If you’re struggling to keep the kids entertained every day, make the most of the heat without breaking the bank and keeping your daily activities fresh and exciting. We found some fun, free things that’ll end summer on a high note.

Want more fun stuff? Check out can’t-miss events for your preschoolers, plus the best fairs and festivals happening this July.

*Please note that the fairs and festivals below have free admission, but activities, food and rides are an additional fee.

Thursday, August 1

Space Academy

Bound Brook

Ground control to Major Tom! The kids can learn what it takes to be a space traveler with Commander Beth, who’ll be recruiting members for the Library Space Academy at the Bound Brook Library. Registration required.

Thursday, August 1-Sunday, August 4

25th Annual Clam Festival


With live entertainment, games, contests, delicious seafood and a landlubber menu, this shoreside fest has something for everyone.

Free admission

Saturday, August 3

Allentown Faerie Festival


Dress up as your favorite fairy and join the costume contest. Kids can hop on unicorn rides, make flower crowns and get their faces painted.

Saturday August 3, 10, 24

Scotch Plains Library Storytime and Craft

Scotch Plains

Each Saturday is a different themed craft and story, like the beach, ice cream and sharks. Kids have the chance to participate in a storytime, then get creative with their own craft following that week’s theme.

Monday, August 5-Sunday, August 11

Middlesex County Fair

East Brunswick

Vendors, exhibits, carnival food, games and entertainment are available all week long; the whole family is sure to have a blast checking out activities and attractions, like the Axe Women Loggers of Maine and the Tallest Man in Middlesex.

©istockphoto.com / FluxFactory

Tuesday, August 6-Friday, August 9

Salem County Fair


If you’re a family of animal lovers, you’ll want to take a trip to the Salem County Fair to see English Horse shows and pig races or go on a pony ride. Be sure to check out some of the award-winning fruit, like the giant watermelons.

Saturday, August 10

Big Sea Day


Build cool sandcastles in the tournament, play games and participate in a kids fishing contest. Your family can stay until dusk to watch the sky light up with fireworks.

Saturday, August 17 

August Small Explorers Program


This month’s all about reptile tales at the NJ State Museum! Little ones ages 6 months to 5 years will listen to a reading of What’s Next Door by Nicola O’Byrne, then visit the Crocs Rule! exhibit before heading to the STEAM center for hands-on activities. Registration required.

Sunday, August 18

Fire Muster


It’s all about the 39th Annual Fire Muster and Fire Fighter’s Family Day at WheatonArts. Come for the firefighter competitions, a water barrel fight, bucket brigade and more than 80 antique fire trucks.

Free admission


Union City Street Fair

Union City

There’ll be food vendors, talented artists and crafters. The Hudson County Latino Foundation and Union City hosts this family street fair.

2nd Annual Summer Fun Festival


What better way to spend a Sunday than with farmers markets filled with fresh fruit and veggies, food trucks, live music and lots of fun family activities, sponsored by The Hudson Regional Hospital. You and your family even have the chance to adopt a pet.

Saturday, August 24

Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival

Long Branch

The Jersey Shore is always a popular spot in the summer and the activities are far from none. Join in with the Jazz and Blues music festival, which has more than just good music, food and games.

Canal Day Music and Craft Festival


Kids and parents will love spending the day outdoors trying different ethnic foods, listening to live performers, going on pony rides and kayaking along the canal.

Sunday, August 25

Cranford Street Fair & Craft Show


Watch live entertainment, pet cute animals at the petting zoo, walk around and shop at the different vendors.

Nominal costs may apply

Ongoing Thursdays

Penny’s Storytime


Bring your little ones to storytime at the Hoboken Historical Museum, where they’ll read and sing songs about city life. Two half-hour sessions are offered.

Ongoing Fridays

Movies on the Beach

Point Pleasant

Bring your beach blanket or chair and get cozy on the beach at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk as you watch some of your favorite movies up on the big screen.

Ongoing Saturdays

Tropicana Fireworks Show

Atlantic City

The dazzling 10-minute show lights up the whole boardwalk beach, so no matter where you are in Atlantic City, you won’t have to go far to see them.


Free Family Fun-Dancing To The Fred Hall Orchestra

Cape May

Get up and boogie, people! Spend some quality family time making fun memories and sharing in lots of laughs.

Want more free fun this summer? Check out some live music at a summer concert series, and head to the park for an outdoor movie, or beat the rain with an indoor movie

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