From a heavy fog to a complete downpour, New Jersey’s foul weather can hamper even the best-laid plans. When that happens, don’t be stuck inside with the blues. Use our guide and have some family fun instead! Here are a few things you and the kids can do on a gray day in Bridgewater.
Discover Your Local Library
Rainy days are the best time to visit your local library, whether you read a book, attend a class, or spend some time playing in the children’s area. Your teens can download music while you thumb through today’s paper. The whole family can research your genealogy or take a mommy-and-me class together, like Math Matter. This interactive program introduces match concepts to young minds ages 3 to 6 years old.
The dedicated staff has filled this longstanding institution to the brim with books. Join in a fantasy fiction discussion or encourage your children to get a head start on their summer reading list. It’s also a terrific place to find movies to watch later. Curl up on the couch after dinner and leave the thunderstorms behind with titles for everyone, even your youngest family members. You’ll find the Somerset County library on Vogt Drive. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on weekends. It’s closed on Sunday.
Indulge in Retail Therapy at the Mall
The Bridgewater Mall on Commons Way is another outstanding place to hang out on a cloudy day. The Mall is a favorite destination of Bridgewater residents, rain or shine, because there’s so much to see and do under one roof. This fully enclosed upscale shopping complex keeps the rain out and touts some of the best department store labels at places like Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. Buy a new item to spruce up your home at Pottery Barn or grab a new table for the students in the family at the Apple store.
While away the day as you browse three floors of vendors doling out goods, food, and entertainment. Catch events like Pop! Creators designed this interactive photo fantasy land experience for all ages. There’s also a large food court on the upper level with plenty of seating and something delicious to eat. Pick your meal from one of 11 restaurants, like Charley’s Philly Steaks or Master Wok. The Mall is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m, weekends from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Burn Off Energy at ClubAir
Every year, rain, snow, and hail storms roll across Bridgewater and keep active families like yours indoors. Next time that happens, load up the kids and head to ClubAir to burn off some energy. Located on Mt. Bethel Road, this state-of-the-art park is convenient enough to visit every day after school. This exciting destination is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, Friday until 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m.
This indoor family entertainment center located in nearby Warren features a trampoline park and other interactive attractions. Children and adults with autism enjoy private time at the club with sensory-friendly Mondays, while toddlers get the place to themselves on Tuesdays. There’s even an adult-only night so you and your partner can cut loose on the ninja course or test your skills on the traverse rock climbing walls.
Catch a Flick at Reading Cinema
Skip the big movie house in town and head to Reading Cinema in nearby Manville. It’s a quick drive over to North Main Street, where you’ll find the closest location to Bridgewater. This regional chain is a great place to spend a gray afternoon. So grab some candy and a drink and sit back to enjoy the newest Hollywood blockbuster.
If it’s gray on a Tuesday, it’s your lucky day! Reading Cinema offers half-off ticket prices, plus half-off food like chicken tenders and tubs of popcorn. See popular classics on Monday nights, or schedule a private watch party to celebrate a special, rained-out occasion.
Team Up to Escape the Room
Located on U.S. Route 22 East, Escape Room Center is a fantastic spot to get out of the weather. This activity is best for families with children who are at least 11. It’s a great way to bond while teaming up to solve puzzles. Reserve one of the small rooms for four to six players, or select one of the larger options for six to 10 people if you have a big group.
With this adventure game, you’ll use the clues and props to complete your mission and escape the room. If you choose to play The Garage, you and the kids will pretend to be a team of mechanics, while the plot of Lucky Duck Speakeasy centers around the 1920s era and prohibition. Can your family figure out who the mob boss is before the clock runs out on this session?
Visit the Children’s Museum
The Jersey Explorer Children’s Museum inspires children to explore their natural curiosity and creativity through its numerous exhibits and educational programs on Dodd Street in East Orange. Help nurture their love of learning with interactive art, history, and science exhibits designed just for kids. See displays like the Explorer’s Station discovery trunk and the Control Central display inside a three-level spaceship.
What sets this museum apart from others is its founders. At-risk young adults build the galleries and staff the museum alongside adult volunteers and students. Check the museum’s website or call for availability as the governor lifts New Jersey’s social mandates. Admission is $10 per child. Adults are free.
So, there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Bridgewater just informed you of the best things in town to do on a gray day. Did you like our picks? Did we miss a favorite activity of yours — one New Jersey locals love? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line so we can add your ideas to our list.