We’re in the midst of summer, which means there’s plenty of adventure happening around the Garden State. Start your weekend with a trip to the Black Potatoe Music Festival in Clinton to celebrate the fest’s last year of independent music or get swept away at a magic show in Hackettstown.
For more fun this weekend, 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 fun 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.
Looking for a last minute Father’s Day present? More than 250 artisans will be showcasing unique arts and crafts, ceramics, paintings, photography, wood, metal works and more.
This annual fest has been celebrating independent music for the past 22 years. Stop by the Red Mill Museum in Clinton for the fest’s last hurrah—you won’t get another chance.
Hit the free outdoor stage for the sounds of blues, then dig into scrumptious barbecue and wash it down with a variety of craft beers. Watch BBQ teams compete in the NJ State Barbecue Championship (free admission) for top honors, and check out crafter and food vendors before hitting up the special displays.
Hit Mercer County Park for carnival rides, a magic show and pig races. There’ll be all sorts of entertainment and attractions, plus a food court and picnic tables.
This weekend, jump on the Tilt-a-Whirl, visit live animals, check out 4-H displays, listen to musical acts and dig into finger-lickin’ BBQ. There’ll be plenty of events, games, rides and food to keep even the pickiest member of your family happy.
Come out for Italian food galore (save room for dessert!), then play games of chance while Lyndhurst’s Music Under the Stars concert series serenades your family. There’ll also be plenty of rides to hop on before you’ve had your fill.
Pump the brakes at Monmouth Park for two days of crab cakes, beer and photos in front of the Monmouth Park sandcastle, plus family fun day on Sunday featuring pony rides, face painting and a few turns around the bounce house.
$5, free/ages 12 and under
Point Pleasant Beach
Dun dun! Stop by Jenkinson’s Aquarium and learn about sharks, arguably the ocean’s most misunderstood creatures. Talk with keepers, plus work on activities and crafts.
Included with admission
FRIDAY (JULY 12)
Make plans to visit Reeves-Reed Arboretum to learn about these nocturnal cuties. The kids will take a hike, work on activities and listen to a fireside story while munching on s’mores. Registration required.
SATURDAY (JULY 13)
Head to Casino Pier to celebrate Slider’s birthday with his fellow mascot friends with games, music and other activities hosted by WJRZ.
Included with admission
Lifetime’s Bring It! coach Dianna Williams is bringing her dance battle tour to NJPAC in Newark, where you can check out new and classic moves and routines, plus get involved when there’s audience participation.
Get ready to rev your engines! Bring the entire family to learn about vintage cars while snacking on Rita’s Italian Ice and yummy, sticky BBQ. Don’t miss Keith Hickman’s live music, either. Want to register your own car? It’s just $10 and includes free BBQ with a guest, but be sure to register in advance.
Blast off into space with the little ones (ages 4 and up) at the Cranford Public Library where the kids can explore space in a portable planetarium and learn all about the solar system from experts.
Get crafty at Indigo with the kids as they make their very own trading cards. Once the crafts are complete, they can start trading!
Go back in time with Bergen County Historical Society in tow with the ol’ baseball and wooden bat at the Historic New Bridge Landing. Watch the Flemington Neshanocks face off against the Enterprise Club of New Bridge wearing original uniforms. Food such as hot dogs and snacks will be available and parking is free to all.
Let the little ones bask in the benefits of summer with Sugar Farms Petting Zoo, where the kids can pet animals like chickens and rabbits, be dazzled by Mr. Magico the Magician or get their faces painted. While the kids run wild, the adults can enjoy margaritas, mojitos, beer and sangria.
Join Aquarius and her mother for Bring Your Child to Work Day. Aquarius can’t wait to become a NASA astronaut like her mom.
Dive into another culture with the South Jersey Caribbean Cultural Organization at the 19th Annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival where you can check out music, clothing and especially food.
Come out to Yogi Berra Stadium for the first Nate Robinson celebrity kickball game featuring Larry Sanders, Rashad Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Will Bynum and many more guests. In addition to the game, there’ll also be family activities. Proceeds benefit the Father English Community Center and other charities.
Stop by the Summer Book & Art Fair at the Culinary Plaza Park in Journal Square to crack open a book and connect with the community through various activities including arts and crafts, workshops, shopping, food and much more.
At Steve Woyce’s magic show, he’ll ask for library volunteers to help him make moon rocks appear and perform other magical surprises at this comedic, space-themed show. Registration required.
Bring the entire family to the Rockaway Boro Fire Department Family Festival for food, rides and tons of fun. There’ll be a variety of carnival like foods like sausages and hamburgers, plus kid-friendly treats like funnel cake. Don’t miss the fireworks at 9:45 pm.
SUNDAY (JULY 14)
The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is bringing Bastille Day to the Van Vleck House & Gardens.Festivities start with a cocktail hour at 5 pm, then a buffet from 6-9 pm. Michelin-rated chef Nicolas Houlbert will prepare a New Orleans-style buffet while Arben Gasi, owner and chef of Montclair’s Le French Dad Bakery & Café, provides decadent desserts. While you’re away from the kids for the night, enjoy French cuisine with a New Orleans twist, plus pop, jazz, blues and classical music from GUMBO ROYALE.
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