Hillary Chybinski: Day Trip to NJ: The NJ State Museum and State House

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day Trip to NJ: The NJ State Museum and State House

Thanks to Jersey Family Fun, we spent a day of our winter break exploring Trenton, NJ.  I may be a Jersey Girl, but I have not spent much time in the Trenton area.  but knowing it has historical significance and it is the state capital. . . we knew Ryan would love it and hoped Owen would too.

Visiting hte NJ State House and the State Museum

Our day began at the NJ State Museum. . .while we waited for the rest of our group to arrive, we explored the Natural History exhibit.

What to see at the NJ State Museum

What to see at the NJ State Museum

What to see at the NJ State Museum

My kids loved how there were exhibits you were "allowed" to touch. . .complete with small signs that said "Please Touch".

Touchable learning at the NJ State Museum

We were treated to some fascinating facts from Field Station: Dinosaur Exhibition paleontologists,  (the first 20 years of dinosaur discover happened right here in New Jersey!)

Learning about dinosaurs in NJ

Sang dinosaur songs with Sam the Dinosaur Troubadour, 

Learning about dinosaurs in NJ

And even got to meet a "real" T-Rex. . .Ryan loved this dinosaur experience, but Owen was less than thrilled with how "lifelike" the eyes and "voice" were.  It was truly remarkable and such fun. If you have small children, be warned that this can be a bit "scary."

Learning about  dinosaurs in NJ

After all this excitement, we got to see a 3-D holiday laser light show in the planetarium.  prior to the holiday themed music and show, we were treated to a look at what the sky looked like when George Washington crossed the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War.  the laser light portion of the program was even in 3-D.

From there, we headed over to the NJ State House for a guided tour. It's just a short walk.

The dome of the NJ State House

The NJ State House

Uur tour guide, Barbara was a lovely woman that provided us with plenty of information and entertainment regarding the legislature branch of the NJ Government.  She explained much of the symbolism used in various seals, flags and emblems.

Inside the NJ State HOuse

Inside the NJ State House

Inside the NJ State House

We even got to see the outer chamber of the Governor's office.

After our tour, Ryan participated in a Make a Law Program in the Visitor's Center where he learned how a bill becomes a law in NJ.  He LOVED it and they even passed one.  Owen and I walked back to the museum to check out the exhibits we hadn't seen in the morning.

Visiting the NJ State Museum

Hands-on Learning at the NJ State Museum

September 11th Exhibit at the NJ State Museum

It was a wonderful day - full of history and entertainment for both kids and adults.

If you go - both the NJ State Museum and the NJ State House are open to and free for the public. (there is even free parking)  The planetarium has a fee to see their program.

catch you soon -

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