With great restaurants, sweet shops, and wonderful theaters, there are so many things to do in Red Bank, making this Monmouth County destination a day trip the whole family will love. Nestled against the picturesque Navesink River, it oozes charm and exudes a laid-back city-meets-shore vibe. Kids will love it for the playground and spaces to hang out ( oh, did we mention a chocolate candy store?), and you’ll like strolling the sidewalks with quaint storefronts, interesting restaurants, and of course, the Count Basie Theatre. Ready to head to Red Bank? Scroll down for what to do when you’re in town, and check out our guide to NJ downtowns for other places for kid-friendly fun. (featured photo credit: Nicole Todd)
Things To Do In Red Bank With Your Kids
Take in a show at Count Basie Theatre
Introduce your kids to the thrill of live performances with a show. The renowned Count Basie Center for the Arts has events throughout the year, including shows for kids, a lineup for the whole fam, and concerts and comedy shows for an adults’ night out. If your family isn’t up for the bigger productions, there’s a more intimate space in The Basie called “The Vogel,” which also features shows for every age.
Monkey around at Marine Park Playground
Marine Park Playground has two playsets that cater perfectly to different age groups, plus a set of swings, plenty of benches, and river views. The ample surrounding trees provide cool shade for little ones as they explore (and parents can take a break), making the park a welcome respite in the heat of summer.
Picnic at Riverside Gardens Park
Pack a lunch, spread a blanket, and feast on a scenic picnic in Riverside Gardens Park. With a wide-open green space and gorgeous views of the Navesink, everyone will have ample room to run, play, and relax. Bonus: Kids will have a blast scoping out the boats and marine life on the river using any of the viewfinders staggered along the park.
Visit the Red Bank Public Library Story Walk
The children’s library in Red Bank is a town treasure designed to spark an early interest in reading for kids of all ages. The top-notch librarians put together a “story walk” on the west side of Riverside Gardens Park so kids can read stories piece by piece as they walk along the pretty path. Start at the beginning and follow along to the very end—it feels like an adventure for everyone involved.
Kick it old school at Yestercades
Take your kids (and those young at heart) for an afternoon of retro video games at Yestercades. Featuring 100 different arcade and pinball games, including favorites like Pac-Man and Mario Brothers, a pool table, Skee-ball, and more, the 80s-style arcade will bring out the kid in you and introduce your kids to gaming before X Box. Plan to spend some time here—all games are included with the price of admission, and kids three and under are free.
Get fresh at the farmers market in Red Bank
The Red Bank Farmer’s Market pops up every Sunday from Mother’s Day through Mid-November at the Galleria. It features farmers and purveyors selling plenty of locally grown baked goods for a picnic or at home. Working up an appetite as you shop? No problem—food trucks are always cooking something delicious in the lot nearby.
Stroll the sidewalk shops and eateries
Moms and dads aren’t the only ones who can shop in this town. Send your little ones on a candy shopping spree at Chocolate Works, introduce them to vinyl at Jack’s Music Shoppe, peruse comic books at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, or craft pottery at A Time to Kiln. After all the treats, stop by The Good Karma Cafe for a healthy smoothie (we’re partial to the peanut butter and banana Elvis) or vegan baked goods, or fuel up on coffee and classic diner treats at the popular Toast.
Take in an afternoon of culture at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center
One of the most historically significant properties in the United States, the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center is the former home of T. Thomas Fortune and a national historic landmark. T. Thomas was born into slavery in 1856, later becoming one of the most influential American journalists and newspaper publishers, fighting for social justice and equality. Your family can learn more about Black history and social justice in our country at his home-turned-museum, open on weekends only. They also host special events and exhibits throughout the year and offer group and school tours.
What are your favorite things to do in Red Bank, NJ?
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