Of course, east New Jersey doesn't boast an apocalyptic clime (thank goodness) nor, as far as I know, exotic animal-life, but it still offers the opportunity to have interesting mini-science adventures with the kids.
For example, new snowfall will yield animal tracks! We found the above after an all-night snow fall a few days ago. I am no animal tracker so I wondered if they might be deer, but as I followed the multiple paths of footprints, they wandered under fences and low bushes, so I eliminated deer from our possibilities. After searching online for similar tracks, they most closely matched those of rabbits. I haven't seen any actual rabbits yet but the evidence from their nightly wanderings has been there almost every morning since the snow fall.
This kind of animal identification can also be done sans snow. Setting out sand (in a box or otherwise undisturbed patch of yard) for example, can yield similar tracks during the day or night. The trick to the sand or dirt is that it has to be soft and damp enough to take and maintain a print, and not so dry or muddy that prints will either not be made or be such a mess that they'll be unidentifiable. I have come across a few sites describing animal tracking boxes and I'll try to hunt those up to post them. I think it's a fun activity that brings the outdoors to life, even when we can't see it, and reminds the kids that we're not alone in this world and share it with other creatures.