It’s time to reap the rewards of those April showers and smell the May flowers at these free events around NJ. Be sure to check out the fairs and festivals this month, too. Please note that the fairs and festivals below have free admission, but activities, food and rides are an additional fee.
Sunday May 1
Where: Monmouth Park Racetrack, Oceanport
Time: 11 am – 4 pm
Deets: The 4th annual MOM-A-RAMA Extravaganza is an indoor, family-friendly day of fun, and parking is free too. This year’s theme is shop from a mom for your mom for Mother’s Day.
Saturday, May 7
Where: WheatonArts, Millville
Time: 10 am
Deets: Make a pit stop and check out handmade wares from local artists, plus dance to live music, chat with environmental organizations or make some art. While you’re there, take a peek at the Rutgers Master Gardeners’ plants and herbs.
Where: Secaucus Xchange, Secaucus
Time: 11 am-4 pm
Deets: Think eco cruises with the Hackensack Riverkeeper, a petting zoo, pony rides, educational presentations and more than 50 food and green product vendors.
Where: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Time: 11 am-2 pm
Deets: Take the kids on a trek around the historical garden, make some art and visit other family-friendly activities and presentations. Registration recommended.
Where: Skylands Stadium, Augusta
Time: 12 – 7 pm
Deets: Bring the whole family to this all-day party that takes place right on the field. This spring festival features a lineup of more than 20 food trucks, over 100 craft beers, music, games, sports on the big screen, shopping and more. This is a rain or shine event. Ages 21+ will receive a wristband to participate in the beer sampling.
Saturday May 14
Where: Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater
Time: 4 – 8 pm
Deets: Taste Over 40 Beers from breweries in NJ, NY and the surrounding areas. There will be live music, food trucks and door prizes.
Where: Sloan St. Parking Lot, South Orange
Time: 4 – 10 pm
Deets: This is South Orange Downtown’s signature event featuring live music from six cover bands with no cover charge with a beer garden provided by Fox & Falcon, a fun filled kid zone provided by the South Mountain YMCA plus Sidewalk Sales from the downtown businesses all day long.
Saturday May 14 & Sunday May 15
Where: Historic Smithville, Smithville
Time: -10 am – 5 pm
Deets: More than 100 juried crafters and vendors, an international food court, children’s activities, nonprofit organizations and live entertainment.
Sunday May 15
Where: White St. Parking Lot, Red Bank
Time: 12- 6 pm
Deets: This is a family friendly, outdoor celebration of international food, music, wine and beer. Red Bank’s finest restaurants and eateries will be serving specialty international menu items from tented areas throughout the festival and international wines and beers will also be available for purchase. The festival also features unique vendors and it’s family friendly with activities for the kids.S
Where: Batsto Village, Hammonton
Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm
Deets: Come check out this historic site in the South Central Pinelands of New Jersey that is known throughout the country, both for its beauty and its historical significance. (Wagon rides will be available on this day for a fee.)
Wednesday May 18- Saturday May 21
Where: Our Lady of Peace, New Providence
Deets: The Church of Our Lady of Peace opens its doors to everyone, and will have lots food, games, raffles, crafters and even a beer garden.
Saturday May 21
Hog Slopping & Weighing
Where: Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Guess the weights of the Howell Farm hogs as they step onto the scales for their summer weigh-in! Visitors will learn the finer points of keeping pigs, including their history, diet and some fun facts. Next they’ll guess their weight, grind corn, mix feed, fill the wallow and slop the hogs!
Saturday May 21 & Sunday May 22
Where: Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Park it in Bordentown for a day of food and music, plus plenty of handmade wares to peruse and a children’s area for the kiddos.
Thursday May 26
South Mountain Recreation Complex Fishing Derby
Where: South Mountain Reservation, Essex County
Time: 5- 7:30 pm
Deets: Fishing derbies are an excellent opportunity for children to enjoy the historic Essex County Park System in a different and fun way. Everyone is invited to come out, cast their lines, experience Essex and take a look at the improvements being made to revitalize the parks.
Sunday May 29 & Monday May 30
Where: Stangl Factory, Flemington
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Celebrate Memorial Day at this show dedicated to bringing all the art, photography, jewelry, pottery, woodwork, glass, metalwork and every other ware you could possibly look for in one location.
Wildwood & Wildwood Crest
If you’re looking for a quieter shore vibe, head to the Crest where the kids won’t be as tempted by rides and the smell of funnel cake. Head to nearby Wildwood if they need their fix. Both beaches boast enormous expanses of sand to sprawl out on. Bring your bikes for an early morning ride.
Check out this non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education, recreation and the conservation of 136-acres of forested wetlands, streams, ponds and trails in suburban Closter.
Open year round, this flowery gem is best to visit in the springtime, and what better way to kick off the season than with visiting a flower garden. Embrace the flower power with over 10,000 iris’ and over 100,000 in bloom each year. This flower garden has been nicknamed the “rainbow on the hill.”
Rutgers Gardens welcomes you to visit as often as you like to enjoy their “living museum,” a large array of gardens and plant collections.
The New Jersey Botanical Garden includes 96 acres of gardens surrounded by 1000 acres of woodlands. Join NJBG hike leaders on an easy, child-friendly hike. (Parking is free until Memorial Day weekend, then there is a fee weekends and holidays through Labor Day.)