Contact The State Museum
Mailing Address:
New Jersey State Museum
PO Box 530
Trenton, NJ 08625

Museum & Auditorium Galleries:
205 West State Street
Trenton, NJ

Tel: (609) 292-6464 (recorded message)
Email: Feedback@sos.state.nj.us
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Drop-In Family Activities

Adults and Families can drop in for special events and gallery activities that bring the collections to life. From storytime to gallery activity carts to big public events, there is always something new to discover at the New Jersey State Museum!

Ongoing

Look for Scavenger Hunts at the information desk upon arrival at the museum. We have many themes to choose from so your family can make a game out of visiting all of the galleries for clues! Look for in-gallery activities located throughout the museum including a Natural History Journal, making your own state seal, decorating a Paleolithic pot and much more!

Every Thursday

  • Colonial History
  • Dinosaurs
  • Animal Teeth
  • Art Cart
  • And More!

Join us for hands-on fun at our Museum Activity Cart every Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Cart themes and activities change often but always have fun, hands-on lessons related to the Museum’s collections. Cart activities are designed for families with children ages 5 and up. Call or email Terri Barlow to find out the theme of the week, 609-292- 1382 or warterrybarlow@sos.state.nj.us

Story Time

Join us monthly for a story and craft activity. Stories relate to current exhibits and collections and are always entertaining. Crafts are simple and a great way to remember the fun you had at the Museum! Story time is designed for families with children ages 4 and up. For more information contact Terri Barlow at 609-292-1382 or warterrybarlow@sos.state.nj.us

Special Events
August 30, 2014
The Wonderful World’s Fair
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Celebrate the wonder of World’s Fairs! Join the New Jersey State Museum for a family fun day. Explore our exciting new exhibit New Jersey on Display: World’s Fairs and the Garden State then grab an ice cream on the front lawn and stay for FREE hands-on crafts, workshops and activities that will explore the importance of World’s Fair inventions. Planetarium shows will run throughout the day at a reduced cost of $3.00/person. For more information, please call 609-292-6310 or 609-292-6464.
September 27, 2014
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!
12:00 pm, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm
Digging Dinosaurs workshop – Innovation Learning Center.
Explore Hadrosaurus foulkii and other NJ dinosaurs. Learn about being a Paleontologist while you dig for dino bones and see how they fit together. Learn about the different types of dinosaurs and when they lived in New Jersey. Make a dinosaur bone to take home!
Paint Me a Story
11:00 am, 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Fine Art Gallery & Lower Level Classroom
Art and storytelling go hand in hand, as visual literacy promotes both print literacy and language development. Young children learn to “read” objects and images long before they learn to read words. This open-ended workshop engages young children with art by giving them the opportunity to create and perform stories using pieces from American Perspectives, The Fine Art Collection. They will explore color, themes, and feelings in different settings, from a vibrant music lesson in the city to a quiet morning in the woods. In the second half of the program, each child will create their own artwork about one of the stories they told.
NANO Activity Cart
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Think small, no, REALLY small! Explore the world of Nano Technology and learn about how it is used in things we see every day. Materials can have different properties at the nano scale and nanoscience involves research to discover these new properties and behaviors. Participate in simple Nano experiments to learn more about this science.
Traditions of India
1:00 pm
Museum Auditorium
In keeping with the theme of Diversity, celebrating New Jersey’s 350th birthday we bring you a sample of one of the many cultural groups that make up the melting pot of the state; the home of Ellis Island.
Born in Hindu Temples more than 2,000 years ago, Indian dance is movement, mime, and music in equal measure. Adorned with beautiful costumes, jewelry, and makeup replicating a temple sculpture, Ramya Ramnarayan evokes the profound emotions and complex rhythmic patterns that bring this mystic view of the universe to life.
October 14, 2014
Earth Science Week
The New Jersey State Museum is proud to celebrate Earth Science Week. Every day this week we will be offering gallery talks, workshops and activity carts. Be sure to visit our new Innovation Lab to meet expert paleontologists and see them working on real fossils.
October 25, 2014
Halloween Spooktacular at the State Museum
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Celebrate Halloween with a day of fun activities at the museum. Get your FREE TerraCycle Trick-or-treat bags while supplies last! Visit the Riverview Court to make and take crafts inspired by New Jersey’s spooky history.

Join us in the auditorium at 1:00 for the FREE Mad Science Halloween show! Through a mixture of science and magic the children will see a paper spider turn into a ‘real-live’ spider. Hear the tales of Count Eggbert and Countess Eggberta as they battle the wicked witch. Watch as the wicked witch is melted right before your eyes!

The audience will find out how the seemingly sane Mr. Bernoulli helped the Mad Scientist float an eyeball in the air. Then, as a grand finale, the Mad Scientist will introduce the audience to the eerie world of Dry Ice, making bubbling potions and lots of fearsome fog. All will have an afternoon of gruesome goodness and fun!

Don’t forget to come in costume and sign up for our costume contest! The contest will be held immediately following the show in the Museum auditorium. Every child will have the opportunity to parade across the stage and show off their costume creations. Prizes will be awarded in 3 age categories. Plan to stay for a FREE Planetarium show at 3:00.
December 20, 2014 - Winter Wonderland
Snowflake
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Celebrate winter break and learn about how animals survive winter. Make your own snowflake as you learn about “Snowflake” Bentley’s scientific discoveries. These and more fun winter activities are scheduled throughout the day.
The Crabgrass Puppet Theater:
Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol
1:00 pm
Join us in the auditorium for a FREE show from The Crabgrass Puppet Theater: Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol, starring Mr. Punch as Scrooge! Outrageous holiday hilarity, full of ghosts, giggles, geese, and Tiny Tim, too! Beautifully crafted puppets tell the tale of the man who hated Christmas and put profits before people. Laughter abounds when Scrooge changes his tune from "Bah, Humbug!" to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as he finds the true holiday spirit.
December 26 - 31, 2014
Patriot’s Week
December 26 - 31
This annual commemoration of the Battle of Trenton engages the entire city in activities for young and old. The Museum will have a variety of colonial era programs and activities throughout the week. More details to come.