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Department of State

New Jersey State Museum

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

New Jersey State Museum Update

The Museum is closed to the public until further notice.

Museum

Learn At The Museum

Schedule a Virtual Field Trip

This school year is taking shape in new and strange ways. We understand that health and safety are a top priority, and with that in mind we are not currently conducting group tours and workshops at the Museum.

Don't worry - the New Jersey State Museum has you covered! From digital field trip kits to streaming star talks and live chats with our scientific experts, your favorite experiences are all adapted to your virtual classroom. Use the PDF guide below to choose from a variety of program packages and let us bring the field trip to you!

Choose from 3 different kits designed for K-4 or 5-8 students. Each kit is compatible with Google Classroom and include: a link to a pre-recorded gallery tour, set of 25 hands-on crafts and multiple digital activity sheets to expand learning. Kits are $75.00 each and craft supplies are available for free curbside pickup at the Museum or shipped directly for an extra $30.00 fee.

Your class may also schedule a live session with one of our Museum experts which includes a presentation followed by interactive Q&A. You choose Google Meet or Zoom and a meeting link will be sent to you to share with your group. There is a maximum of 30 students per live program. Choose from two Ask the Experts programs, $75.00 each or a Live Night Sky Talk for $50.00.

Once you have chosen your virtual experience:
Call (609) 292-1382 or email njsm.reservations@sos.nj.gov to order.

PRICING & PAYMENT
All kits cost $75. Price includes 25 hands-on projects and links to digital activities and tours. Live Night Sky talks cost $50 and includes a 20 minute live presentation for up to 30 people and a link to "To Space & Back." Ask the Expert science talks cost $75 and includes a 45 minute presentation for up to 30 people.

Payment is due when you place your order. We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Kit supplies are available for free curbside pickup from the State Museum within 3 business days of your order. Kits can also be shipped for an additional $30. We do not ship to individual students. Please allow up to two weeks for delivery of shipped items.

Pricing

General admission is FREE for school groups. Pricing for reserved experiences are listed below.

  Per Student Per Teacher/Chaperone
Guided Tours Free Free
Planetarium $3 $3
Lab & Studio Workshops $3 Free
Ask the Experts $3 Free
Thursday Theatre $3 $3
Early Learning $2 Free

Advance reservations are REQUIRED for all programs, free and fee-based.

Payments must be made in full 2 weeks in advance.

No refunds can be issued once payment is processed.

Field Trip Experiences

The New Jersey State Museum offers a variety of experiences to fit the needs of your group. Please see the 2020 - 2021 Field Trip Planning Guide for complete descriptions of all these programs.

Soar into space in our amazing Hi-Def Planetarium! The New Jersey State Museum's 140-seat Planetarium features precision projection of more than 6000 stars that transport the audience on an amazing astronomical experience.

All presentations include a live New Jersey sky talk.

Advance reservations and payment are required. Planetarium scheduled show times for September-June are 10:00 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. In July and August they are 10:30 am, 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Groups arriving in September-June will be able to pick their show. Groups arriving in July and August with have a choice of 3 pre-set public shows.

PLEASE NOTE:
Planetarium shows begin promptly at the scheduled time; groups arriving late may miss their show. We are unable to issue refunds for late arrivals.

Length: Shows range from 25 to 45 minutes
Cost: $3 per person, including teachers and chaperones.
$5 per person, including leaders and chaperones, July-August.
Group Size: Our Planetarium seats 140 people; larger groups will be split into two or more shows. Minimum group size of 15 attendees.

Reservations and Information: Call 609-292-1382 or email njsm.reservations@sos.nj.gov

Designed around New Jersey’s curriculum standards, these hands on workshops connect to your classroom and deepen your student’s field trip experience. Advanced reservations and payment are required.

Length: 45 minutes
Cost: $3.00 per student
Group Size: 15-30 students per workshop session. Groups larger than 30 may be split to rotate through workshops and other activities.

Wide World of Weather (Grades K-4)
Explore Earth’s dynamic weather and climate patterns, projected onto our interactive Magic Planet, and experiment with an electrifying weather phenomenon!

Lenape Artistic Traditions (Grades 1-5)
Learn about the evolution of Delaware Lenape art and culture as they became “a much moved people” by examining artifacts in our galleries. After a discussion of influences in art and modern day native artists, students will express their own artistic selves through Lenape-inspired stamped baskets.

Digging For Dinosaurs (Grades 2-7)
Explore Earth’s geologic history through New Jersey’s extraordinary fossils! Students will understand how life and Earth have changed over time, and use fossil clues to rebuild a Cretaceous landscape from New Jersey 70 million years ago!

Hearth& Home (Grades 4-8)
Humans are among the most adaptable creatures on Earth, thriving in very different environments with different resources, climates, and dangers. Looking to the Lenape of New Jersey for inspiration, student teams will assess a North American ecosystem and build a unique, sustainable home model.

Earthquakes (Grades 4-10)
An earth science lab with an engineering twist! Digging into earthquakes and plate tectonics, student teams undertake an engineering design challenge to build and test prototype seismometers.

Created especially for preschool and kindergartners, our programs introduce science, history and art through creative play, crafts and storytelling. Advanced reservations and payment are required.

Length: 45 minutes
Cost: $2.00 per student
Group Size: 15-20 students per workshop session. Groups larger than 20 may be split up to rotate through workshops and other activities.

Dino Motion
What can we learn from a footprint? Discover how dinosaurs navigated through their environment as we combine art, imaginative play and real fossils. Your “herd” of young paleontologists will even create a life-sized dinosaur trackway!

Paint Me a Story
Art and storytelling go hand in hand! Children explore the Fine Art gallery and discover the stories that art can tell through color, themes and feelings. Children will end the session in the studio using real art materials and tools to paint their own unique story.

Stars & Shapes Forever
Introduce young children to our solar system! Meet our favorite star, Sol, and the planets that orbit around it through creative play, then make a stellar craft. Be sure to reserve one of our Planetarium shows to pair with this workshop (additional fees apply).

More in-depth than a gallery tour, our interactive assemblies focus on the sciences of Paleontology or Archaeology and the scientists working here at NJSM. Presentations and payment are adaptable to students in grades 3-12. Advanced reservations and payment are required.

Length: 45 minutes
Cost: $3.00 per student
Group Size: Perfect for large audiences! Groups of 25 or more will be accommodated in our auditorium. Minimum groups size 15 attendees.

Fossil Hunters in New Jersey
New Jersey abounds with fossils – its rocks represent 80 percent of the Earth’s history since life began! Paleontologist Dr. Dana Ehret shares exciting local discoveries, what fossils tell us about ancient ecosystems, and all of the challenges paleontologists face in this adventurous field.

People of the Past: Archaeology in New Jersey
How do artifacts help archaeologists understand the lives of prehistoric humans? Archaeologist Dr. Gregory Lattanzi leads this exploration of the unique artifacts, geography and environments of important New Jersey archaeological sites.

Guided tours explore New Jersey history, American art and artists, natural science or the Lenape in NJ. Tours are FREE, Advanced reservations are required. Minimum group size 15 students; groups larger than 25 students may be split to rotate through tours and other activities. Tours are approximately 30 minutes.

Perfect for large groups, choose from a variety of quality live theatre shows. We are committed to offering children a theatre experience that engages and inspires! Advanced reservations and payment are required.

Planetarium - Educational

Soar into space in our amazing Hi-Def Planetarium! The New Jersey State Museum's 140-seat Planetarium features precision projection of more than 6000 stars that transport the audience on an amazing astronomical experience.

All presentations include a live New Jersey sky talk.

Advance reservations and payments are required. The Planetarium is available for school and camp groups with advanced reservations Tuesday – Friday. Planetarium scheduled show times for September-June are 10:00 am, 11:00 am, and 1:00 pm. In July and August they are 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 1:30 pm.

PLEASE NOTE:
Groups arriving in September-June will be able to pick shows from the selection below. Groups arriving in July and August will have a choice of three pre-set public shows. Planetarium shows begin promptly at the scheduled show time; groups arriving late may miss their show. We are unable to issue refunds for late arrivals.

Length: Shows range from 25 to 45 minutes
Cost: $3 per person, including teachers and chaperones, September - June.
$5 per person, including leaders and chaperones, July-August.
Group Size: Our Planetarium seats 140 people; larger groups will be split into two or more shows. Minimum group size of 15 attendees.

Reservations and Information: Call 609-292-1382 or email njsm.reservations@sos.nj.gov

Planetarium Programs

New and Featured Shows for the 2019 School Year

 

NEW! Tales of the Maya Skies

Grades: 3 - 12

The ancient Maya achieved an unparalleled understanding of astronomy. Experience how Maya culture, life, architecture, and legends were intertwined with the ancient Maya’s scientific observation and recording of planetary movements.

 

NEW! Heart of the Sun

Grades: 4 - 12

New space-based telescopes, along with a new generation of terrestrial instruments, capture both the fine surface detail and the vast eruptions of the corona with unprecedented clarity and for the first time take us right inside a living star.

 

Magic Tree House: Space Mission

Grades: K - 4

Based on the book series by Mary Pope Osborne. Adventure through space with brother-sister team of Jack and Annie….and their Magic Tree House!

Teacher Guide: Magic Tree House

 

Earth, Moon & Sun

Grades: 2 - 5

Our most popular show! Discover Earth’s place in the universe, and the patterns in the motion of sun, moon and stars with the help of clever Coyote.

Teacher Guide: Earth, Moon & Sun

 

Wildest Weather in the Solar System

Grades: 2 - 12

Fly through the thick atmosphere of Venus, magnetic storms on the sun, liquid methane showers on Titan, and a raging 400-year-old-hurricane on Jupiter. You’ll emerge glad you live on Earth! Pair this show with our Wide World of Weather workshop.

Teacher Guide: Wildest Weather in the Solar System

 

Dark Universe

Grades: 7 - 12

Unravel the complexities of the cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson as your guide! Plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and explore the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy in this spectacular show.

Teacher Guide: Dark Universe

 

Additional Available Shows

 

One World, One Sky

Grades: Pre-K to 1

Join Sesame Street’s Big Bird, Elmo and their Chinese friend Hu Hu Zhu on a discovery of the sun, moon, and stars!

Teacher Guide: One World, One Sky

 

The Little Star that Could

Grades: Pre-K to 2

Little Star is an average yellow star, searching for planets of his own to protect and warm. Pairs with the Early Learning program Stars & Shapes Forever.

Teacher Guide: The Little Star that Could

 

Dinosaurs at Dusk

Grades: 2 - 12

Travel back to the time of dinosaurs with teenage pilot Lucy and her father, in search of the ancestors of modern birds, and the origins of flight. Limited show times, call for information and reservations.

Be sure to visit the dinosaurs in our new exhibit, Written in the Rocks: Fossil Tales of New Jersey before or after your show.

Teacher Guide: Dinosaurs at Dusk

 

Rusty Rocket's Last Blast!

Grades: 1 - 5

All rookies report to class! Join Rusty Rocket on his final mission as he takes a new class of rocket rookies on an introductory tour of the solar system. Along the way, Rusty highlights the wide variety of environments in the solar system, the great distances between the planets, and the spacecraft that explore them.

Be sure to visit the dinosaurs in our new exhibit, Written in the Rocks: Fossil Tales of New Jersey before or after your show.

Teacher Guide: Rusty Rocket's Last Blast!

 

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Grades: 1 - 5

Originally produced as a NJSM Planetarium Show, this presentation is set in the era of slavery in the United States. It explains how slaves used the Big Dipper, also known as the as the Drinking Gourd, to find the North Star (Polaris). Join us as we follow a family that uses this celestial navigation along the Underground Railroad to reach freedom.

Teacher Guide: Follow the Drinking Gourd

 

Laser Space Chase

Grades: 1 - 5

Someone has stolen the Cosmic Lab’s latest invention! Will Lieutenant Photeus be dragged into a black hole as he pursues the culprit? Or will the villainous Captain Xenon be brought to Justice? A truly music-filled astronomical experience for all ages.

Laser 101 L-A-S-E-R is an acronym: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Find out how lasers work from an excitable electron as he presents this enlightening demonstration.

 

Stars!

Grades: 4 - 12

Every star has a story. Some are as old as time, faint and almost forgotten. Others burn bright and end their lives in powerful explosions. New stars are created every day, born of vast clouds of gas and dust. Stars release the energy that powers the Universe. Journey to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and experience the awesome beauty and destructive power of Stars!

 

To Space and Back

Grades: 4 - 12

Join us as we take an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. Discover how space exploration is shaping your world in this new fully immersive show.

Teacher Guide: To Space and Back

 

Black Holes

Grades: 6 - 12

Few mysteries in the universe have the power and awe of black holes. Only now are we on the verge of understanding their true nature. What are they? How are they made? Is the Earth in danger of being pulled into one? This new program incorporates some of the most intense full dome visual effects ever created on the subject and includes a live tour through our evening New Jersey Sky.

Teacher Guide: Black Holes

 

Season of Light

Season of Light

Suitable for general audiences.

Season of Light explores the reasons humans are so fascinated with lighting up our lives during the December holiday season. It's an exploration of the astronomical meanings behind seasonal traditions, including the "Star over Bethlehem". Season of Light is a specialty program with an emphasis on astronomical and cultural themes related to the holiday season. Its educational impact is achieved through a set of multidisciplinary ideas woven throughout the program that help relate different holiday traditions and astronomy to the lives of students, families, and the general public.

 

Astronaut

Astronaut

Suitable for general audiences.

The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him.

 

Extreme Planets

Extreme Planets

Suitable for general audiences.

For centuries, humanity has wondered whether we are alone in the Universe. Now, we are finally one step closer to knowing the answer. With the discovery in 1995 of the first planet orbiting another star, we now know that planets are not unique to our own Solar System. In fact, these extrasolar planets now appear to be quite common. Extreme Planets explores what makes a planet “Earth-like” in the first place and takes a fulldome tour of several worlds that just might fit the conditions we’re looking for. From water worlds to molten landscapes, inhabitable moons to planets with multiple suns, these exotic worlds aren’t just science fiction anymore!

 

Sky Quest

Sky Quest

Suitable for general audiences.

Sky Quest is an exploration of the stars, planets, and constellations told from the viewpoint of an astronomer. Share her lifelong fascination with the heavens — from her childhood adventures on Mars (via a cardboard rocket) — to the discovery of her "birthday star" that led her to become an astronomer and build her own mountain-top observatory.

Before You Visit

Please carefully look over the information below before submitting your online reservation request form.  

  • Reservations are required for all programs, and must be made at least 2 weeks (10 business days) in advance. To reserve group programs, use our Field Trip Reservation Request Form, call 609-292-1392 or email njsm.reservations@sos.nj.gov. Many programs have minimum group sizes for participation; see specific program details for group size requirements.
  • The Museum requests 1 chaperone per 10 students, to be included in your group count.
  • The Museum is accessible for visitors with special needs. To arrange accommodations for your visit, please contact Megan Innes at (609) 292-6310 or Kerry Scott at (609) 984-8487.
  • If you must cancel your field trip, please call 609-292-1382 as soon as possible. No refunds will be made if payment has already been processed. However, we will work with you to reschedule your visit.
  • Groups may reserve lunch space in the Museum’s Riverview Court area on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • All lunches must be brought – there is no food available to purchase at the Museum.
  • Lunch times should be scheduled when you book your day. Available times are 10:00 am, 10:45 am, 11:30 am, 12:15 pm, and 1:00 pm.
  • Lunch bins are available at the main entrance or Planetarium lobby for your group to store lunches and backpacks during your visit.
  • Weather permitting, outdoor eating space is available on the Museum’s front lawn, near the Planetarium, or in Capitol Plaza Park located between the State House Annex and the State Library. If you plan to picnic outdoors, please bring blankets for seating and clean up all trash.
  • Groups will receive a confirmation at the time of their booking followed by an invoice.
  • Payments MUST be made in full 2 weeks prior to your program date. The Museum reserves the right to cancel non-paid reservations within this 2 week window.
  • Final head counts, including teachers and chaperones, must be confirmed with the Museum no later than 2 weeks prior to the visit. Refunds will not be issued for decreased attendance; persons added on the day of programs may not be accommodated.
  • Accepted payments include Visa, Master Card, confirmed purchase orders and checks. Please make checks payable to Treasurer, State of New Jersey. Payments are non-refundable once they are processed.
  • Please have students organized into groups with chaperones prior to your visit. Your leader should have an accurate count of teachers, students and chaperones, and will be asked to check in at the Information Desk at the main entrance.
  • Buses must drop off and pick up in front of the Museum on West State Street.
  • We STRONGLY recommend your group arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of your first activity. This will give you time to check in, and drop off lunches and bags in the available bins at the main entrance.
  • Planetarium shows begin promptly at the scheduled time; groups arriving late may miss their show. The Museum does its best to accommodate late groups; however, if a conflict with other programs or groups arises, the Museum reserves the right to adjust, change, shorten or cancel the scheduled program. No refunds will be issued for programs missed due to late arrival.
  • Groups coming from the New Jersey State House tours should allow extra travel time between the Museum and the State House entrance due to ongoing renovations.
  • Please give a copy of the Bus Map to your driver(s) so they know where to drop off, park and pick up your group.
  • Buses must park in the lot at the corner of Perry Street and Route 1 (about 1 mile from the Museum).
  • Metered street parking for cars is available on weekdays, as is parking in paid lots throughout the downtown Trenton area. Limited visitor parking is also available in the State House Parking Garage next door to the Museum.
  • If your group is coming in separate vehicles, please plan a meeting spot; we suggest the Information desk at the main entrance, or in the Planetarium lobby.
  • Chaperones are required to remain with their students at all times, and are responsible for appropriate behavior.
  • Leaders should share the day’s learning objectives and itinerary, including program times and locations, with chaperones. 
  • It is the responsibility of the teachers and chaperones to enforce the Museum rules during a visit. These include:
    • No food or drinks are allowed in Museum galleries.
    • Photography is encouraged; use of flash, tripods, or selfie-sticks is not permitted.
    • Use indoor voices and refrain from running in the Museum.
    • Students must be accompanied by chaperones at all times.
    • Backpacks and large bags must be placed in the bins; small bags may be carried on the chest.
    • No touching or writing on artwork, cases or walls in the Museum.

Museum Floor Plan

Floor Plan

Submit a Reservation Request

When you are ready to make your reservation request, fill out our Field Trip Reservation Request Form.

Please note: Field trip reservation information is communicated via email. If you have submitted the Reservation Request From and have not been contacted by our reservation staff within 3 business days, please check your spam or junk folders, then contact us by phone at (609) 292-1382 or email Reservations.NJSM@sos.nj.gov for more information about your reservation request.

Learning Resources

Here you will find videos and guides you can use in the classroom, at home or in the Museum. Explore History, Art and Science in a variety of ways.

 

Episode 1:
How Do You Know Where To Dig?

 

Episode 2:
How Do You Know Where The Fossils Are?

 

Episode 3:
How Do You Know If It Is A Fossil?

 

Episode 4:
How Do We Dig Up Fossils?

 

Episode 5:
How Do We Dig Up the Bones?

 

Episode 6:
How Do We Get the Bones Back Safely?

 

Episode 7:
What Is Fossil Preparation?

 

Episode 8:
Which Dinosaur and Part of the Body Does that Fossil Belong To?

 

Episode 9:
What Did the Dinosaurs Look Like?

 

Episode 10:
Why Do We Look For Dinosaurs In Montana & Wyoming?

 

 


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