Contact The NJ State Museum
Mailing Address:
NJ State Museum
PO Box 530
Trenton, NJ 08625

Museum & Auditorium Galleries:
205 West State Street
Trenton, NJ

Tel: (609) 292-6464 (recorded message)
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Drop-In Family Activities

Adults and Families can drop in for special events and gallery activities that bring the collections to life. From storytime to gallery activity carts to big public events, there is always something new to discover at the New Jersey State Museum!


Look for Scavenger Hunts at the information desk upon arrival at the museum. We have many themes to choose from so your family can make a game out of visiting all of the galleries for clues! Look for in-gallery activities located throughout the museum including a Natural History Journal, making your own state seal, decorating a Paleolithic pot and much more!

Every Thursday

  • Colonial History
  • Dinosaurs
  • Animal Teeth
  • Art Cart
  • And More!

Join us for hands-on fun at our Museum Activity Cart every Thursday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Cart themes and activities change often but always have fun, hands-on lessons related to the Museum’s collections. Cart activities are designed for families with children ages 5 and up. Call or email Terri Barlow to find out the theme of the week, 609-292- 1382 or

Story Time

Join us on the 3rd weekend of every month for a story and a craft activity. Stories relate to current exhibits and collections and are always entertaining. Crafts are simple and a great way to remember the fun you had at the Museum! Story time is designed for families with children ages 4 to 8. For more information contact Terri Barlow at 609-292-1382 609-292-1382 or

August 16, 17
Bartholomew and the Oobleck
2:00 pm
Bored with rain, sun, fog, and snow, King Derwin summons his royal magicians to create something new and exciting to fall from the sky. What he gets is a storm of sticky green globs called Oobleck, which soon causes a royal mess. Kids will make their own Oobleck and learn about Nanotechnology in the process. Visit our Nano exhibit on Level 1 for more hands-on Nano fun.
September 20, 21
Kate’s Picture Show
2:00 pm
Have you ever felt like you wanted to jump right into a painting? That’s exactly what Kate does! Follow her as she discovers some classic works of art and has the adventure of a lifetime. Explore the art on display in American Perspectives and imagine your own Kate-like adventure. Make your own masterpiece to take home.
October 18, 19
How the Dinosaur Got to the Museum
2:00 pm
In honor of Earth Science Week, learn what it takes to display a dinosaur. Children delight in the repetition and explore the many different people it takes from paleontologists to conservationists to curators. Visit our own working Paleo Lab and make a dino craft to take home.
November 15, 16
When the Shadbush Blooms
2:00 pm
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, learn about the Lenape then and now through the lens of one family’s seasonal activities. Story is followed by a craft activity. Be sure to visit New Jersey’s Original People, Cultures in Competition and A Much Moved People to learn the story of the Lenape from prehistory to the present day.
December 20, 21
Art and Max
2:00 pm
Follow Art and Max to learn about paint, watercolor and line drawings on an art-making adventure. Families will engage in art-making and gain tools to explore the Fine Art collection. This is a great way to engage your children in the focused observation of art.
January 17, 18
Owl Moon
2:00 pm
The winter world looks very different at night. Follow a father and child as they search for owls in the winter night. Make an owl puppet to take home.
February 21, 22
A Sweet Smell of Roses
2:00 pm
This sweet story about the Civil Rights Movement from a child’s perspective follows two sisters as they sneak out of the house to march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March 21, 22
Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt
2:00 pm
In honor of National Astronomy Week, this picture book biography tells the story of Henrietta Leavitt (1868-1921), the woman who discovered more than 2,400 variable stars in addition to the "yardstick to the universe" used to make discoveries that changed the study of our galaxy and the universe. Kids will learn more about the stars with a take home craft. Don’t forget to visit the Planetarium for a show that is out of this world!
Special Events
August 30, 2014
The Wonderful World’s Fair
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Celebrate the wonder of World’s Fairs! Join the New Jersey State Museum for a family fun day. Explore our exciting new exhibit New Jersey on Display: World’s Fairs and the Garden State then grab an ice cream on the front lawn and stay for FREE hands-on crafts, workshops and activities that will explore the importance of World’s Fair inventions. Planetarium shows will run throughout the day at a reduced cost of $3.00/person. For more information, please call 609-292-6310 or 609-292-6464.
September 27, 2014
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!
12:00 pm, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm
Digging Dinosaurs workshop – Innovation Learning Center.
Explore Hadrosaurus foulkii and other NJ dinosaurs. Learn about being a Paleontologist while you dig for dino bones and see how they fit together. Learn about the different types of dinosaurs and when they lived in New Jersey. Make a dinosaur bone to take home!
Paint Me a Story
11:00 am, 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Fine Art Gallery & Lower Level Classroom
Art and storytelling go hand in hand, as visual literacy promotes both print literacy and language development. Young children learn to “read” objects and images long before they learn to read words. This open-ended workshop engages young children with art by giving them the opportunity to create and perform stories using pieces from American Perspectives, The Fine Art Collection. They will explore color, themes, and feelings in different settings, from a vibrant music lesson in the city to a quiet morning in the woods. In the second half of the program, each child will create their own artwork about one of the stories they told.
NANO Activity Cart
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Think small, no, REALLY small! Explore the world of Nano Technology and learn about how it is used in things we see every day. Materials can have different properties at the nano scale and nanoscience involves research to discover these new properties and behaviors. Participate in simple Nano experiments to learn more about this science.
Traditions of India
1:00 pm
Museum Auditorium
In keeping with the theme of Diversity, celebrating New Jersey’s 350th birthday we bring you a sample of one of the many cultural groups that make up the melting pot of the state; the home of Ellis Island.
Born in Hindu Temples more than 2,000 years ago, Indian dance is movement, mime, and music in equal measure. Adorned with beautiful costumes, jewelry, and makeup replicating a temple sculpture, Ramya Ramnarayan evokes the profound emotions and complex rhythmic patterns that bring this mystic view of the universe to life.
October 14, 2014
Earth Science Week
The New Jersey State Museum is proud to celebrate Earth Science Week. Every day this week we will be offering gallery talks, workshops and activity carts. Be sure to visit our new Innovation Lab to meet expert paleontologists and see them working on real fossils.
October 25, 2014
Halloween Spooktacular at the State Museum
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Celebrate Halloween with a day of fun activities at the museum. Get your FREE TerraCycle Trick-or-treat bags while supplies last! Visit the Riverview Court to make and take crafts inspired by New Jersey’s spooky history.

Join us in the auditorium at 1:00 for the FREE Mad Science Halloween show! Through a mixture of science and magic the children will see a paper spider turn into a ‘real-live’ spider. Hear the tales of Count Eggbert and Countess Eggberta as they battle the wicked witch. Watch as the wicked witch is melted right before your eyes!

The audience will find out how the seemingly sane Mr. Bernoulli helped the Mad Scientist float an eyeball in the air. Then, as a grand finale, the Mad Scientist will introduce the audience to the eerie world of Dry Ice, making bubbling potions and lots of fearsome fog. All will have an afternoon of gruesome goodness and fun!

Don’t forget to come in costume and sign up for our costume contest! The contest will be held immediately following the show in the Museum auditorium. Every child will have the opportunity to parade across the stage and show off their costume creations. Prizes will be awarded in 3 age categories. Plan to stay for a FREE Planetarium show at 3:00.
December 20, 2014 - Winter Wonderland
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Celebrate winter break and learn about how animals survive winter. Make your own snowflake as you learn about “Snowflake” Bentley’s scientific discoveries. These and more fun winter activities are scheduled throughout the day.
The Crabgrass Puppet Theater:
Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol
1:00 pm
Join us in the auditorium for a FREE show from The Crabgrass Puppet Theater: Mr. Punch’s Christmas Carol, starring Mr. Punch as Scrooge! Outrageous holiday hilarity, full of ghosts, giggles, geese, and Tiny Tim, too! Beautifully crafted puppets tell the tale of the man who hated Christmas and put profits before people. Laughter abounds when Scrooge changes his tune from "Bah, Humbug!" to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as he finds the true holiday spirit.
December 26 - 31, 2014
Patriot’s Week
December 26 - 31
This annual commemoration of the Battle of Trenton engages the entire city in activities for young and old. The Museum will have a variety of colonial era programs and activities throughout the week. More details to come.