Connect
To Top

Family Fun in New Jersey: Garden State Discovery Museum

Family Fun in New Jersey: Garden State Discovery Museum

My family and I spent six months in the New York City area last year. In addition to the city and nearby surrounding area, my kids and I also hopped in the car a few times to explore a little farther away. The Garden State Discovery Museum is a children’s museum located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Using our membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum, which allows us free or discounted entry into over 500 participating ASTC (Association of Science-Technology Centers) and ACM (Association of Children’s Museums) museums, my two kiddos and I got into the Garden State Discovery Museum for half price. Admission regularly costs $13.95 plus tax for adults and children age 12 months and older.

Founded in 1994, the Garden State Discovery Museum provides various play-based educational opportunities for infants through 10-year-olds. At the time of our visit, my son was a crawling one-year-old and my daughter was four. Conveniently located just minutes from the main arteries of Routes 70 and 73, the New Jersey Turnpike, and Interstate 295, the museum is also located half an hour from downtown Philadelphia across the Delaware River. Free parking is ample, which was quite the change from the New York City area.

Garden State Discovery Museum Wholesome Pickings Farmer's Market at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Under Construction at the Garden State Discovery Museum Silver Diner at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Silver Diner and Subaru Service Station at the Garden State Discovery Museum Subaru Science Shop at the Garden State Discovery Museum

As a mother of two young children, I was thoroughly impressed by the Garden State Discovery Museum. My kids and I arrived in the late morning and stayed until the late afternoon. Both my toddler and preschooler found plenty of activities to do together and on their own. Some noteworthy exhibits include Under Construction,  a two story “unbuilt” playhouse; Vet & Pet, an animal health-care clinic; Silver Diner, a pretend restaurant with a kitchen, milkshake machine, and cash registers; Down the Shore, a pretend boat; and Nature Center, and area with a tree house, giant spider web, and puppets.

Of all the exhibits at the Garden State Discovery Museum, my kids had two definite favorites. Little Discoveries is a room reserved for infants through four-year-olds. The room contained all sorts of fun activities perfect for the littlest explorers. I appreciated that the door closed, which allowed me to let my daughter run around on her own while I played with her baby brother. Parents are encouraged to play along with their children while exploring the barn and farm house, jumping into the pig pen, and feeding the horses carrots, among other activities. I did have to ask a member of the staff to remove some much older kids who came into Little Discoveries at one point and were running around wildly, but he was incredibly helpful and addressed the problem quickly.

Bubble Trouble at the Garden State Discovery Museum Down the Shore at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Pig Pen in Little Discoveries at the Garden State Discovery Museum Little Discoveries at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Both my kids also loved the Dinosaurium, which is a tribute to role that south New Jersey played in dinosaur discovery. Little explorers can climb inside the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex and dig for bones in the excavation site. Both my daughter and son loved digging around the rubber bits in the excavation site. I even climbed up in the T-rex with my son so that he could follow his sister around.

If you ever find yourself in the Cherry Hill area of New Jersey or even in Philadelphia with kids, I highly recommend spending a few hours at the Garden State Discovery Museum. Admission is a moderate $13.95 per person over the age of 1, and you can get in for half price if you have a membership at another ASTC network museum. My kids and I spent a wonderful few hours exploring the many exhibits, so the drive across the New Jersey Turnpike was definitely worth the time.

Bright Light at the Garden State Discovery Museum Spider Web at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Wildlife Puppet Theatre at the Garden State Discovery Museum Get Fit at the Garden State Discovery Museum

Dinosaurium at the Garden State Discovery Museum T-rex Climber at the Garden State Discovery Museum

For more information, visit the Garden State Discovery Museum website.

Image Credits

Family Fun in New Jersey: Garden State Discovery Museum © 2017 Heather Johnson
Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Wholesome Pickings Farmer’s Market at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Under Construction at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Silver Diner at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Silver Diner and Subaru Service Station at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Subaru Science Shop at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Bubble Trouble at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Down the Shore at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Pig Pen in Little Discoveries at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Little Discoveries at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Bright Light at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Spider Web at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Wildlife Puppet Theatre at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Get Fit at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
Dinosaurium at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson
T-rex Climber at the Garden State Discovery Museum © 2016 Heather Johnson

More in Blog