30 Gorgeous Spring Day Trips in New Jersey

The weather is warming is up,  so dip your toes in the stream at Loantaka Reservation. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
The weather is warming is up, so dip your toes in the stream at Loantaka Reservation. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

Spring is on the horizon, and as we anticipate blue skies and plenty of sunshine, we're ready to spend every spare minute soaking it in. To help you and your family do the same, we've rounded up more than 25 ideas for spring day trips in New Jersey.

If your family is searching for local adventures to make the most of the mild days, check out our top picks, from picnic spots and easy hikes to amusement parks and more.

Our Spring Fun Guide is loaded with even more family-friendly ideas and our Family Activity Calendar is blooming with events.

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1. Pick Your Own Strawberries

Spring harvest in the Garden State is a cornucopia of fresh fruit, especially juicy red strawberries, the perfect size for little hands to pluck at one of these pick-your-own farms.

2. Visit a Nature Center

Explore all the signs of spring at one of New Jersey's family-friendly nature centers, where naturalists can point out local flora and fauna, and kids may even spot live animals.

RELATED: Worth The Drive: 12 Destination Playgrounds in NJ

Alpacas at Abma's Farm
Meet the sweet, smiling alpacas at Abma's Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm

3. See Baby Animals

Springtime signals baby animals. Get your fill of furry, feathery baby animal cuteness at these family-friendly NJ farms.

4. Take a Hike

If your kids are up for a family-friendly hike, let them mix their own trail snacks and tackle one of these easy hiking trails in New Jersey.

5. Play on the Playground

Revel in the spring sunshine at one of NJ's best playgrounds, where kids can run, climb, and scamper until it's warm enough to hit the sprinklers.

RELATED: Botanical Gardens and Arboretums With Kid-Friendly Programming in New Jersey

Kites flying Kites on the Pier Festival
Celebrate the warmer weather at a kite festival. Photo courtesy of Kites on the Pier

6. Go to a Festival

Spring in New Jersey wouldn't be complete without strolling through a street fair to hear great music, check out local artisans, sample food truck specialties, and maybe stop by a bouncy castle. Check our roundup of spring festivals for updates on your favorite local fetes.

7. Visit a Farm

Step back in time at one of New Jersey's living history farms, and let kids churn butter, milk cows, and learn some old-fashioned skills.

8. See the Stars

Lean back in the dark and spot constellations and shooting stars at one of New Jersey's best observatories and planetariums.

9. Play Mini Golf

Challenge your kids to a game of mini golf at your favorite local course or one of these extra-special courses.

RELATED: Best Family Campgrounds in New Jersey

Two smiling kids playing among the cherry trees cherry blossoms at Branch Brook Park
Welcome spring with a day trip to beautiful Branch Brook Park. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

10. Check out the Cherry Blossoms

The lush, pink cherry blossoms at Newark's Branch Brook Park are in peak bloom in April during the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, set for Saturday, April 2-Sunday, April 10, including Family Day on Saturday, April 9 and Bloomfest on Sunday, April 10.

11. Enjoy a Picnic

Pack up a picnic basket and head to one of these scenic spots in northern NJ for a leisurely family picnic.

12. Travel to the Wild Wild West

Go back in time and experience the thrill of Wild West City, which treats visitors to live-action cowboy shows; stagecoach, pony, and train rides; mini golf; a barnyard zoo; and fun events for kids. Opening day is Saturday, April 30.

13. Take Flight

Pretend to soar above the clouds as a pilot during the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum's Open Cockpit Day, Saturday, April 23.

RELATED: Guide to Family Day Trips in New Jersey

girl at Field Station Dinosaurs.
Step into the age of the dinosaurs at Field Station: Dinosaurs. Photo by Janet Bloom

14. Journey to Jurassic Park

Stomp among the stegosaurs at Field Station: Dinosaurs when the park reopens Saturday, May 28, for its 10th anniversary season.

15. Visit Van Saun Park

Travel to Van Saun Park to visit the Bergen County Zoo, the train ride attraction, a mega playground, and the picnic pavilions.

16. Go Back to College

Go red at Rutgers University's annual spring Family Day on Saturday, April 30. Tune in for exhibits, performances, virtual activities, and fun for the whole family.

17. Build With Lego Bricks

Lego lovers can express their creativity when Brick Fest Live travels to the New Jersey Convention & Exposition Center Saturday, April 23, and Sunday, April 24.

RELATED: Jersey Shore Family Guide

boy jumping in the water near the Waterfall at South Mountain reservation
Get some fresh air at South Mountain Reservation. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

18. Explore South Mountain Reservation

Head to South Mountain Reservation and choose between the paddle boats, an awesome playground, the Turtle Back Zoo, or a hike along the fairy trail.

19. Enjoy a Block Party

Cruise on New Jersey's largest lake during Lake Hopatcong's annual block party on Saturday, May 21, with live music, food trucks, a kiddie play area, and water sports demos.

20. Take a Nature Walk

Go green for Earth Day at Monmouth County Parks, which hosts a lineup of nature walks Saturday, April 23.

RELATED: 100 Things To Do in New Jersey With Kids Before They Grow Up

kids in a field of daffodils at Reeves-Reed Arboretum.
Enjoy the blooming daffodils at Reeves-Reed Arboretum. Photo courtesy of the Arboretum

21. Dance With the Daffodils

Head to the Reeves-Reed Arboretum for a lovely spring walk, or visit on Sunday, April 10 for Daffodil Day.

22. See a Show

State Theatre NJ is refreshed and ready with an entertaining slate of new family-friendly shows this spring, featuring Peppa Pig, Paddington, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

23. Get a Taste of Holland

Plan your visit in advance to see the stunning tulip fields at Holland Ridge Farms, where its 153-acres of colorful blooms offer a picture-perfect spring photo-op.

RELATED: 10 Favorite NJ Parks and Reservations With Fun for Kids

Enjoy a springtime day trip to Storybook Land to ride on th Whirly Bug
Get ready for the season-opening of Storybook Land. Photo courtesy of the Park

24. Experience Some Thrills

There's no better feeling than zipping through the air on a speedy roller coaster, chilling on a carousel, or watching the little ones enjoy low-key kiddie rides. Catch some thrills before the summer rush at Six Flags Great Adventure or Storybook Land.

25. Visit Historic Smithville

This quaint, historic town is just a few miles from the Jersey Shore. A great time to visit is during Mayfest on Saturday, May 14-Sunday, May 15, where you'll find 100 crafters, a food court, live music, and kids' activities.

26. Fly a Kite

Find an empty field or a windy beach, or simply watch the colors flutter at a local kite festival like the Annual Kites at the Pier Festival in Long Branch on Saturday, April 23, or the Wildwood International Kite Festival from Friday, May 27-Monday, May 30.

two kids in the ocean on the Jersey shore
Soak up some fun at the Jersey Shore before the summer crowds come. Photo by Kate Lewis Andrews

27. Go Down the Shore

Beat the crowds by visiting the Jersey Shore in springtime, when skies are blue and boardwalks are empty. The rides at Jenkinson's and in Ocean City are open most spring weekends.

28. Drive to Exit Zero

Travel to the end of the Garden State Parkway to attend Cape May's Spring Festival from Thursday, May 19-Sunday, May 22, and hear live music, eat great food, and soak in the historic seaside town's Victorian charm.

29. Visit Legoland New York

The sprawling Orange County attraction is set for a season-opening on Friday, April 7, and there's plenty of theme park fun to be had.

30. Explore the Adventure Aquarium

This Camden destination is an absolute gem, housing the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast and plenty of other underwater creatures.

Originally published in April 2018, this piece is updated annually.

Wildwoods International Kite Festival
Beach Across from Wildwood Convention Center - various times Pick
Smithsonian Spark!Lab
Morris Museum - 12:00 PM
Toms River Downtown Night Out
Downtown Toms River - 5:00 PM
Paramus L.E.A.D. Fest Carnival
Westfield Garden State Plaza - various times
Online Guitar Lessons for Kids
Virtual - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides