One of the best parts of being a kid was going on field trips. It, at the very least, meant a day away from school. If you were lucky, you got no homework AND an awesome adventure. The specific field trips you went on depend on when and where in New Jersey you grew up, but the following locations are all popular field trip destinations that many will remember fondly. AND, they still can be fun for us as adults!
1. Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
Usually done in one trip, these national icons are located in Jersey waters. You may have enjoyed a picnic at Liberty State Park before taking the ferry, and I'm sure you checked for your family name on the wall. As an adult, you can appreciate the history of these places even more.
2. Liberty Science Center
This Jersey City spot was a kid favorite. Back when I was a youngster, the touch tunnel was a popular attraction, and much of the museum was hands-on. Children (and adults) love anything interactive, and the IMAX Theater offers fun for all ages. A special Titanic exhibit is open now, and is definitely a must-see.
3. The State Capitol
You may or may not have toured the rest of Trenton, but you probably stopped at the state capitol building. Construction started in 1792 and this is one of the oldest buildings in New Jersey. Guests of all ages can appreciate the architecture and history.
4. The Governor's Mansion
Though you may not have wandered around Trenton, you probably visited a few sites in Princeton after touring Drumthwacket. Perhaps you toured the famous university or took in some history at Princeton Battlefield?
5. Adventure Aquarium
On the Camden waterfront, this is one of New Jersey's most popular aquariums. If you were in elementary school after 1992, you probably stopped here.
6. USS New Jersey
First launched on December 7, 1942, this magnificent ship became a museum on October 15, 2001. It sits in the Delaware River near Camden, packed with history and adventure.
7. Wild West City
Bringing joy to children (and adults) continually since the 1960s, Wild West City offers old-fashioned fun. Recreating life out west in the 1880s, you can enjoy live shows, stagecoach rides, panning for gold, a petting zoo, and more. Head back as an adult and appreciate the authentic items from the 1880s including an extensive collection of Native American art. Located in Netcong.
8. Morristown National Historic Park
This national historic site in Morristown is home to several key spots including the Ford Mansion. Many New Jerseyans are well aware of Washington's winter stay here during the Revolutionary War.
9. Tuckerton Seaport
This 40-acre site in Tuckerton has so much to offer. It has only been around for 16 years, so if you missed this spot as a kid, I highly recommend you check it out now. Visitors can enjoy 17 historic and recreated buildings connected by a boardwalk, a maritime forest and wetlands nature trail, two houseboats, a decoy gallery, a working boatworks building, a historic marine railway (currently under reconstruction), decoy carving workshops and the recreated Tucker’s Island Lighthouse. Guests will love the live demonstrations and engaging events. This unique spots celebrates New Jersey's maritime heritage and is a must-visit for everyone in the state.
10. Space Farms
First opened in 1927, this quirky zoo and museum is most famous for being home to Goliath - the world's largest bear. Though he has sadly passed, you can still find him stuffed in the museum. You can also find a hodgepodge of truly unique items from antique cars to Indian artifacts and vintage rifles from the Revolutionary War.
11. Thomas Edison National Historic Park
This West Orange historic site may not have had the same name when you were a kid, but it's been an attraction for decades. This site contains both the Edison home and laboratory and park rangers offer tours regularly.
12. New Jersey State Museum
Established by the state of New Jersey in 1895, this museum has everything from art, to history, to science, and even a planetarium. Kids from all over the state have taken a trip to Trenton to visit this museum, and adults will definitely enjoy the varied exhibits.
13. Sandy Hook Lighthouse
Built in 1764, this is the oldest working lighthouse in the United States. Managed by the National Park Service, rangers offer free tours every half hour from 1:00 until 4:30.
14. Red Mill Museum
A working mill from 1810 - 1928, this Clinton attraction has been open since 1963. The museum has grown significantly since then, and is now part of a larger historic site.
15. Barclay Farmstead Museum
Free to residents of Cherry Hill, this museum celebrates New Jersey's agricultural heritage. Open since the 1970s, this museum offers public tours and a unique living history educational program.
16. Grover Cleveland Birthplace
This Caldwell historic site is kind of a big deal, being that Grover Cleveland was the only president born in New Jersey.
17. Sterling Hill Mining Museum
A working mine until 1986, it became a museum in 1989. It was the last active mine in New Jersey. Located in Ogdensburg, you can still tour the mine and enjoy the fluorescent rainbow tunnel.
18. Popcorn Park Animal Refuge
Established in 1977, this Forked River refuge is the coolest zoo in New Jersey. It houses sick, elderly, abandoned , abused, and injured animals that can no longer survive in their natural habitats. You'll feel good about visiting, get up close with wild animals, and even get to feed a few!
How many of these spots have you visited? What was your favorite New Jersey field trip?