Now that the school year’s officially over, it’s time to kick summer into high gear. Start your weekend festivities with a trip to State Fair Meadowlands in East Rutherford (chainsaws, hypnotists, rides and illusions!), start your patriotic celebrations for the 4th early in Montville or help the kids hop on their first pony ride in Basking Ridge.

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.

ALL WEEKEND

State Fair Meadowlands

State Fair Meadowlands 

East Rutherford
Can you smell the sugary funnel cake goodness? From June 21 through July 7, head to NJ’s largest fair to overindulge in fried Oreos and greasy treats, watch the Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show (hello, chainsaws!), get hypnotized and marvel at extreme illusions at the biggest fair in the Garden State. Visit the petting zoo and hop on classic rides like chair swings and a drop tower.
Prices vary

Hands on History

Cape May
Take the kids on a blast to the past with a “pastport,” which can be stamped at each building they visit after completing a take-home craft or activity, like writing with a quill pen, carding wool or making a pinch pot.
Free/ages 3 and under, $12/ages 3-12, $14/adults

2nd Annual Food Truck Event

East Brunswick
There’ll be big bouncy houses, a beer garden, more than 15 food trucks and live entertainment waiting for you all weekend.
$5

2019 Chester Fireman’s Carnival

Chester
Bring the kids to a night of amusement rides (both small and large!) and fireworks at Chubb Park. Unlimited ride wristbands will be available for purchase.
Prices vary

U-Pick Blueberries

Somerset
Hit the bushes at Snyder’s Farm when they’re full and lush with delicious blueberries! Whether you’re looking to get the kids outside or grab this tasty fruit to make a delicious treat, Snyder’s is the place to be.
Varies

©istockphoto.com / GREGORY_DUBUS

2019 4th of July Celebration

Montville
Snap on a wristband and take unlimited spins on 20 rides, then hit Kiddie Town for face painting, balloon animals and crafts. Don’t miss the hot dog and pie eating contests, live entertainment and Saturday night’s fireworks extravaganza.
Free admission, $10/parking

FRIDAY (JUNE 28)

The Princeton Festival

Princeton
There’ll be more than a dozen educational events, from lectures and performances to workshops and poetry readings. Kids can listen to artists talk about their work, watch films and engage with professionals.
Free

Casino Pier Scavenger Hunt

Seaside Heights
The kids (ages 15 and under) can grab a teammate and do their best to find items listed on the challenge and compete for prizes. Your lil’ ones will need a smartphone and the Goose Chase app to participate. Registration required.
Free

SATURDAY (JUNE 29)

Family Fun Concert: Steve Pullara

Hopewell
Spend a musical afternoon with Steve Pullara, who’ll bring put on an interactive, lively show for the whole family.
$15

10th Annual Rock, Ribs and Ridges Festival

Augusta
Dig into ribs, brisket, pork, chicken and plenty of sides grilled up by top pitmasters, plus nine bands, five top chefs, a juried rib cook-off and live music.
$15-80

Beachstock 2019

Margate
Families can learn how to limbo and hula dance from professional South Pacific Island Dancers, then hit the sustainable environmental beach walk to learn about the local shells and marine life. There’ll also be volleyball and lifeguard competitions, sand sculpting lessons, a beer and margarita garden and fire dancer performances, plus games, music, face painting, a treasure hunt and more.
Prices vary

Pony Pals

Basking Ridge
Ages 2-7 can hop on a pony for the first time! Mom and dad can introduce their lil’ riders to their new furry friends, then listen to a pony-themed story. Registration required.
$10-12/child and parent pair, $5-6/additional sibling

Oak Ridge Park Food Truck and Music Festival

Clark
Sip beer, sangria, a margarita or mojito while the kids visit the magician or get their faces painted. There’ll also be food trucks and music, and you can bring your furry four-legged friends. Don’t forget to bring a can or bag of dog or cat food or pet supplies.
$5, free/ages 10 and under

The 5th Annual Asbury Park Promenade of Mermaids

Asbury Park
Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat? Add to your lil’ swimmer’s mermaid collection at this celebration, which’ll feature more than 30 vendors selling mermaid art, jewelry, clothing and crafts, plus there’ll be face painting and a promenade on the boardwalk (think belly dances and prizes!).
$10/costume contest

SUNDAY (JUNE 30)

Fanwood Summer Fan Jam

Fanwood
Pack your car with lawn chairs and blankets, then park it at LaGrande Park for live bands, food trucks, a car show, a beer and wine garden and a Kid Zone with rides and activities for your younger crew.
Free admission

33rd Annual Red, White & Blue Blueberry Festival

Hammonton
Enter the blueberry capital of the world for a Kiwanis pancake breakfast, then visit vendors’ and crafters booths, see entertainment and more.
Prices vary

Star Spangled Sing-Along

Piscataway
Bring your lawn chairs to this star-spangled event, which features elementary and high school students singing traditional 18th-century and present day patriotic tunes. Eat a piece of birthday cake (plus join the “happy birthday” sing-along) and learn the history behind each song.
Free

FIND MORE EVENTS IN YOUR AREA

Atlantic

Bergen

Burlington

Camden

Cape May

Cumberland

Essex

Gloucester

Hudson

Hunterdon

Mercer

Middlesex

Monmouth

Morris

Ocean

Passaic

Salem

Somerset

Sussex

Union

Warren

If you have any upcoming events you’d like to add to our calendar, click here!