Monday, April 30, 2012


NJ is taken for granted and likes to poke fun at itself (see any TV show on NJ).  However we have some great local and free or low cost activities and centers nearby.  We should consider ourselves lucky!

We have so many great parks and wildlife centers.  I particularly like Trailside Nature and Science center.  My boys love that place and I love to take them there.  

However take a GPS at I often get lost driving around Watchung reserve.

Also make sure you check the hours, I think it is open every day after noon ie 12 midday.  We love to check it out once a quarter on a rainy afternoon.  Or if it is a nice day check out the park or trails in the morning and do a picnic lunch.  There are tables everywhere for picnics.

The boys first stop is usually the animal displays but they love the teepee hut and the theatre show.

It is such a hands on place that encourages kids to look closely and open/shut things, check out every corner, do puzzles and more.

I love the recycling hints and the native wild plant displays and love to pic up a polished rock from the gift store as a memento from our trip there.

Downstairs is an aquarium and bird watching area along with more hands on activities, such as excavating (ie Sandpit) and I particularly love the geology displays (in particular the fluorescent minerals).

Upstairs is my favorite center, the library with kids books on nature and adult gardening and other books.  However we are usually worn out at this point and never take enough advantage of the library to sit and read.  Perhaps when the kids are older.

Outside they were working on the playground when I was there but I heard that the playground was finished very shortly after my trip.  So we will definitely be there again very soon.


Trailside Nature and Science center


  1. Thanks for recommending this place - I think my kids would like it. I'm going to start a list of things to do in the summer, and this will definitely be on it :-)

    1. You're welcome. I am constantly surprised by the amount of activities on offer nearby. I will definitely be adding more very soon too.

  2. I love this place too! Let's get together sometime with the boys there..

  3. Absolutely, we can go when ever you are up for it. I haven't been able to scare anyone to go there with us recently.


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