Behind the humble exterior of the African American Heritage Museum is an interactive piece of history. Just inside the doors is a Michael Jackson tribute. Displayed are framed magazine covers featuring The King of Pop. A video of Jackson plays next to the exhibit.

"You would think the kids would say, 'Oh, he's too corny,'" said the Rev. Milton White, a museum representative. "No. They bring chairs out. They watch him. You'd be surprised how they try to mimic his dancing, even today."

The playful aesthetic of the museum makes it irresistible to a child's eye. Education is the goal, but it's successfully concealed by compelling stories, colorful relics and games. Be sure to test your knowledge with Black Jeopardy, a game that involves identifying more than 160 important black individuals.

Walk the halls and it's assured someone will stop and tell a story about one of the museum's 11,000 artifacts. Ralph Hunter, who runs the museum, can tell you about nearly every single piece.

"We like to make this to be an interactive museum," Hunter said. "We'll ask the kids questions about everything on the walls and they like to try and answer."

Dave Simpson

If you go

Location: 661 Jackson Road, Newtonville. Call 609-704-5495.

Website: www.aahmsnj.org

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday

Cost: Free, but donations are welcome.

What moms want to know: Stroller friendly? Yes. Bathrooms? Yes. Food on site? No. Pack a lunch? Yes. Play area: The museum is located next to a park.