10 unique museums to visit in New Jersey

Not all museums bore you with history lessons or ancient works of art. Some are interactive and unique to specific elements that you would never have thought of. Take a look at just 10 of New Jersey’s quirky museums.

Pinball

Pinball (ExcaliburMedia)

Silverball Retro Arcade

Travel back in time with the Silverball Retro Arcade at Asbury Park. This pinball museum is open seven days a week and all games are free with various entry pass options. Explore a variety of 137 games dating back to the 1950s with themes such as The Twilight Zone, Wizard of Oz and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Silverball Café is also open in the museum for classic boardwalk treats, including Nathan’s hot dogs, funnel cake, and saltwater taffy.

car matchbox

Matchbox Car (half point)

Matchbox Road Museum

The Matchbox Road Museum in Newfield is packed with over 60,000 Matchbox vehicle types. Although only open Saturdays and Sundays 24 hours a day, this museum is an inside look at a little boy’s dream of pretend cars. You must call ahead to book a private tour.

Minerals

Minerals (magic_light)

Franklin Mineral Museum

Visit the home of a world famous zinc mine at Franklin Mineral Museum. With over 4,000 minerals on display, a fossil hall, and different exhibits to explore, there’s plenty to see and learn here. The museum is best known for its fluorescent hall with minerals that glow in vivid shades of red, orange, yellow, green and blue. The museum is open from April to November from Wednesday to Sunday.

Battleship

Battleship (Getty Stock/ThinkStock)

Battleship New Jersey

Located in Camden, the Battleship New Jersey lets you experience the most decorated battleship of all time in the Navy. Plan a visit to step into a crucial part of American history through multiple exhibits and a tour itinerary. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ouija board

Ouija board (Getty Stock/ThinkStock)

The Paranormal Museum

Take a step into the dark side with Asbury Park’s paranormal museum. Plan a ghost tour or answer your questions about the past, present or future with the ouija wall. You can explore several exhibits including haunted dolls and prison ghosts. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday at varying times.

Small train

Toy train (Getty Stock/ThinkStock)

Northlandz

Northlandz in Flemington is home to the Guinness Book of World Records for largest model railway. With over 8 miles of tracks, hundreds of bridges, over a hundred model trains, and sculpted mountains, there’s plenty to see on this self-guided tour. It is open from Friday to Sunday.

Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs (para827)

Research Station: Dinosaurs

Field Station Dinosaurs in Leonia brings to life more than 30 life-size dinosaurs. Kids can explore scenic trails and enjoy the activities and games included with a day pass. Spend a day with these dinosaurs this summer from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Insectopolis

Also known as the “Bugseum of New Jersey”, Insectopolis at Toms River has exhibits to explore a variety of insects, including butterflies, spiders, and caterpillars. During the summer, the museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and only open Friday through Sunday during the school year.

Seashells

Seashells (Getty Stock/ThinkStock)

Discovery Shell Museum

Nestled in Ocean City stands the Discovery Shell Museum. Open daily, the museum is home to thousands of barnacles, corals, dried marine life, hermit crabs, jewelry, and shark teeth. See collections of seashells from around the world, or even see hermit crabs and chameleons.

glass art

Glass Art (Kaca_Studio)

Heritage Glass Museum

It’s a bit ironic that the Heritage Glass Museum is located in Glassboro but this place is full of colorful art. The museum takes pride in preserving historic glass, bottles and other related items. Its exhibits feature pieces such as fruit jars and demijohns. The museum is only open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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