Father's Day Activities in NJ
Our handy dandy guide for what to do with Dad this Father's Day
Thank the devoted dads in your life by taking the whole family to one of these unique Father’s Day activities—it’s a great way to remind them how special they are.
Treat Dad and his train-obsessed kids to a 45-minute ride in super cool, restored vintage cabooses at the Whippany Railway Museum. The 10-mile round-trip passes through several towns in Morris and Essex counties, includes views of the Glacial Lake Passaic and crosses over the historic Passaic River Trestle. Four rides are scheduled for June 21; prices range from $9–12 for children and $12–17 for adults; babies ride free. whippanyrailwaymuseum.net
Whether the man in your family is a hot-rod enthusiast or just into anything with four wheels and a motor, he is sure to be excited about spending the day at the Atlantic Highlands Classic Car Show. Held along First Avenue in Atlantic Highlands on Saturday, June 20 (rain date: June 27) from 10 am–4 pm, the event features more than 100 cars in addition to live music on two stages. Send Dad solo with a few fellow car-loving friends, or bring the kids for the face painting and sand art stations. atlantichighlands.org
Get Dad out into the great wide open with a tubing trip down the Delaware River. Based in Frenchtown, the 4-hour excursion covers nearly 6 miles, with water temps averaging a lovely 75 degrees and depths ranging from 2–4 feet. While most of the river is “lazy,” the day also includes some Class I rapids sure to get everyone’s heart rate up. Weekend prices are $26.95 per rider (kids need to be 4 years old to tube), and include shuttle service to the river from the parking lot, key check, life jackets, paddles and—not to be missed—a barbecue lunch from the Famous River Hot Dog Man. (Be sure to hashtag #riverhotdogman when you post photos.) Canoes, kayaks and rafts are also available for a fee. delawarerivertubing.com
Penguins, ice cream and amusement rides? We’re in. Head to Point Pleasant’s Father’s Day weekend celebration, where you can hang out with seals, sharks, crabs and more at Jenkinson’s Aquarium. Dads get in free with the purchase of a child’s ticket ($7) all weekend. Afterwards, head out for a walk along the boardwalk, home to three mini-golf courses, batting cages, an arcade and dozens of kiddie rides. Or, make a beeline for the beach for a Father’s Day dip in the waves. jenkinsons.com
Get ready for that “man, I sure chose the right lady” look when he hears that his to-do list for the day involves sipping wine and listening to a live blues band at Alba Vineyards, a hillside estate nestled in the heart of the Musconetcong River Valley in Milford. Enjoy wine tastings and cellar tours on this 93-acre property and keep the kids happy with horse-drawn carriage rides, face painting and moon bouncing. Buy lunch from the on-site vendors, or pack a picnic. Held on June 21 from noon–5 pm, rates are $10 for adults (plus an additional $10 for wine tasting) and $5 for minors; kids under 12 are free.
Running a race with his kids beside him? Nothing would make Dad more proud! On June 21, the American Cancer Society hosts
its annual 5k Run for Dad in the lovely Mercer County Park in West Windsor to raise money for prostate cancer research. The day kicks off at 8:45 am and includes a 2-mile walk and a kid’s run. Face painting, crafts, a DJ and a clown will keep the kids entertained, and snacks like bagels and fruit will be on hand before and after the runs. Registration for USA Track and Field members is $20 and for non-members $23. runfordad.net
Hit three birds with one stone this Father’s Day with brunch, sights and a sail! Aboard Spirit Cruises, you’ll depart from Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken at noon and make your way down the Hudson River, getting this close to Lady Liberty, then pass Governors Island and sail right beneath the historic Brooklyn Bridge. Fathers score a complimentary Bloody Mary at lunch, a DJ spins throughout the two-hour journey and the kiddos can go nuts on the dance floor or take in the many sights atop the luxe rooftop deck. spiritcruises.com
Bring out the Lightning McQueen in Dad by treating him to a night at the New Egypt Speedway. Originally built as a dirt track in the 1950s, today the speedway is a 7/16- mile clay-surfaced D-shaped course, and on June 20, four types of cars will race for his amusement. The night wraps around 10 pm when the dads of that evening’s drivers partake in a special Father’s Day exhibition race. Festivities start at 7 pm; guests are welcome to bring their own food (and booze—just no glass). newegyptspeedway.net
It’s one thing for Dad to belt out “Let it Go” in the basement—it’s quite another to do it on the Coney Island boardwalk! Surprise the baritone in your family with a trip to Brooklyn’s finest, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Home to a slew of both kiddie and adult rides (think Tilt-A-Whirl, bumper cars and The Scrambler), the park is also hosting a special Father’s Day karaoke party from 2–6 pm on June 21. The best part? The first 25 dads to sing get a free T-shirt. Both admission to the park and the karaoke are free, but you need to buy tickets for the rides. wonderwheel.com
Is there anything more all-American than spending Father’s Day at the ballpark? We had to include at least one baseball-related recommendation in our list, so we’re sending you to Yankee Stadium to see New York’s finest face off against the Detroit Tigers. With games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday that weekend, you can find a game that works with any other celebrations you have planned. newyork.yankees.mlb.com