30 Best Things To Do with Tweens in New Jersey

Fun Things To Do with Tweens in NJ, from Tubing to Laser Tag
Careen down the supercharged white water raft ride, Colorado River, at Mountain Creek. Photo courtesy of Mountain Creek

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). To keep those in-betweeners happy and engaged, find an activity that sparks their curiosity or stretches their growing limbs. When a trip to your local playground is met with eye-rolling instead of cheering, it's time to check out these amazing activities for older kids in New Jersey. The good news? You may genuinely enjoy competing with your tween in bowling and mini golf, tackling the fast slides at a water park, or seeing a play or concert together. Read on for 30 ideas that are cool enough for big kids. 

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

2. Show your Scarlet Knight or Pirate pride at a Rutgers or Seton Hall sporting event. Both schools' schedules online. 

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

4. Spring and summer mean baseball, and New Jersey has minor league action up and down the state. 

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

6.  Gaze at artwork at one of the state's museums

Your tweens are old enough to give glass blowing a try. Photo courtesy of Hot Sand in Asbury Park

7. Step up your arts and crafts game with glass blowing

8. Treat them to their first rock or pop concert this summer. 

RELATED: NJ Playgrounds Cool Enough for Big Kids

Go head-to-head on the Battle Beam at Urban Air Adventure Park in Milltown. Photo courtesy of the park

9. Bounce and flip at an indoor trampoline park

10. Create beaded jewelry or pottery at a local studio

11. Enjoy a sweet treat together at a popular ice cream spot. 

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

13. Step back in time to pinball nirvana in Asbury Park, or play old-school arcade games for hours at a game cafe.

14. Cruise the waterways on a dinner cruise, ferry, or other exciting boat ride

Tweens looking for a thrill will love The Kingda Ka at Six Flags. Photo courtesy of Six Flags

15. Tackle the wildest roller coasters New Jersey has to offer. 

16. Walk through the Grounds for Sculpture (without a stroller!). 

17. Have some Ninja Warrior–style fun at an awesome indoor obstacle course

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

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

20. Face off in a game of laser tag

21. Escape from a family-style escape room

RELATED: Zip Lines and Adventure Ropes Courses for Kids in and Around NJ

Get a group of friends together for tween sewing projects at M. Avery Designs in Hoboken. Photo courtesy M. Avery Designs

22. Design and sew your own fashion accessories

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

24. Roll some strikes without bumpers at your favorite bowling alley

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

26. Spend the night at Liberty Science Center for a camp-in

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

28. Head outdoors and go camping

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

Do some laser-tagging at iPlay America. Photo courtesy of the venue

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

30. Pick up a paintbrush and canvas at one of New Jersey's painting studios

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

Originally published 2013; updated for 2018.

Art Attack
14 Commerce Street
08822 Flemington , NJ
Phone: 908-284-0587
40° 29' 46.464" N, 74° 51' 22.7988" W
New Jersey
Sahara Sams
535 N. Route 73
08091 West Berlin , NJ
Phone: 856-767-7580
39° 48' 57.2436" N, 74° 55' 43.0176" W
New Jersey
Hurricane Harbor
Six Flags Blvd
Jackson , NJ
Phone: 732-928-1821
40° 8' 26.8332" N, 74° 26' 45.3084" W
New Jersey
iPlay America
110 Shanck Road
07728 Freehold , NJ
Phone: 732-577-8200
40° 14' 21.9336" N, 74° 16' 52.7412" W
New Jersey
Silverball Museum
1000 Ocean Avenue #306
07712 Asbury Park , NJ
Phone: 732-774-4994
40° 13' 14.52" N, 73° 59' 59.5824" W
New Jersey
Just Bead Yourself
113 Central Avenue
07090 Westfield , NJ
Phone: 908-232-3411
40° 39' 8.4204" N, 74° 20' 49.7256" W
New Jersey
Prudential Center
25 Lafayette Street
07102 Newark , NJ
Phone: 973-757-6000
40° 43' 59.8152" N, 74° 10' 16.5432" W
New Jersey
Count Basie Theater
99 Monmouth Street
07701 Red Bank , NJ
Phone: 732-224-8778
40° 20' 56.022" N, 74° 4' 12.7128" W
New Jersey
Paint A Tee
18 Monmouth Street
07701 Red Bank , NJ
Phone: 732-268-7620
40° 20' 59.0604" N, 74° 3' 58.0572" W
New Jersey
Hot Sand
550 Cookman Ave
07712 Asbury Park , NJ
Phone: 732-927-5475
40° 12' 59.004" N, 74° 0' 33.5448" W
New Jersey
Zimmerli Art Museum
71 Hamilton Street
08901 New Brunswick , NJ
Phone: 732-932-7237
40° 29' 59.6976" N, 74° 26' 45.3948" W
New Jersey
Roller Magic
270 N Stevens Avenue
08879 South Amboy , NJ
Phone: 732-727-1122
40° 29' 4.8948" N, 74° 17' 21.984" W
New Jersey
Roller Magic
2270 West County Line Road, Rt 526
08527 Jackson , NJ
Phone: 732-363-2222
34° 6' 2.5308" N, 83° 22' 20.0532" W
New Jersey
Paper Mill Playhouse
22 Brookside Drive
07041 Millburn , NJ
Phone: 973-376-4343
40° 43' 41.3544" N, 74° 18' 33.102" W
New Jersey