Hang on to this chilly checklist of more than 146 fun activities when those dull, dreary winter days come – you’ll be glad you did!

Plunge like a Polar Bear – don’t worry, it’s only freezing-cold water

polar-plungeSo you think you’ve got thick skin? Try diving into the Atlantic Ocean in the dead of winter. (The water temperature off the coast of New Jersey averages about 35 to 36 degrees in February, per the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration – just in case you were wondering.) The good thing about Polar Bear Plunges is they often benefit local charities. Now that’s something worth braving the cold for.

Chill out before the Super Bowl at Super “Plunge” Sunday (February 7) in Long Beach Township. Divers meet at the 48th Street beach at 1 pm to take a quick dip before the big game. The cost to participate is $30, or $15 for students, with proceeds benefitting the St. Francis Community Center and the Southern Regional High School Swim Teams. Prizes are awarded for most funds raised, best costume and more.

Or head to Sea Isle City, where they welcome divers and daredevils for the annual Polar Bear Plunge weekend on February 12 and 13. Enter to be the Polar Bear King or Queen – the lucky royals are selected at a celebration the night before the plunge (Feb. 12 at 9 pm) at LaCosta Lounge. Their majesties will next participate in the parade and arrive for the plunge the next day at 1 pm – on a throne made of ice. Talk about cold! All participants are invited to dress up in costume for the dash into the frigid water. Divers are asked to raise funds for Polar Bear Run/Walk for Autism. For more information, call 609-263-3611 or visit visitsicnj.com.

See a Show

“Assassins”
February 3-21
Eagle Theatre
208 Vine Street, Hammonton
Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: $20-$40
609-704-5012
theeagletheatre.com

“In The Heights”
February 4-6
The Road Company
Grand Theatre
405 South Main Street, Williamstown
Thursday at 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday at 8 pm
Tickets: $13-$22
856-728-2120
roadcompany.com

“Ain’t Misbehavin’”
February 5-20
Bridge Players Theatre Company
Broad Street United Methodist Church
36 East Broad Street, Burlington
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: $20
856-303-7620
bridgeplayerstheatre.com

“Rock of Ages”
February 12-21
The Off Broad Street Players
The Levoy Theatre
126-130 North High Street, Millville
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 3 pm
Tickets: $20
856-327-6400
obsp.org

“The Last Night of Ballyhoo”
February 18-March 5
Haddonfield Plays and Players
957 East Atlantic Avenue, Haddonfield
Thursday, February 18 at 7:30 pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm
Wednesday, March 2 at 8 pm
Tickets: $10-$25
856-429-8139
haddonfieldplayers.com

“The Pillow Man”
February 19-21
Sketch Club Players
433 Glover Street, Woodbury
Friday and Saturday at 8 pm
Sunday at 2 pm
Tickets: $20
856-848-8089
sketchclubplayers.org

“Young Frankenstein”
February 19-28
Collingswood Community Theatre
Scottish Rite Theatre
315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Matinees on February 20 and February 28 at 2 pm
Tickets: $20
856-858-1000
collingswoodcommunitytheatre.com

“The Seven Year Itch”
February 26-March 20
The Broadway Theatre of Pitman
43 South Broadway, Pitman
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $28-$50
856-384-8381
thebroadwaytheatre.org

“Beauty and the Beast Jr.”
March 4-13
Burlington County Footlighters
808 Pomona Road, Cinnaminson
Fridays at 7 pm
Saturdays at 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm
Sundays at 1 pm and 3 pm
Tickets: $10
856-829-7144
bcfootlighters.com

“Twelve Angry Jurors”
March 4-19
Sketch Club Players
433 Glover Street, Woodbury
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $25
856-848-8089
sketchclubplayers.org

“The Glass Menagerie”
March 10-20
The Road Company
Grand Theatre
405 South Main Street, Williamstown
Thursdays at 7:30 pm
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
Sundays at 2 pm
Tickets: $13-$22
856-728-2120
roadcompany.com

“Peter Pan Jr.”
March 11-13
Moorestown Theater Company
Location TBA
Friday at 7 pm
Saturday at 2 pm and 7 pm
Sunday at 2 pm
Tickets: $10
856-778-8357
moorestowntheatercompany.org

penguin-aquarium

See beyond black and white at Adventure Aquarium

If you think penguins are only black and white, the newest attraction at Camden’s Adventure Aquarium will have you doing a double take. The aquarium’s latest exhibit, Little Blue Penguins, is filled with – you guessed it – tiny penguins that have bright-blue feathers. The birds are native to Australia and usually don’t grow much taller than 12 inches, making them the smallest (and quite possibly the cutest) penguins in the world. They’re making Adventure Aquarium, open 10 am to 5 pm daily, their new permanent home. Admission to the aquarium is $25.95 for ages 13 and older, $18.95 for ages 2 through 12 and free for ages 2 and younger. For more information, call 856-365-3300 or visit adventureaquarium.com.

Grown-up Getaways

sherlock-holmesSherlock Holmes Weekend
March 18-20
The Inn of Cape May
7 Ocean Street, Cape May
609-884-5404
capemaymac.org
Cost: varies, see website for details
Follow Holmes and Watson as they interview suspects, collect clues and figure out the puzzle of “Melpomene’s Mask.” The game begins inside The Rose Room at the Inn of Cape May, but you’ll have a chance to help the investigation by searching other historic locations around Cape May for ideas to answer “whodunit.” Win a prize if you figure it out yourself.

Wine & Chocolate Night
February 13 • 7 to 11 pm
Tavistock Country Club
100 Tavistock Lane, Haddonfield
856-966-4663
ronaldhouse-snj.org
Cost: $85 per person
This year, show your love on Valentine’s Day by supporting the families of the Ronald McDonald House. Enjoy “A Night of Delights” by sampling wine matched with hors d’oeuvres, bidding on auction prizes and dancing the night away.

Wine & Chocolate Wine Trail Weekend
February 13 & 14
Locations, times and costs vary; see website for details
Garden State Wine Growers Association
609-588-0085
newjerseywines.com
You’ll find tastings, pairings, entertainment and specials for you and your sweetie at dozens of wineries from Atco to Cape May. Each winery will have its own chocolate-related features for the trail weekend (check with each winery for hours and details), so book a babysitter and plan to make it a date.

Restaurant Week
March 6-12
Atlantic City
acrestaurantweek.com
Cost: $15.16 for lunch; $33.16 for dinner
Grab a date and dine out for an early spring break at the annual Shore restaurant week. Top Atlantic City restaurants like FIN and Fornelletto offer deals on meals for lunch and dinner. It’s the best way to taste-tour your way through Atlantic City – without breaking the bank.

capemaytrolleyHistoric District Trolley Tours
Dates and times vary; see website for details
The Carriage House at the Physick Estate
1048 Washington Street, Cape May
609-884-5404
capemaymac.org
Cost: $15
There is a Cape May trolley tour for every kind of interest you can imagine. Love ogling the mansions along the boardwalk in Cape May? There’s a tour for that. Want to know about Cape May’s rich World War II history? Don’t miss the War at the Shore Tour. And don’t worry too much about the Shore’s winter wind – all trolleys are heated.

Frosty & Fun Festivals

At the Shore Wine Tasting Art Show
February 3 • 5 to 8 pm
Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton College
2200 Fairmount Avenue, Atlantic City
Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
609-626-3805
artsgarageac.com

“Sankofa” Black History Month Market
February 6 • 7 pm
Cherry Hill High School West
2101 Chapel Avenue, Cherry Hill
Cost: Free; jewelry, fashion pieces and other items for sale at market
856-488-7868
BlackBroadwayTheaterGroup@gmail.com

Mid-Winter Antiques Show
February 6 from 10 am to 5 pm
February 7 from 10 am to 4 pm
WheatonArts
1501 Glasstown Road, Millville
Cost: $5
856-825-6800
wheatonarts.org

Chocolate Walk
February 12 • 6 to 9 pm
Farnsworth Avenue, Bordentown City
Cost: Free
609-298-0604
downtownbordentown.com

Crafts & Collectibles in Winter
February 13 & 14
10 am to 4 pm daily
Cape May Convention Hall
714 Beach Avenue, Cape May
Cost: $2
609-884-5404
capemaymac.org

Classic Car Show
February 26-28
Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm
Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm
Atlantic City Convention Center
1 Convention Boulevard, Atlantic City
Cost: $25 for adults; $5 for children 12 and younger
856-573-6969
acclassiccars.com

The Best of the Garden State Film Festival
March 4 • 7 pm
Croft Farm Arts Center
100 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill
Cost: $10
856-488-4868
Arts@CHTownship.com

Winter Must-Dos

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Rancocas Nature Center
February 9 at 10:30 am
February 21 at 1:30 pm
Cost: $7 for members, $9 for non-members
794 Rancocas Road, Westampton
609-261-2495
rancocasnaturecenter.org
To us, nothing quite says breakfast like a stack of fluffy pancakes topped with buttery maple syrup. This winter, you can go straight to the source of the golden goodness during a maple sugar sampling at Rancocas Nature Center. You’ll be able to watch a maple-tree tapping and then enjoy the yummy syrup by the warmth of a campfire (sounds cozy, doesn’t it?) The center also offers plenty of other nature classes, lectures and group hikes for any age.

WINTERFEST2015_060Strap on the skates at WinterFest
Monday through Thursday: 4 to 9 pm
Friday: 5 to 10 pm
Saturday: Noon to 10 pm
Sunday: Noon to 9 pm
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 5 to 12, free for children ages 4 and younger
Cooper River Park
5300 North Park Drive, Pennsauken
856-216-2117
camdencounty.com/winterfest
A huge pop-up ice rink has landed in Cooper River Park, creating a winter wonderland filled with skaters, brightly lit trees and warm food and drinks. Never strapped skates on before? No problem – skates are available for rent, and professional ice skaters are on hand to teach lessons. If you prefer just to watch, check out the free shows featuring the talented pros on Fridays at 7 pm, Saturdays at 3 pm and 7 pm, and Sundays at 2 pm. The rink is open through February 14, so make sure to bring your sweetie for a final Valentine’s Day skate.

Moon_formationShoot for the moon at Edelman Planetarium
Sundays at 3 pm
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors
Science Hall of Rowan University
201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro
856-256-4389
rowan.edu/planetarium
We know what you’re thinking: There’s a planetarium in South Jersey? Indeed there is, and it’s out of this world. The awesome attraction on the Rowan campus is featuring a new film this winter, “Moons: Worlds of Mystery,” filled with stunning imagery and unbelievable facts about the moons in our solar system. The hour-long film also explores the night sky above South Jersey. Younger children and their parents can also enjoy family shows on the first Sunday of every month, starting February 7 at 2 pm with the show “Earth, Moon and Sun.”

Score big at the Indoor Soccer Championship
February 13 & 14 from 7 am to 10 pm
February 15 from 7 am to 5 pm
Cost: $10, or free for children age 8 and younger
Wildwoods Convention Center
4501 Boardwalk, Wildwood
609-729-9000
wildwoodsnj.com
GOOOOOAAAALLL! Get your super soccer fan on at the annual indoor futsal tournament in Wildwood (futsal is played on hardwood courts, so it’s fast and flashy). More than 2,000 youth players from around the world are in town to compete February 13-16 – keep an eye out for the next Carli Lloyd or Lionel Messi!

Jam at a concert just for kids
February 25 at 10 am and 11:30 am
Cost: $8
Scottish Rite Auditorium
315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood
856-240-1503
symphonyinc.org
At Symphony in C, classical music becomes more than just sound at “Musical Adventures,” an interactive show for kids of any age. The music comes alive with the help of actors who perform the stories behind great orchestral works by Mozart and more. The concert will be held on February 25, with showtimes at 10 and 11:30 am.

Unleash your wild side at Cape May County Park & Zoo
Open 10 am to 3:45 pm daily
Cost: Free admission; donations are encouraged
707 North Route 9, Cape May Court House
609-465-5271
cmczoo.com
Let loose at the Cape May Zoo. The crowds are smaller during the off-season, which means you’ll get prime viewing of the 550 animals who call the zoo home. And we’re not the only ones who think the zoo is tops – in 2015 TripAdvisor.com ranked the Cape May Zoo No. 13 on its list of best zoos in the world.

Explore an artist’s garden at Grounds For Sculpture
Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm
Cost: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, $10 for age 6-17; free for under 6
18 Fairgrounds Road, Hamilton
609-586-0616
groundsforsculpture.org
Grab a coat and bundle up, because even in the cold weather, Ground For Sculpture’s 42 acres of artwork are open for viewing. Register for a workshop like “Mimosa and a Masterpiece” and create a one-of-a-kind painting with the help of an instructor.

GroundsSculptureOnPoppiedHill_AlexSilagyi

Visit a museum

Don’t spend those dreary days at home. Grab the kids and make it a field trip day at one of SJ’s museums:

Perkins-Beginning-Pottery-017Perkins Center for the Arts
Cost: varies, see website for details
395 Kings Highway, Moorestown
856-235-6488
30 Irvin Avenue, Collingswood
856-833-0009
perkinscenter.org
Encourage your kids to uncover their creative side this season. Perkins Center for the Arts can help youngsters and teens tap into their artistic abilities or learn a new skill with a variety of inspiring art, dance and drama courses. Classes in everything from painting and comic book illustration to hip-hop and jazz are sure to capture their interest. Dates and costs vary; see website for details.

Batsto Village
Cost: park is free; $3 to tour Batsto Mansion
31 Batsto Road, Hammonton
609-561-0024
batstovillage.org
See what life was like in South Jersey back in the 1800s. Explore the buildings around the village, like the blacksmith shop, sawmill, glassworks, and post office, which is one of the oldest operating post offices in the nation.

Garden State Discovery Museum
Cost: $13.95
2040 Springdale Road, Suite 100, Cherry Hill
856-424-1233
discoverymuseum.com
The Discovery Museum is offering a “Passport to Discovery” series this winter and spring, with special events that allow kids to explore the culture, dance, customs, food and more of places like Africa, Germany and Ireland. Don’t miss the Culinary Fusion celebration on February 21 – yum!

wetlands015-IMG_7408The Wetlands Institute
Cost: $8 age 13 and up; $6 age 3 through 12
1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor
609-368-1211
wetlandsinstitute.org
Make fishy friends on weekends during winter, when The Wetlands Institute opens its doors for cool presentations on local sea life. At 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, get up close with horseshoe crabs, mollusks, urchins and the animals of “Finding Nemo.” At 11 am, kids can feed the animals and complete animal feeding surveys to record the marine life’s behavior to ensure everyone is well fed.

Historic Cold Spring Village
Cost: Free
720 Route 9 South, Cape May
609-898-2300
hcsv.org
Winter is a great time to explore Cold Spring Village because admission is free! The visitor center is still open, so you can pick up a map and lead yourself and the kids on a guided tour of all 26 centuries-old buildings on the village’s 30 acres of land.

Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
Cost: $5 for adults, $3 for children age 12 to 4
4 Sawmill Road, Medford
856-983-3329
cedarrun.org
Children age 12 and younger can visit Cedar Run for free February 12 through 15 when they bring a handmade Valentine for one of the refuge’s owls, snakes, foxes and more. Make a craft, or go on a guided hike and see if the kids can spot all the animals for a prize.

Fernbrook Farms
Cost: $58 per day
Route 545, Chesterfield Township
609-298-4028
fernbrookeducation.org
That long weekend off for Presidents Day doesn’t have to be a dull weekend at home – send the kids off to Winter Break Camp at Fernbrook Farms Environmental Education Center on February 12, 15 or 16. Kids ages 6 through 11 can make snow forts, tap maple trees to make syrup, track animals in the snow (or mud) and learn about wilderness survival in winter. Camp runs from 8:30 am to 4 pm, and you can register your child for one, two or all three days.

Cool Concerts

The Machine Performs Pink Floyd
February 12 at 8 pm
Scottish Rite Auditorium
315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood
Tickets: $29-$34
856-858-1000
scottishriteauditorium.com

The Beach Boys
February 13 at 4 and 8 pm
Scottish Rite Auditorium
315 White Horse Pike, Collingswood
Tickets: $39.50-$75
856-858-1000
scottishriteauditorium.com

The Jersey Four
February 13 at 2 pm
Stockton Performing Arts Center
101 Vera King Farris Drive, Galloway
Tickets: $32
609-652-9000
stocktonpac.org

HAPA: The Sound of Maui
February 19 at 7:30 pm
Dennis Flyer Theatre at Camden County College
200 College Drive, Blackwood
Tickets: $20-$30
856-936-2467
mainstage.org

The Hit Men featuring Former Stars of The Four Seasons
February 20 at 8 pm
The Broadway Theatre of Pitman
43 South Broadway, Pitman
Tickets: $40
856-384-8381
thebroadwaytheatre.org

“Let’s Dance!”
February 28 at 3 pm
Eastern High School Performing Arts Center
1401 Laurel Oak Road, Voorhees
Tickets: $15-$30
856-779-2600
psnj.org

“Masters of Hawaiian Music”
March 3 at 7:30 pm
Dennis Flyer Theatre at Camden County College
200 College Drive, Blackwood
Tickets: $25-$30
856-936-2467
mainstage.org

Onstage with The Towheads
March 5 at 8 pm
Cumberland County College Performing Arts Center
3322 College Drive, Vineland
Tickets: $7
856-692-8499
cccnj.edu

Theremin Player Mano Divina
March 12 at 2 pm
Burlington County Library Auditorium
5 Pioneer Boulevard, Westampton
Tickets: Free
609-267-9660
bcls.lib.nj.us

February 2016
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