Making Memories at Museums
Compiled and Photographed by Sarah Einhorn
Planning outdoor trips for Chol Hamoed Pesach can be risky. As much as we wish it would be, the weather isn’t always ideal for the glorious outdoors. It’s happened many times throughout the year that Chol Hamoed Pesach was rainy, and one memorable year it even snowed! Therefore, I would like to share a variety of museums we’ve enjoyed in the tri -state area. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.
Note: It is always advisable to purchase tickets in advance when possible. Please call or check online for applicable hours.
Liberty Science Center
The Liberty Science Center is even more exciting than I remember from when I was a kid. With four floors of thrilling hands-on exhibits, guests of all ages are kept busy and fascinated for hours on end.
The museum is divided into sections with exhibits that are correlating to their themes. There is a section on energy, and another on the different species found within the Hudson River, including a touch tank where children learn about and can touch star fish, clams and other species found locally. The Infection Connection area teaches all about infections and disease. The Touch Tunnel is both spooky and fun where you see if you can leave the pitch black tunnel just by feeling your way out.
The Infinity Climber is suspended 35 feet in the air and is lots of fun to climb through. The section showing real live animals in their habitat is a bonus. The skyscraper section teaches all you need to know about planning and constructing skyscrapers. Visitors can also try walking across a beam 18 feet above the ground. There are so many more exhibits that are just simply too numerous to enumerate. Go visit and see for yourself.
Prices begin at $29.99 per adult and $24.99 per child.
Approximate Distance from Marine Park: 40 minutes
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum
The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is an adorable interactive museum where the exhibits focus on and teach, science, literacy, math, art, music, and community while having lots of fun.
Children can dress up and role play as firefighters, plumbers, chefs, and doctors. In the Imagination Playground, children use the special blocks to create imaginary animals, buildings, rockets, and cities. The Early Learning Junction designed for children ages 0-4 includes the Hudson Hills, the Train Table, and the Station.
The Wonderdome has many interesting parts to it. The reactor tube, the portal and the light waterfall are some of the light and color activities within it. The flight lab is an all-time favorite with the flying foam pieces.
The museum is located right by the Upper Landing Park just below the Walkway Over the Hudson Bridge. It is a beautiful scenic area, a great place to enjoy a picnic or just walk along the water.
75 North Water Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Admission is $12 for adults and children over 1 year of age.
Approximate Distance from Marine Park: 2 hours
USS New Jersey
Every Navy ship in the United States has a name beginning with USS, which stands for United States Ship. The USS New Jersey, also known as BB62, was launched December 7, 1942, in the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, a year after the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor and was drawn into WWII.
The enormous size of the ship is astounding! The USS New Jersey is the longest battleship ever built and is eleven stories high. You can’t help but be impressed by the three turrets of three 16-inch guns each, which used to fire a six-foot long projectile 23 miles.
The New Jersey is the most decorated battleship in U.S. history. She earned her stars through her courageous battles fought in many places and time periods including WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East. She was first commissioned on May 30, 1943 until she was decommissioned for the final time in February of 1991.
Over the years, the ship was upgraded in various ways. The Tomahawk and Harpoons missile launchers and the Phalanx defense system – a computerized gun that could fire off 10,000 rounds a minute, were some of the upgrades. In the Combat Engagement Center there are fascinating demonstrations of a simulated tomahawk missile launch.
Tours of the Battleship New Jersey are led by trained tour guides, many of whom served in the United States Navy. The tour includes a walk through the Admiral’s and Captain’s Quarters, the historical exhibit area, the Wardroom, the areas where the crew ate and slept, the barber shop and many more parts of this amazing ship.
100 Clinton Street,
Camden, NJ 08103
Self-guided tours are $30 for adults, $23 for seniors and for children ages 12 and under
Approximate Distance from Marine Park: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Address and Phone Number:
30 Centre Square
Easton, PA 18042
Approximate Distance from Marine Park: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Admission for ages 2 and up is $25.99 online, and $28.99 at the door
Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Stamford Museum and Nature Center has so many exciting things to see and do. Best of all, it is all real, all nature.
When we visited, there was a large temporary exhibit on maize (corn). This exhibit shows many kinds of corn, what corn is used for and many different interesting corn related facts and things are on display.
The ST&N Center doesn’t only talk about nature, they actually invite you to enjoy nature at its best. There are trails in the wooded area with a babbling brook running alongside it to hike and explore.
There is the Hekscher Farm and Otter Pond where there are farm animals, and believe it or not, otters. There is also an herb garden, and a lake with ducks wandering around.
The Nature’s Playground is one of a kind with many slides in different lengths and styles winding through the hill. The children love playing in the bird’s nests and logs. Stamford Museum and Nature Center offers genuine wholesome fun.
39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT 06903
Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for students with valid ID, and $8 for children ages 4 and up
Approximate Distance from Marine Park: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Allaire State Park
Allaire State Park consists of 3,000 acres of hiking trails, picnic area, and wooded areas. Allaire State Park is also home to Allaire Village and The New Jersey Museum of Transportation and a train ride on the Pine Creek Railway.
Allaire Village is a replica of the Howell Works, a thriving historic village in the early 19th century which produced pig and cast iron. The buildings which remain today include a general store, blacksmith shop, carpenter’s shop, manager’s house, and foreman’s house. The Blacksmith Shop offers iron production demonstration. The carpentry shop shows how molds were made and iron cast. There are guided tours of Mr. Allaire’s home which take about 20-30 minutes. One of the workers’ row house buildings is now the Visitor Center and Museum.
There are a variety of tours available but photography is not permitted within any of the historic buildings at The Historic Village at Allaire. The Village is only open on Saturday and Sunday but the general store is open all week.
The New Jersey Museum of Transportation’s Pine Creek Railroad is also located in Allaire State Park. It is one of the oldest operating narrow gauge railway exhibits in the U.S. There are train rides running every half hour until 4:00 in the summer months. The train ride takes 15 minutes. The friendly conductor encourages the little ones to explore his cabin.
4265 Atlantic Avenue
Wall Township, NJ 07727
Phone Number: 732-919-3500
General admission for Allaire Village is $5.oo, ages 4 and up.
Train rides tickets $6.00 ages 3 and up; $2.00 ages 2 and under
Approximate Distance from Flatbush: 1 hour, 5 minutes