There are so many good things about living here in the center of NJ, I could go on and on about them. And I've decided to do just that. Periodically I'm going to pick something that has recently made itself a pleasure in my life and tell you why it's a NJ Treasure, in hopes that you'll enjoy it too and have more pleasures in your life.
Today's installment features the NJ State Museum and Planetarium. Right now, the main museum is closed for renovation, but the Planetarium and the galleries on West State Street are open.
The Planetarium is our favorite. It's dirt cheap ($4 adult, $3 kid for sky shows- plus there's a download coupon for another buck off!), easy to get to, and a lot of fun. They run both sky shows and laser shows, which are a few bucks more. The first time we went was for a sky show. My oldest had just studied in school an old slave song called "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which sounded like a spiritual but was really a mnemonic device for runaway slaves to get north using the stars to guide them. The planetarium had a sky show on the song and we thought it would be educational to follow up the lesson with a visual, so we went for an educational experience we thought the kids might remember. Turned out, we had a lot of fun! It was great! For weeks afterward the kids were bugging Daddy to get out the telescope at night.
While the main museum is being renovated, the Auditorium galleries are open. Currently they have exhibits on Trenton and its history, and one about how native and European peoples clashed and combined in Our Fair State's early history.
The reason for the timing on this is that this weekend is Super Science Family Festival from 11 to 4 on both days. Mad Science will be doing demonstrations on Saturday, there will be a baby dinosaur display on Sunday, Hubble Vision on both days, and currently the West State Street galleries have on display Heavens Above: Photographs of the Universe from the Hubble Space Telescope.
All this and on weekends, free parking in the employee lots next door. How can you go wrong? Head out to the State Museum and experience one of New Jersey's Treasures.