Contact the NJ State Museum
New Jersey Department of State
205 W. State Street
PO Box 530
Trenton, NJ 08625

Tel: (609) 292-6464 (recorded message)

NJ State Flag

Bring your summer camp or family group to the Museum and fill the day with exciting, interactive programs! In a single day you might experience a planetarium show, live theatre performance in our auditorium, a natural history or archaeology presentation and a fun self-guided gallery activity

Example of programs to build your day:

Planetarium Shows

Located in the Museum's Planetarium, Tuesday through Friday. $7.00/adult and $5/child or $5.00/person for groups of 15 or more

One World, One Sky
10:00 am

Big Bird's adventure begins on Sesame Street when Elmo's friend, Hu Hu Zhu, visits from China. Big Bird, Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu take viewers on an exciting discovery of the sun, moon and stars. They also learn about the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and the North Star (Polaris). Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu then take an imaginary trip to the Moon where they learn that the Moon is a very different place from the Earth. When they imagine themselves back on Earth, they celebrate the idea that even though they live in two different countries, they still share the same sky. Made possible by the Sesame Workshop and the National Science Foundation. Recommended for ages 3-6 with adults.

11:00 am

Every star has a story. Some are as old as time, faint and almost forgotten. Others burn bright and end their lives in powerful explosions. New stars are created every day, born of vast clouds of gas and dust. Through every phase of their existence, stars release the energy that powers the Universe. Journey to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and experience the awesome beauty and destructive power of Stars! Suitable for general audiences

To Space and Back New
1:00 pm

Join us as we take audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and applications (apps) we use every day. Discover how space exploration is shaping your world in this new fully immersive show. Suitable for general audiences.


Theatre Performances

Shows take place in the Auditorium on select Wednesdays at 10:30am

Summer camp groups must reserve in advance; for reservations, call 609-292-6347. Shows are $3.00/person. Groups may pay in advance by credit card over the phone or by check.

Individuals and families can pay at the door; CASH ONLY. At the door ticket sales begin 15 minutes before the show.

July 24
Mad Science Fire & Ice

This 45-minute presentation is designed to introduce science to elementary age children. In it, the Mad Scientist will use simple but exciting science experiments and demonstrations to involve your group in the discovery process of science. They will learn how to make a 'scientific hypothesis' and how to test that hypothesis using ‘experimentation.’ Included in the event will be experiments involving air pressure, flash paper, Eggbert, Bernoulli's Principle and dry ice. There will also be some opportunity for members of the audience to participate in a few of the experiments. The event is very visual and works well in front of any size crowd.

August 7
Mad Science Up, Up and Away

This 45-minute presentation is geared toward theaters and large school groups in an auditorium setting. A larger and flashier show than the "Standard" show, this event will capture the audiences' interest and show how exciting science can be. Included in the show are a variety of eye-popping demonstrations and experiments. There will be plenty of opportunity for hands-on audience participation in this event. Some of the topics and demonstrations include the three states of matter, air pressure (using the Madgeburg Sphere), a Hot Air Balloon, the Mad Science Hovercraft, a giant size vortex generator and finally the Big Sneeze demonstration. This show is very visually exciting, has lots of audience participation and works very well for medium to large size audiences.


Enrichment Experiences

Scheduled by reservation only for summer camp groups of 15 or more. For reservations, call 609-292-6347. $3 per person. Groups may pay in advance by credit card over the phone or by check. Presentations are approx. 45 minutes in length.

Dinosaurs of New Jersey

Learn all about the world of dinosaurs - including the Tyrannosaurus Rex - that once dominated New Jersey's prehistoric habitats. Special focus will be on New Jersey’s two most famous dinosaurs, Hadrosaurus Foulkii and Dryptosaurus Hadrosaurus was the most complete dinosaur skeleton unearthed anywhere in the world when it was discovered and scientifically documented in 1858. Hadrosaurus foulkii became the official State dinosaur of New Jersey in 1991. The Dryptosaurus was discovered in Barnesboro, New Jersey, and is the second nearly complete dinosaur skeleton found anywhere in the world. Students will see illustrations of these giants, as well as casts taken directly from the dinosaurs’ bones.

Cultural Connections: Delaware Lenape Block Stamped Baskets

Native people adapted to their environment by using natural resources to produce necessary objects. Compare and contrast a variety of baskets from different cultures. By examining authentic Delaware block stamped baskets, students will begin to understand the artistic and cultural significance of the baskets and how the designs changed as they began to trade with European explorers and settlers. Students will practice weaving and decorating their own block stamped design. Note: due to the hands-on nature of this workshop, space is limited to 30 students

Spending, Sharing and Saving: All about Money Free

The New Jersey State Museum, in partnership with PNC Grow Up Great, has created a workshop designed to teach preschool students these basic financial concepts through object based learning. Children will learn about Spending, Sharing and Saving using objects in the Museum's collection including Native American wampum. Note: due to the hands-on nature of this workshop, space is limited to 30 students.

Bus stipends are available for qualifying schools. Please contact Kerry Scott at (609) 984-8487 or for more information or to make a reservation. PNC Grow Up Great Financial Education for Preschoolers is made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation.

Jobs: Families at Work Free

In this follow up to Spending, Sharing and Saving: All About Money, preschool children will learn about the concept of earning. Jobs: Families at Work incorporates music, poetry, storytelling and object-based learning games to teach the role and importance of different jobs in the community. This program uses objects from the Museum's art, cultural and natural history collections, including dinosaur fossils. Note: due to the hands-on nature of this workshop, space is limited to 30 students

Bus stipends are available for qualifying schools. Please contact Kerry Scott at (609) 984-8487 or for more information or to make a reservation. PNC Grow Up Great Financial Education for Preschoolers is made possible by a grant from the PNC Foundation.


Gallery Tours

Scheduled from Tuesday through Friday, by reservation only, for summer camp groups of 15 or more; FREE. To make a tour reservation, contact Melissa Kelly at (609) 292-6310 or Tours are approx. 45 minutes in length.

Featured Exhibits

Pretty Big Things: Stories of New Jersey History

Museum's 3nd floor galleries

A 1,400-pound anvil... an iron pot used to boil whale blubber...A statue of the tallest American president...A "grandfather" clock made by the first African-American clockmaker. Join us on a journey through New Jersey history as we discover these and other Pretty Big Things. This exhibit experience provides students and their teachers with an exciting and immersive opportunity to engage with hands-on activities, key historical themes and details about the many unknown stories of New Jersey history

American Perspectives: The Fine Art Collection

Museum's 2nd floor galleries

Join us on a journey through the Museum's Fine Art collection, a diverse collection of voices and vision from the 19th century to the present day. Works created by a variety of artists - including academic, expressionist, folk, modernist and visionary artists - are shown in a chronological format in order to present the range, variety and complexity of America’s fine art. Important works by significant New Jersey artists are highlighted.

New Jersey’s Original People: Interpreting the Archaeological Collection

Museum's lower level galleries

This exhibit explains the story of the migration of Paleoindians across New Jersey and how they adapted to the changing climate from 12,000 years ago to the 17th century. At the end of the tour, experience The Science of Archaeology with a realistic dig site where kids may step into the role of a real Archaeologist!

Self-Guided Exploration

You are welcome to explore the Museum on your own. Ask for a scavenger hunt and a Museum map at the welcome desk on Level 1. For more information about scavenger hunts, in-gallery activities and exhibits, please contact Melissa Kelly at (609) 292-6310 or

Planning Your Trip

  • To make a reservation call 609-292-6347 and have ready: preferred date of arrival, preferred programs and number of people in your group.

  • Programs fill up fast so have several dates in mind.

  • The Museum’s Planetarium box office opens at 9:30 am on weekdays; cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted. If paying by cash, please compile money before going to purchase tickets; please arrive 20 minutes prior to show time; there is no late seating.

  • All groups should have an appropriate level of student supervision (1 chaperone per 10 children is recommended); chaperones will also be required to pay program fees.

  • Shoes and shirts are required in the Museum at all times.

  • The Museum does not have beverage or meal service but there is a vending machine on the Museum’s 1st floor.

  • Groups are welcome to eat outside – on the Museum’s plaza, under the Museum’s eaves – or in the West Gallery on the 1st floor (when available). Food is not permitted in any of the other Museum spaces.

  • Photography may not be permitted in all exhibitions. Please check with the Museum Guards or staff before taking pictures; flash photography is never allowed.

  • Please do not touch objects or artifacts on display – unless there is a “please touch” sign or there is an interactive educational activity.

  • Other nearby activities include the New Jersey State House; William Trent House; the Old Barracks Museum; Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum, and more.