Discover what a family of 11 (ages 69-7) learned as they explored the Sterling Hill Zinc Mine in Ogdensburg, NJ. From glow-in-the-dark ore to life of a minor back in the 1920s, you’ll discover a bit of NJ history on this educational field trip to Sussex county.
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At the start of the summer, our family spent some time up in north Jersey in my hometown and took a day trip over to Ogdensburg, NJ in Sussex County and toured the Sterling Hill Zinc Mine. We were joined by my parents and my sister’s family, which included 3 boys ages 7-12. Check out my instagram video reel about this trip and check out before for more info!
Here are some tips about visiting Sterling Hill Mining Museum and the Zing Mine:
- Tickets: No reservations are needed but you also can’t purchase any tickets online. Check the website to see which days and times they host the tour but when we visited in early June tours were only held on the weekends at 1pm. During the summer they updated it to be everyday at 1pm. Get there between 12:30 – 12:45 to get a placed in a tour group. If you’re lucky enough to have tour guide Bruce, then you’re in luck as he was a past miner who had great insight on the experience!
- Visit the gift shop before – the tour begins by purchasing your tickets in the gift shop. There are souvenirs and snacks to buy in this area, which is a great distraction while waiting for the tour to start, since you need to be there 15 – 30 minutes early.
- Bring a jacket – The mine gets down to 56 degrees even if it’s super hot outside so bring a jacket to stay warm.
- Wear sneakers – The ceiling does drip with water running through the mine and the ground is therefore then wet so make sure to wear covered shoes.
- Lights and black lights – The tour itself is lit with basic lighting, but there are some areas where they turn the lights off to see the glowing ore. They do worn you before they do it but give your kids a heads up!
- Tour length – The tour is 2 hours long, but it entertained our crew! There’s plenty of educational talk along the way but lots of visuals, photos of the past mining experience, and different sights to see. Make sure you use the restroom and bring a drink with you as there are no restrooms along the way.
- Space height – There are no super tight squeezes, but you are walking through a guided route of the mine, which has different sized passages. If you’re 6 ft 2inches or taller, they give you a “bump hat.” No mine carts rides or anything like that, but you see plenty of the equipment used in this space.
- Museum area – After the 2 hour tour, you can explore the museum area which includes lots of past equipment, like these lockers used by original miners, and products made using the zinc from the mountain.
- Sluice Bags – You can purchase sluice bags at the gift shop and sift bags of sand and materials for a “mining experience” before or after the tour. We didn’t do this step but it gave you that sifting through sand experience if you wanted.