Culture & History

Outdoor Places

Play Places

Corrections or additions?

These listings were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper

on November 24, 1999. All rights reserved.

For Families, Holiday Destinations

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Culture & History

Cotsen Children’s Library, Firestone Library, Princeton

University, 609-258-1148.

At this mini-museum children can explore fantastic sites of three

favorite authors (C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, and E.B. White) by


through the fantasy wardrobe (as in C.S. Lewis’ "The Lion, the

Witch, and the Wardrobe"). Push a button in Wonderland to hear

a voice recite "Jabberwocky," or use word magnets to write

about the seasons in the barnyard of "Charlotte’s Web." Among

the high-tech attractions, a video studio where youngsters can act

out an updated fairy tale and then watch themselves on screen. Funded

by the Lloyd E. Cotsen, former CEO of Neutrogena Inc., this library

is a wonderland for adults and children alike — an excellent


destination. It is open weekdays from 9 to 5 p.m., and on Saturday

and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m, but closed on holidays, including from

Friday, December 31 at 1 p.m. to Sunday, January 2 at 1 p.m.

The Art Museum, McCormick Hall, Princeton University,

609-258-3787. Look for Picasso’s "Head of a Woman" out front.

Children’s talks take place Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. during the

school year.

Thomas Clark House, 500 Mercer Street, in the 85-acre

Princeton Battlefield State Park, 609-921-0074. Open Wednesdays to

Sundays. After the Battle of Princeton, General Hugh Mercer died here;

it is furnished as a Quaker farmhouse during the Revolutionary War.

The expansive lawns by the Mercer Oak or by the Greek columns marking

the common grave are open to picnickers.

New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, College Farm Road and

Route 1, North Brunswick, 732-249-2077.

Permanent exhibits of equipment, technology, and handicrafts of New

Jersey farm life. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. Adults $4; seniors $3; children 4 through 12


Hopewell Museum, 28 East Broad Street, 609-466-0103.


in a Victorian house, the museum has antique dolls, toys, clothing,

furniture, weapons and a particularly strong collection of Native

American artifacts. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m.

New Jersey State Museum, 205 West State Street, Trenton.

609-292-6464. Tuesday to Saturday, 9 to 4:45 p.m., Sunday, noon to

5 p.m. Everything from dinosaurs and American Indian artifacts and

antique furniture to fine arts and a planetarium. Lectures, kids


a family laser concert series.

Old Barracks Museum, Capitol Complex, Trenton,


Historical interpreters in period dress explore life in colonial and

revolutionary New Jersey. Built in 1758, the building housed British

soldiers during the French and Indian War, and three Hessian regiments

succumbed to George Washington’s troops on December 26, 1776. Recently

given a major makeover, this spot is rated wonderful for children.

Liberty Science Center, Liberty State Park, Jersey City,

201-200-1000. Website:

A three-story adventure palace for all ages, the Liberty Science


features permanent and changing hands-on exhibits, movies, and a


with a view of Manhattan. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m.

to 5:30 p.m. Admission to the exhibits is $9.50 for adults; $7.50

for children ages 2 to 18, and seniors. Combination tickets that


the IMAX movie (currently showing "Wolves") and 3-D Theater

are $15.50 adult; $13.50 children and seniors. Parking in the


lot is $5.

New Jersey State Aquarium, Camden, 856-365-3300.

The New Jersey State Aquarium — a graceful, V-shaped domed


its rooftop pennants flying above a riverside promenade with a


view of Philadelphia’s cityscape — the crown jewel in the


of the Camden waterfront.

Operated by the New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences, its


Open Ocean Tank is one of the largest in the country. Interactivity

is a part of each Aquarium exhibit, drawing in children and adults

alike. The entry rotunda is adorned by a massive seven-foot-high open

jaw of a Megalodon shark, extinct for 10,000 years; it leads to the

Shark Zone, where other shark jaws are mounted in display cases around

the Touch-a-Shark tank, its rim crowded by children.

The Aquarium’s fish population numbers more than 4,000, and its recent

tenants include a delightful colony of aquatic birds, joined last

year by African penguins in a 6,000 square-foot exhibit called Inguza

(an African word for "penguin") Island, complete with a


8-foot pool. Winter hours: Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.;

weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for 12 and over cost $11.95; and

$8.95 for children 3 to 11; under 3 free.

Please Touch Museum, 210 North 21st Street, Philadelphia,

215-963-0667. Website:

The holiday season kicks off Friday, November 26, with a holiday


"The Gift of Reading, featuring four interactive gift boxes that

focus on classic children’s stories marking the winter holidays of

different faiths.

The Wonder Museum, 385 Route 130, East Windsor,



This interactive children’s museum boasts a pumper fire truck, an

ambulance, a castle fortress, a 1948 Gunther Biplane, a 1926 black

Ford Model T roadster, a log cabin complete with pot-belly stove,

half-size model of Columbus’ ship, the Pinta, a teepee, a dance studio

complete with ballet barre, a television station, a bank of computers

— and more.

It is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m.

to 5 p.m. Admission is $7.99 plus tax per person; children under 2

are free. It will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

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Outdoor Places

Princeton University,


Let school-age kids run around the campus — treasure hunt fashion

— finding the outdoor sculpture from the Putnam collection. Equip

them with a $1 guidebook — with a map and pictures — from

Maclean House, the University Store, or the Art Museum. Another


the $1 gargoyle book, but to really appreciate the gargoyles, bring

opera glasses or binoculars.

Grounds for Sculpture, 18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton,

609-586-0616. Another great place to stretch their legs — a


landscaped sculpture park on the former state fairgrounds site, with

indoor exhibitions in the glass-walled, 10,000 square foot museum,

and the newly-renovated Domestic Arts Building., open Friday s and

Saturdays, 10 to 4 p.m., and by appointment. In the Museum and


Arts Building, "Beverly Pepper," one-artist show to April

16, 2000. Gallery hours are Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pine Creek Miniature Golf , 394 Route 31 North, West


609-466-3803. Two large 18-hole courses with a clubhouse to warm up

in. Home page:

Stony Brook Millstone Watershed Association, Titus Mill

Road, Pennington. 609-737-3735. A working organic farm and weekend

nature programs for all ages.

Marquand Park, Lover’s Lane between Mercer Street and

Route 206. Extensive arboretum with playground equipment and picnic

tables, no public bathrooms.

Princeton Airport, Route 206, 609-921-3100. Watch the

copters and fixed wings land, browse in the pilot store, ask to see

the antique airplane.

Howell Living History Farm, Valley Road, off Route 29,

Titusville, 609-737-3299. Website:

Experience 19th-century agricultural life on this working and teaching

farm. Thanksgiving program on Saturday, November 27, features

free horsedrawn hayrides, a wreath and sleighbell sale, and a


craft program. Rides are free, but donations of canned goods are being

collected for area food banks. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Mondays.


Mercer County Park Ice Rink, West Windsor, 609-371-1669.

Opens Saturday, November 20. Public skating hours: weekdays, 10 a.m.

to 2 p.m.; Tuesday & Friday evenings 8 to 10 p.m. Saturdays 1 to

4 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m.; family’s with small children only, 5 to 7

p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.

Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road. 609-924-2310. There

are farm animals for children to feed and pet. Open daily.

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Play Places

Explorations, 4095 Route 1 South, South Brunswick Square,

732-438-1212. A fun and fitness entertainment center.

RompAround, Route 1 and Texas Avenue, Lawrence Shopping

Center, 609-895-6677; fax, 609-895-2929. Play center.

Laser Park, 45 Everett Drive, Building C, Princeton


609-936-1800. A recreation complex with a laser tag game.

Lazer 587 Zone, 825 Route 33, Trenton. 609-587-9663. New

place for laser tag gaming.

The Fun House, 278 Monmouth Street, Suite C, Hightstown

08520. Rich Ganeles, owner. 888-266-4386.


Sixty boardwalk arcade games, available by reservation to groups of

adults, children, or mixed ages on an "unlimited free play"


Skaters Alliance, 301 North Harrison Street, Princeton

Shopping Center, Princeton 08540. Jim Cloer, owner. 609-924-6276.

In-store 15-foot practice ramp for skateboarders.

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