It’s Father’s Day weekend! And there’s plenty of fun ways to celebrate Dad at Father’s Day events that cater just to him. Or if you just want to over indulge in some food truck fun, head to Mendham and Robbinsville for festivals filled with delicious treats or a storytime with a drag queen in Hackettstown. For more fun this weekend, be sure to check out our complete list of fairs and festivals, and if the rain puts a damper on your plans, we’ve got plenty of activities to do indoors.
Got a bunch of five-and-unders to entertain? We’ve got perfect activities that cater just to them, plus free events for those on a budget. If you’re looking for great events in your neighborhood, check out our calendar for tons more.
This big fest is full of carnival attractions, rides, games, music and more! Hop on amusements like the Ferris Wheel and kiddie rides for your youngest. There’ll also be games of chance and plenty of fair foods like fried OREOs, po-boy sandwiches, sausage and peppers and more. Local bands will perform live music, a car show, monster truck rides, an illusionist from America’s Got Talent and a fireworks show.
Don’t miss your chance to pick-your-own strawberries at Von Thun Farms. They’ve got rubber duck races, tractor courses and farm animals, so the kids will be plenty busy!
Play cornhole, Kan Jam, lawn jenga or connect four with the kids, then head over to the face painting area. The kids can shake their lil’ butts along to the DJ and live bands, then fill their stomachs at the food trucks. Hit the seafood and artisan vendors before trying a variety of wines.
This fest is a local staple, raising money for St. Ann’s School, and providing mouth-watering Italian foods (think sugar and sauce pizza frittes!), plus games of chances with stuffed animal prizes.
FRIDAY (JUNE 14)
Head to the Somerset County Courthouse for some modern country hits (plus shopping and eating opportunities conveniently located across the street). There’ll be a scavenger hunt, military and rescue vehicles, historic reenactments, food vendors, prizes and more.
You might have caught Mary Poppins Returns in the theater, but now’s your chance to watch it at Kips Castle. Everyone’s favorite singing caretaker returns to help Michael remember the importance of family.
Point Pleasant Beach
Grab a sandwich and drink while you meet Wally, Jenkinson’s Aquarium’s two-toed sloth. You’ll have a chance to talk to his keepers and learn all about this cutie.
SATURDAY (JUNE 15)
It’s time to get slimy at iPlay America, where the kids can meet slime pros from YouTube, shop unique slimes, get tips that’ll take their skills to the next level and swap slime in the trading zone.
Learn from members of the Lakota, Navajo, Mohawk, Seneca, Aztec, Cherokee, Hawaiian, Mayan and Samoan tribes, plus visit Native American artists, singers, dancers and educators at the Middlesex County Fair Grounds. Dig into authentic foods like buffalo burgers, venison stew and corn soup. Make sure you stick around for the tipi raising!
The Pediatric Dental Associates of Randolph are honoring first responders, military personnel and service dogs at this fest. The kids can meet fire and policemen, then hop onto fire trucks, police cars and other rescue vehicles.There’ll also be Seeing Eye dog trainees in attendance, face painting, balloon sculptures and plenty of food and music.
Your lil’ runners age 12 and under can lace up their shoes and hit downtown Red Bank for a 5K or 200, 100 or 50 yard dash. After, head to Marine Park for paddle boarding, yoga, fitness activities, crossfit and other children’s activities.
Mark your calendar! The East Orange Public Library is bringing all the free anime and comic fun your kids could want. There’ll be panels, a cosplay contest, vendors, crafts and even a photo booth. Your kids can meet Michele Knotz, who voices Team Rocket’s Jessie in Pokémon, American Ninja Warrior Desmond Odom and Monster in My Closet, a special effects makeup design studio.
Lay out your picnic blankets and lawn chairs and slather on the sunscreen, it’s time to party. Think 25 gourmet food trucks (like Glazed and Confused, Chank’s Pizza Cones and The OreoFix), a beer and sangria garden, live music and plenty of fun for the kids, including face painting and sand art.
$5/admission, free/ages 10 and under
This weekend’s all about soaking up the sun—and margaritas! There’ll be plenty of beer, sangria, mojitos and more for adults, plus a magician and face painting for your little ones. Dig into food truck fare and listen to music from three bands. You can also bring your four-legged friends.
$5/admission, free/ages 10 and under
Mix up your typical storytime at the Warren County Library (while you hit the adults section for a beachy read), where the kids can plop down for a story with Lady Keyante, a drag queen who’ll read for a bit, before working on a craft with the kids. Registration required.
Welcome, welcome! Come on down to the Circus Place, where the fun begins with face painting and popcorn and continues to circus-themed lessons. The kids don’t need prior experience to join in on the fun.
Local gearheads (and Hot Wheels fanatics) will display their custom-built cars, and the winner will advance to the 2019 SEMA Auto Show, which’ll turn one of these unique cars into a Hot Wheels die-cast toy. There’ll also be life-sized Hot Wheels cars and iconic toy cars in attendance, plus activities for all ages.
SUNDAY (JUNE 16)
What does Dad love more than seeing his kids happy? Celebrate him by feasting on festival foods like empanadas, zeppoles and cotton candy, picking out a gift at vendors’ tables and stopping by activities like pony rides, a petting zoo, climbing wall and kiddie rides.
Climb aboard a vintage caboose at the Whippany Railway Museum for a 10-mile ride through the Whippanong Trail with the kiddos. After your ride, check out the museum’s collection of historic locomotives, operating model trains and farm tractors.
$16/adults, $11/kids, free/ages 1 and under
Dig into a pre-fixe or buffet brunch with daddio at the Monmouth Park Racetrack, then focus your attention on the racetracks, where there’ll be live Thoroughbred racing and dad can enter the Father’s Day Sports ticket drawing for a chance to win tickets to his favorite sports team’s game. Reservation required.
Free/dads and ages 12 and under, $5/admission
FIND MORE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA
If you have any upcoming events you’d like to add to our calendar, click here!