Bring your family or summer camp to the Museum and fill the day with exciting, interactive programs! In a single day at the Museum, you might experience a Planetarium show, live shows in our Auditorium, a Natural History or Archaeology presentation and a fun self-guided Gallery activity. For these 5 weeks only, we are offering a Buy-One-Get-One-Free* on planetarium and auditorium shows. Make your trip tothe New Jersey State Museum enjoyable!
*In order to receive the Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer – for all programs – the total fees must be paid in full, two weeks prior to the scheduled program; bundled rates only apply for one day with multiple activities – not for successive or multiple days. For program reservations, call 609-292-6347.
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. Planetarium Box Office opens at 10:30 am during the week. Tickets available at the Box Office 30 minutes before showtime. Cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted. If paying with cash, please compile money before going to purchase tickets. Arrive 20 minutes prior to show time; there is no late seating.
One World, One Sky
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. This program is made possible by the Sesame Street Workshop and the National Science Foundation and is recommended for ages 3-6 with adults
Earth, Moon & Sun
Explore the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of an amusing character Coyote (adapted from Native American oral traditions), who has many misconceptions about our home planet and it’s most familiar neighbors. Suitable for general audiences.
The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to become part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Astronaut, narrated by the actor Ewan McGregor, answers these questions and more. In this family-friendly show, you experience the extreme training astronauts undergo to prepare for the voyage into the harsh conditions of outer space. Suitable for general audiences.
Shows take place every Wednesday in the Museum’s Auditorium at 1 pm (NOTE: the August 15 performance will be offered at 10 am). Each week is a different program. Tickets are available in the Auditorium, 30 minutes before showtime. $3.00/person. Drop-Ins (CASH ONLY) and Reservations welcome. Call 609-292-6347 for reservations.
July 18, 2012 at 1 pm
Billy B: The Science Song and Dance Man: The Rock-Knockin’ Native Americans
A trained educator turned performer, Billy B. uses his original songs and choreography to teach children about science, ecology, and the environment. Through song and guided activities, Billy B. shows how pre-Columbian Native Americans used their Ingenuity to build wigwams out of plants, make tools from flint and trap wildlife for food. The audience joins in by mimicking animal sounds and practicing tracking movements.
July 25, 2012 at 1 pm
Fire & Ice – Presented with Mad Science
This 45-minute presentation is designed to introduce science to elementary age children. In it, the Mad Scientist will use simple but exciting experiments and demonstrations to involve the audience in the discovery process of science. Participants will learn how to make a 'scientific hypothesis' and how to test that hypothesis using 'experimentation'. Included in the show 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.
August 1, 2012 at 1 pm
Patrick Garner's History's Alive: Houdini
A classic American success story! A son of poor immigrants, inspired by a borrowed book, dedicates himself to becoming the world's greatest magician! In an era before television, film or the internet, he became the world's first international superstar. Ask any child the name of the greatest magician of all time..."HOUDINI!
August 8, 2012 at 1 pm
Mad Science: Marvels of Motion
Come one, come all… to the Mad Science Physics Olympics! This interactive event is all about the fundamentals of moving science including Newton’s three Laws of Motion and all sorts of surprises including dancing, chemically assisted football tossing, and even amazing "space-age" rocket packs. Children will have a chance to compete in wacky events, while the mad scientists prepare to unveil their top-secret motion machine. Come and discover the science behind some of your favorite Olympic sports, and find out why this show is such a “blast!”
August 15, 2012 at 1 pm
Circus Minimus: The One-Man Circus-in-a-Suitcase
Come one, come all… to the Mad Science Physics Olympics! This interactive event is all about the fundamentals of moving science including Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion and all sorts of surprises including dancing, chemically assisted football tossing, and even amazing "space-age" rocket packs. Children will have a chance to compete in wacky events, while the mad scientists prepare to unveil their top-secret motion machine. Come and discover the science behind some of your favorite Olympic sports and find out why this show is such a “blast!”
August 22, 2012 at 1 pm
Up, Up and Away – Presented with Mad Science
This show captures the audiences' interest and shows how exciting science can be. Included are a variety of eye-popping demonstrations and experiments. There will be plenty of opportunity for hands-on audience participation. 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.
Natural History/Archeology Presentations
Expert Presentations offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Museum’s Archaeology classroom or in the Auditorium; $3 per person. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – 609-292-6347.
Dryptosaurus: New Jersey’s Biggest Predator
The Dryptosaurus is the second nearly complete dinosaur skeleton found anywhere in the world…and it was discovered here in New Jersey! Meet the Museum’s Assistant Curator of Natural History as he shows you illustrations of this giant predator as well as casts taken directly from the dinosaur’s bones.
The curator will also talk about what it is like to be a paleontologist, and the world of ancient dinosaurs that once dominated New Jersey’s prehistoric habitats. This workshop is 45 minutes long and is limited to 20 participants.
Dinosaurs of New Jersey
How do we find dinosaur fossils? What do we do when we find the fossils? We don’t just, “dig” we “excavate.” What tools do we use, and how do we use them? Most importantly, how do scientists learn from their work? A Museum Paleontologist will share his real “dig” experiences within New Jersey and around the world, show you dinosaur fossils, and answer your questions.
If Pots Could Speak: A History of Pre-Historic Ceramics from New Jersey
This program is limited to 20 students per workshop; larger groups can be split with another program.
This workshop will highlight the exhibition, New Jersey’s Original People. The examination of ceramics is much more than looking at pieces of broken pottery. These little pieces, and sometimes whole pots, open windows into prehistoric technology, style and cultural affiliation.
At each level of analysis, they provide additional information to the larger story of the cultural system. Through the Museum’s collections, participants will examine prehistoric ceramics from New Jersey and other related artifacts to understand their manufacture, meaning and importance to the native peoples of the area.
Creating a Delaware Indian Style Blocked Stamped Basket
This program is limited to 20 students per workshop; larger groups can be split with another program.
This workshop highlights the exhibition, A Much Moved People. Students will see authentic Delaware Indian made block stamped baskets and will be able to replicate their own block stamped basket.
New for Pre-School Students
PNC Grow Up Great Workshop:
Spending, Sharing and Saving, All About Money
Offered on Wednesdays and Fridays Located in the Museum’s Archaeology classroom; FREE. Recommended for ages 3-5. Space is limited. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – 609-292-6347.
Elmo and friends explore what money is and how we get it, spend it and save it. Short presentation followed by a craft activity – making wampum necklaces.
Your group may explore the galleries on a self-guided tour with activities in hand to engage young minds. You also have the option of reserving a volunteer educator to lead your group and tailor a tour to your specific needs. Offered Tuesday through Friday in the Museum’s galleries, FREE. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED – 609-292-6347.
Pretty Big Things: Stories of New Jersey History
Located in the Museum’s 3nd floor galleries - Limited to 25 participants per tour.
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
Located in the Museum’s 2nd floor galleries - Limited to 25 participants per tour.
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
Located in the Museum’s lower level galleries - Limited to 25 participants per tour; larger groups can be split with another program.
This NEWexhibit explains the story of the migration of Paleoindians across New Jersey and how they adapted to the changing climate from 11,000 years ago to the 17th century. At the end of the tour, experience The Science of Archaeology with a realistic dig site that allows kids to step into the role of a real Archaeologist!
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.
- In order to receive the Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer – for all programs – the total fees must be paid in full, two weeks prior to the scheduled program; bundled rates only apply for one day with multiple activities – not for successive or multiple days.
- The Museum’s Planetarium box office opens at 9:30 am on weekdays. Cash, checks, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted. If paying with cash, please compile money before going to purchase tickets. 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; however, 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 (with cameras or cell phones) may not be permitted in particular 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.
- Nearby activities include the New Jersey State House; the 1719 William Trent House Museum; the Old Barrack’s Museum; and Ellarslie, the Trenton City Museum; among others.