Free Things to Do in NJ in July with Kids
Have fun with the family without taking out your wallet. Check out these free activities around the state.
On July 8, head to the Celtic Festival Jersey Shore Piping & Drumming Classic in Toms River to learn about traditional Celtic music and Irish culture. The kids will get a kick out of the bagpipes, drums and competing bands. On the 22nd, South Jersey Caribbean Festival in Camden will be chock-full of music, dance and food. Enjoy reggae, calypso and steelpan while you learn about the diversity of various Caribbean nations. Don’t miss the raffle! From July 5-16, head to Hammonton for the Annual Feast of Mount Carmel Fair Italian Festival to honor this beloved culture with authentic food, music, raffles, games and rides. Your family will have a blast learning something about the Italian way of life.
Party for the 4th of July
West Orange's 4th of July Weekend is a can't-miss. Pay your respects at the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall, the only one in NJ this year. On July 2, grab some gourmet street fare at a food truck festival. On the 4th, take in a spectacular fireworks show. Little Falls 4th of July Street Fair on the holiday is a killer town block party. Come through for crafts, kiddie rides, ponies and live entertainment. There are tons of vendor tables to peruse, too. Also on the 4th, the 27th Annual Oceanfest in Long Branch is a cross between a food festival, concert series, craft sale and street fair. Live performances, shore sights, fireworks and vendors make this event a can’t-miss. Princeton's July Jubilee at the Morven Museum and Garden is sure to be a blast, too. Does it get more American than bluegrass music and a BBQ picnic? Learn about our nation's past, wander the garden and listen to your favorite tunes. Super cool bonus: The kids get to make their own ice cream! Montville's 4th of July Celebration from June 30–July 2 is three days of over 21 rides, pony rides, pie and hot dog eating contests, a parade and fireworks on July 2
Fairs and Festivals
Manasquan's Quakers Friendly Fair on the 8th is a get-together is in its 61st year that features antiques, a flea market, baked treats, crafts and live entertainment. There are games for kids and tasty food options, too. The Firefly Festival at Duke Farms in Hillsborough is running the July 8-9. There, you can see the night sky come alive with the glow of fireflies. Your fam can wander two miles of woods by the lake to see lightning bugs in action. Learn about them, visit the café and stroll the farmers’ market. City of Water Day in Hoboken on the 15th is a free family festival shows you how much fun the harbor can be. Enjoy tugboating, rowing, kayaking and more on the New York Harbor. A Waterfront Activity Fair and Disney children’s activities will keep the kiddos happy. Make the trip to Manhattan for the 2017 Rubin Block Party: Sounds of the Street at the Rubin Museum of Art. This exhibit will be a cultural eye-opener for your family. Meet new friends through art and activities as part of the project The World is Sound. Kids will get loads of hands-on participation. Don’t miss out on a museum tour, or try your hand at meditating. You can get active on the 22nd with the crew at the Come Out & Play Festival on Governor’s Island in New York. Get down in summer weather at this free family day hosts tons of street games and kids activities in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn.
On July 29th, make your way to Bayville for the Soulsational Festival. Head down the shore for live concerts, vendors, free classes, giveaways, an auction and all-ages fun. Give back to the Jersey Shore your family loves so much. The 99th Annual Mercer County 4-H Fair is running from July 29-30 at Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville. Farm tours, milking demonstrations and old-timey crafts like spinning and felting make this fair authentic. Go for a hay ride, taste homemade ice cream and let the kids run wild with crafts and activities. The Cumberland County Fair is running from July 4-8 in Millville. There, you can check out a kids wagon parade, demolition derby, truck pull, comedy show, pie eating contest and more traditional summer fun. The fair ends at 11 pm each day. Leonia's Sports Booster Club Carnival is nearly a week long (July 1-8) in Overpeck Park. Hop on the Dream Wheel, Dream Catcher, Himalaya, carousel and more with the little ones. There’s plenty of food and family-friendly fun to check out. Don’t miss fireworks on July 4.
See a Show
Watch Magician Steve Woyce put on a special show for little shark lovers at The Magic of Sharks at Cranford Community Center on July 5. This comedy magic act teaches audiences about sharks, plus has games and shark magic. On the same day, you can see Play Theater Kids Cabaret at La Grande Park in Fanwood. Witness a group of talented little thespians perform theater classics about growing up. This brief outdoor concert will be followed by a movie, so bring goodies to munch on during the film and a blanket to sit on. The State Theatre in New Brunswick is doing a summer series of free movies throughout the month, too. On July 11, see Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, a film that's been adored by young audiences for ages. Get your kids a golden ticket to the screening where they'll discover Charlie Bucket’s story. On the 18th, the flick will be Finding Dory; dive into this underwater adventure with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and friends as the beloved blue tang searches for her kin. The film emphasizes the importance of friends and family. And on the 25th, Zootopia, a story about a wild metropolis full of all types of creatures, will make your kids will laugh out loud.
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Yoga in the Gardens at Rutgers in New Brunswick is sure to mellow you out all summer long. Carve out some me time by practicing yoga in a gorgeous outdoor setting. Take advantage of morning treats and beverages, too. Bring a friend and mat. On any Tuesday, head to Elizabeth for Union County’s Family Fun and Flix, an outdoor movie series. Come all summer to see films like Sing and Secret Life of Pets. There's a beach party and concert going on at Newport Green Playground in Jersey City on July 19. This food festival is great for a family outing, date or girls’ night. Take in live performances as you try signature drinks and dishes by local restaurants. For more outdoor movies, head to Fort Lee Community Center on Saturdays or Seaside Heights beach on Sundays and Tuesdays. This Fort Lee summer fave has a wide range of films playing for moviegoers to enjoy. This month, see Star Wars Rogue One, Arrival and LEGO Batman. At the shore, watch movies on the sand like Moana and Wreck-It Ralph. It's the perfect way to spend a low-key night while you’re down the beach.
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