Take the “dull” out of winter doldrums with New Jersey’s unique attractions.

  • New Jersey Museums

Haters of winter, stop hibernating and get going. You can find plenty of inside (read “warm and dry”) activities in New Jersey to love. Ready to make the short days of winter long on drama, history, romance and inspiration? Take a look at our seasonal guide to New Jersey’s historic and arts & culture attractions.

Weird history

We get it. You yawned through history class in high school. But the past comes alive in New Jersey’s unique history museums. The state honors everything from major Revolutionary War battles to minor footnotes in history. Walk through the one and only fluorescent Rainbow Tunnel at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, see a station on the Underground Railroad, view a poet’s memorabilia at the Walt Whitman House or spark your own “light bulb” moment in the laboratory of Thomas Edison. And here’s a factoid for trivia fans: America’s most prolific inventor also developed the motion picture camera, making New Jersey the birthplace of film.

Can you say Drumthwacket?

In celebration (or mourning) of the final season of Downton Abbey, visit some beautifully preserved estates and historic homes on this side of the pond. With its proximity to Manhattan, New Jersey has served as a playground for the wealthy. Step back into a more refined era and see what life was like before central heat and modern appliances. Among the state’s iconic homes are Princeton’s Greek Revival Drumthwacket, the official residence of New Jersey’s governors; Lambert Castle, the mansion of a Paterson silk magnate; Union’s Liberty Hall, a 23-acre National Historic site built by New Jersey’s first governor; and Ringwood Manor, a graceful country home for a succession of ironmasters.

The play’s the thing (and so is the concert and comedy show).

From classics to contemporary works on their way to becoming masterpieces, the performing arts in New Jersey run the gamut of form and genre. Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick and McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts in Princeton prove that you don’t have to go to Manhattan to see a world premiere or experience Tony Award–winning theater.

Whatever your taste in entertainment (tribute band, ukulele orchestra, Broadway musical or sing-along Muppet Movie), you’ll find plenty to pique your interest in New Jersey. The eclectic event calendars of these popular New Jersey venues offer everything from crooners to comedy legends: New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, the State Theatre in New Brunswick, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown and the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. Or check out the South Orange Performing Arts Center, which moves fans from folk music to jazz.

Inspired to create your own winter survival plan? Get some extra help. Order or download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.