We all need a night out once in a while—even when we’re exhausted and feel like having a quiet night at home in our PJs. We’ve taken the planning off your to-do list by rounding up some of the best things to do sans-kids in NJ this month.
Groove Along to Live Music
There are plenty of concert opportunities left this summer. If you’re a jazz fan, there’s still time to catch the end of the Montclair Jazz Festival through August 10. Head to local venues like Montclair Brewery, Montclair Social Club and Church Street on select dates to see blues jams, big band performances and stars from Jazz House Kids. On August 8, head to the Horseshoe Lake Bandshell in Succasunna for outdoor tunes. That night, the Bovine Social Club (think Celtic meets bluegrass meets country) is booked to play as part of the Roxbury Arts Alliance Summer Concert Series. On August 11, hit Paterson’s famous Lambert Castle to see Tapestry—A Carole King Tribute. This show was so popular the first time around that it’s back, this time including hits from both King and the artists she composed for. On August 17, hit the shore for the Live & Local Monmouth Park Music Festival in Oceanport. Immerse yourself in the local music scene at Monmouth Park’s first ever music festival, plus get to know some of the Shore’s best music shops.
See a Free Movie
MPAC in Morristown screens free flicks all summer long. A lot are for the kids, but these are perfect for the grown-ups. See Airplane on August 8 at 7 pm for the comedy’s 40th anniversary. If you loved Rami Malek’s performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, see it all over again on the house on August 21 at 7 pm. If you’re due for a romantic outdoor picnic, hit Ridgewood’s Movies in the Park event at Memorial Park on August 7 to see The Sixth Sense, or August 21 to see E.T. Just be sure to bring your own blanket or lawn chair. In Sea Isle City, you can catch classics Field of Dreams (Aug. 2), Ghostbusters (Aug. 9) and Moonstruck (Aug. 30) and Free Classic Movies Under the Stars. Another horror classic you can catch outdoors? The Fly on August 10, showing in the municipal parking lot in Highland Park.
Get Your Fill of Wine and Beer
There’s nothing like winding down with a glass of your favorite bev on a hot summer day. Get your fill on August 3 at Cape May Craft Beer, Music and Crab Festival, when the historic Emlen Physick Estate will be overflowing with brews and seafood. Think steamed crab, shrimp, crafts and collectibles and local beers. Also on August 3 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport is the Italian Festival & Wine Tasting. Fill up on Italian staples and wash it down with samples of Italian wine in a commemorative wine glass. Don’t go home without visiting the crafters and dominating the bocce court. In Jersey City on August 10, hit Powerhouse Arts & Wine Festival for more vino, plus live tunes and barbecue. Bring your appetite for exclusive food tastings. Still thirsty? Sip your way through the Vintage North Jersey Wine & Food Festival in Ringoes from August 24-25. Northern NJ wineries are coming together to pour their best samples; food trucks and craft vendors will also be slinging bites and artisanal products alike. Bring a blanket and spread out on the gorgeous farmland. For Labor Day Weekend, sink your teeth into some juicy barbecue at the Boar’s Head BBQ and Craft Beer Festival August 31-September 2 in Oceanport. Take your time in the beer garden, see the horses race and more.
Try Something New
Spice up your normal dinner date or girl’s night in with a unique activity. Tune in for Cocktail Hour: The Show on August 1-4 in Avenel. See ballerinas take over the stage emulating classic cocktails like Manhattans and Mai Tais. Flex your creativity at Paint-a-Scape on August 12 in Hackettstown, where you’ll get to work on a masterpiece with the help of a real-deal artist. If you love all things spooky, opt for the Ghost and Folklore Tour at Red Mill Museum Village on August 17 in Clinton. Explore a 19th-century mill and quarry at night and get a private viewing of some dark objects in the museum. If you’re always trying to get your honey to make dinner, try a class that’s part of Chef Fong’s (from the Culinary Institute at Hudson County Community College) Summer Asian Cooking Series in Jersey City. Try Korean cuisine on August 3, Singaporean and Malaysian on August 10 or Vietnamese on August 17. Take in the great outdoors while the warm weather lasts in Secaucus at Arboretum Explorers. On August 10 and 24, hit Fort Lee for a murder mystery meal by The Dinner Detective. Munch on hors d’oeuvres, salad, an entree and dessert while you figure out this scandalous whodunnit. Take a dreamy sunset kayak tour of the Meadowlands on August 29—don’t worry, it’s perfect for beginners. If dancing is your idea of the perfect date night, hit Belleville every week for the rest of the year for Super Swing Tuesdays, where you’ll learn plenty of steps from West Coast Swing.