From drive-in movies to outdoor concerts to a drive-through safari, 2020 safe summer fun is all about pop-up events where you can safely socially distance from others. Here are some ideas to inspire your next family outing:
Drive-Ins and Outdoor Movies
While movie theaters remain closed, classic drive-ins are making a comeback along with other outdoor movie options.
101 Crawfords Corner Rd., Holmdel
$25/car, purchase tickets online
Movie starts at 8:45 pm
Until the end of September, Bell Works is converting one of the building’s parking lots into a drive-in theater on certain nights. A new movie is shown every night and with upcoming titles like Happy Feet, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and The LEGO Movie there’s sure to be something to please any age. Even some films from the Harry Potter series are being shown. Cars are spaced 8-feet apart, so it’ll be easy to social distance. Check out the drive-in theater online to see all upcoming movies, purchase tickets and to see what else is open at Bell Works.
2203 South Delsea Dr., Vineland
$11/ages 4 and up, purchase tickets here
Movies start at 8:15
South Jersey’s own vintage theater — first opened in 1949 — is keeping the hits rolling this summer. Showings for this weekend include double features of Grease and Dirty Dancing as well as Twilight and The Hunger Games. The drive-in also shows films for younger kids too, like Kung Fu Panda. There are even selections of horror movies for adults that love a good scare. Concessions are available for purchase, including specialty items like Stir-Fry Asparagus and Teriyaki Chicken.
244 Wierimus Rd., Hillsdale
$25/car, purchase tickets online
This is one popular drive-in! Tickets for upcoming shows have already sold out but there are still a few opportunities to catch a movie later in the month. With tickets still available for titles like Jurassic Park, Frozen II, Top Gun and Trolls, the drive-in is great for a family outing or even a date night. Movies are shown on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and current showtimes go into the first week of September. Buy your tickets now before it’s too late!
Garden State Plaza, Paramus
$20/car, purchase tickets online
Movie starts at 8:45 pm
Stop by the Garden State Plaza to check out a drive-in movie from now until October. The theater is showing a mix of films from recent releases, like The Call of the Wild, to favorite classics including The Princess Bride. Concessions will be available and guests are asked to wear masks while ordering. Cars will be spaced at least 6-feet apart.
Arm & Hammer Park, 1 Thunder Rd., Trenton
September 18, 5:30-9 pm
The Young Professionals Group of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Foundation are presenting Trolls World Tour. The event is a fundraiser for the hospital’s Cancer Center and is designed for social distancing. You can bring blankets and set up in the outfield or take a seat in the stands. There’ll be plenty of room to spread out. Each ticket comes with a complimentary gift and popcorn. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. Please note that chairs, coolers and alcohol are not permitted. Tickets can be purchased online.
Starlight Drive-In Movies
Freehold Raceway Parking Lot (between Manalapan and Park Aves.), Freehold
$5/car, advanced reservations required
Movie starts at 8:30 pm
Enjoy a movie under the stars at this Freehold drive-in. Films being shown range recent blockbusters to your favorite classics. Next week’s film is the musical Grease. As a bonus, all cars will receive a $5 gift card to a local restaurant so you can grab a late night snack after the show. Movies are weather permitting. Make a reservation here.
Live Music Events
Outdoor concerts are a summer staple and this year is no different. Check out these upcoming music events and this list of towns holding outdoor concerts.
River Center district, Red Bank
Saturday Nights through September
Take a stroll through Red Bank while enjoying music performed by local artists. Performances take place at a different location each week, so make sure to check the schedule to see where each upcoming performance will be held. This weekend’s entertainment includes four artists playing throughout the town. This event is weather permitting.
370 South Egg Harbor Rd., Hammonton
Fri.-Sat. 5:30-8:30 pm; Sun. 1-4 pm
Enjoy the food and drink that Sharrott Winery has to offer while listening to some live tunes. The concert series is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and features a different artist every night. All tables are outdoors and spaced 6-feet from each other. Admission is free but guests are highly encouraged to make a reservation in advance as tables are limited. Parties can only have up to eight people.
330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton
Fri. 5-8 pm; Sat. and Sun. 12-5 pm
Take in the beauty of the historic orchard while enjoying music and sipping on an award-winning glass of wine. This concert series features a range of musical styles like rock, jazz and even the blues. In addition to wine by the glass, you can also purchase light fare like cheese platters and chips with homemade salsa. The Sunset Sips & Sounds series takes place on Friday evenings and the Winery Weekend Music Series is held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Arts and Entertainment
Dates, times, locations and prices vary
Has COVID left you in need of a good laugh? Then stop by one of these outdoor comedy shows in Atlantic City. Mike Marino and Eleanor Kerrigan will both perform shows during the next two weekends. Some of the shows will even be held as a drive-in to make sure social distancing is maintained. Please note that some of these shows are family-friendly while others have age restrictions.
Tickets start at $19.99
New Jersey’s iconic safari is letting visitors drive-through in their own cars for the first time since 2013. See a mix of native and exotic animals like bears, elk, lions, elephants and even the newest additions — a baby giraffe and pair of tiger cubs — while driving around 11 Adventure Lands in the 350-acre preserve. The safari takes between one and a half and three hours to complete. Buy your tickets online.
127 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair
Now through August 30
Since museums and galleries are only able to open with limited capacity, Studio Montclair and Fresh Air Montclair have brought the artwork to the streets. Explore eight different exhibits, either on foot or from the comfort of your car, created by both local and visiting artists. Exhibits include “COVID-19 Cutups” by Joseph Castronova, “Drawing in Space” by Linda Streicher and “Day of the Dead” by Santiago Cohen. Read more about each exhibit online.
On the boardwalk, south of the convention center
Aug. 15-16, Sept. 4-6; 9 am-5 pm
Wildwood’s craft shows are getting ready to close up for the summer but there’s still time to stop by. Browse and purchase works created by local crafters right on the boardwalk. The craft show is open rain or shine. Call 609-522-0198 or 609-522-0378 for more information.