We all need a night out once in a while—even when we’re exhausted and feel like having a quiet night at home in our PJs. We’ve taken the planning off your to-do list by rounding up some of the best things to do sans-kids in NJ this month.
Summer bites we can’t get enough of include seafood and barbecue. Michael Arnone’s 30th Annual Crawfish Fest from May 31-June 2 in Augusta has the first covered, thanks to five tons of imported crawfish and other authentic Louisiana grub. Also in Augusta on June 29-30 is the 10th Annual Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival (hello, BBQ). Munch on everything from brisket to chicken to ribs while taking in live music and watching the rib cook-off. Those who love all things spicy need to get tix to HopSauce Festival 2019 in Beach Haven, where it’s all about craft beer and craft hot sauce. Shop vendors between bites and brews. You can also munch at standard food truck fests in Clifton on June 9 (20 trucks, a beer and sangria garden, vendors) and Paramus on June 23 (20+ trucks, live music, beer/sangria/margarita bars).
Take In Some Tunes or a Show
If you can’t help but sing along to songs you know, the 2nd Annual Under Cover Music Fest is just the ticket. Six cover bands will be playing June 1 from 4-10 pm in South Orange performing hits by Aretha Franklin, Prince, The Meters, Bill Withers, Dave Matthews Band and Radiohead. There’ll also be music-themed wares, a beer garden, cocktails and bites. Looking for laughs instead? See Gabriel Iglesias: Beyond the Fluffy World Tour at NJPAC in Newark on June 15. This standup star of Comedy Central fame will be bringing new material to the stage.
Kick Back with a Glass of Beer…
Beat the heat with a craft brew you won’t forget. Kick off the season at Wildwood Beer Fest on June 8 for 100+ microbrews, live music, craft vendors and food. West Caldwell’s EMS BrewFest on June 15 also boasts craft beer, music and food trucks, plus a 50/50 raffle. If you’re just as much of a foodie as you are a beer drinker, the New Jersey Beer and Food Festival at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg is the place to be. On June 15, you can sample mouthwatering bites from all over, take in live music, play outdoor lawn games (human foosball, anyone?), hop a hot air balloon ride and sip more than 200 craft brews. If you’re a history buff, get your drinks in at the NJ Beer Festival aboard Battleship New Jersey in Camden on June 22. Try new beer, meet brewers, munch on pub food and tour the battleship. Still thirsty? Downtown Somerville’s Craft Beer Fest 2019 is on June 29-30 featuring tons of next-level summer sips.
NJ’s home to more than 50 wineries, most of which have tasting rooms and events. Get your wino on in Hammonton at Sharrott Winery’s Wine & Music Festival from June 1-2. Sample more than 100 wines, take in live performances, shop crafts and munch on food. In Berkeley Heights from June 8-9, you can taste local eats, listen to live music, meet artisanal crafters and sip wine at the 8th Annual Pour Into Summer Wine Festival. The Sip Into Summer Wine Festival in Mullica Hill on June 22-23 takes place on the Gloucester County Fairgrounds. There, you’ll get to sip on primo wines from NJ vineyards, explore food truck fare and more. If you have a sweet tooth, hold out for the Wine & Chocolate Festival at Oceanport’s Monmouth Park Racetrack. From June 22-23, you’ll get to pair NJ vino with dessert samples from some of the area’s best chocolatiers. Go to Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment in East Rutherford on June 29 for the Summer Wine Festival, which features goods from 30+ wineries (many from NJ), a DJ and live horse racing.
If you love hitting the theater to catch a flick, make the trip to Long Beach Twp. from June 6-9. This nonprofit fest showcases new films by the next generation of filmmakers, as well as hosts Q&As, panels and more. See a block of shorts on June 7, featuring pieces titled “The Velvet Underground Played at My High School” and “Death Metal Grandma.” On June 8, see 306 Hollywood, a doc on the filmmaker’s grandmother, a designer and 70-year resident of Hillside, NJ. On June 9, catch a screening of Easy, an Italian film about a former race car driver who’s enlisted to transport a coffin from Italy to Ukraine.
Get Your DIY On
Flex your DIY skills by crafting with your squad. At Paint Nite, a pro artist will help you along while you sip craft brews or wine and munch your way through the menu. Take on a Jersey Shore scene at On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina in New Brunswick (June 8), a Tahitian Sunset at Kenilworth’s Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub (June 12) or a light-up sunflower wine bottle at Ruth Chris Steak House in Maywood (June 18).
If you have more of a green thumb, try Plant Nite, where you can work on your own terrariums and succulent masterpieces. Craft a Boho Spring Wreath at The Rock Bar & Grill in Clifton (June 7), a distressed wood succulent terrarium at Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar in Edison (June 13) or a Good Wine, Good Friends planter at TGI Fridays in East Windsor (June 20).