8 NJ Summer Day Trips to Inspire Your Teaching This Fall

As a teacher, you spend all year preparing to pass on knowledge to your students, but the all-too-short summer months are the perfect opportunity to invigorate your own love of learning. Here are 8 summer trips you can take in order to learn a new skill, engage with other learners and creators, and indulge your inner student.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey – Summit, NJ

Summer camp isn’t just for kids. At the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, you can choose from a wide variety of arts classes, ranging from stained glass and ceramics to silk painting and digital photography. Set aside a single day for a class, or enroll in a program that meets weekly. The center also offers a program called “Sip and Sample,” in which groups are introduced to a variety of mediums while drinking wine. Most classes meet from mid-July to August, and there is no late registration fee!

Website: http://www.artcenternj.org

Batsto Village – Burlington County, NJ

History buff? Check out Batsto Village, a New Jersey historical site in the Wharton State Forest. Engage with two centuries of American history in the scenic Pinelands. Walk through the village streets and look inside restored buildings. You will feel as if you were brought back in time as you pass the Gristmill, Sawmill, Post Office, and old General Store.

Website http://www.batstovillage.org/

Cooking Classes at Heirloom Kitchen – Old Bridge, NJ

Want to improve your cooking skills? Just really love pasta? Learn something new at Heirloom Kitchen, which offers cooking classes all summer long. Enroll in the popular “Date Night Pasta” to learn three different classic Italian dishes, improve your BBQ technique with the “Grill Class,” or take Chef David Viana’s “Boot Camp.” Heirloom’s cooking classes are all hands-on events that end with great meals.

Website: https://heirloomkitchen.com/cooking-classes/

New Jersey’s Women’s Heritage Trail

The accomplishments and contributions of women in our state, too often omitted from American history, are brought to life through the NJ Women’s Heritage Trail. New Jersey Women’s History has catalogued various landmarks and categorized them by groups such as Domestic Life, Government, Arts & Culture, and Education, as well as by county. No matter where you are in New Jersey, you can plan a road trip to some of these historic sites.

Website: http://www.njwomenshistory.org/nj-womens-heritage-trail/

Plainsboro Preserve – Cranberry, NJ

Managed by the New Jersey Audubon Society, the Plainsboro Preserve boasts a Nature Center, reference library, live animals, and a variety of trails. Walk along the beech woods, wet meadows, shoreline of the McCormack Lack, or the floodplain of Devil’s Brook for some bird watching. The preserve is home to more that 150 species of birds during the year.

Website: http://www.njaudubon.org/sectioncenters/sectionplainsboro/introduction.aspx

NYC Poetry Festival – New York, NY

Make your way up to Governor’s Island for the 7th annual NYC Poetry festival. Over 250 poets from all five boroughs will gather to share their work. The festival, which will take place from July 29th to 30th, is an opportunity to meet poets, make connections, and get inspired by others’ work. With a multitude of vendors, open mic opportunities, workshops for teens, food trucks and hand-crafted beer, it’s worth the trip into the city.

Website: http://newyorkcitypoetryfestival.com/

Thomas Edison National Historical Park – West Orange, NJ

At the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, you can visit Edison’s laboratory and residency. The motion picture camera, sound recordings, newer phonographs, and countless other inventions were born out of the The West Orange laboratory. Get a chance to see the drafting room, library, music room, and photography room in Building 5, or take a tour through the chemistry lab and other historical buildings. You can even see the Black Maria, the very first film studio.

Website: https://www.nps.gov/edis/learn/historyculture/glenmont-collections.htm

Walt Whitman House – Camden, NJ

Built in 1848, the Walt Whitman House is where the famous “Poet of Democracy” completed his final collection of poetry and lived out his last years. The house has been restored, and now functions as an intimate museum, with photographs, original documents, and personal belongings that give visitors a glimpse into Whitman’s life.  

Website: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/historic/whitman/

Written by Megan West


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