With beautiful beaches, pine forests, national parks and lots of opportunities for winter sports, you won’t be short of places to visit in New Jersey in winter!
Looking for a little winter magic? Head to the Atlantic coast of the United States, where you’ll find plenty of awesome winter activities in New Jersey! This beautiful state is packed with fun attractions, including museums, aquariums, water parks and ice rinks, meaning you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking things to do in New Jersey in winter.
New Jersey occupies a narrow sliver of land on the Atlantic coast, so on a trip here you’ll really have a lovely range of places to visit. From huge sandy beaches to lush state parks teeming with wildlife, the iconic Garden State has definitely earned its nickname.
Beyond the industrial cities you’ll find lush landscapes with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Once the snow falls this green state is transformed into a winter wonderland. With all kinds of winter outdoor activities in New Jersey, it’s a dream destination for break in the colder months of the year.
Stuck for ideas? Coming up is a big list featuring all the best things to do in New Jersey in winter.
Weather In New Jersey In Winter
New Jersey’s winter weather is typical of the north Atlantic coast, with cold winters and warm, humid summers. Temperatures in the summer reach highs of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), but in many places in winter they drop just below freezing (30 degrees Fahrenheit).
Be prepared for cold winds on the coast and snow in January and February, especially in the south. This is the best time to enjoy skiing and other winter sports.
Things to Do In New Jersey In Winter
1. Take A Winter Hike in the Watchung Reservation
The beautiful Watchung Reservation, nestled in the heart of Union County, covers 2,000 acres of lush forest. It’s littered with streams, lakes, and colourful foliage. It’s a great place for hiking and horse riding, and even in the depths of winter, it’s a pleasure to explore this expansive natural reserve.
The woodlands are incredibly picturesque after a fresh fall of snow, and there are plenty of opportunities for winter hiking and snowshoeing. It’s no wonder that the Watchung Reservation is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey in winter.
2. Visit The Liberty Science Center
Jersey City is home to the fascinating Liberty Science Center, an interactive science museum with some state-of-the-art attractions. You’ll find an aquarium and live animal section (where you can meet strange sea creatures and reptiles), a series of constantly changing exhibitions, and a magnificent planetarium.
The live animal shows run twice daily and offers an excellent way to learn about some of the rare creatures that call the centre home, including cotton-top tamarind monkeys, rose-hair tarantulas and red-footed tortoises! When it’s cold outside, the Liberty Science Center is a wonderful place to visit with all the family.
3. Grab Your Skates and Go Ice-Skating
Ice skating is one of the most popular winter activities in New Jersey, and there are lots of brilliant indoor ice rinks where keen skaters (and complete beginners!) can get their kicks. Skylands Iceworld, in Stockholm, NJ, is one of the most highly rated destinations, with two NHL-size rinks and lots of rink-side facilities.
Similarly, the Ice House in Hackensack, NJ is a great place for public skating, offering lessons, figure-skating displays and ice hockey matches. For outdoor adventures, the Roosevelt Park skate rink is open throughout the winter and occupies a scenic location overlooking a beautiful lake.
4. Go Skiing In Mountain Creek
Looking for a cool winter weekend break in New Jersey? Once the snow falls, there’s nothing better than hitting the ski slopes in Mountain Creek. There you can enjoy downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and fat biking.
As New Jersey’s largest ski resort, there’s something for all level of skiers, whether you’re a complete beginner, or looking for a real challenge. You’ll also find plenty of activities off the slopes, with a range of luxury spas and some excellent bars and restaurants for off-piste adventures.
Alternatively, if you’re a beginner, you might want to visit Campgaw Mountain in North Jersey, which has a great range of easy runs. Wherever you choose, skiing is definitely one of the best winter outdoor activities in New Jersey.
5. Visit the Tenafly Nature Center
Located in Bergen Country, the Tenafly Nature Center is a nature preserve and environmental education centre, devoted to conserving New Jersey’s beautiful nature and biodiversity. There are plenty of activities on offer, including hiking, bird watching, and in winter, snowshoeing and sledding.
In addition to other events organised by the friendly staff, it’s a fantastic place to take a maple sugaring tour where you’ll learn how to tap the sap of the tree and make delicious maple syrup.
6. Explore The Adventure Aquarium In New Jersey
Located in Camden on the Delaware River, a visit to the Adventure Aquarium is a wonderful way to spend the day, especially if you’re hoping to escape some cold, wintry weather. It boasts a very impressive collection of over 8,500 aquatic species, including stingrays, turtles, hippos and penguins.
A team of animal-loving experts are on hand to guide visitors through hands-on encounters with some of the amazing sea creatures, and there’s an important emphasis placed on research, preservation and public education. This is one of the best things to do in New Jersey in winter with kids – your little ones will love seeing the creatures up close!
7. Go For A Hike in Kittatinny Valley State Park
Kittatinny Valley State Park is one of the most popular outdoor recreation spots in New Jersey, and is perfect for family fun. This beautiful park is home to forests, lakes, and rivers, with plenty of fabulous opportunities for wildlife spotting.
In winter, the park is often covered with a thick blanket of snow, and it’s a great time for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, or even dog sledding. If you’re suffering from cabin fever, head out into the wild – there’s no better way to spend a day out in New Jersey in winter.
8. Let Loose At Sahara Sam’s Oasis
Sahara Sam’s Oasis, in New Jersey’s West Berlin, is an epic water park, and is one of the best things to do in New Jersey in winter if you’re travelling with kids. With a whole range of exciting rides and high-speed water slides, this is the place to unleash your inner child and enjoy the thrill of adventures in the water.
Even if the weather’s cold outside, this indoor water park will make you feel as through you’re deep in the tropics!
9. Take The Polar Bear Plunge
The Polar Bear Plunge is an annual sponsored charity event, where thousands of people brave the icy waters of the Atlantic on a cold January morning! This is definitely not for the faint hearted, but the event has a fantastic atmosphere, with thousands of excited swimmers hoping to raise money for good causes.
Take the plunge yourself, or simply go along and enjoy the winter festival ambience (whilst staying warm and dry!)
Where to Stay In New Jersey In Winter
This beautiful Victorian mansion in Ocean City is the ideal place for a romantic break, any time of the year. Perfectly kitted out for couples, this beautiful hotel offers therapeutic spa treatments, whirlpools for two, open fireplaces and private rooftop terraces with views of the ocean.
If you’re looking for a cosy retreat on New Jersey’s wonderful coastline, this is the ideal spot. It’s close to Atlantic City Airport too, as well as Ocean City Beach, Gillian’s Wonderland Pier and Playland’s Castaway Cove.
Looking for idyllic winter weekend getaways in New Jersey? This cosy, historic inn gets fantastic reviews, and is a great option if you’re searching for a place to stay in the charming town of Stockton.
Nestled in 300 acres of lush farmland overlooking the Delaware River, the Woolverton Inn is a luxurious b&B with everything you need for a relaxing stay. Choose to stay in the main part of the inn, or retreat to one of the beautiful cottages with your own private whirlpool.
If you’re looking for a luxury getaway in your very own historic mansion, look no further than the Castle at Skylands Manor. The major draw of this majestic castle is the fabulous setting – over 1000 acres of picturesque woodland, featuring botanical gardens and peaceful verandas.
The restaurant serves up inventive dishes made with local produce, served alongside a stellar selection of craft beers. If you’re looking for a luxurious retreat, the Castle at Skylands Manor is one of the best places to visit in New Jersey in winter.
I hope this post has given you a little inspiration and lots of ideas of what to do in New Jersey in winter. Don’t forget to check out my guides to visiting Minnesota in winter, Vermont in winter as well as Lake Tahoe.
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