We’re in the thick of July, which means there’s plenty of adventure happening around the Garden State. Start your weekend with a trip to the 37th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in Readington for entertaining shows and rides or Rutgers Gardens’ Just Jersey Fest in New Brunswick for chalk art, dance performances and more.
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 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.
Marvel at 100 colorful hot air balloons (or hop a ride on one!), see magic and extreme trampoline shows, climb aboard amusement rides and catch concerts from acts like The Band Perry and The Beach Boys.
$24-35/adults, $10-15/ages 4-12, free/ages 3 and under
Boasting great food, rides and games of chance, this carnival’s bringing the heat. There’ll also be a beer garden for parents to indulge in, and pay one price wristbands are available Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Giddy up at the Gloucester County 4-H Fair grounds for an old-time county fair. There’ll be a variety of activities like rides, magic shows, tractor parades, crafts and much more. If you get hungry, stop by the nightly barbecue, then dip into freshly-grilled local produce and local desserts. You can even place an auction bid on a lamb, goat or steer that’s been raised by the fair themselves.
Up, up and away! In addition to watching hot air balloons launch across the sky, there’ll also be a Fair Queen and Fair Princess contest, a miniature horse show, 4-H exhibits and shows and the Kids Corral, where the little ones can try their hand at gardening, see antique tractor pulls, watch clown shows, hit contests (think saltine eating, hula hooping, sack races and Fear Factor Veggie Style) and bop along to free country concerts.
FRIDAY (JULY 26)
Follow the tale of King Hulo after his Pearl, an ancient relic passed on for generations, is stolen by the evil Pudinna. After the relic is stolen, the kingdom seeks new leadership. Now it’s time for King Hulo to save the day, and you can join his adventure at Middlesex County College.
Join Miles Cohen as he teaches the lil’ ones how to make vibrant flowers out of pipecleaners. Your child can choose to make a rose, sunflower, hibiscus or other flower. Be sure to pack a water and snack.
Get into a merry mood! Christmas arrived a few months early at Notre Dame. Join an adventure filled with reindeer games, search for the leprechaun on the shelf, work on crafts and more summertime merriment.
SATURDAY (JULY 27)
Join a one-hour, sensory-friendly program at the planetarium at RVCC where there’ll be a sky show featuring music, videos, planets, the Moon, constellations and laser lights. Don’t worry, parents: The doors will be left open and the lights will be dimmed for easy trips to the bathroom. This show is designed for children with short attention spans.
Spend an afternoon digesting a beautiful variety of diverse art, culture and heritage in central Jersey this weekend. There’ll be live music, extravagant dance performances, cooking demos, chalk art and live painting.
Explore the world of art with artist Katie Perex and Kate Pea Studio. They’ll take you and your little ones on a watercolor adventure. Once you’ve made your creation, get ready to hang that masterpiece on the fridge or your wall!
Heads up, empanada lovers! Montclair is the place to be for a variety of local and vegan treats.
SUNDAY (JULY 28)
Toms River is bringing all the vendors, artists, writers and cosplayers you could want to one place. Meet Joe del Beato from Marvel Comics and enter raffles and the costume contest before you leave.
Celebrate National Water Park Day at Breakwater Beach at the harbor, the new aqua drop or jump on a tube on Liberty Launch. Also check out New Jersey Family’s list of waterparks around NJ, NY and PA.
Known for their hilarious stunts, these five popular YouTubers are bringing all their tricks to this live show. Antics will include Overtime, Stereotypes, Battles and other crazy stunts.
Pump the breaks at the Mall at Short Hills for an interactive musical adventure at IndigoKids. The kids can dance, play instruments, sing and make new friends, plus parents can grab a cup of coffee to keep up with their little ones.
Join the girl empowerment group Generation C.U.T.E., started by a New Jersey mom of 6-year-old twins, Destiny Brown. After launching a line of apparel and accessories in April 2019, they’re looking to widen their community in Montclair this weekend. Stop by to learn more about their mission to inspire, empower confidence and encourage the dreams of young girls.
Calling all Bloomfield residents! If you’d like to learn more about how to help cats in your local community, this group’s dedicated to keeping them out of shelters in order to control outdoor population.
Go to Liberty State Park and search for a variety of summer shorebirds while you walk. Bring binoculars, proper outerwear (hello, sunscreen) and your kids, too.
FIND MORE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA
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