Our New Year’s Resolution is to experience more while spending less. Luckily, January is full of opportunities to have free family fun throughout the state, including the Annual Mount Holly Fire & Ice Festival, Milk & Cookies Interactive Storytelling and Music Program at State Theatre in New Brunswick, Food Trucks & Fireworks Festival at Tuckerton Seaport, and much more.
Here are 30 Free Events in New Jersey this January:
1. New Years Day Hike at Wharton State Forest
January 1, 2017 | 10:00AM – 2:30PM
Start the New Year with a Hike in New Jersey’s beautiful Pine Barrens. Our lunch spot will have views of the Mullica River. If snow or ice on ground bring walking stick. This hike is at moderate pace at about 6.5 miles. Children over 10 with parents/guardians welcome. Paths are not wheelchair accessible. Bring lunch and beverage.
Meeting Place: Field next to the Atsion Office
744 US-206, Shamong, NJ 08088
2. Food Trucks & Fireworks at Tuckerton Seaport
January 1, 2017 | 12:00PM – 6:00PM
Ring in the new year with live music, family activities, food trucks, craft beer from Pinelands Brewing Co. and wine from Laurita Winery, and fireworks. Food truck vendors include Cajun Jax, Pompier Pierogi Flats, Not Your Momma’s Tacos, Maddalenas Cheesecake Company, and more.
120 W Main St, Ste 1, Tuckerton, NJ 08087
3. First Day at the Beach
January 1, 2017 | 2:00PM
2pm at the Music Pier, Boardwalk & Moorlyn Terrace. Featuring Ocean City’s first dip in the ocean for the New Year.
Ocean City Music Pier
825 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226
4. Holiday Lights Spectacular at Turtle Back Zoo
January 1 – 3, 2017 | 5:00 – 9:00PM
Celebrate the holiday season with a stroll through Turtle Back Zoo’s Holiday Lights Spectacular. Your little one’s will be ooing and ahhing as they are dazzled by over 50 sparking winter animal characters. Bring canned goods, new toys, and gently used coats to donate to the holiday charity drive.
Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ
5. Holiday Light Show at Historic Smithvile
January 1 – 6, 2017 | 5:30PM – 8:00PM
Gaze across Lake Meone as over 120 decorated, brightly lit trees magically float across the smooth waters. After sundown, the light show begins, as the trees seem to dance as the lights synchronize to your favorite holiday tunes. The reflections of the lights on the water beneath creates an even grander show for New Jersey families to enjoy together.
Lake Meone at Historic Smithville
615 E Moss Mill Rd, Smithville, NJ 08205
6. Morris County Winter Farmers Market
Sundays, January 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2017 | 10:00AM – 2:00PM
Operated by The Foodshed Alliance Farmers’ Access Network, FAFAN is a subsidiary of the nonprofit Foodshed Alliance, which works to strengthen the local food system in northern New Jersey. Local vendors include Apple Ridge Farm & Stone Bakery, Frank’s Pickled Peppers, Chickadee Creek Farm, Hummus Boss, Lickt Gelato, Grow it Green Morristown, and many more.
Indoors at Alexander Hamilton School
24 Mills St, Morristown, NJ 07960
7. Toddler Tuesdays at Westfield Garden State Plaza
Tuesdays, January 2, 9, 16, 3, 30, 2017 | 10:00AM
Each week you’ll find fun children’s activities, giveaways and playtime for toddlers. This program is held every Tuesday and is held in the PlaySpace located at the food court.
Westfield Garden State Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza Blvd, Paramus, NJ 07652
8. Duke Island Walkers
Wednesdays, January 4, 11, 18, 25, 2017 | 9:30AM
Start your New Year by joining this weekly walking group which will meet every Wednesday in Parking Lot B adjacent to the Duke Island Park Visitor Center. Dress for the weather. Warm up in the Visitor Center with coffee, tea, and treats following the walk.
Duke Island Park
Old York Rd, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
9. Valentine’s Cards for Hospitalized Children
Wednesdays, January 4, 11, 18, 25, 2017 | 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Make Valentine’s Day cards for kids in special care. This unique after school event takes place every Wednesday from 3:30-4:30pm. This activity is open to ages 5 and up. Please call (201) 261-5604 to register.
Emerson Public Library
20 Palisade Ave, Emerson, NJ 07630
10. Balloony Toony Balloon Art
Wednesdays, January 4, 11, 18, 25, 2017 | 5:30PM – 8:00PM
Fantastic & free balloon art by Jack the Balloon Man and other great balloon entertainers every Wednesday night!
The Pop Shop Cafe
1 S Main St, Medford, NJ 08055
11. First Friday Story Time at Tulpehaking Nature Center
January 6, 2017 | 10:30AM – 12:30PM
Gather your little ones while our educators share a story worthy of the Abbott Marshlands, followed by a craft or activity. We’ve chosen the best stories of wildlife and history to enjoy inside or outside if the weather is nice!
Tulpehaking Nature Center
157 Westcott Ave, Trenton, NJ 08610
12. To Princeton with Peale! Historical Reenactment
January 7, 2017 | 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Come see the Soldiers of the Philadelphia Associators, as they prepare for an all night march to face the British at Princeton. Soldiers will be drilling on the parade ground throughout the day and will in the different barracks rooms, ready to talk to visitors.
The Old Barracks
101 Barrack Street, Trenton, New Jersey 08608
13. 100th Day of School Celebration Mask Craft
January 7, 2017 | 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Visit any Lakeshore Learning Store for #FreeCraftsForKids! Celebrate the 100th day of school with these festive masks!
Click here to find a Lakeshore Learning Store near you.
14. Bank of America Free Museum Admission Days
January 7 – 8, 2017
Bank Of America offers Bank of America Free Museum Days on the first Saturday and Sunday of every month. Enjoy complimentary admission at 7 museums in New Jersey: Garden State Discovery Museum (Cherry Hill, NJ), Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, NJ), WheatonArts & Cultural Center (Millville, NJ), Montclair Art Museum (Montclair Art Museum), Morris Museum (Morristown, NJ), and Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art Newark Museum (Newark, NJ).
Click here for more information.
15. Blacksmith Demonstrations at Historic Longstreet Farm
January 8, 2017 | 1:00PM – 3:00PM
Throughout the year, Longstreet Farm hosts free weekend activities that allow visitors to experience life as it would have been during the 1890s. See what the blacksmith is making in his workshop on January 8th.
Historic Longstreet Farm
44 Longstreet Rd, Holmdel, NJ 07733
16. UniBeat Drum Circles for All Ages
January 11, 2017 | 4:30PM – 5:30PM
The Community Celebrations Drum Circle is a recreational music-making program designed to unite community members in the shared joy of creating spontaneous music. No prior musical experience is necessary and all the percussion instruments are provided.
1 Vogt Dr, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
17. Circle Time! with Sukey Molloy
January 11 & 25, 2017 | 10:00AM – 11:00AM
Circle Time! classes with Sukey Molloy offer an award-winning series of musical play experiences designed to encourage movement play and song in the developing years. Classes include musical instruments, scarves, balls, hand puppets, bubbles, singing, motion activities and modified gym equipment, for children 6 months to 5 years of age. Call library to register: (201) 438-2455
Wood-Ridge Memorial Library
231 Hackensack St, Wood-Ridge, NJ 07075
18. Princeton Winter Farmers Market
January 12, 2017 | 10:00AM – 3:00PM
The Princeton Farmers’ Market offers the community local organic produce, free-range beef, poultry, pork, eggs and cheese, baked goods, chocolates, jams, spices, flowers, honey grains pickles, crepes, and a juice bar.
Community Room at Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542
19. Nature in Art for Preschoolers
January 13, 2017 | 10:30AM – 12:30PM
Nature is all around us. For the very young, their interactions with the natural world are learning experiences that can translate into art projects. This program is designed for preschoolers ages 3-5 accompanied by a parent or guardian. Each session will include an introduction to a nature theme and an art project. Preregister by calling RNC at 609-261-2495. There is no charge for this program, but donations are encouraged.
Rancocas Nature Center
794 Rancocas Road, Westampton Township, NJ 08060
20. 50th Annual North Jersey Orchid Society Show & Sale
January 13 – 15, 2017
The show includes spectacular orchid exhibits showcasing plants grown in homes and greenhouses across the tri-state area. Free Workshops are planned to show how you can grow orchids in your home. This is an American Orchids Society show and the public is welcome to bring their orchids to the venue on Friday January 13, 2017 before 1 PM for AOS judging.
Douglass Student Center at Rutgers University
100 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
21. Family Nature Club
January 14, 2017 | 2:00PM – 4:00PM
NEW this season, families are invited to join us for these once a month series of outdoor activities. We’ll bundle up and get outside to enjoy some quality family time and a nature adventure. Meet like-minded families and build friendships. This program will feature Signs of Wildlife in Winter (Investigate for tracks, scat, and burrows).
Rancocas Nature Center
794 Rancocas Road, Westampton Township, NJ 08060
22. Family Board & Card Game Night
January 14 & 28, 2017 | 5:00PM – 11:00PM
This Tabletop Game Night & Pizza Party is a great chance to try out some new games, play some old classics, and also make some new friends. This event is held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. There are dozens of games available to play, and always somebody available to teach you the rules to a new game you have never played before.
Family Fun Hobbies
731 Highway 33, Hamilton, NJ 08619
23. To the Moon and Back Rocket Craft
January 21, 2017 | 11:00AM – 3:00PM
Visit any Lakeshore Learning Store for #FreeCraftsForKids! Young imaginations soar through the cosmos with this one-of-a-kind rocket!
Click here to find a Lakeshore Learning Store near you.
24. Cinderella Interactive Play
January 21, 2017 | 1:00PM – 1:45PM
Cinderella, Cinderella by Steve and Kathy Hotchner is an interactive play based on the classic tale and is performed by the Trilogy Repertory Company. Small groups of children will help Cinderella as she transforms to a beautiful princess and throughout her fairy tale evening. Registration is required and begins December 21.
Greene Hall at St. Luke’s Church
182 Main St, Gladstone, NJ 07934
25. Historic Tours of Smithville Village
January 21, 2017 | 1:00PM – 3:00PM
Take a stroll through history. Learn why life here in Smithville in the 19th century was so different from the rest of the world. Tours start at 1 PM at the Visitor Center.
Historic Smithville Park & Smith’s Woods
803 Smithville Road, Mt Holly, NJ 08060
26. Lakehouse Music Academy Big Gig
January 27 – 29, 2017 | All Day Event, Times TBA
Join Lakehouse Music Academy of Asbury Park for this free weekend music festival featuring dozens of student bands of all ages, from little ones to adult rockers. The show takes place at House of Independents, one of Asbury Park’s newest and most celebrated music venues. Drink specials, a red carpet, and other fun activities can be found all weekend.
House of Independents
572 Cookman Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
27. Milk & Cookies Interactive Storytelling & Music Series
January 28, 2017 | 10:00AM & 12:00PM
From New York’s Lincoln Center and Symphony Space to the White House, Suzi Shelton is a true star in the children’s music scene. Her pop-rock songs about real-life kid issues feature heartfelt lyrics and a catchy, upbeat sound. Milk & Cookies is a lively, interactive storytelling and music series for families. This free program is the perfect way to introduce children ages 3-8 to live theater. Registration is requried to claim free tickets.
15 Livingston Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
28. Fire & Ice Festival
January 28, 2017 | 11:00AM & 4:00PM
Downtown Mount Holly will be the place to warm your tummy and see lots of artistic eye candy while having plenty of free family friendly fun. On this date Mount Holly will play host to over a dozen professional and amateur ice carvers from up and down the east coast. Burlington County’s best professional chili cooks plus a wide variety of interesting entertainment for young, old and everyone in between.
5 Church St, Mount Holly, New Jersey 08060
29. Native Bees – Who Are They and Why Should I Care?
January 28, 2017 | 2:00PM – 3:00PM
The news is full of doom and gloom about the European honeybee, a bee species brought to this continent for honey by Colonists, and now employed primarily in crop pollination. But for millennia, the 4,000 species of bees native to this country (and 400 native to New Jersey) were the primary pollinators. While they provide sustainable pollination services, we hardly know anything about them. Meet bee researcher and Rutgers PhD fellow, Michael Roswell for an exploration of some of the most beautiful wildlife ever to visit your backyard, Find out what they look like, how they live, and what scientists are trying to learn about them. Bring your questions! All ages are welcome.
Environmental Education Center
190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
30. Chinese New Year PJ Story Time
January 30, 2017 | 6:30PM – 7:30PM
Join Miss Christina W. every last Monday of the month for PJ Story Time! Wear your pajamas, listen to stories, and color. This month Miss Christina W. will read you stories about the Chinese New Year. Registration is required, please sign up online or at the branch.
Warren County Library, Northeast Branch
40 US-46, Hackettstown, NJ 07840