The Morris Museum is a great spot to visit with family and friends on any given day or especially when the museum is hosting one of their special events. It is home to the Bickford Theatre which offers a children’s theatre series and hosts the Brightest Star School of Performing Arts.
The museum is conveniently located at 6 Normandy Heights Road which is just off of Routes 24 and 287. The main phone number is 973.971.3700. They are open Wed thru Sunday and admission is $10 per adult and $7 per child and they also offer an affordable family membership. For information on their current exhibitions, hours, admission, membership, special events, theatre schedule and special programs like camps and birthday parties visit their website. The museum also has a great little gift shop with unique items and specialty books.
There are several permanent exhibits at the museum that will appeal to kids of all ages. On the main floor you will learn all about rocks and minerals and mammals. Beware of the big bear in the mammal exhibit! You can also plan to spend a good amount of time in the Musical Machines & Living Dolls exhibition as little ones strive to create their own music and experience musical machines and mechanical dolls and toys from long ago.
Proceed to the upper level for the American Indian Gallery, a long-standing display. You will also find the recently added model railroad exhibition and a brand new “dinosaur den” that includes a dino nest littles ones can climb into for some pretend play and more interactive activities.
When we visited (January 2012) we were able to enjoy a special exhibition entitled “The Art of the Brick” which included more than 25 large-scale sculptures created out of LEGO® bricks by artist Nathan Sawaya. Visit the website to see what is currently at the museum or coming soon.
It’s also very worthwhile to sign up for the museum’s newsletter or visit their website regularly to learn more about their special events. They typically host a chocolate festival in February and a Halloween festival in October. Other special events include a dino day, rocks and minerals day and holiday festivals. The festivals are usually free for members and carry an additional per person fee for non-members.
The museum also hosts a variety of educational programs and workshops, especially when school is out, and offers camps in the summer and during popular vacations. A new studio art program was launched for 2012. Other regular activities include “Tot Tours” which are free with museum admission on one Friday each month at 10am – see the calendar for which Friday they occur each month and Super Science Saturdays which are also free to members and cost an additional $3 for non-members (plus admission) Super Science Saturdays are geared towards children 5 and up and happen once a month from 12-2pm. Plus, there are TONS of adult workshops and programs too!
Lastly, there is FREE admission on Thursdays from 5 to 8pm and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch customers get free admission on the first full weekend of every month.
This is a great spot for a semi-quiet and interactive/educational jaunt. During the warmer weather it’s fun to explore the statues in the gardens out front of the museum too. There is a newly renovated Friendly’s less than 5 minutes away and a couple nearby playgrounds that get rave reviews include Loantaka Park and Brickyard Fields at Bee Meadow.
Have you checked out all our other indoor play areas? We have included a map of all NJ indoor playgrounds, NJ children museums, including chuck e. cheeses in NJ and all your recommendations in one page. Check it out, and comment if we are missing something.