While New Jersey students have an abbreviated November schedule to look forward to, parents are left to figure out things to do in New Jersey to fill those days off. The first holiday falls on Election Day on Tuesday, November 7, followed by NJEA Convention on Thursday, November 9, and Friday, November 10. Several school districts have gone a step further, giving students that entire week off!
Of course, don't forget about Thanksgiving at month's end, when kids have off both Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24; some even have a half-day or no school the Wednesday prior, too. Yikes!
With that in mind, we've pulled together this list of 25 things to do to in New Jersey to keep your kids busy during November's school holidays. Whether you choose to hang indoors at a popular local indoor play space, embrace the fall weather with a day at the farm, or plan a family road trip, read on for our picks for the best staycation ideas this November.
If you are looking for more activities this season, take a peek at our New Jersey Fall Fun Guide and bookmark our Family Activity Calendar for even more ideas. It might also be a good time to check off one or two items on our list of 100 things to do in New Jersey with kids before they grow up.
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Fun Things To Do in New Jersey on November's School Holidays
1. Explore the Zoo
Visit a new-to-you zoo before it gets too cold. The Bergen County Zoo, Turtle Back Zoo, and Cape May Zoo, three of our favorite local spots for animal encounters, are open daily.
2. Spend Time with Disney Characters
If a trip to Magic Kingdom isn't in your plans this week, head to the Prudential Center for the next best thing. Disney on Ice from Wednesday, November 1-Sunday, November 5, 2023.
3. Visit a Farm
Whether your kids want to meet baby animals, pick their own fruit, or take a hayride, fall is the perfect time to visit one of NJ's top family-friendly farms.
4. Take a Hike
Marvel at the nature around you, take in what's left of the beautiful fall foliage, and see what kinds of animals you can spot, all while getting your heart rate up.
5. Explore the Great Outdoors
New Jersey is full of amazing state parks and nature preserves.
RELATED: The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids
Visit the mermaids at the Adventure Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
6. Go Under the Sea
If you’ve already been to Adventure Aquarium in Camden, the Sea Life Aquarium at American Dream is well worth a visit.
7. Dig Into Fall Fun
Diggerland's Diggerfest features hayrides, carnival games, food, balloon animals, and pumpkin decorating.
8. Spend a Day at Liberty Science Center
Everyone’s favorite science museum has several fun new exhibits: Wild Kratts: Ocean Adventure, which focuses on underwater exploration, and The Science Behind Pixar.
9. Hang Out at a Museum
Linger for a few hours at a new-to-you museum in northern New Jersey, central and southern New Jersey, or even one of NYC's kid-friendly spots.
10. Live the American Dream
You could easily spend an entire week at the American Dream entertainment complex, between Angry Birds mini golf, Nickelodeon Universe amusement park, and the largest indoor water park in North America.
11. Get Lost in a Maze
Hit up one of New Jersey's corn mazes while they're still open for the season.
12. Burn Off Energy
If your kids have turned your couch into a bounce house, head to one of these trampoline parks or indoor obstacle courses and ninja gyms for them to bounce around instead.
13. Make a Splash at an Indoor Water Park
Pretend it's summer vacation while you splash about at one of NJ's indoor water parks.
14. Go Biking
Pedal your bikes along one of these NJ pathways.
15. Visit Legoland
Hit the road and head to Legoland New York, which is open on weekends and select weekdays, including Thanksgiving!
RELATED: 10 Pennsylvania Getaways for Families
The NYBG Train Show opens in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. Photo by Jody Mercier
16. Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple
Take a day trip into NYC to catch some of the best of the holidays in the city, like the New York Botanical Garden's awesome train show, or just check off one of our 100 best things to do in NYC with kids.
17. Plan a Playground Field Trip
Instead of heading to the usual places, pack a picnic and take a field trip to discover a new-to-you playground.
18. Visit an Indoor Play Space
If it's too chilly to play outside, drop in for playtime at an indoor play space.
19. Climb to New Heights
If your kids are climbing the walls, then an indoor rock-climbing space like Gravity Vault in Montclair is a fantastic way to harness that energy.
20. Head Down The Shore
The Jersey Shore isn't just for summertime visits. Visit one of these boardwalks packed with off-season fun.
RELATED: Best New Jersey Arcades To Visit with Kids
Catch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo courtesy of Macy's
21. March Alongside the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Pack the big kids onto the train to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade take over the streets of Manhattan on Thursday, November 23, 2023.
22. Hit the Road
Use the extra time off to take a day trip—and we've got plenty of entertainment ideas for the car ride, too.
Bluey, Bingo, Bandit, and Chilli take the stage in Bluey's Big Play at the State Theater of New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Bluey
23. See a Show
Visit the State Theatre to see a show like Bluey's Big Play.
RELATED: Hit the Serene Columbia Trail for a Family-Friendly Hiking Adventure
Palmer Square's picturesque ice skating rink is made of synthetic Glice.
24. Glide Around the Rink
Lace up your skates and bundle up for a spin around one of these outdoor ice skating rinks.
25. Take a Train Ride
Board a Polar Express train for an early winter treat.
This post has been updated for 2022.