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Free Things To Do This May in NJ

It’s time to get out and sniff those May flowers at these easy-on-your-wallet events.


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Courtesy of Historic Smithville, Mayfest

The sun is finally making an appearance, which means it’s time to get outdoors and enjoy a month’s worth of (free) activities. Take the kids to one of our faves (Dover Touch-A-Truck, Mount Holly Comic Book and Car Show and the Woodland Park Street Fair and Parade) or one of these other great events before May is over.

Don’t forget to check out local fairs and festivals, places to take your preschoolers and STEM events going on this month, either.

Tuesday, May 1

Heroes in Chinese History

Where: Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Rocky Hill
Deets: Grades K-6 can learn a thing or two about famous figures in Chinese culture, plus enjoy acting, food, crafts and more.

Wednesday, May 2

Ocean Exploration Late Night

Where: Rutgers Geology Museum, New Brunswick
Deets: All ages are invited to take a dive beneath the ocean’s surface and learn how scientists uncover the buried secrets, plus there’ll be ocean-themed crafts and activities.

Hinduism: Religion, Way of Life or Philosophy

Where: Warren Twp. Library, Warren
Deets: Did you know that roughly one billion people practice Hinduism? Learn the principal teachings and how they’re used in religious, practical and philosophical ways by people around the world.   

Saturday, May 5

4th Annual People's Choice Antique Car and Vehicle Display

Where: Poricy Park, Middletown
Deets: Take a stroll down memory lane to see which antique beauties get the blue ribbon while munching on sweet and savory treats from nearby food trucks.

Secaucus 8th Annual Green Festival

Where: Xchange, Secaucus
Deets: Paint the town green with environmental activities for the kiddos, music, pontoon boat rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, food and green vendors and more. 

NJMP Food Truck Festival

Where: New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville
Deets: Foodies, save the date! There’ll be more than 20 food trucks, live music, a beer garden, yard games, monster truck rides, inflatables and more fun for the entire family.

Drum Circle

Where: Historic Smithville, Galloway
Deets: He can shake his lil’ booty on The Greene, where the fam can also get their hands on handmade drums, crystals, henna body art or try a tarot card reading.

Thursday-Sunday, May 10-13

Spring Boardwalk Classic Car Show

Where: The Wildwood Boardwalk, Wildwood
Deets: This Mother’s Day weekend, the boardwalk will be lined with classic cars (all ten years or older), plus enjoy a kick-off dinner party and discounts from local restaurants and businesses.

Saturday, May 12

Family Day: Line, Shape, Color

Where: Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
Deets: Celebrate good times, come on! The whole fam can come out for art projects, stories, games, live performances and a scavenger hunt.

5th Annual Lake Hopatcong Block Party

Where: Hopatcong State Park, Landing
Deets: Everybody’s working for the weekend…and now that it’s here, celebrate by visiting vendors, dancing to live music, hopping on boat and mini train rides, checking out on-the-water demos and dropping the kids off at the children’s area. Plus, let your taste buds get their groove on while sampling a variety of food and beverage options.

Saturday, May 12

National Public Gardens Day

Where: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Deets: Create art and explore the gardens—which are abuzz with activities and presentations—with your entire crew on National Public Gardens Day.

Wednesday, May 16

Beauty on the Mountain: A History of Wagner Farm Arboretum

Where: Warren Township Library, Warren
Deets: The Arboretum teaches the community how to experience the great outdoors. Today, you can learn how the Arboretum has done that throughout history.

Asian/Pacific American Heritage Festival

Where: Hillsborough Library, Hillsborough
Deets: Create freestyle mandalas, learn some tips and tricks for applying henna, how to fold origami and taste some food with local Asian- and Pacific-American teens. Plus, you’ll learn a bit about the traditions, food and art of different cultures.

Saturday, May 19

Essex County Family Garden Party

Where: Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Upper Montclair
Deets: Spring has sprung and the Iris Gardens have more than 100,000 blooms to prove it. Come for the flowers and stay for the activities, entertainment and refreshments. There’ll also be a student art exhibit on display in the Bloom Room.

Captain Kidd Pirate Day

Where: Wildwood Boardwalk, North Wildwood
Deet: Shiver me timbers! Snap a photo of him in the pirate costume parade and make sure she’s ready to hunt for buried treasure on the beach (ages 12 and under).

May Small Explorers Program

Where: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Deets: Kiddos under age 5 are invited to a galactic storytime, then a visit to the Planetarium and STEAM center for hands-on activities like creating astronaut helmets and decorating rocket ships

Touch-A-Truck

Where: Parking Lot B, Dover
Deets: Surprise them with a day they’ll never forget—the chance to climb inside real trucks! Rain date May 26.

Saturday-Sunday, May 19-20

MayFest

Where: Historic Smithville, Galloway
Deets: Picture this: an international food court, music, kids’ activities and more than 100 crafters and nonprofits. That’s what you’ll get at this weekend’s annual Mayfest, not to mention Historic Smithville’s normal activities like carousel and train rides, paddle boats and an antique arcade.

Sunday, May 20

Kenilworth Street Fair and Car Show

Where: 525 Boulevard, Kenilworth
Deets: Custom, classic, muscle—whatever you call them, these hot rods will be out on display for enthusiasts, plus more than 100 merchants will be selling jewelry, clothing, art and more. Get your foodie fix with plates of sausage and peppers, pulled pork, zeppoles and shish kabobs.

Mount Holly Comic Book and Car Show

Where: Mill Race Village, Mount Holly    
​Deets: Get your geek on! There’ll be crafters, artists, costume groups, vintage cars, plus Marvel Comics’ Joe del Beato, the Philadelphia Avengers and Star Wars’ 501st Legion.

Middlesex County History Day Antiques Show and Sale

Where: East Jersey Old Town Village at Johnson Park, Piscataway
Deets: Get ready for historical craft demos, carriage rides through the park, period music and vintage kids’ games and crafts. There’ll also be antique furniture, paintings and more for you to find your own piece of the past.

Thursday, May 24

Duanwu Festival

Where: Hillsborough Library, Hillsborough
Deets: Shoot back two thousand years for the Duanwu Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival, a holiday that originated in China. Watch a traditional Chinese dance, create a Ziang-bao sachet and hear the original story of the Dragon Boat Festival.

Friday-Monday, May 25-28

Wildwoods International Kite Festival

Where: The Wildwoods Convention Center, Wildwood
Deets: Fly high this weekend with kites of all kinds: inflatables, light-up and sport. There’ll be a silent auction, family games and a World Indoor Kite competition.

Monday, May 28

Woodland Park Street Fair and Parade

Where: Woodland Park, Woodland Park
Deets: What better way to spend Memorial Day weekend than at a giant town block party? The kids’ section will be filled with kiddie rides, face painting, sand art, temporary tattoos, pony rides and a petting zoo. Don’t forget to dig into classic fair food, like hot dogs, zeppoles, shish kabobs, cheesesteaks and Italian ices.

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