A Fair to Remember


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festival of ballooningSummertime brings out the kid in all of us, beckoning us to spend time outside, away from all our gadgets and gizmos, and let loose. So check out an NJ fair or festival and have some carefree fun, eat ice cream, dance to bluegrass, and watch hot air balloons sail up into the summer sky.

1) State Fair Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ
June 22-July 8

Seventeen days full of family fun, including rides, food, circus acts, live bands, petting zoo, pig racing, a hypnotist, and much more.

2) Fourth of July Family Festival

Bridgewater, NJ
July 4

Bring lawn chairs and picnic baskets and enjoy musical performances from Wallstreet and Smooth, horse rides, a giant slide, a magic show, sing-alongs, cartoon characters, historical re-enactments, and fireworks.

3) Front Porch Bluegrass Festival and Pig Roast

Chester, NJ
July 7

The fourth annual Front Porch Bluegrass Festival will feature live bands, instrument auction, vendors, kids' activities, and a variety of food options including pulled pork, hush puppies, homemade waffles, and more.

4) Freedom Fest State Fair

Allentown, NJ
July 10-15

This statewide agricultural fair features live music, a petting farm, a jousting show, a magic show, pig racing, and more than 30 rides and attractions.

5) The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Berkeley Heights
July 12-16

At this yearly event, you’ll find food, rides, a parade, a Pyrotechnic Extravaganza, music, fireworks, and more.

6) City of Water Day

Jersey City
July 14

The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance invites everyone out to the waterfront for a full day of watery fun, including boat tours on historic vessels, kayaking, rowing, and fishing. There will be plenty of water-free festivities, too, with live music, waterfront bike riding, children’s activities, food, games, and more.

7) Passaic County Fair

Woodland Park, NJ
July 18-22

Carnival favorites abound at this county fair, with kids races and games, scavenger hunts, baking and eating contests, dance performances, circus acts, pony rides, and a dunk tank.

8) New Jersey State Ice Cream Festival

Toms River, NJ
July 21

You’ll love cooling down with ice cream eating contests and tastings! In addition, there will be live music, games, rides, kids coloring contest, and more.

9) QuickChek Festival of Ballooning (shown)

Readington, NJ
July 27-29

This festival has something for everyone: a twice-daily mass ascension of more than 100 shaped and sport hot air balloons, concerts, family entertainment, crafters and vendors, food, fireworks, a 5K run, and lots more. 

10) Mercer County 4-H Fair

Lambertville, NJ
July 28-29

The fair includes 4-H animal shows and exhibits; food and homemade ice cream; hay and pony rides; music; farm tours and demonstrations; children’s crafts and activities; and more.

11) Warren County Farmers’ Fair and Hot Air Balloon Festival

Phillipsburg, NJ
July 28-Aug. 4

There will be lots of activities going on at this festival, including a truck and tractor pull, demolition derby, tethered balloon rides, baking contest, carnival rides, pony races, storytime, kids’ corral, baby crawl contest, animals, and the evening “Balloomination” of glowing balloons on Aug. 3 and 4.

Which fair(s) are you and your family looking forward to the most? 

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