Family Friendly Excursions for Jersey City Families

Have you been eager to fill up your camera roll with family day trips now that things are slowly opening back up to the public? Summer might be over but sunny days are still around and Fall is a great time to get out. We’ve put together a list of safe, kid oriented, family friendly locations in and around New Jersey for day trips to take while it’s still bearable outside! Whether you’re looking for indoor or outdoor activities, something under 30 minutes or an hour or so away, you can find a family friendly excursion you and the kids can enjoy below.


Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center has recently reopened, starting this past Labor Day weekend, and includes many exhibits and activities for visitors. Many exhibits have been altered and some have been removed for visitor safety and to comply with health guidelines. LSC has implemented many low-touch and no-touch exhibits for kids to enjoy, experience and learn. Liberty Science Center houses the largest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, and a tornado-force wind simulator. LSC will open at 25% max capacity from the hours of 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm on Thursdays and Fridays and will remain closed Monday thru Wednesdays. Visitors are required to wear face masks at all times and practice social distancing. To visit Liberty Science Center, pre purchase your timed ticket here and a parking pass if you plan to drive to LSC. 


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The Bronx Zoo

For four months The Bronx Zoo was empty of its usual human visitors and became a ground strictly for animals and caretakers. While many other businesses shuttered their windows and closed their doors, The Bronx Zoo employees were tasked with continually caring for and watching the animals in the months while quarantine was still in effect. This all changed back in June when the zoo reopened. While there may be less visitors than normal, expect to see a few extra sea lion pups and a bison calf – many animals gave birth at the zoo during the pandemic. All visitors are required to purchase a timed ticket in advance and are required to maintain social distance and wear masks at all times in the 256-acre zoo. The Bronx Zoo is open from 10 am to 5 pm everyday. (1 hour away from Jersey City)


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RPM Raceway

RPM Raceway in Jersey City is reopened and taking bookings for events and offers something action packed and exhilarating for friends and family. RPM brings you the thrill of competitive racing in a safe and authentic environment with Italian-made go-karts on European-style tracks. The Jersey City location offers racing, an arcade, food and drinks, billiards, VR and simulators so there’s something to do for everyone. Click here and book an event with RPM today!


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Turtle Back Zoo & Treetop Adventure Course

Turtle Back Zoo, another zoo forced to close their doors during the pandemic, reopened in mid June. Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo was voted #1 Zoo in New Jersey with over 200 species representing animals from around the world. As one of the fastest growing zoos in the nation, Turtle Back found a way to engage with the public, every Tuesday and Thursday at 2 p.m., zookeepers within the facility go live on Facebook with a variety of animal shows for guests all over the country. The staff and animals missed having human visitors and are ready to get back into action. Turtle Back’s new procedures include required face masks and temperature checks. Visiting the zoo is by timed ticket only for now so the staff can control the capacity and make sure everyone maintains the proper distance from each other. Adjacent to Turtle Back Zoo is the Treetop Adventure Course, a world class aerial obstacle course with 30 unique challenge elements with an average run time of 1 to 1.5 hours for adults and 15 unique challenge elements with an average run time of 30 to 45 minutes for kids above the age of 6 Parents may choose to do the junior course with their kids if they wish. To check availability and tickets for the Treetop Adventure Course, visit their website here.  (½ hour away from Jersey City)


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Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Drive Thru

Unable to reopen the amusement park and restart normal operations under the current conditions, Six Flags has reimplemented their Safari Drive-Thru so that visitors can enjoy the sights, sounds (and smells) of our furry friends while being maintaining social distancing. Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Drive-Thru is a blast from the past, an exhibit that ran from 1972 till 2012. Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari is home to 1,200 exotic animals, and most roam freely on the 350-acre preserve. Any predators are housed in fenced-in areas, but fully visible from the paved path cars navigate during their visit. There are about five miles worth of roadway winding through the park, and with a 5mph speed limit, visitors can expect to spend over an hour inside the safari. All visitors are required to have a ticket reserved prior to visit, they can be purchased here. (1 hour away from Jersey City)

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Giraffes flock between cars moving through Six Flags Great Adventure Safari. Photo courtesy of Jersey Shore Reviews


Lakota Wolf Preserve 

If you enjoy the great outdoors and want to learn a little more about the animals native to this area of America, Lakota Wolf Preserve is a great campground to visit. You can participate in educational tours and witness wolves, foxes, and bobcats. They also offer photography sessions for the amateur and professional, ensuring you can capture the perfect National Geographic-esque shot. Seeing nature this up close and personal is truly an experience that everyone should see at least once, and lucky for us, it is just a quick drive away. Tour groups are currently limited to 50 people at this time and all tours require a prior registration. You can register from your tour of the Lakota Wolf Preserve here. (1 ½ hours away from Jersey City)


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The Adventure Aquarium

The Adventure Aquarium, located minutes from Philly in Camden, NJ, is a one-of-a-kind aquarium that houses 15,000 aquatic animals across 5 acres in 2 million gallons of water. The Adventure Aquarium is home to the only great hammerhead shark exhibit in the States and the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast. It is also the only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos and one of six facilities in the US to have Little Blue penguins. This is a great site for a family outing or a date or if you want to enjoy some sights on your own while practicing social distancing. The Adventure Aquarium requires prior reservations to be made for all visits, you can make a reservation here. (1 ½ hours away from Jersey City)


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Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Water Parks

Morey’s Piers Water Park is one of many seasonal businesses that is struggling this year. This time of year is usually busy business with locals, regulars and tourists alike absorbing the Morey Pier experience like how it has been for over 50 years but not this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some things have changed, Morey’s Piers is open for the season, with changes and precautions for both visitors and staff. Morey’s Piers is operating at 50% capacity, both on the piers and in the water park, and their newly installed gates will allow them to efficiently control the capacity onto the piers and allow for social distancing. Raging Waters and Mariner’s Pier are open daily and Surfside Pier is open evening hours. Ocean Oasis will be closed for the season. Visitors can buy tickets onsite or online here. You can check attraction date and time availability here. (2 ½ hours away from Jersey City)


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Ziplining at Mountain Creek

If you are looking to satisfy your sense of adventure, Ziplining at Mountain Creek is the fun-filled, thrilling tour is the one for you. Experience the best views of the tri-state area at exhilarating speeds as you travel along a series of ziplines. Gain a new perspective of the area as you trek and ride around the course with a friendly guide. All guests must be at least 60 pounds, 48 inches tall and under 270 pounds. Guests must remain at least 6 feet apart at all times, harnesses and trolleys will be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected after each use, face coverings will be required for all guests throughout their experience, and team Members and guests will be asked to sanitize their hands at each platform. In order to visit the Mountain Creek zipline, all visitors are required to book a ticket ahead of time online here. (1 ½ hours away from Jersey City)


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Jordan Mikhail
Author: Jordan Mikhail