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NJ Childrens Museums, Aquariums, Art, Science Museums in NJ

blue star museums
Over 2,000 art centers, museums and exhibits nationwide offer free entrance for active duty, National Guard and Reserve military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Find participating museums online.

Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Dr. (NJ Turnpike exit 4), Camden, NJ 08103, 856-365-3300. Daily 10-5. Adults $26.95, ages 2-12 $19.95, under 2 free. 4D Theater $3 (riders must be at least 36" tall and at least 5 yrs. old). Advance tickets available online.
     Aquarium exhibits include Hippo Haven, an immersion into life on an African River with hippos, crested porcupine and other animals; Caribbean Currents reef exhibits; shark exhibit with a 40-foot long walk-through tunnel and rope bridge; penguin island; 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit; Stingray Beach Club, touch exhibits featuring jellyfish, lobsters, sharks, spider crabs, stingrays and other sea creatures; and interactive KidZone designed for ages 6 and under. Shows and feedings daily, live entertainment. Group and scout programs; sleepovers; homeschool and scout discount days; summer Sea Camp.
Ongoing
     
Aquarium Adventures, hands-on behind-the-scenes aquarium experiences include swim with the sharks, up-close encounters with penguins, hippos or sea turtles. Call 800-616-5297 for reservations and information.
     Waterfront Connection links Adventure Aquarium and Battleship New Jersey on the Camden waterfront with Philadelphia's Penn Landing. Riverlink Ferry offers daily service May-Sept. An inexpensive connection to Philadelphia historic and cultural attractions is offered on the purple Phlash Trolley for $2.

Aljira
591 Broad St., Newark, 973-622-1600. Wed.-Fri. 12-6, Sat. 11-4. Contemporary visual arts center promotes the work of emerging artists.

The Center for Contemporary Art
2020 Burnt Mills Rd., Bedminster, 908-234-2345. Mon.-Sat. including evening hours. Open to the public free. Housed in an historic c. 1912 former schoolhouse, the Center presents exhibitions of contemporary art by emerging, mid-career and under-represented artists as well as its members. Studio classes for children, teens and adults; summer art camps; birthday parties; lectures; and community outreach programs are offered.

Franklin Mineral Museum
32 Evans St., Franklin, Sussex County, 973-827-3481. Open daily April-Nov. Admission fee. Educational and hands-on fun! Great for kids of all ages! Learn all about fluorescent rocks and minerals found in New Jersey's "Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World," view thousands of minerals and go collect your own. Put your hand into a dinosaur's footprint and tour through a two-story mine replica. Go prospecting for fossils and gem pan for gemstones. Groups accommodated. Guided tours offered.

Garden State Discovery Museum
2040 Springdale Rd. (Exit 4 NJ Turnpike), Cherry Hill, 856-424-1233. Mon.-Sun. 9:30-5:30, open Sat. to 8:30 Oct.-April. Open Mon.-Thurs. until 8:30pm during July and Aug. ($5 after 5pm). Admission $13.95, srs. $12.95, under 12 months free. Hands-on museum for infants to 10 yr. olds offers 20 larger-than-life interactive exhibit areas with special activities and performances most weekends. Workshops; parties; teacher workshops; outreach programs; museum store; snack area.
Ongoing
         Open Arms Family Evenings, after hours open play and discovery for families with children on the autism spectrum.

Grounds for Sculpture
18 Fairgrounds Rd., Hamilton, 609-586-0616. Tues.-Sun. 10-6. Memorial Day-Labor Day: extended hours Fri.-Sat. until 9pm. Online: Adults $16, srs. $13, ages 6-17 $10, 5 and under free. Timed tickets are required. Purchase online; only a limited number of timed tickets are available per hour on site.
     A 35-acre sculpture park and museum on the site of the former New Jersey State Fairgrounds exhibits the works of emerging and well-known artists. Over 270 contemporary sculptures can be found throughout the natural landscaped grounds and gardens. Children must be supervised by an adult, but the park is very family-friendly and sculptures marked with a green tag are touchable. Workshops for adults, children, families and private groups; gallery talks; poetry readings; book club; cooking classes; dining events; concerts and special events are scheduled throughout the year. School tours, group tours and Touch Tours for visually impaired by appointment. Gazebo Cafe (open seasonally), The Van Gogh Cafe, Peacock Cafe and Rat's, a full-service gourmet restaurant, are on-site for dining. Reservations suggested at Rat's, 609-584-7800. Outside food is not permitted; picnics can be pre-ordered, 609-890-6015.
Apr- Oct
         Free Walk-in Tours, sign up in the Visitor's Center upon arrival.
Ongoing
         GFS Event Guide Online, register for art and photography workshops, artist and wellness walks and talks, programs for kids and families, and special events inspired by the season's exhibitions. 609-586-0616 x243.
Sat
         Tots on Tour, storytelling and art for ages 3-5 with one adult 11am and 1pm on select Saturdays per month. No reservations, first come-first served. Free with park admission.
Selected Family Events
Visit website link online for adult art and photography workshops, artist talks, signature tours and dinner at Rat's Restaurant, garden lectures, book club, wellness walks, food and wine tastings, special events and professional development programs.

Hunterdon Art Museum
7 Lower Center St., Clinton, 908-735-8415. Tues.-Sun. 11-5. Suggested admission $5, ages 12 and under free. Gallery and exhibitions of contemporary art in a 19th century gristmill on the Raritan River. Exhibition-inspired workshops, events and studio classes are offered for adults, children and families seasonally; summer art camp; birthday parties; docent-led tours; scout programs.
Open
         Artzone, child-friendly space on third floor is open for hands-on art projects, free.
Jun-Aug
         Summer Art Camp.

Imagine That!!! Discovery Museum for Children
4 Vreeland Rd., Florham Park, 973-966-8000; Monmouth County, 732-706-9000. Tues.-Fri. 10-4:30, Sat. & Sun. 10-5:30, closed Mondays. Adult $9.95, child $10.95. Under one year no charge. A hands-on discovery museum for children ages toddler through 10. Over 50 exhibits, including an authentic plane and fire truck, shadow play, pirate ship, arts and crafts, dance studio, music room, science room, multi-cultural area, grocery store, diner, pet vet area and much more! Theme birthday parties and field trips available year round. Pick up a free print Kids Guide and use discount coupon on page 199 or print from the online coupon page.

InfoAge Science Learning Center
2201 Marconi Rd., Wall, NJ 07719, 732-280-3000. Wed., Sat. & Sun. 1-5pm. $5 ages 6 to adult. Located at the old Camp Evans base and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Science Museum and its member groups strive to preserve the history of the site and honor the communication pioneers of wireless, WWI, WWII, space exploration and the cold war through displays and hands-on exhibits.

Insectropolis, The Bugseum of New Jersey
1761 Lakewood Rd. (Rt. 9), Toms River, 732-349-7090. Tues.-Sat. 10-3. Closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1. Admission $8, ages 2 & under free. The Koerner family, owners of Ozane Termite and Pest Control, have created a unique, interactive bug museum housing thousands of pinned specimens from around the world and hundreds of live specimens. Visitors can interact with touch-screen computer games, hands-on exhibits and view exotic specimens in themed display areas. Bug store; birthday parties; overnights for scouts; group tours by appointment; Bugs on the Go outreach.
Ongoing
      Touch Presentations
Tues.-Fri. 12:30 & 2pm; Sat. every hour, last one at 2pm.
      Night Crawl, overnight for scouts ages 7-12.
      Scout BugOut, open 4-6pm on the third Wed. of the month Oct.-May for scouts to work toward badges. Reservations required.
     Jun TBA
      Annual Bugfest,
cockroach races, facepainting, scavenger hunts, special guests. All proceeds benefit Rotary's scholarship fund. 10-3.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium
300 Ocean Ave., (exit 98GSP), Point Pleasant Beach, 732-892-0600. Mon.-Fri. 9:30-5, Sat. & Sun. 10-5. Summer hours: Daily 10-10 (school and camp groups visit Mon.-Fri. 9:30-2). Adults $12, srs. and ages 3-12 $7, 2 and under free. Small aquarium on the boardwalk features tropical fish, alligators, penguins, seals, sharks, rays and touch tank. Outreach programs; family workshops; behind-the-scenes tours; Junior Keepers program; birthday parties.
Summer
      Activities include beach walks, Aquarium Explorers Camp, Junior Keepers, more.

Jersey Shore Children's Museum
Hamilton Mall (upper level near Sears), 4403 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, 609-641-5726. Mon.-Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-6. Non-profit hands-on discovery center, developed by two local teachers with the state's science core curriculum standards in mind, features a space station, shipping port, bank, country store, dino dig, medical center, weather station, Lego building, Tot Lot, and more. Activities scheduled daily.

Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum
Ewing Senior & Community Center, 999 Lower Ferry Rd., Ewing, NJ, 609-771-0300. Open to groups only, by appointment. Docent-led small group discussions and interactive exhibits focus on anti-bullying and anti-cyberbullying, diversity appreciation and tolerance. Pre- and post-curriculum materials available. In-school and field trip programs available pre-K-middle school. Volunteers always needed.
Jun
          Annual Kidsbridge Walk2Stop Bullying.

Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd. (Exit 14C or 14B NJ Turnpike), Liberty State Park, Jersey City, 201-200-1000. Fall-spring: Tues.-Fri. 9-4, Sat.-Sun. 9-5:30. Summer: Mon.-Fri. 9-4, Sat.-Sun. 9-5:30. General admission: Adults $21.75; ages 2-12 $17.75; srs. $18.75; teachers $11.75; under 2 free. Combination tickets available for premium exhibition, IMAX Dome and 3-D Theater. Member discounts.
     Interactive science and technology exhibitions include Skyscraper! featuring artifacts from the World Trade Center; Eat & Be Eaten where live animals are used to explore how they catch prey and avoid being caught; Infection Connection helps visitors understand germs, viruses, parasites and other life forms; Our Hudson Home explores the Hudson River; Energy Quest takes visitors on a journey through the major sources of earth's energy; Honey Bees exhibit features a working hive to view up close; the Touch Tunnel, navigate a pitch-black maze; and I Explore, an age-restricted exploration area for children 2-5 yrs. old and their caregivers. Other interactive experiences include a rock climbing wall and seasonal outdoor obstacle course. Live science demonstrations are scheduled daily with additional special events on weekends. Student programs include traveling science show for schools; after-hours enrichment at schools; scout programs; birthday parties; summer camps; overnight group camp-ins (recommended for grades 1-8); college internships.
Ongoing
         Activities for Families with Young Learners, include I Explore exhibition for ages 2-5; We Explore science demonstrations and hands-on activities; kids' cinema; and story time.
        Give Me Liberty! Combo Pass available at ticket office. Visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Liberty Science Center for $25 adults, $15 children, good for seven days from date of purchase.
3rd Thurs
         Space Cantina: LSC After Dark, cocktails, food, music, dancing, laser shows for guests 21 and over on the 3rd Thurs. of the month.
Jul-Aug
         Science Camps, for grades 4-9. Young Learner Camp for grades K-1 with adult.
Selected Special Exhibitions
Open
      Infinity Chamber, climb, crawl and leap up to 35 ft. above the floor, open to adventurers 42 in. and taller.
     Action Zone, sports simulator.

Monmouth Museum
On the Brookdale Community College Campus (GSP exit 109 to Newman Springs Rd. to Parking Lot #1), Newman Springs Rd., Lincroft, 732-747-2266. Tues.-Sat. 10-5; Fri. 10-9; Sun. 12-5. Admission $8, under 2 free.
     The Becker Children's Wing features changing exhibitions that offer interactive learning experiences geared to elementary school age children. Call ahead for hours for Wonder Wing, a creative play environment with an undersea theme for children 6 and under. Group tours; birthday parties; Travelling Trunks rental program, 732-224-1992.
Ongoing
          MMKids Weekly Children's Programs, for toddlers to school-age children, include hands-on art, science, math and history programs, planetarium shows, preschool story times and crafts, family movie nights and special events. Check website for the day's programs and times.
Becker Children's Wing Exhibition
Designed for ages 7-12 and families. Tues.-Thurs. 2-5, Fri. 2-9, Sat. 10-5, Sun. 12-5, call ahead to confirm. StarLab Shows: Twinkle Tots program Fri. at 2; shows Sat.-Sun. at 1:30 and 3. Birthday parties; group sleepovers; group tours available.
Ongoing
     
Ancients to Astronauts: How We Communicate, includes hands-on, interactive displays and activities on different topics: Changing Climate: Changing Weather; Ancient Egypt; Explore Space includes StarLab Planetarium; and Green Arts Studio features craft activities.

Montclair Art Museum
3 South Mountain Ave., Montclair, 973-746-5555. Wed.-Sun. 12-5pm. Adults $12, srs./students with ID $10, members and under 12 free. Admis­sion is free 5-9pm the first Thursday Oct.-June and the first Friday 12-5pm. Strollers permitted.
     Permanent collection dedicated solely to American and Native American art encompasses painting, works on paper, photography, and sculpture by American artists from the 18th-century to the present, as well as traditional and contemporary Native American art. Studio art classes for adults and children (973-259-5139), teacher training workshops, gallery talks and tours, summer art camp, special family events, birthday parties.
     Register for programs online, in The Store at MAM or by calling 973-259-5137.
Ongoing
        
Cell Phone Audio Tours; Family Gallery Guides.
         MAM Family Learning Lab, drop in for self-guided family art activities on the 3rd floor.
         Yard School of Art, year round classes for adults, children and teens.
2nd Wed
         MAM Park Bench, 9:30-11:30am on the second Wednesday. Bring your stroller inside for an artistic social outing for adults with young children. Art projects for children, guided tours and storytelling. Program themes are posted online. $18, members $6.
1st Thur
         Free First Thursday Nights, 5-9pm. Full-service bar, art activities, live music, kids' art workshops.
1st Fri
         Free First Friday, 12-5pm, feature Closer Look Tours, informal 20-min. gallery talks.
3rd Thurs
        Home School Days, gallery tour and art project for ages 4-10 and ages 11+. 12-2pm. $18, members $6. Register online, call 973-259-5137 or email tours@montclairartmuseum.org.     
3rd Sat
        MAM Family Art Adventure, drop-in gallery program for ages 6-12 with adult 2-3:30pm on the third Saturday of the month. $18 per family, member family $6.
Sun
         Drop-In Studio, drop-in art 1-4pm Sundays.
Jun-Aug
          SummerART, art camp for children ages 5-12 and studio classes and workshops for teens and adults. Unpaid internships available.

Morris Museum
6 Normandy Heights Rd., Morristown, 973-971-3700. Tues.-Sat. 11-5, Sun. 12-5. Open to 8pm on 2nd and 3rd Thurs. of the month. Adults $10, srs./ages 3-18 $7, members and under 3 free. Pay-what-you-wish admission 4-8pm on 2nd and 3rd Thursday of the month. BAC/Merrill Lynch cardholders free 1st full weekend of month.
     Permanent exhibits, housed in the former Twin Oaks mansion, include galleries devoted to Native American history and crafts; antique dolls, toys and ­dollhouses; natural science with mounted mammal specimens; rocks and minerals; dinosaurs and fossils; model train exhibit. Adult art workshops, speakers and trips; children's art workshops and drop-in programs; scout and group programs; summer art, science and theatre day camps; school outreach; portable planetarium; school loan program. See Theatre for Bickford Theatre main stage and children's theatre and Music & Dance for jazz series and concert events.
Ongoing
          Studio Art, week-long classes and one-day workshops for ages 5 to adult offered year round. For info, call 973-971-3740 or email studioart@morrismuseum.org.
          Family Discovery Center, relaxed family gathering space with hands-on activities.
 Ongoing
          Studio Art, week-long classes and one-day workshops for ages 5 to adult are offered year round. For info, call 973-971-3740 or email studioart@morrismuseum.org.
          Family Discovery Center, relaxed family gathering space with hands-on activities.
          Home School Science Adventures, home school programs for ages 4-8. Call for new schedule, 973-971-3720.
          #AccessABILITY, mornings for children and adults with special needs and their families. Email nromain@morrismuseum.org for info.
Wed
          Stroller Tours, for parents/caregivers and children ages 0-18 months. 10am. Advance registration required. $10.
Fri    
          Tot Tours, mini tour and art project for ages 2-5 and caregiver monthly on select Fri., 10am. Registration required. Free with admission.
Jul- Aug
          Summer Camps, week-long half-day camps explore art, science or magical illusion.
          Camp for a Day, one day camps for grades 1-4.
          Summer Studio Art Courses, week-long classes for ages 5-14.
Selected Exhibitions
Ongoing
          Musical Machines & Living Dolls: The Murtogh D. Guinness Collection, permanent exhibition of over 150 mechanical musical instruments & automata. Live demonstrations 2pm Tues.-Sun.

Museum of Early Trades & Crafts
9 Main St. at Green Village Rd., Madison, 973-377-2982. Tues.-Sat. 10-4, Sun. 12-5, closed Mon. and major holidays. Closed Sun. and Mon. during July & Aug. Adults $5; ages 6 and up, students and srs. $3; members and under 6, free; family maximum $15.
    Drawing on its collection of over 8,000 hand tools and their products, the museum, listed on the National Register of Historic places, interprets what life was like for a 19th century farm family and craftspeople who lived and worked in Madison before the rise of large-scale industrialization. Changing exhibits; family work­shops; gallery talks; drop-in activities; children's discovery space. On-site and outreach programs; preschool and playgroup programs; homeschool programs; scout badges; summer history camp.
Ongoing
           Scout Badge Programs, can be scheduled after school or Saturdays.
Selected Children & Family Events

Newark Museum
49 Washington St. (24/78 to Newark exit for Rt. 21N, left on Raymond Blvd., right on Washington St.), Newark, 973-
596-6550. Jr. Museum: 973-596-6616. 24-hr sky report and program info: 973-596-6529. Wed.-Sun. 12-5. Suggested admis­sion: Adults $15, children, srs., students with valid ID $8, members & Newark residents/college students free.
     The state's largest museum features 80 galleries exhibiting American art; decorative arts and the magnificent 1885 Ballantine House, a restored National Historic Landmark; arts of Africa, the Americas and the Pacific; classical art; the arts of Asia; numismatics; and natural science collection. Grounds contain 1794 schoolhouse and Newark Fire Museum. Junior Gallery, mini-zoo, family theater and planetarium. Attended parking in adjacent lot at corner of University & Central Aves. Year-round fine arts and crafts workshops for adults and children, summer camp for ages 3-13 (973-596-6637). Public drop-in gallery tours daily, reserved group gallery/planetarium and outreach programs; scout programs. See listing under Planetariums for more information.
Selected Interactive Exhibitions
Ongoing
        Dynamic Earth: Revealing Nature's Secrets, natural science galleries include hands-on exhibits and activities.
        Fire Escapes: Danger & Survival, interactive exhibit at the refurbished Newark Fire Museum includes exhibits, films and displays in a replica burned-out house to reinforce safety education for children and their families.
        Look/Touch/Learn: Nature & Art, cozy hands-on art exploration area in American Art Galleries, First Floor North Wing.
        Look/Touch/Learn: Tibet, interactive space in Tibetan galleries to explore Tibetan culture.
        EmPOWERED: Your Renewable Energy Future, interactive exhibit showcases advanced energy technologies and demystifies the science behind generating electricity.
Mar-Feb 2018
        Asian Art, The Musical, over 25 works celebrate music through the arts of East and South Asia.
Wed- Sun
     Drop-In Public Tours, 1 & 2pm.
School Year Programs Sept.–June
Sat & Sun
        Drop-In Activities,gallery explorations and art activities for ages 3 and up and their families. Weekly themes highlight different areas of the art and science collections. 1-4pm.
        Planetarium Shows,
see Dreyfuss Planetarium.
2nd Sun
      2nd Sundays, lectures, performances, artist-led tours, art/science demonstrations and workshops, music, special brunch menu. All ages.

New Jersey Historical Society
Essex Club, 52 Park Place, Newark, 973-596-8500. Museum: Tues.-Sat. 10-5. Library: Wed., Thurs., Sat. 12-5. Adults $3, library admission $5. Families can explore New Jersey's history through interactive exhibitions and research local history and family geneology through the society's extensive archives, library and online guides. Education programs and tours offered for schools, groups and teachers.

New Jersey State Museum
205 West State St., Trenton, 609-292-6464 (recorded information), 609-292-6308 (weekdays only). Tues.-Sun. 9-4:45, closed Mondays and state holidays. Suggested admission: Adults $5, srs./students $4, ages 12 and under free. Free admission with valid ID for members, teachers, veterans, active duty military and their families.
      A four-in-one museum offers distinct sections uniquely devoted to New Jersey's archaeology/ethnology, cultural ­history, fine art, and natural history in a modern main building overlooking the Delaware River. Entertaining and educational programs are offered in a 150-seat planetarium and adjacent 400-seat auditorium. For a schedule of family and student programs and teacher workshops and information on scout merit badge days (it is not necessary to be a scout to enroll), visit the Museum's website. For planetarium information, see listing under Planetariums.
Ongoing
         Activity carts, family events, planetarium shows, storytimes, stop by the information desk upon arrival for scavenger hunts and a schedule of activities.
         Geology, Archaeology & Astronomy Merit Badge Days, scheduled on select days during the school year. Open to scouts and non-scouts, advance registration required.
         Paleontology Field School, adults and ages 14+ join museum paleontologists on a summer expedition to Montana and Wyoming.
         Discovery Den, science discovery space for ages infant-8 and their caregivers. Storytime and craft on the 3rd weekend of the month.
         SMASH Series, special days for families to explore science through hands-on activities, experiments, demonstrations, shows and opportunities to meet the Museum's experts.
Selected Exhibitions
Ongoing
           New Jersey's Original People: Interpreting the Archaeological Collection, the story of the Lenni Lenape.
           Pretty Big Things: Stories of New Jersey History, using some of the biggest artifacts from the museum's Cultural History collection.
Open
            Written in Rocks: Fossil Tales of New Jersey, explores the geology of New Jersey.

Pierro Gallery of South Orange
Baird Center, 5 Mead St., South Orange, 973-378-7754 ext. 3. Mon.-Thurs. 11-4 or by appointment. Free. Contemporary art gallery exhibits regional, national and international artists with special interest in supporting emerging artists. Exhibitions change approx. every six weeks. Group tours and scout programs.

Princeton University Art Museum
McCormick Hall, center of campus, Princeton, 609-258-3788. Tues.-Sat. 10-5, Thurs. 10-10, Sun. 1-5. Closed Mon. and major holidays. No charge. Permanent collections range from ancient to contemporary art. Group tours for preschoolers to adults can be arranged. Gallery talks; films; concerts; family events; museum shop. Teacher resources, exhibition talks, videos, activities, mobile campus art tours all available online. Check online calendar for schedule of events.
Ongoing
        Family Activity Guides, pick up an activity guide at the Museum information desk or download guides before you visit for self-guided tours and family activities.
        Art for Families, drop in on Sat. 10:30-1 for self-guided tour and related art project.
        Family Events, check online calendar for schedule of events.
Sat & Sun
         Highlights Tour, meet at the entrance every Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. Free.

Rutgers University Geology Museum
Geology Hall, Old Queens Section, College Ave. Campus, 85 Somerset St., New Brunswick, 732-932-7243. School year mid-Sept.-mid-May: Tues.-Thurs. 10-5, Fri. 10-4, Sat. 10-2. Mid-May-June 30: Thurs.-Fri. 10-4, Sat. 10-2. July: Fri. only 10-4. Aug.-mid-Sept.: Closed. Closed holidays and school breaks. Free.
    Exhibits on geology and anthropology, with an emphasis on the natural history of New Jersey, include a dinosaur trackway from Towaco; a mastodon from Salem County; mineral exhibits featuring the zeolite minerals of Paterson; and the zinc minerals of Franklin. Group tours; birthday parties; geology field trips; Paint Along sessions; rock shop.
1st Wed
        Late Nights at the Museum, activity stations for children and adults from 4-8pm the first Wed. of the month during the school year. Bring specimens for identification.
3rd Sat
          Saturday Tour Day, guided tours for groups of 10 or more are offered on the third Sat. of the month (and during business hours Tues.-Fri.). Pre-registration is required.
Jan TBA
          50th Annual Rutgers Geology Museum Open House, lectures, mineral sale, kids lectures (ages 8+), mineral and fossil identification, hands-on activities. 9-3. Free, all ages.

Sterling Hill Mine Tour & Museum
30 Plant St., Ogdensburg, Sussex County, 973-209-6463. See website link for current hours of operation, tour schedules and special events. Adults $12, srs. $11, ages 4-12 $9, ages 3 and under free. Group discounts with advance notice.
     Take a 1⁄4-mile walk into the fourth oldest mine in the country and the last working underground mine in New Jersey. The 2-hr. tour includes a tour of the mine, the Warren Museum of Fluorescence and the 5,000 sq. ft. Mining Exhibit Hall. Also available are Rock & Fossil Discovery Centers and an on-site observatory. You can purchase or collect minerals yourself any day the museum is open. Collecting in the Mine Run Dump is open to adults and children ages 7 and up, $5 plus $1.50 per pound. Sturdy shoes and protective eyewear are necessary; bring your own sledge hammers and carrying bags.

Vietnam Era Museum & Educational Center
Garden State Parkway, Exit 116, Homdel, 800-648-VETS, 732-335-0033. Tues.-Sat. 10-4. Adults $7, srs./students $5, veterans, active duty, and under 12 free. The story of the Vietnam era is told through photographs, timelines, films, interactive displays, personal letters and artifacts. The New Jersey Vietnam Veteran's Memorial is nearby featuring a circular black wall engraved with the names of more than 1,000 New Jersey ­soldiers who lost their lives in the war. Free guided tours of the Memorial are offered the first Sat. of the month and every Sat. Feb.-April at 11am and 1pm. Group tours; Traveling Trunk available for rent.

Visual Arts Center of New Jersey
68 Elm St., Summit, 908-273-9121. Mon.-Thurs. 10-8, Fri. 10-5, Sat. & Sun. 11-4. Recommended admission: Adults $5, srs./students $3, under 12 free. Docent tours available for school, family and community groups, ages pre-K to adult.
    Contemporary art exhibitions change every four to six weeks. Film screenings; classes for all ages and abilities; birthday parties; art camp for children and teens; art educator programs; art road trips.
Ongoing
         Sunday Art Afternoons, scheduled in conjunction with current exhibitions. Meet the artists, hands-on projects, for all ages.
         Cocktails & Canvas, an adult evening of painting and wine with experienced art instructor

Watchung Arts Center
18 Stirling Rd., Watchung Circle, Watchung, 908-753-0190. Tues.-Fri. 12-5, Sat. 10-3. Summer: Mon.-Fri. 9-2. Non-profit, volunteer-run center offers new art exhibitions each month, jazz, improv and other performances and classes for children and adults. Birthday parties; children's summer art camp.

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
Montclair State University, 8 Yogi Berra Dr., Little Falls, 973-655-2378. Wed.-Sun. 12-5pm. Closed major holidays. Adults $6, students under 18 $4. Artifacts from the life of the legendary catcher, exhibits on the history of the Yankees, Yankee Stadium, baseball in New Jersey, baseball equipment and baseball during World War II. Guest speakers; book signings; group and school tours; seminars for coaches, parents and leadership; afterschool programs; baseball clinics; baseball/softball and sports broadcasting summer camps.

Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University
Rutgers University (Tnpk. exit 9 to Rt. 18N), George and Hamilton Sts., New Brunswick, 848-932-7237. Tues.-Fri. 10-4:30; Sat. & Sun. 12-5; first Tues. of the month 10-9. Closed Mondays, Aug. and major holidays. Free general admission.
     Housing more than 60,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art, the Zimmerli Art Museum's permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art and Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; American art with notable holdings of prints; and original illustrations for children's books. Visit website for schedule of lectures, films, concerts, performances, and classes for children to adults. Teacher workshops; group tours; summer camps.
Ongoing
         Studio Z: The Adi Blum Learning Center, self-guided family activities during museum hours.
Sun
         Passport to Art, family-friendly art activities are offered select first Sundays of the month. Drop in anytime between 1-3pm.
1st Tues
         Art After Hours: First Tuesdays, activities, performances, refreshments, guided tours, 5-9pm the first Tues. of each month. All ages. Free.
Wed
         Drawing Club for Children & Young People, fall and spring sessions for ages 6-14.
Jun-Jul
         Summer Art Camp, weekly sessions for ages 7-14.
Selected Exhibitions
Ongoing
         
Duvoisin Gallery, family-oriented gallery, showcases original children's book illustrations and offers a glimpse into the labor-intensive creative process of designing books prior to the use of computerized illustration techniques.
         The Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union, 1956-1986, the world's largest collection of its kind.