November School Holidays: 25 Things To Do in New Jersey with Kids

Spend a day running around at Johnson's Corner Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
Spend a day running around at Johnson's Corner Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm

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 8, followed by NJEA Convention on Thursday, November 10, and Friday, November 11. 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 24, and Friday, November 25; 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. Frozen and Encanto come to life at Disney on Ice from Wednesday, November 2-Sunday, November 6.

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

It's not too late to register your child for a mini-camp at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum where they can learn about animals and spend a day in the forest.

RELATED: The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

November school holidays things to do in New Jersey with kids: Adventure Aquarium
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, Sea Life Aquarium at American Dream is well worth a visit.

7. Get a Jump-Start on the Holidays

It's never too early to start celebrating, and the holiday season is in full swing at Diggerland's Winterfest.

8. Spend a Day at Liberty Science Center

Everyone’s favorite science museum has several fun new exhibits. Be sure to check out Wobbly World, a STEM-powered funhouse, and visit the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's underground lair in their Secrets of the Sewer exhibit. The Liberty Science Center is open on school holidays, except Thanksgiving. 

9. Hang Out at a Museum

Linger for a few hours at a new-to-you museum in northern New Jerseycentral 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 golfNickelodeon Universe amusement park, and the largest indoor water park in North America.

RELATED: Polar Express and Christmas Trains for NJ Kids

November school holidays things to do in New Jersey with kids: Field Station Dinosaurs
See the dinos before they're gone for the winter. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

11. Go Back to Dinosaur Times

Play paleontologist at Field Station: Dinosaurs before the beasts pack it up for the winter on Sunday, November 13.

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

November school holidays things to do in New Jersey with kids: NYBG Holiday Train Show
The NYBG Train Show opens in time for the Thanksgiving holidays. Photo courtesy of NYBG

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

November school holidays things to do in New Jersey with kids: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Catch the 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 24.

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.

23. See a Show

Visit the State Theatre to see a show like Ailey II or Mutts Gone Nuts.

RELATED: Hit the Serene Columbia Trail for a Family-Friendly Hiking Adventure

November school holidays things to do in New Jersey with kids: Newport Skates
Newport Skates usually opens for the season in November. Photo courtesy of the mall

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.

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