This weekend is full of activities that scream summer fun. We all scream for ice cream, so check out the Edible History lesson that includes make-your-own treats. Head to the Garden State Cat Expo and maybe bring home a new furry friend! Cool off at Bubble Fest, where everyone can play like a kid again If you prefer air conditioning, several theaters are putting on indoor performances. Or, put your noggin to work while you try to figure out whodunit at a Murder Mystery Brunch. Whatever you decide to do, get the kids up and ready to go and have a blast!
New Jersey Jeep Beach Invasion
Friday – Sunday
More than 2,500 Jeeps are expected to attend this largest gathering of Jeeps in the Northeast. There will be a beach obstacle course run by Rausch Creek Off Road Park. The event is family-friendly and has become a yearly vacation for many participants and vendors. Friday night will feature a “Back the Blue” fundraiser at Naval Air Station Wildwood.
Christmas in July Sale
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Milltown
Friday – Saturday
Many Christmas items will be available as well as jewelry and other seasonal and everyday items, both new and gently used. Shoppers are asked to bring shopping bags.
Plays-in-the-Park: The SpongeBob Musical
Roosevelt Park, Edison
Friday – Sunday
Middlesex County’s Plays-in-the-Park returns to the stage with performances of “The SpongeBob Musical” as part of Plays-in-the-Park’s 60th season. “The SpongeBob Musical” will be performed July 13-23. Since its launch on July 17, 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as the No. 1 kids’ animated series on TV’s Nickelodeon.
Kelsey Theatre, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor
Friday – Sunday
“Consider yourself at home” for The Yardley Players presentation of Lionel Bart’s classic musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist.” Performances are 8 pm July 15; 2 pm and 8 pm July 16; and 2 pm July 17.
‘Jackie Robinson Steals Home’
Center Players, Freehold Borough
Friday – Sunday
Entertain yourself during a Center Players Signature Series Presentation of “Jackie Robinson Steals Home.” The play is set in 1947 at Yankee Stadium where the New York Yankees are playing the Brooklyn Dodgers and the newest member of the Dodgers is the first African American to play major league baseball: Jackie Robinson. While playing, he fields questions from the press and recalls flashbacks from his life.
Garden State Cat Expo
New Jersey Convention Center, Edison
Saturday – Sunday
Your family will greatly enjoy a jumping competition, shopping, a “Family Cat” Beauty Contest, children’s activities and pet adoptions.
MORE Beach Blast Soccer
Spencer & Poplar Avenues, Wildwood
Saturday – Sunday
Youth and adult soccer teams from all over the East Coast will compete in a barefoot soccer tournament.
Christmas in July Food Truck Fest
Laurita Winery, New Egypt
Saturday – Sunday
Celebrate Christmas in July at Laurita Winery’s Food Truck Fest, where you can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, get your face painted, enjoy fire pits, take a free tour of the vineyard, listen to live music, access the food trucks and enjoy fireworks (on Saturday).
NJ State Triathlon
Saturday – Sunday
Mercer County Park, West Windsor
Annually selling out to 3,500 triathletes since its inception in 2006, the race is not only the largest triathlon in New Jersey but one of the largest in the country. The New Jersey State Triathlon features one of the fastest, flattest courses in the nation.
Von Thun Farms, Washington Twp.
It’s Scout Weekend at the New Jersey Sunflower Trail! Each scout and leader in uniform gets free admission. While you’re there, pick raspberries and blueberries and shop the farm market.
Crabulous Crab Day: Turtle Twist
The Wetlands Institute, Stone Harbor
Join a day filled with crab- and turtle-themed activities and a few special appearances by Scute, the ‘Tute Terrapin. Participate in activities to earn Krabby Dollars that can be redeemed for prizes. Visit the aquarium and animal touch tanks, hit up the crabbing tournament, create arts and crafts including tie-dye, try your hand at games of skill and luck, search for terrapins in the marsh, enjoy special crab and turtle live animal presentations and much more!
Twilight Sunflowers and Blueberries
Alstede Farms, Chester
The farm will remain open into the evening hours for guests to enjoy the farm while picking blueberries and strolling through the Blooming Giants Sunflower Trail. Farm fun activities such as pony rides, bounce house and wagon train will remain open until 7 pm on these dates. Food options as well as Tomasello Winery will remain open until 8 pm.
Summer Classic Cruise Night
Manasquan Schools Development Fund Summer Classic Cruise Night will feature The Cameos, a beer tent, food trucks, trophies and attendance prizes. All classic cars are free to enter.
Blueberry & Ice Cream Social
Carlslake Community Center, Bordentown
Come hungry as members of the Bordentown Historical Society will serve blueberry pie, blueberry cobbler, blueberry sundaes and ice cream!
Hamilton Park, Jersey City
Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy the weather. There will be a ton of activities for kids like giant bubbles, yoga for kids, arts and crafts, dance performances as well as delicious food vendors.
Car Show and Summer Concert
Manalapan Rec Center, Manalapan
Enjoy a car show, concert by The Eagles tribute band The Desperados, and then fireworks.
Robbinsville Library, Robbinsville
Children of all ages (accompanied by an adult) can play in vehicles from the Robbinsville police, fire and public works departments.
Story & Verse Open Mic
Pettoranello Gardens, Princeton
This monthly Story & Verse open mic heads outdoors for its summer series, welcoming local and regional talent to perform original works inspired by a monthly theme, providing attendees with free, community-created entertainment. The theme for the July 15 poetic and storytelling event is “Spark in the Dark.”
Sun and Sand Police & Fire Survivors 5K Run/1 Mile Walk
Come support the North Wildwood Police Officers Association and their charities. The first 300 participants will receive a free T-shirt. Awards will be presented to the winners.
Love is Light 5K
Community Park, North Brunswick
Honor the memory of Daniel Anderl at the second annual Daniel Anderl “Love is Light” 5K. Danny was a graduate of Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen and St. Augustine of Canterbury School of the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick. He was murdered in his home in July 2020 by someone targeting his mother, who is a federal judge. The 5K benefits the St. Augustine’s Daniel Anderl Class of 2014 Scholarship Fund.
Edible History: Ice Cream
Historic Walnford House, Upper Freehold
What better way to cool down on a hot summer afternoon than by indulging in a delicious scoop of homemade ice cream? Join Walnford staff in making ice cream the old-fashioned way using 19th century recipes. Then, enjoy the fruits of your labor!
The Watershed Institute, Pennington
Fairies and friends will gather together for some magical activities as they build fairy cottages using natural materials, search for hidden fairies using a scavenger hunt map, create fun crafts, splash during mermaid games, flutter around an obstacle course and more! Come dressed as a fairy or other mythical creature.
Summer Vibes Festival
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson
The new Summer Vibes Festival promises eye-popping spectacles, specialty eats and live entertainment through six unique, themed sections, plus two additional experiences.
Summer Sound Bath
Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton
Sound baths offer opportunities to connect with oneself in a powerfully healing way by tuning the internal rhythms and resetting the mind-body balance. During this sunset program, you will find sensory relaxation, focus, clarity of mind and an elevation of awareness as the sound bath experience eliminates disorder in the mind and body. The physiological benefits of sound therapy include decreased blood pressure, a boosted immune system, improved sleep patterns and decreased anxiety.
Share the Harvest
Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Your kids will love a behind-the-scenes tour of the farm’s 2021 gardens, crop fields and barnyard where fresh vegetables, eggs and grain products are produced for donation to local food banks during the pandemic. Visitors are given a trivia gameboard and crossword puzzle, with answers posted on signs throughout the farm. Farmers are stationed in the barnyard to introduce the animals and answer questions about the program.
Charity Softball Game
ShoreTown Ballpark, Lakewood
Sit on the sidelines and cheer on your favorite first responders as Jackson Twp. police officers and firefighters raise funds to benefit children who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. During this charity softball game, there will also be a few innings of play for special needs friends, raffle prizes and a dunk tank to sink a policeman or a fireman, plus raffles of gift baskets.
Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater, Princeton
The Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra will perform a free concert. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. In case of rain or extreme heat, the shows will move to Princeton High School Performing Arts Center at Franklin Avenue and Walnut Lane.
Family Woodland Hike
New Jersey Botanical Gardens, Ringwood
Take part in a Family Woodland Hike, an easy, child-friendly hike in the woodlands of the New Jersey Botanical Gardens, where you’ll learn a bit about the plants and animals around you in a hike designed to fit the group.
Bluegrass & Old-Time Music
Thompson Park, Lincroft
Bands from the Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association of NJ will be jammin’ all afternoon in the Theater Barn with tunes that are sure to have your whole family stomping their feet.
The Bergen County Audubon Society will celebrate its 13th annual Butterfly Day with a fun-filled day of butterfly walks and talks and activities. Children’s activities include a butterfly costume contest, scavenger hunt, The Monarch Migration Game, hands-on learning about pollination, and other games and crafts.
You can also take your family to one of Jersey’s beautiful butterfly gardens this weekend.
Kick off Restaurant Week by visiting one of your favorite places in the borough. Special menus are available from Cafe Paris, Civile Cucina Italiana, Fire & Flavor BBQ, Fusha Asian Bistro n’ Sushi, Greek on Main, Hailey’s Harp & Pub, La Rosa Pizza, Menya Ramen House, Sushi, Suzuki, Torino 2, Tribos Peri Peri, Be My Guest, DiCosmo’s Italian Ice, Pastry Lu and What’s the Scoop.
Murder Mystery Brunch
Above Art Studios, New Brunswick
Find out whodunnit during a wedding party themed murder mystery brunch as Above Art Studios takes part in New Brunswick’s Restaurant Week.
Byrne Plaza, Downtown Wildwood
Fridays (through July 29)
Treat yourself to an end-of-workweek celebration with live bands, food and drink vendors, lawn games and more! Bring your chair and enjoy the free entertainment outdoors. To keep the party going visit one of the great Downtown Wildwood restaurants and bars afterwards.
Outdoor Walking Tours
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
Saturdays and Sundays (July and August)
Princeton University is home to one of the country’s most significant collections of 20th- and 21st-century public sculpture. Join a free, hour-long walking tour led by a museum tour guide and discover the campus’s outdoor artworks, including Henry Moore’s bronze Oval with Points, monumental geometric screens by Louise Nevelson, and more.
Flemington Car Shows
Main Street, Flemington
Select Saturdays (now through August 20)
Historic Flemington’s Main Street will be bustling with hot cars, live music, kids’ activities, delicious food and summer fun on select Saturday nights when Flemington Car Shows come to town all summer long.
Sunrise Wellness Sails
Wilbert’s Marina, Lacey Twp.
Saturdays (through August)
Anyone who is interested in yoga, meditation and mindfulness is welcome to take part in a 3-hour Sunrise Sail along the Barnegat Bay. Sail into rejuvenation with Jaime Zazzara and Captain Dave from Jersey Coastal Adventures for the wellness retreat. There are options to enjoy a swim or float in a tube when the boat anchors out at sea.
Beyond Van Gogh
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City
Through August 28
This is an immersive experience in which both still and moving art provide a show your family will never forget. More than 300 of Van Gogh’s masterpieces come alive, appearing and disappearing and flowing across multiple surfaces. This one-hour walk through will have your whole family captivated by the sights, sounds and colors.
Beach Baby Goat Yoga
Fridays (through September 2)
Join fellow yogis and animal lovers on the beach for a beginner-friendly goat centric yoga experience and snuggles with baby and miniature breed goats. Reap the benefits of animal and laughter therapies as the baby goats jump on your back, snuggle in your lap or take a nap on your mat as you move through the instructor’s guidance.
Fridays (now through September 4)
Friday Night Cruise Nights return to Downtown Somerville. Through Labor Day weekend, the coolest classic cars around line up along Main Street every Friday.
Summer Carillon Concerts
Graduate School, Princeton University, Princeton
Sundays (now through Sept. 4)
The carillon is a musical instrument of 23 or more bells that produce music when sounded. All concerts start at 1 pm every Sunday, July 3 through Sept. 4 (Labor Day), and are held rain or shine. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on.
Sunset Sips & Sounds
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Fridays (now through September 9)
Meet in this historic apple orchard for Terhune wine, music, light bites and friend-filled evenings every Friday night at Terhune Orchards Vineyard and Winery. It’s a great way to unwind after the week, meet friends, bring your family and enjoy the sunset on the farm.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
New York, New York
Fridays (through September)
Enjoy the history and magic of the Intrepid for free on select Fridays through September.
Stargazing Boat Cruises
Fridays and Saturdays (through September)
Take a sail out to the ocean while gazing up at the moon, stars and constellations.
Field Station: Dinosaurs
Summer Hours: 10 am – 6 pm, Tuesdays – Sundays, through Labor Day
At Field Station: Dinosaurs, more than 30 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs are sure to impress all the paleontologists in your group. Enjoy dozens of shows, Jurassic Jump, and then Dinosaurs: After Dark come October.
Tours of Wyckoff-Garretson House & Museum
215 South Middlebush Road, Somerset
Second Sunday of every month (through October)
Docents will lead tours of the house, which dates back to 1730.
Sunday Farmers Market
Garden State Plaza, Westfield; in the parking lot between Macy’s and Route 17
Sundays (now through Nov. 20)
Garden State Plaza is the site of weekly Sunday farmers markets. Expect food vendors, food trucks, music, activities for kids and a car show from 9 am-2pm.
Plus, there are fairs and festivals planned all around the state during July!