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Free Things to Do in NJ in July with Kids

Want to get the kids out of the house without spending a ton (or any) money? It’s your lucky month. We've found easy-on-the-pocket fun your kid will love.


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If you’re saving pennies for your next summer vacay or that unicorn pool float you’ve had your eye on, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of local events and activities for your fam to enjoy this month—all for free.

Don’t forget to check out local fairs and festivals going on this month, either.

Sunday-Saturday, July 2-7

Annual Califon Fireman’s Carnival

Where: 39 Academy St., Califon
Time: 6 pm
Deets: This annual carnival features a carousel, Ferris wheel, games, food and a fireworks show. Pre-sale wristbands will be available until Sunday, July 1 at Califon Lumber Company and Califon Wine & Spirits.

Tuesday, July 3

Fourth of July Kids Craft

Where: Warren County Library, Hackettstown
Time: 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Deets: Celebrate Independence Day with a patriotic windsock craft. Registration required—after 15 minutes your child’s spot will be given to a child on the waiting list.

Summer Movie Night

Where: State Theatre, New Brunswick
Time: 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Deets: Before the Hamilton-craze, there was 1776, a Tony award-winning musical celebrating America’s Founding Fathers. Spend a night stretched out on a blanket under the stars with the fam watching this patriotic film. Want to watch a movie under the stars? See our list of free outdoor movies playing all summer long!

Monday-Saturday, July 3-7

Cumberland County Fair

Where: County Fairgrounds, Millville
Time: Varies
Deets: With free admission and live performances, the Cumberland County Fair is a summer must-visit. Live shows include juggler Larry Vee, strong man Sonny Barry and a comedic hypnosis show.

Thursday, July 5

Writing a Resume

Where: Bridgewater Library, Bridgewater
Time: 10:30-11:30 am
Deets: If your high schooler’s worried about college or scoring the perfect summer job, head to the library to polish his resume and get some pointers on how to crush a job interview.

Friday, July 6

Annual Ice Cream Social

Where: The Shoppes at Old Bridge, Old Bridge
Time: 5-8 pm
Deets: Get to know your neighbors with some help from rock ‘n roll and ice cream. A Good Humor truck will be serving your fave sweet treats (free for the first 400 customers).

Sunday, July 8

Fanwood Summer Fan Jam Music Festival

Where: LaGrande Park, Fanwood
Time: 11 am-7 pm
Deets: Your kiddo’s summer will be rockin’ at this year’s Fan Jam music festival. There’ll be a beer and wine garden for music lovers over 21. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs.

Monday, July 9

Propbox Players Present: Three Pigs

Where: Bound Brook Library, Bound Brook
Time: 2-3 pm
Deets: You’ve heard the story of the three little pigs a thousand times, but never like this! This interactive performance is designed for kids in pre-K through 2nd grade.

Tuesday, July 10

Live Music Concert by Exit Row

Where: Summit Village Green, Summit
Time: 7-8:30 pm
Deets: Hear one of NJ’s fave local bands perform under the stars. Exit Row Band has played more than 1,000 concerts worldwide and now they’re back to cover classic rock, country and top 40 songs.

Wednesday, July 11

Sharks Rock with Magic

Where: Waldwick Public Library, Walwick
Time: 1:30-2:15 pm
Deets: Fish are friends, not food! Join magician Steve Woyce for an afternoon of shark-themed magic. Play a quick game of “pass the shark” and become an expert on the sea predators.

Musical Tie Dye Craft

Where: Warren County Library, Hackettstown
Time: 2-3 pm
Deets: Ages 8-17 can bring a white t-shirt to the library for some music-inspired tie-dye activities. Registration required.

Friday, July 13

Firefly Festival

Where: Duke Farms, Hillsborough
Time: 8-11 pm
Deets: Along this 1 1/2 mile loop, your fam can stop at more than 20 activity stations to learn all about fireflies. Once the sun goes down, you can see them in action. Online registration is highly suggested.

26th Annual Concerts on the Beach

Where: William Morrow Beach, Somers Point
Time: 7-9 pm
Deets: Nothing says summer like good music at the shore. This year’s 26th concert features Grammy-nom Marcia Ball and award-winning artist Swamp Boogie Piano Queen.

Monday-Saturday, July 9-14

Saint Mary’s Carnival

Where: Saint Mary's Parish, Pompton Lakes
Time: 6-10 pm
Deets: Stop by Saint Mary’s Carnival for thrill rides like the Gravitron, kiddie rides like the Berry-Go-Round, themed food and live entertainment. Wristbands are available for presale at the parish office.

Sunday, July 15

National Ice Cream Day

Where: Waffles & Ice Cream, Seaside Heights
Time: 12-10 pm
Deets: We all scream for ice cream and this year’s National Ice Cream Day means free sprinkles and toppings at this shoreside spot. Looking for more ice cream fun? Check out our list of the most instaworthy NJ ice cream shops.

Wednesday, July 18

Unique Creatures From Around the World

Where: Bound Brook Library, Bound Brook
Time: 1-1:45 pm
Deets: If your kiddo loves all things creepy and cooky, bring them to see Larry Apap of Unique Creatures, who will introduce them to weird and interesting animals from around the world.

Friday, July 20

Harry Potter Celebration

Where: Somerville Library, Somerville
Time: 5-7:30 pm
Deets: Celebrate the boy who lived with a night of games and competitions. After being sorted into your house, you’ll compete in trivia, try your hand at potion making and witness costume contests and duels.

Saturday, July 21

Christmas in July

Where: Waterloo Village Historic Site, 525 Waterloo Rd., Stanhope
Time: 11 am-7 pm
Deets: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, kind of. This fundraiser for the Peter D. Smith house is Christmas themed, which means staff are dressed in period clothing and you can snap pics with Santa. Furry friends welcome!

Ongoing

Nikon Small World Photomicrography

Where: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Time: Varies
Deets: Take your little scientist to see some of the smallest creatures living in your home. This photography exhibit has the top 20 best images from Nikon’s annual competition.

3 Art Voices Reception

Where: Lambertville Public Library, Lambertville
Time: Varies
Deets: This show, featuring the work of children’s book author and illustrator Madonna Davidoff, mixed media and collage artist Nancy Shill and nouveau impressionist painter Mike Mann, runs on select dates until July 13. Event held in the Peggy Lewis Gallery on the second floor.

Family Saturdays at the Museum

Where: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Time: Varies
Deets: Stop by for a day of filled with gardening, plus free arts and crafts activities. Learn about pollination and eighteenth-century kitchens. Registration required.

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