The type of vacation we typically choose is luxury. For our activities, we like luxury and often stay at the finest hotels, but we are also adventurous and love off the beaten path types of experiences and always seek them out. We aren’t bothered by very “local” experiences anywhere and think these are very important to our vacation. We love adventure. We also like a mixture of regular, touristic and organized places. We enjoy hiking and outdoorsy activities. We enjoy museums, markets and other activities geared towards children. We like to maximize each day by seeing as much as possible.
Our children at the time of this itinerary: 2 children- Boy age 8 & Girl age 3.
Address: 30 Plant St, Ogdensburg, NJ 07439
Phone: (973) 209-7212
Hours: Daily, 10AM – 3PM
Getting There: Driving is a must from most points, off NJ Route 517. Approx 1 hour from George Washington Bridge.
Admission: Tours run $11 for Adults and $8 for children age 4-12, 3 and under are free. Additional $5 admission charge for collection area and charge of $1.50 per pound of minerals taken. Military discount available.
Description: The Mining Museum of Sterling Hill makes Earth Science and Geology come alive in a way that is both educational and fun. This authentic, now retired, Zinc Mine has been painstakingly preserved from mine carts and catwalks to piles of gear lining the twisting tunnels of the facility. All this has been supplemented by posed mannequins and displays meant to convey a bit of the mining life. The tour strives to incorporate humor in an effort to engage visitors. Exhibits have been added that include a periodic table featuring actual element samples and the more recently added “Museum of Fluorescence” which highlights rare glowing rocks still harvestable here. This is no mere hole in the ground and the activities and displays are impressive both in number and in scope. Older children and parents may appreciate that part of the film “Zoolander” was filmed here and all ages will enjoy the engaging (though additional in charge) opportunity to actually harvest minerals and bring them home. The “mining” experience is for ages 7 and up and besides the charge requires you bring your own gear, see website for details.
Our Experience: We both had fun and learned a lot; it was a fantastic experience for children as well as adults involved. The museum doesn’t recommend itself to those under age 5 due to the dark conditions and fairly long (2 hour or so) tour. Our 3 year old enjoyed it however (especially the fluorescent rocks) and our 8 year old had a blast.
Address: 155 Tomahawk Trail, Sparta Township, NJ 07871
Phone: (973) 398-7777
Hours: Monday – Friday 10AM – 5:30PM (6PM in July), Saturday and Sunday 9AM – 7PM (6:30PM May and September)
Getting There: About a 10 minute drive from last stop via local roads
Admission: General Admission is $13 on weekends and holidays, $11 on weekdays for Adults, $11 on weekends/holidays and $10 on weekdays for children. Water Slides, Boats and Mini Golf are all additional charges, see website for rates. NOTE: Cash only, ATM available.
Description: After the morning everyone will be ready for lunch. There are some spots between the two to grab a bite, or you can choose to picnic on the lake (picnic area included in admission on first come/first served basis). Now in its 62nd year of entertaining families, Tomahawk Lake is dedicated to providing a safe and enjoyable experience to all its visitors. The 20-acre lake features white sand beaches and a host of water features suitable for children of all ages to enjoy. In addition to the lake and massive picnic area there are facilities for sports and games, plenty of space to run around or spread out and an impressive water park featuring slides. While parents should note that the slides do feature height restrictions, the massive spread includes options to accommodate most younger children as well as excite older ones. This bastion of good times in the heart of New Jersey can easily occupy an entire day or be a fun escape for a few hours.
Our Experience: Our 3 year old loved splashing in the lake and the included water features really excited her. We felt safe having her in there and would recommend it as a terrific option for toddlers. After noting the size restrictions on the slides, we still found several fun and thrilling options. Our 8 year old loved this part, as did the adults. While there we also observed a number of teens enjoying themselves and would recommend it as an all-ages destination.