Unlike the summer, where everyone is out and about, the winter implies a lot of sitting at home. With shorter daylight hours, many people may struggle with cabin fever. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. There are all kinds of activities to do throughout the Garden State. With just a short drive, your winter days will turn from boring to fun-filling. Here are some winter activities in NJ you need to do this season.
Go Ice Skating at Van Saun County Park’s Ice Rink
One can never go wrong with ice skating. This activity is perfect for people of all ages. Head over to the ice rink located in Bergen County’s Van Saun County Park. Tickets start at $10 per skater, including the skate rental. Attendees can enjoy up to an hour and a half of fun at this price.
If you are a first-time skater or need to brush up on your skills, you can book private lessons. Group lessons are also available. There is a registration link through the Bergen County Winter Wonderland site. Prices may vary depending on the specific lesson program you choose.
On weekdays, the ice skating rink operates Tuesdays through Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Face masks are not required but are encouraged when ice-skating at the rink.
Hit The Slopes at Mountain Creek
Who says you can’t take a vacation getaway in New Jersey this winter? Mountain Creek Resort is an ideal winter spot for any group of friends, family or just a simple solo escape. There are many kinds of winter-season-inspired activities to do. Skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing are offered at the resort. Also, lodging is an option for those who wish to stay for one night or longer.
Private lessons are also available for Mountain Creek visitors. The resort even offers special winter equipment for you to rent. Mountain Creek also advises that it is now a cashless resort. Based on state guidelines, masks are no longer required for those who attend the resort’s indoor or outdoor settings. Although, unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear them.
Go Maple Sugaring In The Great Outdoors
Maple sugar – where does it come from? You can learn a thing or two about maple sugar at the Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center, located in Chatham Township. This activity is family-friendly and describes step-by-step instructions on how maple sugar forms. The process includes identifying maple trees, collecting its sap and making syrup with the help of an evaporator.
This event will take place entirely outdoors, so dress accordingly. It will only take place on weekends, from Jan. 15 to Feb. 20, at 1 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. There is a $5 fee per person that attends. Pre-registration is required.
Catch a Wave at The DreamWorks Water Park
East Rutherford, NJ
The best thing about indoor water parks is that they are open all year long. Make sure you catch a wave at the DreamWorks Water Park in the American Dream mall. Considered North America’s largest indoor water park, DreamWorks offers different aquatic rides and slides to go on, all of which are DreamWorks-themed. Therefore, characters such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Gloria and many more make their appearances.
With an average indoor temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, there is no need to worry about New Jersey’s freezing temperatures this winter. After a long day of catching waves, there are luxury cabanas to relax in at your convenience. The mall recommends you purchase your tickets beforehand online.
Unleash Your Inner Naturalist at The Tenafly Nature Center
Everyone needs a mental detox from their day-to-day lives every now and then. Going out in nature has been one of the most common ways to help our minds drift. There are multiple trail paths for people to enjoy at the Tenafly Nature Center. Allowed activities include running, walking, jogging and birding. These trails are open every day starting on Jan. 15 from one hour after sunrise until one hour before dusk.
There is an admission fee of $2 per person or $10 per family (up to six people). Admission is free for Tenafly Nature Center members. If you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to wear masks while outdoors. However, you may be required to wear a mask for specific activities.
Thinking of trying any of these NJ winter activities? Let us know in the comments!
Main image by Weston MacKinnon
About the Author/s
Bertha is currently a junior at Rutgers University-Newark. She is interested in writing about fashion, lifestyle, arts / culture and most importantly - food! When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her golden retriever dog, Gizmo.