Three New Jersey family outings to cool off your summer.


It’s a hot midsummer day. You’ve taken the kids to see all of the summer family films, they’re bored with the pool and the first day of school is still weeks away. Now what? Thank goodness, New Jersey is ready with fun, family-friendly attractions that will cool you off and create those happy summer memories your children will always remember. Of course, spending a day at one of New Jersey’s beaches, amusement parks or water parks is a no-brainer, but here are three more outings to refresh your summer outlook.

Outing 1: Down a lazy river without a paddle

For a refreshing, affordable activity that children, tweens, teens and parents will enjoy with equal enthusiasm, try river tubing. You don’t need any special skills or fancy equipment—plus river tubing is “old school” fun that is sure to bring out everyone’s inner Huckleberry Finn! At Delaware River Tubing in Frenchtown, you’ll float along for three or four hours, stopping along the way for lunch (included in admission) at The Famous River Hot Dog Man. Be sure to watch for heron, eagles and other wildlife. You can also add river tubing to your camping getaway at Delaware River Family Campground in the scenic Delaware Water Gap and Winding River Campground in May’s Landing, where you can explore the pristine Egg Harbor River via tube, kayak or canoe.

Outing 2: Discover a wondrous sea world…or make it a real Shark Week

Looking for a less wet and more wild outing on the Delaware River? Take a trip to Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront. Featuring over 8,500 animals, including the East Coast’s largest collection of sharks and the world’s only hippo display in an aquarium, Adventure Aquarium will immerse your family with interactive up-close experiences. Whether your speed is the playful antics of the penguins or you have a teenager who counts down the days to Shark Week, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Get face-to-face with Button and Genny, the Aquarium’s pair of 3,000+ pound hippos, or check out the only great hammerhead shark on display in the U.S.!

Here’s a tip for visiting Adventure Aquarium during the busy summer season: buy your tickets online, print them at home and bypass the ticket line. Increase the fun (and save some money, too) by ordering up the “Fish & Ship Combo,” a multi-attraction package that combines the Aquarium with a visit to the Battleship New Jersey, also located on the Camden Waterfront. Pair big fish and the nation’s largest and most decorated battleship, and you have a super-sized family outing!

Outing 3: Chart a course for whales and dolphins

What kind of school will your kids be thrilled to see this summer? Did you say a school of whales or dolphins? You don’t need to travel far to see these amazing creatures before real school starts. Head to Cape May, where the unique confluence of fresh water from the Delaware Bay and saltwater of the Atlantic provides a playground for whales and dolphins. For an unforgettable offshore experience for your family, check into excursions offered by Cape May Whale Watcher and Cape May Whale Watch & Research Center, as well as dolphin-watching speedboat cruises in Wildwood offered by Thunder Cat Dolphin Watch and Silver Bullet Tours. The kids will never suspect it’s educational!

With these fun family outings planned, you can coast (or float) your way to September! For more family fun ideas, go to, where you can download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.