School may be back in session, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have some fun! Here are great, free things to do in September in NJ.
*Please note that the fairs and festivals below have free admission, but activities, food and rides might be an additional fee.
Sunday, September 1
Ages 2-5 can spend half an hour listening to stories and singing songs about city life read by librarians from the Hoboken Public Library at the Fire Department Museum.
Wednesday, September 4
Pokémon Club: Perler Bead Pencil Toppers
All ages are invited to create their own Pikachu pencil topper out of perler beads and boards. Your kids can even bring their cards and gaming devices. Registration required. Looking for more free fun at your local libraries? Here are some great things that you might not even know they offer!
Saturday, September 7
The whole family can come out for sailboat races, crafters, vendors and food trucks, plus kiddie rides and inflatables at the Rotary Club of Toms River.
Saturday, September 7 and 14
Trailblazers Volunteer Day
Ages 10 and up can get their hands dirty in the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area, removing weeds and clearing trails. Registration required.
September 13, 21, 27
Park it at Historic Smithville to check out vintage and antique automobiles, then hit permanent attractions like the carousel and paddle boats.
Saturday, September 14
Paint and Sip (Juice) with the Artist Framer
Take your older kids (grades 4 and up) to spend an hour and a half sipping on juice and learning the basics of mixing colors and using acrylic paints. Along with Stefanie Lalor of Artist Framer, they’ll work on creating a painting.
Hit the Greene with percussion instruments (if you don’t have your own, no worries), then check out vendors with handmade drums, crystals, tarot readings and henna body art.
Spirit of the Jerseys—State History Fair
From living history demos and exhibits to period music and crafts, there’s plenty of activity and games to entertain and teach your kids about Garden State history.
2019 Bound Brook RiverFest Art & Music Fair
Walk your family to Main Street for arts and crafts, kid’s rides, live music and a variety of street food.
Sunday, September 15
Bridgewater Community Day
Stop by Somerset County Vo-Tech High School for music, trucks, dog adoptions and more. The kids can jump on inflatables, get their faces painted or hop in the game truck. There’ll also be food trucks for tasty treats.
Ridgewood Fall Craft & Art Street Fair
Head into downtown Ridgewood for more than 175 arts and crafts exhibitors, festival foods and a children’s area, which’ll have pony rides, a petting zoo and music.
Van Houten Ave. Street Fair
This annual fair boasts a marketplace, live music and entertainment, kid’s rides and plenty of food for the fam. There’ll also be a performance by Clifton High School’s Mustang Marching Band, plus a sword fight between knights from Medieval Times.
Fannywood Day Street Fair
Think activities, food and music galore. Head to the Kids Zone for a trackless train, petting zoo, pony rides make your own slime, corn hole and an obstacle course. Check out the contests and check out the DJ and live entertainers. There’ll also be plenty of food exhibitors and trucks like Manny’s Fresh Squeezed Lemonade & Ices, Pasquale’s Zeppoles, Sheelen’s Bistro Bar Garden & Oyster Bar.
Sussex County Day
Park it at the Sussex County Fairgrounds for giveaways, contests, vendors, exhibits and enough food to satisfy even the pickiest members of your family.
Head to the Princeton Airport for activities like inflatables, rock climbing and obstacle courses.
Friday, September 20
Dragon Eye Pins
Ages 8-17 can celebrate Hobbit Day at the Warren County Library by designing their own pins featuring dragon eyes. Registration required.
Friday-Saturday, September 20-21
Camden County Fair
Make it a point to bring your family to the County Fairgrounds for face painting, pony rides, 4-H demos and more, like local bands, singers and dancers, plus food trucks, carnival games and a petting zoo.
Saturday, September 21
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live!
Hit the NJ State Museum for David Fry’s live musical performance of folk music like “Yankee Doodle” and “This Land is Your Land,” plus old rock ‘n’ roll, jump rope games and dances. After, visit the STEAM Center to learn how music influences artists today and throughout history. The kids can even try creating art based on their favorite songs and their own instruments out of recycled materials. Even better? All planetarium shows will be free.
Trailblazers Volunteer Day
If they’ve got school volunteer hours to fill, or you just want to teach them to give back to their community, ages 10 and up can help beautify the trails in the Richard J. Sullivan Natural Area. They’ll clear weeds and vines and learn a thing or two about civic engagement. Registration required.
Sunday, September 22
Hub City Sounds 39th Raritan River Festival Rubber Duck Race
Celebrate the local community with live music, a trip to the New Brunswick Community Farmers Market, cardboard canoe races, vendors and other activities for the kids. Of course, you’ll want to stick around for The Beez Foundation’s annual rubber duck race drop into the Raritan River.
Kessler Foundation Stroll ‘N Roll 2019
Head to the lake at Verona Park for food trucks, games, prizes, crafts, magic, music and more with people of all ages and abilities, all to benefit people with disabilities.
Saturday, September 28
Roselle Park Arts Festival
Check out dance and theater performances, live street art, a juried Art Walk and the Montclair Art Museum Truck. Stick around for musical performances, crafts, chalk drawing, graffiti spray painting, string art and food trucks.
Do you know of any other free things to do in September in NJ? Let us know in the comments!