Rainy Day Summer Fun in NJ’s Regions
Are gray skies putting a damper on your outdoor plans? Turn those rainy day blues into a rainbow of great family memories. You'll find plenty of fun indoor attractions and "edutainment" throughout New Jersey's six distinctive regions. Download and print this map infographic to help you weather any forecast this summer.
When it's hot and humid, do you dream of winter sports and sweater weather? Grab a cardigan and head over to Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, where you can glide around the indoor ice rink year-round. If the weather is keeping you from going to the boardwalk, check out The Funplex in East Hanover, an indoor boardwalk with bumper cars, amusement rides, an arcade and futuristic FunTron Laser Tag. And when the kids are complaining there's nothing new under the sun, show them something old on a rainy day. At Madison's Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, you'll experience what life was like for New Jerseyans 200 years ago. Part of the museum's allure is its location in the James Library, a stunning Romanesque Revival building.
Whatever the weather, Liberty Science Center in Jersey City is a great family outing. See what's playing at the world's largest IMAX Dome Theater, or "blow up" some urban legends at the Northeast premiere of "MythBusters: the Explosive Exhibition," based on the TV show. For more hands-on inside action with an artistic slant, sign up for a class or workshop at Newark's GlassRoots Studio. Or head over to Montclair to take part in a unique interactive group experience with your friends and family. Use your collective knowledge to find clues, decipher codes and solve the puzzles that will ultimately lead you to the key to escape at Adventure Rooms.
Forget windmills and wishing wells. Monster Mini Golf in Eatontown reimagines the popular summer attraction with an indoor glow-in-the-dark course featuring a cool soundtrack and animated monsters at every twist and turn. For more rainy day fun, check out iPlay America in Freehold, which has everything from Whac-a-Mole and go-karts to a high ropes course and live concerts. And if your family's Jersey Shore vacation is near Lavallette, plan a visit to The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe. Enjoy a vaudeville-style Broadway revue with your Stars & Stripes Sundae for a night out that's indoors.
Primed for Discovery Channel's "Shark Week"? See the real deal at Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront, which boasts the East Coast's largest shark collection, not to mention the nation's only great hammerhead shark. Don't let the weather ditch your plans for the water park either. Go to Sahara Sam's Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Water Park in West Berlin, and challenge your companions to a race on Tut's Twisters, dual headfirst mat racing slides. For the younger set (infant to aged 10), the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill will mesmerize with interactive displays like Bubble Trouble, the Tree House and the Silver Diner, where pint-sized chefs can cook up some diner classics.
Greater Atlantic City
When raindrops start falling on your head, duck into the bizarre world of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and see shrunken heads, a roulette table made of over 14,000 jellybeans and other oddities. Continue your AC Boardwalk adventures by viewing Great White Shark 3D at the IMAX Theatre at Tropicana, which premieres May 27 and runs through the end of the year. Too wild for your little ones? An outing to the Jersey Shore Children's Museum in Mays Landing is a sure (and safe) bet for interactive playtime.
It's not technically "indoors," but you'll be sheltered from the elements in your own vehicle at Vineland's Delsea Drive-In Theatre, New Jersey's only drive-in. The Delsea combines a 1950s vibe with modern tech, first-run films and healthier food choices like edamame with sea salt. (Don't worry: you can still get chili fries, too!) For another dose of nostalgia, visit the National Marbles Hall of Fame in Wildwood to see memorabilia that honors the victors of the annual tournament. Or you can dodge the raindrops on the Ocean City Boardwalk at Haunted Golf, which combines indoor mini golf with spooky "PG-rated" surprises.