28. Test Drive

RPM Raceway has authentic, exhilarating, and safe indoor electric karting facilities.

29. STEM Play

Practice critical thinking skills while having fun at the Arena STEM amusement park.

30. Score a Goal

Rent a field for a private game of 5x5 at the Sofive indoor soccer facility.

RELATED: Great NJ Gardens and Lush Arboretums To Explore with Kids

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Six Flags
Tweens looking for a thrill will love The Kingda Ka at Six Flags. Photo courtesy of Six Flags

Things To Do in NJ with Tweens Outdoors 

31. Experience Some Thrills

Test your bravery on the wildest roller coasters New Jersey has to offer. 

32. Go For a Hike

Longer legs mean longer hikes, so check out New Jersey's great reservations, from the pinelands to the mountains.

33. Do a Day Trip

Spend an entire day exploring a state park

34. Support the Local Team

Take them out to a ball game—New Jersey has minor league action up and down the state. 

35. Let it Zip

Zip and swing above the trees at an outdoor ropes course. 

Things to do in New Jersey with tweens Sunrise Lake pedal boats
Tweens can burn off some serious energy on a pedal boat ride at Sunrise Lake in Lewis Morris Park. Photo courtesy of the park

36. Cool Off at the Lake

Cruise the waterways on a dinner cruise, ferry, or another exciting boat ride. Or share the work of rowing or pedaling on a lakeshore ride.

37. Get Wet

Splash around and tackle the tallest slides at a water park.

38. Sleep Under the Stars

Unplug and get back to nature on a family camping trip. 

39. Revisit History

Stroll through history at New Jersey's Revolutionary War sites. 

40. Get Some Culture

Walk through the Grounds for Sculpture

For even more inspiration, check out our list of things to do in New Jersey before your kids grow up.    

Originally published in 2013 and updated regularly. Margaret Hargrove contributed additional reporting.

Turtle Back Zoo Holiday Lights
Turtle Back Zoo - 5:00 PM Pick
South Jersey Holiday Light Show
Bridgeport Speedway - 5:00 PM Pick
Bergen County Winter Wonderland
Van Saun County Park - various times Pick
Parent and Me Playtime
Plainsboro Recreation and Community Services - 9:00 AM
Antique Toy Train Show
South Jersey Museum of American History - 10:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides