Looking for things to do in the Central New Jersey area? Don’t miss the New Jersey State Museum, a showcase for all things New Jersey. From fossils of dinosaurs and other creatures that roamed prehistoric New Jersey, to fine art by New Jersey artists such as Susan Waters and John Marin, to an extensive collection of Lenape Indian artifacts, to a planetarium featuring shows appropriate for all ages, there’s something for everyone at this Trenton landmark.
The New Jersey State Museum touts itself as being “four museums in one” and that is certainly true. It would take more than one day to see everything on display at this museum, which is fine because admission is on a donation basis (there is a charge for planetarium shows) making this New Jersey attraction quite a bargain. Exhibits at the museum encompass the areas of archeology and ethnology, cultural history, natural history, and fine art.
On a recent visit, my family was treated to a fascinating planetarium show on the topic of “Black Holes”. We were also thrilled to watch an archaeologist at work examining specimens found at a recent dig in Wyoming. He was nice enough to explain to the boys what he was doing and show them some of the objects that had been unearthed. We also got to view a cast of the Hadrosaurus foulki skeleton (affectionately nicknamed “Haddy”), which was the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton discovered in the world – found right here in Haddonfield NJ!
Aside from viewing the exhibits, the New Jersey State Museum offers a number of things to do including drop-in family activities (scavenger hunts, story and craft times, hands-on activity carts, and special events such as a Halloween “Spooktacular” and Patriots Week celebration), state-of-the art planetarium shows, gallery talks, and a wide array of group activities for all ages.
Visit the New Jersey State Museum online for more information on exhibits, events, shows, and other things to do. The museum is located at 205 West State Street in Trenton NJ and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 4:45pm (closed Monday and state holidays).
Other things to do in the area include: The Old Barracks Museum, tour of the New Jersey State House, William Trent House, and Ellarslie, The Trenton City Museum.