20 New Jersey Winter Activities for Indoor and Outdoor Fun

Campgaw Mountain Slope
Hit the slopes or cozy up indoors with these 20 New Jersey winter activities! Img src: Facebook.com@campgawmountain

Ask 10 NJ residents what their ideal winter activity is, and you’ll get 10 different answers. Some embrace the snow with skis and sleds, while others can’t wait to curl up by the fire with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. Others want to pretend winter isn’t here at all!

New Jersey offers a diverse array of ways to take advantage of (or escape) the cold. This article breaks down 20 of the best places to find New Jersey winter activities, and what to expect when you get there.

Whether you’re on winter break or looking for a weekend escape, we’ve got the perfect winter getaway, restaurant or day in the snow for you!

How We Chose Our Top New Jersey Winter Activities

The best winter activities in New Jersey fit into one of 5 categories:

  1. Traditional winter activities. Go ice skating, sledding, or take in a festive winter light show.
  2. Outdoor fun in the snow. Use that cold air and fresh snow to your advantage and find some chilly fun!
  3. Cozy indoor food and drink. Warm and nourish yourself after a cold day with some of NJ’s best dining.
  4. A fresh air trek through nature. Lace up your boots or strap on those snow shoes for a walk through nature in winter.
  5. Escape the cold entirely. Get inside and pretend it’s summertime at a spa, pool or indoor resort.

Each of our top 20 New Jersey winter experiences meets one of these criteria. From a Jersey Shore spa to igloo dining in Morristown, a winter winery trip or skiing Mountain Creek, let’s discover all the Garden State has to offer in the winter months.

North Jersey Winter Activities

North Jersey Indoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Crystal Springs Resort

Reflections Spa
A look inside the stunning Reflections Spa at Crystal Springs Resort in NJ. Img src: crystalgolfresort.com

Crystal Springs Resort is far more than a golf destination — it’s one of NJ’s premier spa and dining destinations. The Tropical Biosphere pool area makes you forget the cold with its gorgeous pool layout and attractive plant life. Visit the Wine Cellar, then step outside to the Schnapps Lounge and enjoy a cocktail by the fire pit. Finish your night at the renowned Restaurant Latour for a 7-course Chef’s Tasting experience.

Get pampered while you escape the snow — the Reflections Spa at Grand Cascades Lodge is a decadent experience for mind and body. Try the Reflections Spa and Stay package, which comes with a $40 daily breakfast voucher, access to all pools and spas, 50-minute massage credit, and complimentary late checkout.

crystalgolfresort.com | 1 Wild Turkey Way, Hamburg, NJ

Fig & Lily Garden (Igloo Dining)

Fig Lily Garden Igloo
Enjoy eastern Mediterranean cuisine in a heated igloo at Fig & Lily Garden. Img src: figandlilygarden.com

Fig & Lily Garden in Morristown is well-loved for its Eastern Mediterranean fare and the freshness of its meats and vegetables. Turn a fabulous dinner into a wonderful winter memory by dining in one of the heated outdoor igloos in their festively lit courtyard. The 10% igloo dining fee is well worth the ambience.

Need menu suggestions? Start with the Mediterranean mezzes, like the grilled Halloumi cheese and apricots. Split a flatbread with goat cheese and figs, then choose from several wonderful entrees. We like the Turkish gozleme, a crispy flatbread with mashed smoked eggplant, kashkaval cheese, feta and yogurt sauce.

figandlilygarden.com | 2 Cattano Ave, Morristown, NJ

The Ice House in Hackensack

Ice House Hackensack
The Ice House in Hackensack features 4 NHL regulation sized skating rinks. Img src: icehousenj.com

North Jersey skaters flock to the Ice House in Hackensack for public skating, figure skating, skating lessons and ice hockey. The facility boasts 4 NHL size ice rinks, which are home to 1200 figure skaters and over 1400 adult league hockey players.

The Ice House offers public skating hours in winter months for $25 per person — this cost includes your skate rental. Check their special public skate events on Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day, from 12 pm to 2:30 pm each day.

icehousenj.com | 111 Midtown Bridge Approach, Hackensack, NJ

Liberty Science Center

Liberty Science Center Touch Tunnel
There’s fun for all ages indoors this winter at Liberty Science Center. Img src: lsc.org

Why not get some science in your life while you escape the cold? Liberty Science Center’s winter programming is great for the whole family, and provides more activities than your kids can possibly do in one day. Current exhibits include the iconic LSC Touch Tunnel, Wild Kratts’ Ocean Adventure, and a Dino Dig interactive activity.

But Liberty Science Center isn’t just for kids! Check out LSC After Dark every Thursday night from 6 pm – 10 pm. This weekly 21+ event features cocktails, food and events geared towards the grown-ups. Enjoy musical laser light shows, 90s-themed activities, and The Science Behind Pixar premium exhibition.

lsc.org | 222 Jersey City Blvd, Jersey City, NJ (Liberty State Park)

North Jersey Outdoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Campgaw Mountain Ski Resort

Campgaw Mountain Tubing
Check out all the snow tube lanes at Campgaw Mountain Ski Area! Img src: Facebook.com@campgawmountain

Looking for a North Jersey ski area that isn’t quite as crowded but still offers a ton of hills and options? Campgaw Mountain is a beautiful ski facility in Mahwah with 18 acres of skiable terrain, 100% snowmaking capabilities, and a variety of skiing and tubing options for beginners, intermediates and veterans.

Campgaw Mountain provides fun for skiers, snowboarders and snow tubers alike. There are 15+ snow tubing lanes that are over 800 feet long, as well as a double black diamond trail with 2 optional starting routes. With 80% night light coverage, you can ski and snowboard late into the day.

skicampgaw.com | 200 Campgaw Road, Mahwah, NJ

Mountain Creek

Mountain Creek Appalachian
A look inside the Appalachian Hotel at Mountain Creek. Img src: mountaincreek.com

The crown jewel of New Jersey ski getaways, Mountain Creek offers outdoor activities and cozy lodging at the Appalachian Hotel. Everything’s available for beginners and experts alike at Mountain Creek — pack your gear and challenge yourself on the same slopes that host the 2024 NJ State Championships (February 10th). If you’re a newbie, you can rent your first pair of skis here and try your hand at the small hills!

Mountain Creek hosts the 2024 Special Olympics on February 5-6. It’s an incredible opportunity to see some of the world’s most inspiring and talented athletes compete right in our backyard, so take advantage and attend the competition!

mountaincreek.com | 200 NJ-94, Vernon Township, NJ

Newark Winter Village

Newark Winter Village
Aerial view of the Newark Winter Village, a fun pop-up for all ages. Img src: newarkwintervillage.com

It’s time to add Newark to the list of must-see winter destinations! The pop-up Winter Village in downtown Newark is jam-packed with things to do for families, couples and groups of friends alike. Rent a private igloo (XL sizes available), and try the best food and drink from top Newark restaurants.

The main event for us? Nothing beats the ice bumper cars — yes, bumper cars on an ice rink. It’s the definition of “safe, fun-filled mayhem”. Finish the day on Newark’s beautiful outdoor ice skating rink, where access is $10 if you bring your own skates.

newarkwintervillage.com | 162 Mulberry St, Newark, NJ

Watchung Reservation

Lake Surprise Watchung Reservation Winter
A winter day at gorgeous Lake Surprise at Watchung Reservation. Img src: Credit A. Duarte on Flickr via CC BY-SA 2.0

Watchung Reservation is a 2,000+ acre nature preserve located in Union County. It’s a vastly underrated location for great winter hiking in New Jersey — park by Lake Surprise to experience some of the area’s best views during your walk. Bring your snowshoes after a fresh snowfall!

Hike the 6-mile Watchung Reservation History Trail for a look back at the location’s history and notable areas of interest. Did you know the Union County Parks System was designed by the same men who created Central Park? You’ll learn that and more along this picturesque trail.

ucnj.org | 1160 Summit Lane, Mountainside, NJ

Central Jersey Winter Activities

Central Jersey Indoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Asbury Ocean Club Hotel and Spa

Asbury Ocean Club Drawing Room
Enjoy Jersey Shore beach views from inside the Drawing Room at Asbury Ocean Club. Img src: hotel.asburyoceanclub.com

It’s never “off season” at the Jersey Shore if you know where to stay. Asbury Ocean Club’s hotel and spa amenities are among the finest luxury accommodations in NJ — sip a craft cocktail in The Drawing Room while you enjoy views of the shore through its floor to ceiling glass windows.

The ocean views of the spa and fitness center at Asbury Ocean Club elevate your wellness experience. Get a massage, spa treatment or exercise in the comfort and warmth of the spa space while you enjoy relaxing views of the beach. All the benefits, none of the cold!

hotel.asburyoceanclub.com | 1101 Ocean Ave N, Asbury Park, NJ

Dinner, Drinks and Ice Skating in Red Bank

Downtown Red Bank
Take a winter night out in Red Bank for dinner, dessert, and ice skating at the Armory. Img src: redbank.org

A winter night out in Red Bank isn’t contained to one location! Treat yourself to a local restaurant for a delicious hot meal. We love the ale house vibes of The Dublin House and Robinson’s Ale House. Whatever you do, stop by Antoinette Boulangerie for the best French desserts you’ll find for miles.

After dinner, drop by the Red Bank Armory for public skating every Friday night from 8:15 pm – 9:45 pm. Admission is $10, and skate rental is an additional $5. If you’re out and about on the weekend, open public skating also happens Sundays from 1:15 pm – 2:45 pm.

redbankarmory.com | Red Bank Armory: 76 Chestnut Street, Red Bank, NJ

Woolverton Inn

Woolverton Inn Nj
Woolverton Inn is one of NJ’s most romantic inns, located just minutes from New Hope and Lambertville. Img src: woolvertoninn.com

Few NJ inns boast the charm and rustic beauty of Woolverton Inn in Stockton. Just minutes from New Hope, PA, Woolverton Inn is the best central NJ bed and breakfast outside of Spring Lake. Stay overnight in one of their 14 beautiful cottages and wake up to a 3-course breakfast.

Spend the day shopping and strolling the streets of New Hope and Lambertville, NJ. The eclectic mix of local clothing stores, artisans, antiques and food is wonderful — and you’ll do it all along the banks of the Delaware River.

woolvertoninn.com | 6 Woolverton Rd Stockton, NJ

Central Jersey Outdoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Demarest Farms

Orchard Of Lights Demarest Nj
Put Demarest Farms’ Orchard of Lights on your annual holiday events calendar. Img src: orchardoflights.com

One of NJ’s best farms, Demarest Farms offers a wonderful Orchard of Lights show during the holiday season. The 2023 show schedule ran through December 29, 2023 — but keep this on your schedule for the coming years! It’s worth the wait.

Your 32-acre guided drive thru tour includes automated light displays and LED light designs, fields full of decorations and a lovely light tunnel. Afterwards, grab a cup of hot cocoa from the Farm Market, make your own s’mores, and meet Santa Claus every night until Christmas Eve.

orchardoflights.com | 244 Werimus Rd, Hillsdale, NJ

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds For Sculpture Night Forms
The stunning Night Forms exhibit at Grounds for Sculpture lasts for Winter 2024 only. Img src: groundsforsculpture.org

If you want a winter outdoor walk that’s far from ordinary, try Grounds for Sculpture in Mercer County. 300 contemporary outdoor sculptures are spread across 42 well-curated acres of land, offering unique and intriguing artistic views for visitors, students and families.

This year’s Winter in the Garden showcase features Night Forms, an incredible light and sound show that incorporates projection mapping for a new way to see the Grounds. Night Forms runs through April 7, 2024. The exhibition is open Fridays through Sundays, from sunset until 10 pm. Last tickets are sold at 9 pm.

groundsforsculpture.org | 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ

Thompson Park

Thompson Park Snow Sled Hill
The popular snow tubing and sled hill in Thompson Park. Img src: facebook.com@Thompson-Park

Thompson Park in Monroe Township is a great spot for snow tubing and sledding with the family. (Don’t believe us? Check out YouTube!) It also features one of the best dog parks in the area, a 2.5 acre area with separate sections for large and small dogs to play and romp around in the snow.

The visual highlight of the 616 acre park is Manalapan Lake — hike anywhere along its 30 acres and get a wonderful view.

The lake entrance is at the intersection of Lakeview Drive and Forsgate Drive. Dog owners can find the dog park entrance at the intersection of Perrineville Road and Schoolhouse Road.

middlesexcountynj.gov | Lakeview Drive and Forsgate Drive, Monroe Township, NJ

South Jersey Winter Activities

South Jersey Indoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Historic Smithville

Historic Smithville Carousel
The charming carousel at the heart of Historic Smithville. Img src: historicsmithville.com

Historic Smithville is one of NJ’s premier holiday destinations, with its Lights on the Lake display drawing thousands of visitors each year. But Smithville is a wonderful place to visit throughout the winter, with its quaint walking paths linking a series of historic exhibits and charming shops.

Enjoy a meal at Historic Smithville Inn, then stay inside the inn for a drink at Baremore Tavern. There’s a bunch of activities for the kids year-round as well — check out the Antique Arcades, visit the carousel and Smithville Train, and play in the interactive shop at Smithville Toy Market.

historicsmithville.com | 615 E Moss Mill Rd, Smithville, NJ

Renault Winery & Resort

Renault Winery Vintner Wonderland
It’s a Vintner Wonderland each winter at Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City. Img src: renaultwinery.com

It’s Vintner Wonderland at Renault Winery! This winter harvest celebration invites friends and families to come taste wine selections, culinary craft bites and enjoy live entertainment. Ice skating is available, and local craft vendors and artists will be on hand on Fridays-Sundays throughout the winter season.

Sign up for the Makers Expo at Renault Winery on February 17-18, 2024. Top regional artisans gather at Renault to display and sell their handmade wares. The Renault Bar is open all day and supplemented with artisanal food and beverages. Tickets include a stemless Renault glass and wine pour at entrance.

renaultwinery.com | 72 Bremen Ave, Egg Harbor City, NJ

Big Kahuna’s Water Park

Big Kahunas Waterpark Nj
Escape the winter for indoor fun at Big Kahuna’s Water Park in West Berlin. Img src: bigkahunas.com

Want to get away from the winter weather completely — without leaving the state? Big Kahuna’s Water Park is a family-friendly indoor water park with a retractable roof that guarantees you’ll leave the cold weather at the door! The kids will love tube slides, rafts, obstacle courses, a lazy river, and an indoor surf simulator.

There’s plenty for the adults to do at Big Kahuna’s as well. The Hidden Oasis is an indoor leisure pool if you want some time on your own — or hop on Mount Kilimanjaro for some family rafting. At the end of the day, let the kids play in the arcade while you grab a cocktail at the tiki bar.

bigkahunas.com | 535 NJ-73, West Berlin, NJ

South Jersey Outdoor Winter Activities and Attractions

Cape May County Park and Zoo

Cape May Zoo Snow Leopard
One of the 2 gorgeous snow leopards you can visit at Cape May Zoo this winter. Img src: Facebook.com@capemaycountyparkzoo

Cape May County Park offers a wide variety of activities for all ages, and that certainly extends into the winter months. The park is open daily from 7 am – dusk, and features over 200 acres filled with walking paths, ponds and picnic areas.

If weather permits, the Cape May Zoo is open 364 days a year (excluding Christmas) from 10 am – 3:30 pm. It’s home to over 550 animals representing 250 different species — if it’s not too cold, grab the kids and see the snow leopards!

The best part? Entrance to the park and the zoo is free!

capemaycountynj.gov | 707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ

Fort Mott State Park (Snow Tubing and Sledding)

Fort Mott State Park Tubing
Sled and snow tubing hills like this one make Fort Mott State Park popular in the winter. Img src: Facebook.com@FortMott

Locals flock to Fort Mott State Park for some of the best snow tubing and sledding in South Jersey. This 124-acre park is a tuber’s paradise, with hills dotting the landscape. As soon as snow touches the ground, Fort Mott begins to fill up with families ready to hit the “mini slopes” with their sleds.

The trails within Fort Mott State Park are also wonderful for hiking — strap on those snow shoes when there’s deep powder. Your best bet after a winter storm is to check their official Facebook page for gate openings and schedules. Otherwise, the park is generally open from sunrise to dusk every day.

facebook@FortMott | 454 Fort Mott Rd, Pennsville, NJ

Winterfest Cooper River Park

Winterfest Cooper River Park
Ice skating comes to Cherry Hill each winter as part of Winterfest in Cooper River Park. Img src: Facebook.com@winterfestcooperriver

The winter months mean one thing in Cherry Hill — it’s Winterfest ice skating season at Cooper River Park. This season’s Winterfest runs through February 25, 2024. The weekly Winterfest schedule is as follows:

  • Thursdays, 5 pm – 9 pm
  • Fridays, 5 pm – 10 pm
  • Saturdays, 12 pm – 10 pm
  • Sundays, 12 pm – 9 pm
  • Holiday Mondays (MLK Day, Presidents’ Day), 12 pm – 9 pm

Rink admission is $7.50 for adults, and $5.50 for kids 5-12, seniors 65+, and veterans. Skate rentals are $6, and an unlimited season pass for skating is $125 per person.

camdencounty.com | 501 N Park Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ

How Do You Enjoy the Winter in New Jersey?

What’s your idea of a great New Jersey winter activity? Do you want to get out in nature, enjoy the brisk air and kick up some snow with skis, snowboards and tubes? Or do you want to curl up by the fire at a spa resort with a cocktail or warm meal?

Whatever your ideal winter day consists of, you’ll find it in New Jersey. Try out the 20 Garden State winter hotspots on our list, and see which one is your favorite!

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