33 Free Things To Do In May


Fun is back this May in the Garden State, with a bunch of festivals and activities—and oh yeah, they’re free. Explore exciting careers at the Career Carnival for Kids in Rockaway, celebrate the sweetness of spring with Strawberry Day in Berlin, stroll the scenic lake at Mayfest in Smithville, or see kites flying high at the Wildwood International Kite Festival in Wildwood. And if you are looking for more fun in May, don’t miss our NJMOM Spring Bucket List.  (feature photo credit: Istock/:Aneese)

(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen
May 3 at 4:30 PM

Hands-on cooking for ages 8-12; parent/guardian must register. Your child will learn how to cook with nutritious ingredients, read a recipe, kitchen safety tips, measuring techniques, knife skills, and more.
Sponsoring Facility: Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group
Emily Ho, RDN, emily.ho@rwjbh.org or (973) 926-7371

Movies Under The Stars
May 6 from 8 PM-10 PM
Enjoy a movie under the stars and come early to have a picnic before it starts. Bring your own blanket or chair and don’t forget your food or snacks. Inclement weather will postpone the event.
Crystal Lake Park, 2401 Axe Factory Road, Mansfield, NJ 08505

Merchantville Art Walk
May 6 at 6 PM
Bring the whole family out to see art this weekend. Local businesses are teaming up with artists to show their work for the night, and you can enjoy live music as you stroll through the displays.
Chestnut Avenue and Park Avenue, Merchantville, NJ 08109

Island Acres Farm Mall
May 7 at 8 AM
Come out to see 80-100 vendors all in one spot. There will be everything from handmade crafts to antiques, artwork, and bath and body products.
Indian Acres Tree Farn, 111 Tuckerton Rd, Medford, NJ 08055
(609) 953-0087

Annual Azalea Festival
May 7 at 10 AM
After 3 years, the Annual Azalea Festival is back. Spend the day among the bright blooms where there will be local craft vendors, food, and gorgeous azalea shrubs. The rain date will be on May 8.
Sayen Gardens, 155 Hughes Drive, Hamilton, NJ 08690

(609) 890-3874

Creative Arts Festival
May 7 at 10 AM
The whole family will enjoy perusing artists at this juried arts festival. Works will be displayed in all mediums, including pottery, jewelry, photography, and painting. There will be live music and food vendors.
Cost: Admission and parking are free
Thompson Park -805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738
(732) 842-4000, ext. 3343

National Public Gardens Day at Macculloch Hall
May 7 at 11 AM
Celebrate National Public Gardens Day in MHHM’s historic garden. There will be special presentations, nature scavenger hunts, and art activities in the garden. Then at 1:30 PM, see The Raptor Trust’s Fantastic Falcons. This event is rain or shine.
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, 45 Macculloch Avenue, Morristown, NJ 07960

Mothers Day Celebration
May 7 at 12 PM
Shop for Mother’s Day with over 20 local businesses. This family-friendly event also has free card crafting, and you can also take photos in the studio.
Pop Up Next Door, 1169 Elizabeth Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07201

Career Carnival for Kids
May 7 at 2 PM
Explore exciting careers with hands-on activities, demos, games, and giveaways. This event is open to everyone, and the first 100 registered kids will get a special bag at the event.
Rockaway Townsquare Mall, Outside Macy’s – Lower Level, Mount Hope Ave, Rockaway, NJ 07866

Asbury Park Spring Bazaar
May 7-8 at 12 PM
There is no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a bit of shopping—Mother’s Day weekend will feature makers, local vendors, arts and crafts, and music experiences in both locations. There will be Mother’s Day photos and photo stations, fresh flowers bouquets, kids workshops, and face painting.
Whitechapel Projects, 15 2nd Ave., Long Branch, NJ 07740 – (732) 963-9218
Grand Arcade at Asbury Park Convention Hall, Grand Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
May 7 at 4 PM
Learn about local health agencies that help youth around Monmouth County while interacting with various animals at the Allaire Community Farm petting zoo. There will also be giveaways, food, and beverages.
Allaire Community Farm, 1923 Baileys Corner Road, Wall Township, NJ 07719
(732) 796-3298

Ocean City Spring Block Party
May 14 at 9 AM
Spring is here, and it’s time to celebrate. There will be over 350 crafters, food vendors, music, and fun for the whole family.
5th Street to 14th Street on Asbury Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226

Middlesex County History Day
May 14 at 10 AM
Go back in time to this family-friendly day at the East Jersey Old Town Village. On History Day, watch a vintage baseball game, see re-enactments and hearth demonstrations, listen to live music, and take a horse-drawn wagon ride. There will also be food trucks, children’s games, and crafts.
1050 River Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Somerdale Day
May 14 at 10 AM
The whole family can experience great food, crafters and community groups, and a car show. There will also be kids’ activities, including Rock and Roll Racing, a gaming truck, and more. There will be a beer and wine garden for the adults too.
New Amphitheater, Kennedy Boulevard, Somerdale, NJ 08083

Mayfest Smithville
May 14-15 at 10 AM
Head to Historic Smithville for children’s activities like the carousel and train rides, crafters and vendors, an international food court, and live entertainment.
Historic Smithville and the Village Green, Smithville, NJ 08060
(609) 652-7777

Woodbridge Street Fair and Craft Show
May 14 at 11 AM
Bring your crew out to see live music, DJ, dancing, delicious foods, and performances. There will also be children’s rides and games.
Woodbridge Township downtown, Woodbridge Township, NJ 07095

Captain Kidd Pirate Day
May 14 at 11 AM
Ahoy, mates—kids can dress in their pirate best for the Annual Captain Kidd Pirate Day parade and a treasure hunt at 19th and the beach. Kids can walk in the parade, receive a treasure chest, and enter a raffle and costume contest.
Parade, 26th, and the Boardwalk., Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 522-2955

Milltown Multicultural Festival
May 14 at 12 PM
The Milltown IDEA is hosting a Multicultural Festival along with members of the LBTQ+ community and other underrepresented groups. There will be live music and dance performances, dessert food trucks, and art demonstrations.
Gloria Brandford Borough Park, 80 Violet Terrace, Milltown, NJ 08850

Strawberry Day in Berlin
May 14 at 12 PM

It’s all things strawberries with crafters, a race, and of course, lots of tasty strawberries. Don’t miss the live music, food trucks, and strawberry contests.
Berlin Boro Hall, 59 South White Horse Pike, Berlin, NJ 08009

Maplewood Street Fair & Craft Show
May 15 at 11 AM
Come enjoy the outdoors in Maplewood with live music, a DJ, dancing, food, performances, and more. There will also be children’s rides and games.
Maplewood downtown, Maplewood, NJ 07040

Walnford Day
May 15 at 11 AM
Bring the fam to experience colonial life. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, historical demonstrations, and bluegrass music, and you can explore the 1773 Waln family home.
62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ 08501
(609) 259-6275

New Jersey Seafood Fest in Belmar
May 20 at 4 PM, May 21 at 11 AM, and May 22 at 11 AM
Got a family that loves seafood? Enjoy all the lobster, shrimp, clams, and more at the 35th annual New Jersey Seafood Festival. There will be food trucks, live music, children’s activities, and fun for the whole family.
Belmar Mall Parking Lot, Belmar, NJ 07719

Dinner & Dancing in the Park: Kids night
May 20 at 5 PM
Bring your family to enjoy a night of food and live music. Kids will have a ball dancing to the music and enjoying Mr. C’s Water Ice, $5 Fresh Burgers, and much more. Don’t forget your chair and blanket.
Memorial Park, 46 Memorial Ave, Gibbstown, NJ 08027

Made in Ocean County
May 21 at 10 AM
Shop the best in Ocean County and find jewelry, gifts, soaps, lotions, candles, and more. There will also be food trucks at this event.
933 Monmouth Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514

Laurel Springs’ WaltFest
May 21 at 11 AM
This art and history festival will feature historical reenactors and visual arts, food, and a trolley. The event will be at two sites.
Whitman Stafford Farmhouse, Stone Road and East Maple Avenue, Laurel Springs, NJ 08021
Crystal Spring Park, W. Elma, and Lakeview Avenue, Laurel Springs, NJ 08021

2022 World Diversity Day Children’s Festival
May 21 at 1 PM
All families are welcome to this free celebration. There will be multi-cultural and bilingual storytelling, live music, cultural dancing, flag making, folk singing, and face painting.
Lake Topanemus Park, Robertsville Road, Freehold, NJ 07728

Wildwoods International Kite Festival
May 27 at 12 PM – May 30
Heading to the shore on Memorial Day weekend? Check out the annual International Kite Festival, which begins on Friday with events and the 9 PM illuminated night kite fly. The rest of the weekend will soar high with the flying of giant inflatable kites, team flying, and family games and exhibitions at this lively and popular event.
Rio Grande Avenue and the Wildwoods Convention Center (4501 Boardwalk) Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 729-9000

Bradley Beach Memorial Day Weekend Festival
May 28-29 at 9 AM
There will be family fun, vendors, crafters, music, and food. Don’t miss the parade on Saturday at 10 AM.
Ocean Avenue, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720
(732) 776-2999

Collingswood May Fair
May 28 at 10 AM
All ages can enjoy the 41st annual May Fair with art, music, and activities. There will be a KidZone with carnival games, rides, and kid-friendly crafters.
678 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108

21st Annual Seaport Craft Show
May 29 at 10 AM
The Highlands Business Partnership will host the 21st Annual Seaport Craft Show with handmade crafts from more than 60 crafters and artisans. Art, jewelry, and unique gifts will be available. Don’t miss the live entertainment at 11 AM.
325-329 Bay Avenue, Highlands, NJ 07732
(732) 291-4713

Cape May Music Festival
May 29 at 7 PM
It’s a night under the stars with a Memorial Weekend concert with a patriotic theme. The concert will honor those who gave all to protect our freedoms.
Cape May Rotary Bandstand, 400-498 Lafayette Street, Cape May, NJ 08204

Ongoing Events

Broadway at the Garden State Plaza
Now-June 25 at 11 AM and 1 PM
See the best of Broadway for kids every Saturday, featuring songs and scenes from hit Broadway shows. This event is free for everyone and will highlight memorable scenes from your favorite Broadway shows like Aladdin, Wicked and Lion King, performed in a partnership with Bergen Performing Arts Center.
Level 2, Macy’s Court Area, nearest Shake Shack, One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 843-2121

Delaware and Raritan Canal Park Run
Every Saturday at 9 AM
A free, fun, and friendly weekly 5K community event. Walk, jog, run, volunteer, or cheer on participants at this fun event. This run is free, but make sure to register before attending.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail, 156 Mettlers Rd, Somerset, NJ 08873

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.