See famous artwork Visit the Princeton University Art Museum for an educational, culturally-rich and free day trip! The museum features an expansive collection of world art- the collection includes African Art, Asian art, modern and contemporary pieces, photography, prints and drawings, European art and more. You and the family can enjoy some self-guided activities, or you can schedule a group tour. The museum is home to numerous famous works by world-renowned artists. Admission is always free, but donations to keep the museum operating are accepted.
One of the only free zoos in the state! Animal lovers will delight at the animals at the Cape May County Park & Zoo. See a lion, giraffe, camels, alligator, black bear and more animals from all around the world at this free zoo in NJ. After seeing all the fascinating animals, head to the Wildlife Carousel for a fun ride with the kids. When you get hungry, just head to the Safari Café which serves a wide variety of meals and snacks. And before you leave, be sure to stop by the Ark in the Park Gift Shop for a souvenir to remember your awesome day and gifts for friends and family!
Appreciate plant life Rutgers Gardens is a botanical garden tucked away behind the Rutgers University campus. It is a free attraction open to the public year-round. Stroll through beautiful agricultural collections such as the Rain Garden and the Bamboo Forest. There are many trees, flowers and various plant species to appreciate and learn about. Every Friday, you can also pick up fresh local produce at the Farm Market. Guided tours can be scheduled at various times Monday through Saturday for a nominal fee. Rutgers Gardens is open from 8:30am until dusk every single day of the year.
One of the original lighthouses in NJ Sea Girt Lighthouse guided mariners in their journeys since December 10, 1896. It was built to illuminate a blind spot between the Barnegat Lighthouse and Navesink Lighthouse. It is one of only 11 of the 40 original lighthouses in New Jersey open to the public. The building is now a historical landmark filled with exhibits, photos and artifacts of its vital role in the history of New Jersey. Group tours are offered on Sundays from 2-4pm most of the year, and they can also be scheduled year-round by special arrangement.
Great attraction for nature lovers This non-profit educational center is one of the best free attractions in NJ for nature lovers. Trails are open 365 days a year. You can observe wildlife, go birding, take a hike through the scenic trails and much more. In the winter, the Tenafly Nature Center is a great place to go skiing, snow-shoeing or ice skating (weather permitting). There is also a campfire circle that can be used with staff supervision. Feel free to stop in at the Visitor’s Center for information about the nature center.
Experience a relic of the past Travel back in time at this fun and free farm attraction. See a real farm in action and help out with the chores and activities around the barn, in the kitchen and out in the field. Relive the early 1900s, a time when horse buggies roamed the dirt roads of Pleasant Valley and everything was done by hand. Help the farmers harvest the seasonal crops, sweep the barn and bake a loaf of bread. See farm animals and listen to the farmer’s stories too. Saturday is the best day to visit this fun free attraction in NJ.
Educational and free Animal lovers will be delighted by a visit to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, a non-profit organization committed to helping stranded whales, seals, dolphins, sea turtles and other creatures that have washed ashore. Visitors can learn all about the rescue operation at the Sea Life Educational Center and the Observation Tank. You can learn about how your family can help and support the stranded animals. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center also offers outreach program, group tours and summer camp.
Experience the arts in South Jersey The Noyes Museum of Art at Stockton College offers Southern New Jersey an opportunity to learn about, explore and experience the arts. It follows the vision of local entrepreneurs Fred and Ethel Noyes. See fascinating photography, paintings, sculptures and new media exhibits. The museum features collections from signature artists such as Alex Alampi, Bette Blank, Matt Burton and more. This free NJ attraction is a great place to spend an afternoon with the kids or art-loving friends!
Important historic landmark Those interested in military history should visit the Fort Hancock Historic District. It is located in the north end of Sandy Hook and served in coastal defense until 1974. Its located just south of New York City made Fort Hancock a strategic site for navigational and defense purposes through many prominent periods in United States history. Many of the original structures have fallen to disrepair, but a tour still offers an enlightening glimpse into the historical significance of the area. Located nearby are the Sandy Hook Lighthouse and the beautiful beaches of Sandy Hook.
Free to enter all year long Most beaches in New Jersey require visitors to buy beach badges in order to enter. The beaches in Wildwood, New Jersey are some of the only in the state that never charge an admission fee. Not only is the beach free, but the boardwalk also offers endless amusements from rides to arcade games, nightlife and restaurants. The horizon of many of the beach areas is a quite a long walk from the boardwalk area, so even though there is plenty to do, you can get the priceless feel of a natural, undeveloped shore town if you find the right spots!