It’s May, which means there’s tons of outdoor fun to be had. Start the weekend with a trip to the 2019 New Jersey Renaissance Faire for sword fighting in Bordentown, or treat the family to tasty bites at Cheesefest in Montclair. There’s a plethora of touch-a-truck events happening, plus performances featuring your kids’ favorite princesses.
Got a bunch of five-and-unders to entertain? We’ve got perfect activities that cater just to them, and free events if you’re on a budget. If you’re looking for great events in your neighborhood, check our calendar for tons more.
The 2019 New Jersey Renaissance Faire
Head to this South Jersey spot that’s been transformed into a traditional English countryside circa 1500. You’ll have your chance to watch knights jousting, meet a Queen or jester and check out sword fights, fire breathing and aerial performances. Check out artisans’ work, dig into medieval fare, sip mead and more.
Roxey Ballet Presents Cinderella
Bippity-boppity-boo! Watch Cinderella thwart her wicked stepmother and stepsisters and finally earn her happy ending at The College of New Jersey. There’ll also be sensory-friendly performances on May 18 at 4 pm and May 19 at 2 pm.
33rd Annual New Jersey Seafood Festival
This mega seafood festival is one of the biggest in the country. In fact, it’s so big that it had to be moved to downtown Belmar to host thousands of attendees. For you, that means this free festival will be packed with a ton of seafood bites, plus crafters, concerts and kid friendly-fun.
Jersey Shore Festival 2019
Warning, don’t try this at home (you might want to remind the kids not to, too). They’ll see a ton of amazing BMX and skateboard pros showing off their skills and tricks. Plus, there’ll be monster truck rides, food trucks, artists, a charity flag football game and a Ford car show.
You might have seen Tangled so many times you can quote it, but have your kids ever wondered how Rapunzel ended up locked away in that tower in the first place? This show will answer their questions using a mix of traditional and new characters, plus a little comedy.
SATURDAY (MAY 18)
Hackettstown Maifest 2019
Get a little bit of Oktoberfest fun in the middle of spring. There’ll be authentic German food and local beer trucks plus contests and games, live music and libations from Bea McNally’s, Czig Meister Brewing Co., Man Skirt Brewing and Homebrew University.
The Illusionists: Live from Broadway
More than just some card tricks or flashy gimmicks, this is some serious magic. From crazy stunts to a mind-reading psychic savant, these talented illusionists will wow the crowd at MPAC with their skills.
10th Annual Fairy & Pirate Festival
Don your fairy wings or pirate eye patches and head to Turkey Brook Park for face painting, pony rides, games, fairy hair makeovers and bounce houses.
Animaniacs in Concert
If you’ve still got the theme song to this show in your head (“there’s bologna in our slacks”), introduce the kids to this goofy ’90s animated show at UCPAC this weekend. You’ll see the classic toon featuring Yakko, Wakko and Dot with a live musical accompaniment from Randy Rogel (the voice of Yakko!) and Rob Paulsen.
SUNDAY (MAY 19)
A festival devoted to cheese? Count us in. You can learn to make cheese the old-fashioned way, plus meet the animals that make that cheesy goodness possible. But the highlight is all the samples of cheese you can eat. We’re wearing our stretchy pants.
$20/ages 21 and up, $5/ages 21 and under
Kenilworth 10th Annual Street Fair
This fair has options. Lots of them. Munch on empanadas, steak sandwiches, crab cakes, funnel cake, sticky buns and more, then wander the more than 100 exhibitor booths offering crafts and collectibles. There’s live music, dance demos and karate clubs to keep the kiddos entertained.
This call to environmental arms doubles as a day filled with activity and fun for the family. Make time to kayak, canoe and stop by the fish derby (all for free), then hit the kids’ activities and entertainment, like the Mad Scientist show. There’ll also be a wildlife conservation and a bird of prey presentation, plus there’ll be more than 50 green and nonprofit vendors and food trucks. Race in the recycled regatta (aka boats made of recycled materials) and stop by the rain barrel workshop to build, accessorize and learn how to maintain your own rain barrel.
Scotch Plains, Westville and South Amboy
Head to the JCC of Central New Jersey in Scotch Plains for a free Touch-A-Truck that features public service, emergency, utility and construction vehicles. For an hour, there’ll be no horns, music or sirens, so children with special needs can partake in the fun. There’ll also be food trucks, bouncing and games. That same day, the Deptford Skating Center in Westville is throwing their own Touch-A-Truck! event, complete with a tow truck, limo, ambulance and other automobiles, plus free skating admission. If you’re near South Amboy, South Amboy Middle High School will host Riley’s 3rd Touch-A-Truck on May 19 with pipes and drums, face painting, food and a DJ.
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