Spring Break is on the horizon, and with the winter dragging on, it’s great for teachers to have something to look forward to when that glorious nine or ten day break comes along. If you’re not fortunate enough to be heading out on a cruise or a Florida vacation, there are some really fun and inexpensive spring break day trips that are great for families or the adventurous teacher looking for a little time away from the kids. Check out some of these local destinations. They are sure to make your staycation a memorable one, and maybe even reinvigorate your subject area passion.



Monmouth County Historical Association

This is a great place to visit for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike. Featuring ceramics, paintings, historic clothing, textiles, and an impressive folk art collection, this hidden gem is located in Freehold, NJ.


Princeton University Art Museum

An art museum located at the university. The collection includes art exhibits from around the world. The collection is truly global, with artwork from Africa, China, Korea, and indigenous American communities, with historical depth from focal points in Byzantine and Islamic art. Located in Princeton, NJ, this is a world class destination.


Rockingham State Historic Site

Visit the site of George Washington’s final wartime headquarters. After 8 years of service during the American Revolution, Washington wrote the Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States at Rockingham in late October. View the site and tour the grounds where it all took place. Located in Kingston, NJ.


Zoos & Wildlife

Turtle Back Zoo

Not just a zoo, but an aquarium as well…Turtle Back Zoo is a great place to spend the day. The zoo features a touch tank, sea turtle recovery facility, otters, prairie dogs, and many other awesome creatures. Located in West Orange, NJ.


Rizzo’s Wildlife World

Enjoy a hands-on, interactive wildlife experience unlike any other. Rizzo’s goal is to reduce the fear many people have of certain animals (all rescued) and to educate people on wildlife from around the world. Located in Flanders, NJ.


Cohanzick Zoo

If you love big cats, this is the zoo for you. The free admission doesn’t hurt either. In November, 2018 the zoo welcomed two new members – leopard cubs named Nakia & Shuri. Come visit and see how much they’ve grown. Located in Bridgeton, NJ.


Family Adventures

Jersey Shore Pirates

Young kids will absolutely love this pirate adventure. A mini cruise sets sail as you dress up in costumes, get your faces painted, and even learn pirate lingo. Located in Brick, NJ.


Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

This is a classic. Dinner and a show that the kids will actually want to attend. Swing by Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament to enjoy a scrumptious feast and watch as knights battle it out right before your eyes.  Located in Lyndhurst, NJ.


Fire Me Up Studio

Get creative as a family with Fire Me Up Studio. Enjoy pottery making, glass fusing, canvas painting, and board art. Located in Cranford, NJ.


Outdoor Places

Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary

Established nearly 100 years ago in 1923, this arboretum and bird sanctuary features over 16 acres of woodlands and 3 miles of hiking trails. Bring your binoculars along to see how many different types of birds you can spot. Located in Short Hills, NJ.


Sayen House & Gardens

In 1912 Frederick Sayen and his wife established the house and gardens, which was later opened to the public in 1991. The garden contains thousands of flowering plants. They are best known for the Azalea Festival in May, when the flowers are in full bloom. Located in Hamilton, NJ.


Barnegat Lighthouse State Park

This beautiful 32 acre state park was created in 1957. Visitors can climb the lighthouse to the light keeper’s catwalk, tour the park to view many different species of birds, learn about maritime history, and even go fishing. Located in Barnegat Light, NJ.


Sometimes it takes inspiration to visit other parts of the state to which you typically don’t think to travel. New Jersey is a state rich in activities and family friendly fun. For more ideas for the best places to visit in New Jersey please read, An NJ Teacher’ Guide to Fun Spring Break Day Trips.


-Jenna Garvin


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