Guess what New Jersey parents? Your kids are about to have a 4-day weekend! November 9 – 12 is the NJEA Convention, aka the NJ Teachers’ Convention, when all public schools are closed while teachers attend a professional development conference in Atlantic City. Why not take advantage of the break and plan a getaway with the family?
The good news is that the crowds are usually thin, and prices low, for this long weekend in many destinations since only New Jersey public schools have off. (Which is not to say there are no crowds. At Disney World these November dates are called “New Jersey Week,” and the theme parks — and flights to Orlando, and actually Florida in general — are packed! And if you ask your kids, they’d probably like to avoid seeing their teachers in Atlantic City….)
Ready to take a break? Here are some great getaway options for NJ Teachers’ Convention School Break:
Take advantage of the off-season, super-long weekend to fly to Denver. The weather is crisp and cool and kid-friendly spots such as the super-cool, interactive History Colorado museum are usually crowd-free. Denver is one of Playground’s favorite family getaways (we wrote all about it here).
Another easy flying getaway for a long weekend is Toronto, just a quick hour’s flight north from Newark Airport on super civilized Porter Air. Melissa and her family visited last holiday season and loved the friendly, cosmopolitan city.
You could also road trip (or hop on Amtrak) to visit cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Boston, or Washington, DC, all great long weekend destinations that Georgette and Melissa have personally road tested with our families.
Or plan a closer getaway to explore the Mid-Hudson Valley, including an afternoon indulging at the CIA, Culinary Institute of America, which is a big hit with Melissa’s foodie son Aidan. While you’re in the area, visit Hyde Park and The Roosevelt Library, which is great for teens. And don’t miss Storm King Sculpture Park, where you can catch the tail end of fall foliage season while checking out the larger-than-life sculptures that fill the rolling grounds.
For more outdoor art, you could also choose to head to the Princeton area (another great day trip or overnight destination), and Grounds for Sculpture.
Do your kids love to swim? Try out one of the roaring indoor water park hotels in the nearby Poconos; Africa-themed Kalahari and Camelback Resort’s Aquatopia are top picks for tweens and teens; head to Great Wolf Lodge if you have younger kids who want water park fun.
Finally, consider a “staycation” in New York City. Catch a Broadway show such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or School of Rock, visit the Museum of the Moving Image, indulge in the chocoholic menu at Max Brenner (one of Melissa’s son’s favorite New York spots), tour around Rockefeller Center or relax in Central Park — then either head home or make it a real vacation by hitting the hay in cool NYC hotels.