Museums are centers of learning, houses of artifacts, and ideal spots to "lose" recently inherited cat figurines. Accidentally misplace the glass tabby doll Aunt Susan gifted you with today's Groupon to the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. Choose from the following options:
• For $10, you get four admissions to a regularly scheduled sky show at the planetarium (up to a $20 value).
• For $30, you get a one-year family membership (up to a $60 value).
• For $50, you get a one-year contributor-level membership (up to a $100 value).
Seating at sky shows is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Late arrivals will not be allowed inside after the show starts.
The New Jersey State Museum combines five areas of cultural and scientific interest, focusing on archaeology, fine art, cultural and natural history, and the universe. Annual family membership gains access to the wonders of the museum, where visitors can browse Native American textiles, contemporary local art, and a 1,400-pound anvil made in Trenton. The history curious can inspect the museum's rare collection of Civil War flags, and the museum's Fossil Mysteries exhibit unveils the work of investigative paleontologists. In addition to a discount at the Friends gift shop and invites to Museum and Friends events, members also receive priority registration for educational trips and discounted weekend programs. With a contributor-level membership, you'll enjoy these perks as well as the extra thrill of two laser-show passes for dazzling spectacles and cheap corrective surgery.
Sky shows illuminate 360 degrees of the planetarium dome in 40-minute features, delving into specialized astronomic topics such as exploding stars, faraway galaxies, and William Shatner's toupee. Shows vary in scientific intensity from kid-friendly meditations to explorations of fact and theory.
New Jersey State Museum & Planetarium
The New Jersey State Museum & Planetarium grants residents and visitors a lifelong education in science, history, and the arts through its collections, exhibitions, programs, publications, and scholarship. Founded in 1895 and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the complex holds more than 2.6 million artifacts, specimens, and works of art in its collections. These pieces pique viewer curiosity in themed exhibits, exploring art periods, relationships between Native Americans and European settlers, natural history, and other topics.
The Archaeology & Ethnography Collection highlights textiles, beads, and hide works from Delaware Indians and other North American–natives. The Fine Art Collection assembles works by American modernists and abstract artists. Massive Trenton-made furnishings, Civil War–flags, and maritime artifacts are among the fascinating objects in the Cultural History exhibits, and the Natural History Collection houses prehistoric fossils—many from New Jersey—and insect, animal, and geological specimens. The museum is also home to the 150-seat Planetarium, which dazzles eyes with images of the solar system, faraway stars, and astronaut training during shows. Audiences witness traditional sky projections and laser-created programs comprised of 6,000 stars on the ceiling of the full 360-degree dome.