The school year is officially over! Obviously you’ll want to start off the month with some major Independence Day celebrations, and there’s still plenty of time to squeeze in a whole bunch of fun for the rest of the month with the kids. We’ve found some exciting free stuff to do and 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.

Courtesy of the Rutherford Public Library

Wednesday, July 3 and Saturday, July 13

The Out of This World Magic Show 

Cranford, Hackettstown

At Steve Woyce’s magic show, he’ll ask for library volunteers to help him make moon rocks appear and perform other magical surprises at this comedic, space-themed show. Registration required.

Thursday, July 4

Ridgewood 4th of July Celebration

Ridgewood

Does it get any more patriotic than a flag raising, parade and fireworks? End the night with live music and a fireworks extravaganza.

Nominal costs may apply

72nd Annual Fourth of July Celebration

Summit

Start your day with a flag raising ceremony and children’s decorated bicycle parade, then come back in the evening for a food truck festival, rides and more amusements. End the night with a fireworks show that’s sure to please.

Nominal costs may apply

Blairstown Fourth

Blairstown

Head to the park for a reading of the Declaration, then the kids can try leap frog races, balloon contests, hula hoop competitions, OREO stacking and more. There’ll also be a petting zoo, dunk tank, banjo band and plenty of food to dig into. End the day by cheering on your favorite flippers at the annual Duck Race.

July 4th Jubilee

Princeton

Head to the home of Richard Stockton, an original signer of the Declaration of Independence, then hit the Revolutionary photo booth and chalk art wall. Check out the crafts, music, games, prizes and scavenger hunt before hitting the food trucks and taking a tour of the historic gardens.

©istockphoto.com / LUVEMAKPHOTO

Friday-Sunday, July 5-7

Sports Card, Toy, Comic & Collectibles Expo

Wildwood

If you are already enjoying some Wildwood fun, head indoors to cool off and check out collectible cards (think Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh and sports), LEGOs, Funko Pops, comic books, beanie babies, jerseys and more. There’ll also be a celebrity autograph session like former Philadelphia Flyer Dave “The Hammer” Schultz.

Free admission

Saturday, July 6

City of Millville Fireworks & Food Truck Festival

Millville

There’ll be live music and a kids zone for some playtime fun. For extra fees you can do some shopping, nosh at a food truck, play paintball or hop on a go-kart. Don’t miss the fireworks show at 9 pm.

Free admission

Monday, July 8

Unbelievable Magic and Illusion Show

Bound Brook

Head to the Bound Brook library for Doug Wonder’s comedic magic, illusions and mind-reading.

Tuesday, July 9

Paws for Reading

Cranford

No matter how new or proficient your kids are to reading, they can cuddle up next to a friendly therapy dog with whatever book they want for ten minutes. Registration required.

Finding Nemo

New Brunswick

Take a seat at the State Theatre and watch this Pixar classic, as Marlin and Dory make their way across the ocean blue to find Nemo, who makes new friends as he tries to escape the fish tank he’s been sequestered to. Seats are first come, first serve. On July 23 they’ll be showing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Saturday, July 13

Summer Book & Art Fair

Jersey City

Hit Culinary Plaza Park in Journal Square for arts and crafts, workshops, shopping, food, giveaways and free outdoor entertainment. Bookworms can purchase new and used books and vendors’ wares, plus there’ll be book readings and kids’ activities.

July 18-20

Cape May County 4-H Fair

Cape May Court House

Stop by for the children’s pet, livestock and horse shows, plus an animal auction, bouncy houses and a Maker Space. Hit the Children’s Discovery Farm for antique pedal tractors and to learn about life on the farm. There’ll also be “tent talks,” a chainsaw artist, antique car show, 4-H exhibits, food vendors and live entertainment.

Free admission

July 18-21

2019 Morris County 4-H Fair

Chester

You won’t have to convince the kids to hit this fair, which boasts rides, animals, food, live entertainment and other kid-friendly activities.

Free admission

Friday, July 19

Family Fort Night

Cranford

For one night, the kids can put down their controllers and spend an evening building real forts at the library. Bring an old sheet, blankets and pillows to create a cozy reading spot. Even better? You’ll be in the library past closing time!

Saturday, July 20

July Small Explorers Program

Trenton

Go beneath the waves at the State Museum, where kiddos ages 6 months to 5 years can listen to a reading of Seashells by the Seashore, visit the Written in the Rocks exhibit (and see the giant clam shell!), then hit the STEAM center for hands-on activities. Registration required by 10 am on Friday, July 19.

Astronomy Day

Branchburg

Blast off to the planetarium at RVCC to get cozy with a telescope and see the sun and moon. Whether you’re interested in solar viewing during the day or nighttime views, your lil’ astronomers can peer into the solar system. See a public show or laser concert at an extra cost.

Summer in the Street

Toms River

While you dig into delicious dishes from food trucks, the kids can jump around on inflatables and other rides, hit the balloonist and play free games and prizes at the Kid Zone.

Free admission

Sunday, July 21

Annual Block Party

New York City

Take a trip to the Rubin Museum for a massive party featuring activities like making your own portable lamp, exploring constellations in the Himalayas and watching a power painting performance.

Free admission

© istockphoto.com / MARVEL

Thursday, July 25

Captain Marvel

Morristown

Take a seat at MPAC, where your Avengers fans will love seeing (or re-watching) Carol Danvers conquer her powers and discover her origins alongside Nick Fury—and a super cute cat!

Friday, July 26

Bikini Bottom Carnival

Hackettstown

Ages 3-8 can celebrate their favorite pineapple-loving oceanic sponge with carnival games like bean bag toss, bowling and pin the tie on SpongeBob. Each participant will also get a SpongeBob trophy. Registration required.

Moth Night

Cranbury

Spend an evening at the Plainsboro Preserve, where the family can celebrate National Moth Week with special lights that attract these special, winged insects. On the back deck, look for bats, screech owls and other nighttime creatures.

Sunday, July 28

Jersey Shore Summer Comic Book Show

Toms River

This comic book show is bringing all the vendors, artists, writers and cosplayers you could imagine to one place. Meet Joe del Beato from Marvel Comics, the Philadelphia Avengers and enter raffles and the costume contest before you leave.

Free admission/ages 12 and under