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Department of State

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

Back to School Outings in the Garden State

TRENTON, NJ (September 21, 2012) – The post-summer routine for families with school-age children may signal the end of a season, but it doesn’t mean the fun has to end, too. Before summer’s playful mood becomes a distant memory, enjoy more of the Garden State’s activities well into the fall.


Take advantage of back to school and fall shopping promotions. The Garden State’s many shopping venues and no retail sales tax on clothing and shoes can make for a fun day trip.

The Outlet Collection | Jersey Gardens, a 1.3 million square-foot outlet and discount mall in Elizabeth, offers a variety of goods and apparel. Your child can become a member of Planet Kids and receive a newsletter full of fun and games, receive invitations to mall events, and be eligible for discounts and special offers at their favorite mall stores.

Liberty Premium Outlets in Flemington and the Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson are quaint shopping centers that appeal to any visitor. Kids will be attracted to brand name outlets like Tommy Hilfiger and Timberland that offer the most current fashions.

If you're seeking variety, Princeton's Market Fair or the Cherry Hill Mall, which has 130 specialty shops and three major department stores. Both offer a Shangri-La of shopping choices for your little shopper.

Historic Sites, Museums & Educational Facilities

Allow your children to discover the world of history and geography by visiting Liberty State Park and Ellis Island. While visiting Ellis Island stop at the American Family Immigration History Center, a research facility that provides visitors with advanced computer and multimedia technology, printed materials, and professional assistance for investigating immigration history, family documentation, and genealogical exploration.

The Newark Museum has programs that children and adults can enjoy together. The Junior Museum offers programs that provide exciting opportunities for children ages 3 through 16. Nature’s secrets are revealed at the museum’s Dynamic Earth Exhibit and at the Dreyfuss Planetarium where the solar system is the main attraction.

On Camden’s waterfront is The Battleship New Jersey, an 887-foot long, 45,000-ton vessel that will captivate children. Youngsters can look inside the ship’s tower and visit the captain and admiral’s cabins among other things.

For children 10 and under, the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill offers 15 interactive exhibits. The museum has won national recognition for its creativity. In September, participate in the museum’s fall harvest festival, attend the Monarch Butterfly release or pumpkin palooza.

New in 2012, Tuckerton Seaport presents three scary nights of fun! From October 25 – 27, visitors can experience the “Haunted Seaport” with activities for adults and children. Stroll through the haunted Tucker’s Island Lighthouse, enjoy hayrides, mazes, food, refreshments, entertainment and pumpkin patch for the little ones. Fun for the whole family!

Children will gain an appreciation for Garden State agriculture by visiting the Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville, a facility that preserves and interprets farming life and processes from the era of 1890-1910. In Morris County, Fosterfields is a working farm, using the tools, techniques and materials of a turn-of-the-century farm.

At the Historic Village at Allaire, experience life in a 19th century bog iron producing community. Blacksmiths, carpenters and tinsmiths, all dressed in period garb will be at work at this landmark area. Young visitors can learn what life was like for children during this time period. Imagine looking into more than 100 varieties of fish and marine life! The Ocean Life Center in Atlantic City offers the opportunity in a fun and educational atmosphere. The 750-gallon Touch Tank allows visitors to handle horseshoes, hermit and spider crabs, sea urchins, seastars, common periwinkle, channel and knobbed whelk, horse and blue mussels, and common shore shrimp.

Visit the wetlands in North Jersey or take a short hike through bird habitats at the Meadowlands Environmental Center in Secaucus where nature and science become one.

Beaches & Boardwalks

A day at the shore remains an invigorating activity. Many of the eateries that make New Jersey‘s boardwalks famous remain open through early fall. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Amusements offers a host of activities including a family amusement park, miniature golf and a fun house. After Labor Day, most attractions at Jenkinson’s will be open on the weekends, weather permitting. The arcades and Aquarium are open daily year-round.

To the south of Point Pleasant Beach is the Seaside Heights boardwalk, featuring the Casino and Funtown piers amusement parks. The mile-long boardwalk here is one of the busiest at the Shore, thanks to two amusement piers, a water park, wall-to-wall arcades, souvenir shops, and informal dining like the Saw Mill Cafe – think pizza, sausage sandwiches and clams on the half shell.

Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterparks in Wildwood offer three family-fun piers, which include over 100 rides and attractions. Morey’s Piers will be open after Labor Day with hours of operation through the end of September


Everyone in the family will enjoy the Adventure Aquarium in Camden showcasing more than 4,000 fish representing about 500 species. The Camden Children’s Garden adjoins the aquarium and is a four-acre interactive horticulture playground.

Six Flags Great Adventure Wild Safari and Hurricane Harbor in Jackson is another spectacular amusement venue. If you are looking for excitement, try to conquer Kingda Ka the tallest, fastest roller coaster on earth!

Traveling back in time can be fun and educational at Wildwest City in Netcong where continuous live action shows bring the Old West to life, in an 1880’s setting.

Check out and search through the State’s tourism website for a full calendar of events, find valuable travel deals, festivals and happenings around the Garden State


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