We’re in the thick of August, which means there’s plenty of adventure happening around the Garden State. With summer coming to a close, catch some rides at the fair, jam to music at the Live & Local Monmouth Park Music Festival or take a family trip down to Cape May to learn about the Civil War for Heritage Weekend.
For more fun, check out our complete list of fairs and festivals, and if the rain puts a damper on your plans, take a look at our favorite indoor activities. Got a bunch of five-and-unders to entertain? We’ve got activities that cater just to them, plus free events for the whole fam. Check out our calendar for events near you, or browse events in your county below.
Passaic County Fair
Think fireworks, a petting zoo, chess tournament and amusement and pony rides.
Free/ages 12 and under
The circus is here! With the Royal Hanneford Circus, the Fearless Flores Family Motorcycle Thrill Show, Sherman’s Lumberjack Show, rides and games, the kids will be amazed all night. Don’t forget the Monster Trucks Meet & Greet on August 13, or the demolition derby on August 18.
$15/pre-sale, $17/Tues.-Wed., $19/Thurs.-Sun., free/kids 36” and under or kids 65” and up on Tues. until 6 pm
Many Inspired Steps
Travel back to July 21, 1969 when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. Experience his life at this exhibit at the New Jersey State Museum.
The Broadway Spectacular
It’s showtime! The Broadway Spectacular is throwing a summer show with 20 musical performances at Middlesex County College.
Join for their third annual exhibition featuring new glass works. See the artists’ unique vision, aesthetic and integration with glass.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
This Hindu holiday celebrates the sibling bond at iPlay America, where your kids can hop on rides and play games (and hopefully get along!).
The whole family can learn about Native American cultures and early American settlers during the Civil War at Historic Cold Spring Village, plus talk about the art, music, crafts and food that make up American culture.
$14/adults, $12/ages 3-12, free/ages 3 and under
SATURDAY, AUGUST 17
Live & Local Monmouth Park Music Festival
Water you doing August 17? Hit the Jersey Shore for live performances from Lakehouse Music Academy. Presented by 107.1FM, Monmouth Park’s first music festival is the perfect excuse to have some fun in the sun.
Annual Gem, Minerals and Fossil Sale
Take your mini geologists to see thousands of specimens, books, pieces of jewelry and more from mineral, gem and fossil dealers at the Morris Museum, then hit the exhibits afterwards.
Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival
Get jazzy in Morristown for its ninth annual music festival. Listen to various artists of all ages, including the Antoinette Montague Experience, Frank Vignola Trio and more.
One Love: Caribbean Music Festival II
Music is in the air in Newark for this fest’s second annual celebration. Wander around the carnival grounds, talk to local artisans and grab bites from a food truck. Music will be playing all day, including hip-hop, R&B, reggae and calypso.
Summer Freestyle Jam
Jam out to Judy Torres, TKA/K7, George Lamond, Cover Girls, Sweet Sensations, Cynthia, Johnny O. and Noel and Rob Base.
The Great Coaster Race
Celebrate National Roller Coaster Weekend with special 5K and 10K races at Six Flags Great Adventure. Racers are supporting the Special Olympics by trekking the distance and donating.
August Small Explorers Program
This month’s all about reptile tales at the New Jersey State Museum. Lil’ ones ages 6 months to 5 years will listen to a reading of What’s Next Door by Nicola O’Byrne, then visit the Crocs Rule! exhibit before heading to the STEAM center for hands-on activities. Registration required.
Take the family for a treasure hunt at the Plainsboro Preserve. Along with associate naturalist Shari-Beth Nadell, you’ll hit the trails and look for caches hidden around the preserve, which can be found using your phone. Registration required.
Saturday Afternoon Cartoons: Superman Part 2
Remember watching cartoons on Saturday mornings as a kid? This weekend, show your kids original cartoons featuring Superman’s first animated appearance at Hopewell Theater.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18
It’s all about the 39th Annual Fire Muster and Firefighter’s Family Day at WheatonArts. Come for firefighter competitions, a water barrel fight, bucket brigade and a peek at more than 80 antique fire trucks.
Latin Fiesta: Tu Sello Latino Fest
Experience the sounds and tastes of the Latin world. There’ll be tons of food, music, dancing and games for everyone in the family to enjoy.
$5/admission, free/ages 12 and under, $5/parking
Pop by the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum for a story and art project celebrating American Artist Appreciation Month.
Included with admission
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