25 Fun Ways To Beat the Heat in NJ With Kids

Float through the water at Morey's Piers. Photo by David Howarth
Float through the water at Morey's Piers. Photo by David Howarth

If you're suffering from hot-weather burnout, don't sweat it: New Jersey has tons of cool activities to help the whole family chill out when the temperatures soar. From beaches on the Jersey Shore and splash pads in parks throughout the state to blissfully air-conditioned bowling alleys and cool arcades, we've got the best ways to beat the heat during the hottest days of the year.

Check out even more refreshing activities in our Summer Fun Guide for New Jersey Kids, and stay cool, NJ!

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1. Cool Down at a Splash Park

Take the kids to one of NJ's many spraygrounds and splash pads, including the huge, amazing John Russell Wheeler Park in Linden.

2. Check out a Shaded Playground

Duck into an awesome shaded playground.

3. Play Water Games

Try one of these 25 water games to play with kids right in your backyard.

4. Head to the Mines

Go underground to the Sterling Hill Mining Museum. Always a cool 56 degrees, the mine offers tours at 1pm every day  Reservations are required.

the beach at Cape May
Head to Cape May for some seaside fun. Photo courtesy of Congress Hall

5. Visit the Jersey Shore

Spend a day at a Jersey Shore beach. In August, the temperature of the water is perfect for a refreshing dip. Don't forget about these FREE NJ beaches and seaside hidden gems!

6. Go Swimming

Cool off in a swimming pool that offers day passes for non-residents.

7. Enjoy a Water Park

Hit the water slides and lazy rivers at one of these 15 awesome water parks. Or, plan an overnight trip and stay at one of these great hotels with outdoor water parks.

8. See a Waterfall

Visit the state's awe-inspiring waterfalls, including Tumble Falls and Silver Spray Falls.

RELATED: 13 Swimming Lakes near New Jersey You Need To Discover

Sunrise Lake Beach Club is a great place to cool off
Sunrise Lake Beach Club is a favorite summer destination. Photo courtesy of Morris County

9. Jump in a Lake

Skip the Shore traffic and head to one of New Jersey's lakes for a day of swimming.

10. Go Fishing

Bait a hook and go fish!

11. Watch a Free Summer Movie

Take in a FREE summer movie under the stars. The Starlit Cinema in Somerville and the Ridgewood Guild's Movies in the Park are just two spots to catch a FREE summer flick.

RELATED: 10 Great Beachfront Playgrounds in New Jersey

father and daughter looking at penguin in water at an aquarium
The Adventure Aquarium penguins are bound to help you feel a bit cooler. Photo courtesy of the aquarium

12. Visit an Aquarium

Chill—literally—with the adorable penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium, or watch the hippos glide through the water at Camden's Adventure Aquarium.

13. Visit a Classic Arcade

Enjoy some indoor gaming at Yestercades or the Silverball Museum.

14. Check out an Indoor Playground

Visit one of the state's many indoor play spaces. Find a fun one near you in our Guide to Indoor Play Spaces for NJ Kids.

15. Visit iPlay America

Enjoy some boardwalk-style rides in the indoor amusement park at iPlay America.

16. Play a Round of Indoor Mini Golf

Challenge the kids to a round of indoor mini golf.

RELATED: 100+ Free Things To Do With NJ Kids This Summer

Tubing on the Delaware River
Head to the river to cool down with a tubing adventure. Photo courtesy of Delaware River Tubing

17. Go Tubing

Spend the day tubing or rafting on the Delaware River.

18. Play Laser Tag

Grab some friends, gear up, and play some laser tag.

19. Go Skating

Refresh yourself with a blast of winter and go ice skating at an indoor arena.

20. Get Locked In

Relish the air conditioning while the whole family figures out how to flee these NJ escape rooms.

21. Get Artistic

Create a masterpiece at a drop-in pottery or painting studio.

RELATED: Camelback Resort: A Year-round Poconos Getaway for Families

Enjoy a planetarium show at the Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center has all kinds of cool exhibits to see and activities to try. Photo courtesy of LSC

22. Visit LSC

Spend a day at the Liberty Science Center or another great museum in northern NJ, including the Morris Museum and the Newark Museum.

23. Go Bowling

Hit the lanes at one of NJ's family-friendly bowling alleys, which range from thoroughly modern to charmingly retro.

24. Jump Away!

Jump and play without breaking too much of a sweat at one of NJ's indoor trampoline parks and bounce houses.

kids on inflatables in the water
Totally Tubular Aqua Park offers 5,000 square feet of wet-and-wild fun in Ocean City.

25. Try a Floating Obstacle Course

Run, jump, and bounce your way across one of NJ's newest crazes: a floating, inflatable obstacle course.

This article, first published in 2014, has since been updated.

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