Many New Jersey residents consider September to be the best month of the year. The air gets a little cooler, the kids get back into the school-day routine, and life takes on a fresh, new energy as Autumn kicks off. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean it’s time to kiss outdoor activities goodbye. New Jersey offers a plethora of outdoor adventures that families can enjoy throughout the month of September. Get your last fix of water fun by parasailing along the coastline or taking one last trip to your favorite beach and boardwalk. Get those feet movin’ with a guided walking tour in a historic town or a family hike in a New Jersey state park. Your family can even get a dose of culture this September at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township or Historic Cold Springs Village in Cape May. All of these activities, and more, will keep your family outdoors this month.
1. Boardwalk Amusements
It’s not too late to hit the boardwalk! Enjoy “local summer” in September by spending your Saturday or Sunday soaking up some sun with your toes in the sand, and finding thrills on one of New Jersey’s legendary boardwalks.
● Asbury Park: Locals in Asbury Park love spending time on the boardwalk all year long, which means there is no shortage of things to do this September. Bon fires on the beach every Friday night, Asbury Park Oysterfest, Asbury Park Fall Bazaar, and Indian Summer Festival with live music and beach camping are just some September events to look forward to.
● Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Point Pleasant: September 6 – 9, take advantage of the Post Labor Day Wristband Sale. For $20, spend all day on the best seaside carnival rides around, from 12:00PM – 6:00PM. Keep your eyes open for more fun weekend events, including Animal Adventures: Parrots, Seafood Festival with Fireworks at dusk, and a wildlife education afternoon of Tea by the Sea.
● Seaside Heights: The beach is downright busy in September in Seaside Heights. All month long you can find events like the Wine on the Beach Festival, Vintage Automobile Car Show, and 8th Annual “QUE by the SEA” Barbecue Competition.
● Atlantic City: With so many entertainment venues along the boardwalk of Atlantic City, your family has no excuse not to “Do AC” this September. Saturday Night Fireworks at Tropicana, Weird Al Yankovic at Caesar’s Palace, and the Atlantic City Seafood Festival are a few family friendly events.
● Ocean City: This family oriented shore town isn’t ready to end the festivities! Ring in fall farmers market season with the Farmers Market on September 7th at the Tabernacle Grounds, catch the Corvette Show on September 18th. NJMOM recommends the Boardwalk Aerobatic Airshow on September 25th.
● The Wildwoods: Boardwalk Craft Shows, Spectacular Fireworks, Irish Fall Festival, Morey’s Fall Beach Jam, and much more! Most of the piers at Wildwood are open every weekend in September, and feature dozens of things to do throughout the month.
2. Hiking at a New Jersey State Park
With temperatures dropping to a “comfortably warm with a cool breeze” level, September is the perfect month to take family hikes and avoid the fussing of an overheated child. New Jersey is home to dozens of Family-Friendly Hiking Trails of all levels, on a variety of terrain, but the perfect place to start is at one of New Jersey’s picturesque state parks.
3. Pick Your Own!
September is a wonderful time to visit a Pick Your Own farm in New Jersey. With the change of seasons approaching, families can take advantage of the transition between summer and fall fruits and vegetables at their prime. Bring your hand-picked treats from farm to table, including fresh apples, juicy grapes, fall-bearing red raspberries, and tomatoes. Also in season this September are beets, broccoli, cabbage, collards, eggplant, early fall lettuce, okra, peppers, potatoes, and herbs. Consult NJMOM’s Pick Your Own Calendar for more details on when each fruit and vegetable hits its peak ripeness this September.
4. Parasailing Over the Atlantic
“I’ve always wanted to try that,” you think as you see the colorful parachute soar across the sky while you’re grounded with the sand between your toes. Now that it’s September, it’s the perfect time to parasail – the summer crowds are gone, and booking an appointment will be much easier. Who knows, your family might even have a boat to yourself! Many parasailing companies down the coast are open for at least the first half of September. Cross this adventure off your bucket list this month – don’t make yourself wait until next year.
Belmar Parasail: 608 River Rd, Belmar, NJ 07719
Point Pleasant Parasail: 81 Inlet Dr, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
LBI Parasail: Lighthouse Marina, W 6th St, Barnegat Light, NJ 08006
Beach Haven Parasail: 2702 S Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach Township, NJ 08008
Atlantic City Parasail: 800 N New Hampshire Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Ocean City Parasail: 232 Bay Ave, Ocean City, NJ 08226
East Coast Parasail: 1121 NJ-109, Cape May, NJ 08204
5. Outdoor Flea Markets
Grab your favorite latte or hot cider and bring the whole family to one of New Jersey’s quirky, diverse, outdoor antique and flea markets. Every weekend throughout the state, professional vendors display treasures that you will never come across again: vintage toys, furniture, fresh produce, collectors items, jewelry, artwork, books, and much more.
New Meadowlands Market: Open every Saturday in September
Five Acres Flea Market: Open every Sunday, all year
Dover Flea Market: Open every Sunday, all year
Neshanic Flea Market: Open every Sunday, weather permitting
Golden Nugget Antique & Flea Market: Lambertville, Open Wednesday, Saturday, & Sunday all year
Route 70 Auction & Flea Market: Open Friday-Sunday, March-December
New Egypt Flea Market: Open Sunday and Wednesday all year (main day is Sunday)
Englishtown Auction Sales: Open Saturday and Sunday all year, rain or shine.
Columbus Antiques & Farmers Market: Open Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday all year
The Grand Market Place: Willingboro, Open Thursday-Sunday all year
Berlin Farmers & Flea Market: Open Friday-Sunday, weather permitting
6. Guided Walking Tours
A walking tour is the best way to discover a new town, park, or attraction. Learn from the professionals, or take advantage of a self-guided tour, and unclose interesting historical facts, beautiful architecture, and breathtaking natural occurrences that make any family outing memorable.
Great Falls of Paterson: “Discover how the natural world inspired a founding father, entrepreneurs, immigrants, poets and artists to build the nation’s first industrial city and changed the world.”
Bordentown Self-Guided Walking Tour: Download the digital guide for Bordertown’s Self-Guided Walking Tour, and discover the history of this quaint town at your family’s own pace.
The Ghost Hunter’s Tour Asbury Park: Explore the haunted past of Asbury Park by participating in paranormal investigations in two haunted locations. This is a tour for the brave – locations are active!
Salem Self-Guided Walking Tour: Download the digital guide for Salem’s Self-Guided Walking Tour, and discover the history of this quaint town at your family’s own pace.
Princeton Tour Company: “Our guided tours include sites on Princeton University campus, the neighborhoods of Albert Einstein, TS Eliot, F Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Oppenheimer, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, JFK, countless tycoons, Hollywood celebrities, Signers of the Declaration of Independence and much more.”
Burlington Historic District Walking Tour: Take a step back time as your colonial tour guide brings your family to Burlington’s historic sites. Choose from topics including Underground Railroad, Revolutionary War, or the “Dine-n-Tour” with all-inclusive meals throughout your visit.
7. Historic Cold Spring Village
If you are a regular NJMOM reader, you know that we love Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May. We would be here all day if we tried to tell you all about all of the awesome features, which is a great reason why your family should take a day trip down to Historic Cold Spring Village this September. 30 acres of shaded lanes acts as the framework for the village’s many gardens, farms, and 26 historic buildings that house a wide array of yesteryear activities for little ones.
Historic Cold Spring Village’s September Events:
● Hands-On History: September 3 – 4
● Revolutionary War Encampment: September 10 – 11
● Civil War Weekend: September 17 – 18
● Free Village Sampler Weekend: September 24 – 25 (Free Admission!)
720 U.S. 9, Cape May, NJ 08204
For more information, please call (609) 898-2300 or visit http://www.hcsv.org
8. Visit a Zoo in NJ
There is no better way for your little animal lovers to experience wildlife fun and education than by visiting a zoo as a family. Luckily for New Jersey residents, the Garden State features some of the most sought-after animals in high-quality facilities that families could explore all day long.
9. Grounds for Sculpture
When September rolls around at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, it means outdoor activities are only getting started. This outdoor sculpture museum is open year-round, and features 42 pristinely landscaped acres of constantly evolving collections, and the classics that have become family favorites throughout the years. Daylight and moonlight tours, rotating exhibits in six indoor galleries, performing arts events, and five on-site restaurants make this destination a must for families in New Jersey. Don’t forget to look for the famous blue peacocks roaming the grounds!
Grounds for Sculpture’s September Events:
● Tots on Tour: September 10
● Workshop: Raising Generous Children: September 14
● NJ Storytelling Festival: September 18
● Solar Sculptures: A Special Art, Science, and Technology Event: September 24
● Wellness Walks/Wellness Talks: September 29
80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619
For more information, please call (609) 586-0616 or visit http://www.groundsforsculpture.org
10. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
New Jersey sweet corn is a crunchy treat that has probably graced the table of your family barbecues all summer long. This fall, bring your family to your local farm to take part in the state’s corn maze tradition. Below is a guide New Jersey’s best corn mazes, sorted by opening dates.
September 2: Alstede Farms: 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ 07930
Heaven Hill Farm: 451 State Route 94, Vernon, NJ 07462
September 3: Creamy Acre Kiddie Corn Maze: 448 Lincoln Mill Road, Mullica Hill NJ 08062
Stony Hill Maze Fun Park: 15 North Road, Chester, NJ 07930
September 7: Ort Farms: 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley NJ 07853
September 12: Springdale Farms: 1638 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
September 17: Howell Living History Farm: 17 Valley Road, Lambertville, NJ 08530
R and J Farm: 723 W. Herschel St. Galloway Twp., NJ 08215
Happy Day Farm: Drum Rd, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726
Wemrock Orchards: Hwy 33 to 100 Wemrock Road, Freehold, NJ 07728
September 23: Bullock Farms: 83 Emleys Hill Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514
September 24: VonThun Farms: 519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
Sahl’s Father Son Farm: 420 West Pestalozzi Street,Galloway, NJ 08215
Etsch Farms: 556 Buckelew Ave Monroe Township, NJ 08831
September 26: Donaldson Farms: 358 Allen Road, Hackettstown, NJ 07840
11. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure
Six Flags Great Adventure kicks off the spookiest time of the year on September 16th through Halloween by featuring a variety of family-friendly activities and daytime shows including: Six Flags Spooktacular Street Party full of dancing and Halloween hits, The Skeletones Halloween acapella group, Just My Rottin’ Luck – the undead magic and comedy group, and the always popular Trick-or-Treat Trail where little ones can visit their favorite Looney Tunes characters along the Lakefront Path and take home a bag of candy. Older kids will love “Fright by Night,” as the sun goes down and demonic zombies take over the amusement park as they try to sneak up behind you and make you scream! Pitch black roller coaster experiences, and haunted mazes that will keep you on your toes. Fright Fest is a unique amusement park event that all families in New Jersey should experience to welcome in the Halloween season.
Six Flags Great Adventure: 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
12. Camp Locally in NJ
School has just started, and we haven’t quite shaken the summertime travel bug yet. Take an overnight trip with your family that is active, outdoors, and won’t break the bank. New Jersey has plenty of family friendly camping grounds that will make you feel like you are a million miles away from the shuffle of daily life, without the headache of actual travel. Pack up a tent, sleeping bags, grill cover, some yummy snacks, and fun games, and head to one of New Jersey’s campgrounds.
Krymer’s Camping Resort: 69 Kymer Rd, Branchville, NJ 07826
Delaware River Family Campground: 100 US-46, Columbia, NJ 0783
Mountainview Campground: 135 Goritz Rd, Milford, NJ 08848
Timberline Lake Camping Resort: 365 County Rd 679, New Gretna, NJ 08224
Sea Pirate Campground: 148 Main St, West Creek, NJ 08092
Sleepy Hollow Campground: 132 Bevis Mill Rd, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234