25 Family Staycation Ideas for the NJ School Holidays in November
School kids across the country are looking at abbreviated November schedules, but New Jersey kids have several holidays to look forward to this month. First up is Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. While not all schools are closed, many are off or have half-days. NJ schools also will be closed for the statewide teacher conferences happening Thursday, November 8, and Friday, November 9, 2018.
Of course, don't forget about Thanksgiving later this month, when kids have off on Thursday, November 22, and Friday, November 23, 2018, and some have a half-day or no school on the Wednesday prior. Yikes! That means more time off than the December holidays for some NJ school kids.
With that in mind, we're putting together a list of 25 fantastic things to do this November in New Jersey with the kids. Lucky for you, dear parent, the holiday season also means plenty of fun activities, many of which are FREE. Read on for more ideas.
Don't forget to find more fun in our November GoList and our daily Event Calendar of activities around New Jersey. 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.
Visit the mermaids at Adventure Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
1. Watch a mermaid swim with the sharks at Camden's Adventure Aquarium, Saturday, November 3 – Sunday, November 11, 2018.
3. Enjoy FREE or inexpensive programming at nature centers around the state: outdoor adventure awaits at Tenafly Nature Center or visit the indoor complex at Watchung Reservation to see the mini aquarium, book nook, and more.
See the dinos before they're gone for the winter. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
4. Play paleontologist at Field Station: Dinosaurs before the beasts pack it up for the winter on Sunday, November 11, 2018. (Note: It's open during the NJ teacher conference days.)
5. Take a hike, and take in the beautiful fall foliage.
6. Find a vacation-day mini camp at a museum.
8. Pretend it's summer vacation while you splash about at one of New Jersey's indoor water parks like Sahara Sam's or CoCo Key.
10. Pedal your bikes along one of these NJ pathways.
11. 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 items like seeing the latest dinos at the American Museum of Natural History.
12. Ride the mini train or carousel at Van Saun Park.
13. Join Mickey and friends on their quest for Tinkerbell at Disney on Ice: Mickey's Search Party, Friday, November 2 – Sunday, November 4, 2018.
Get cooking in the giant play kitchen at Kidz Village. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
16. Catch an old-fashioned tree-lighting at Cape May's Physick Estate on Friday, November 16, 2018, or check out another seasonal tree ceremony.
17. Pile into the car for the drive-through Skylands Stadium epic Christmas Lights extravaganza, beginning Friday, November 16, 2018.
Catch a (giant) Pokemon and more at the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo by Shinya Suzuki
22. Board a Polar Express train for an early winter treat.
24. Catch the opening of the annual holiday model train show on Friday, November 23, 2018, featuring Thomas and more fun miniatures, presented by the Garden State Model Railway Club.
25. Give Santa your wish list over the Thanksgiving break when he starts popping up at the malls and at local farms like Alstede.
Looking for more? Check out our daily Events Calendar for what's happening in your neighborhood.
This post has been updated for 2018.