The Best Cure For Cabin Fever
Trenton, NJ—The winter season offer visitors a new look at New Jersey, from frosty outdoor adventures to cozy retreats from the elements. Thrill-seeking sports enthusiasts will find an abundance of outdoor destinations while warm, welcoming indoor activities keep residents and visitors entertained in the Garden State as well.
“Winter launches a whole new season of exciting destinations and activities in New Jersey,” said New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells. “With just a little planning, visitors can find something for every level of entertainment from outdoor downhill activities to a vast array of historic museums and theatre to enjoy indoors.”
From the slopes to the trails:
Within easy driving distance from many parts of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, New Jersey’s ski resorts are the perfect destination for skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and snowshoeing. New Jersey’s bountiful trails provide an exhilarating outdoor adventure. Plentiful lodging from laid-back to luxurious allows families to plan the right-sized winter escape.
When planning a ski trip in New Jersey, Mountain Creek (www.mountaincreek.com) in Vernon is just the ticket. With a full range of skiing and snowboarding options – 46 trails, 11 lifts, and five giant terrain parks spanning four soaring mountain peaks – Mountain Creek will keep outdoor sports buffs thoroughly challenged. Home to the region’s only Superpipe, Mountain Creek offers world-class snowboarding yet features a family-friendly mix of comfortable lodging, accessible trails and reasonable lift ticket rates.
For a cozy night in after a day out in the cold, there are several lodging options in the resort area. The picturesque Kittatinny and Hamburg Mountains of northwestern NJ frame the setting of Grand Cascades Lodge (www.grandcascadeslodge.com). Unsurpassed amenities include the revitalizing Reflections Spa and the unique Biosphere swim complex in a lush tropical setting. The Appalachian at Mountain Creek (www.mountaincreek.com) in Vernon offers skiers a chance to ski right up to the room.
Hold on tight as you bounce down the mountain when snow tubing at Hidden Valley (www.hiddenvalleynj.com) in Vernon and Campgaw Mountain (www.skicampgaw.com) in Mahwah. While in the Mahwah area, lodges like the Courtyard by Marriott (www.marriott.com) can help families put together a budget-friendly ski vacation.
For a different twist on outdoor sports try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or ice-skating at the High Point Cross Country Ski Center (www.xcskihighpoint.com), and observe the monument which marks the highest point in the state at High Point State Park. The center also offers a playground of lakes, forest trails, wildlife and groomed trails. Seasonal snowmaking, lessons and equipment rentals add to the convenience of this scenic winter wonderland escape. Couples or families wanting to relax after an invigorating adventure through the countryside can unwind at the 15-room High Point Country Inn (www.highpointcountryinn.com) in nearby Wantage.
After a thrilling experience on the slopes, lace your skates for some figure eights or play hockey at the Mennen Arena in Morris County. The Ice House (www.icehousenj.com) in Hackensack, the largest facility of its kind in the tri-state area, features four regulation-size NHL rinks and a full-service food court.
The Ice Vault in Wayne (www.icevault.com) and Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain (www.essexskatingclub.org) round out the facilities in the state.
It’s Cold Outside! Enjoy an Indoor Respite from the Chill:
Fun-seekers tired of bundling up can head to one of New Jersey’s new indoor water parks: Coco Key Water Resort (www.cocokeywaterresort.com) in Mount Laurel and opening in March, Sahara Sam’s Oasis (www.saharasams.com) in Berlin Township. These South Jersey facilities are just the ticket for a bit of summer fun in the midst of a cold winter – ideal for school breaks or a midwinter weekend escape from the house.
Seek cover from the cold inside the historic walls of one of the nation's first state museums founded with an educational mission, the New Jersey State Museum (www.newjerseystatemuseum.org) offers an exciting range of eclectic exhibitions, family-friendly programs and events. New Jersey’s largest museum, The Newark Museum (www.newarkmuseum.org), invites visitors to go on an inspirational journey through 80 galleries of world-class collections including American, Asian, African and Classical.
Named one of the top ten Science Centers for families in the nation, according to Parents Magazine, the Liberty Science Center (www.lsc.org) is an interactive, spectacular science museum and learning center located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The WheatonArts and Cultural Center (www.wheatonarts.org) in Millville is another cultural treasure, home to The Museum of American Glass and allows visitors to observe an artist employing century-old techniques to create colorful works of art from hot molten glass.
New Jersey’s captivating performances of musical and theatrical companies offer a warm hiatus from the cold. New Brunswick takes center stage when it comes to arts and culture and is a microcosm of the state’s larger diversity. Home to several top-notch facilities, The Crossroads Theatre Company (www.crossroadstheatrecompany.org), The George Street Playhouse (www.gsponline.org), and The State Theatre (www.statetheatrenj.org) offer world-class performances night after night. In nearby Red Bank, the Count Basie Theatre (www.countbasietheatre.org) and the Two River Theatre Company (www.trtc.org) are cultural landmarks. A full listing of New Jersey’s performing arts theatres can be found at www.visitnj.org.
Keep warm this winter after a hearty meal at one of New Jersey’s restaurants. Check out Atlantic City Restaurant Week (www.acrestaurantweek.com), March 1-7, for special fixed price lunches and dinners and a smorgasbord of cuisines to explore – from Asian to Italian and sushi to steak. In South Jersey, grab a table near the fireplace at The Mad Batter (www.madbatter.com) along Cape May’s historic Jackson Street for a Jersey Shore escape. In the northern part of the state, the Long Valley Pub & Brewery (www.longvalleypubandbrewery.com) offers enticing “comfort food” and pub food with a twist, such as a Ploughman’s Platter with Roasted Garlic Hummus and an array of handcrafted ales.
If “brewpub” sounds like an interesting way to duck out of the cold, visitors will find that New Jersey is home to a growing number of craft breweries. Take a brewery tour and learn what differentiates a “porter” from a “pale ale” at Flying Fish (www.flyingfish.com) in Cherry Hill, one of the state’s largest craft breweries. River Horse Brewing Company (www.riverhorse.com) in scenic Lambertville is open for tours and sampling seven days a week. The Ship Inn (www.shipinn.com) in Milford was the first brewery in New Jersey to brew beer for consumption on-site since the days of Prohibition, is another wonderful venue to enjoy.
For more information on these New Jersey winter activities and destinations, assistance when planning a New Jersey vacation, including additional itinerary ideas, accommodations and free brochures, go to www.visitnj.org.