27 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend


With a few weeks left of summer, we’re packing in as much as we can with lots of family-friendly things to do this week and weekend. Watch the U.S. Thunderbirds take flight at the Atlantic City Air Show in Atlantic City, see the biggest names in country music at the Barefoot Country Music Festival in Wildwood, or join in the games and fun with furry friends at the Pupstock Festival at the Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta. And for more to keep your calendar full, don’t miss our Free Things To Do in August Guide.

Featured Photo Credit: The United States Air Force, Thunderbirds Public Affairs

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


Don’t miss the Dino Safari: A Drive-Thru Adventure in Freehold and Paramus.

Dino Safari: A Drive-Thru Adventure
Wednesday-Sunday, 10 AM-9 PM

Grab a prehistoric passport and join over 40 giant moving dinosaurs on a globetrotting expedition at Dino Safari, a drive-thru dino adventure for the whole family! Get up-close-and-personal with fascinating prehistoric creatures from the mighty T. Rex of North America to the giant amphibious Spinosaurus from Africa. At the same time, you learn how dinosaurs evolved, where on earth they lived, and the discoveries paleontologists have made about how they ate, moved, and behaved. Beware: Along the journey, earthquakes might erupt, dinosaurs could battle, and your family might have to help save a baby dinosaur’s life. So, buckle up for the adventure of a lifetime in this completely COVID-safe experience!
Cost: $49.95 regular vehicle and $59.95 for large-capacity vehicles. Custom discount code: Use my code NJMALL10 for $10 off Dino Safari!
Freehold: Freehold Raceway Mall, 3710 U.S. 9, Freehold, NJ 07728
Paramus: Westfield Garden State Plaza, One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
(855) 372-3274

Hillsborough Rotary Fair
August 17-21, fireworks August 20

The Annual Hillsborough Rotary Fair is back with fun for the whole family. Visit vendors, play games, grab some grub, and stick around for the fireworks on August 20.
Cost: $30 ride all night wristband
Hillsborough Promenade, 315 Route 206, Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844
(908) 334-9304

Atlantic City Air Show
August 18 tentatively at 11:30 AM
“A Salute to Those Who Serve” will be the theme of this year’s air show in Atlantic City. This 18th annual event will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds as the headline act in addition to the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, the Golden Knights (U.S. Army Parachute Team), and the GEICO Skytypers Air Show Team. There is no rain date for this event.
Cost: Free
There are several viewing locations on the Atlantic City beach and boardwalk. 

Free Family Movies Under The Stars in Sea Isle City
August 18 at dusk

Get the family together and enjoy a movie under the stars. This event will be weekly through September.
Cost: Free
Excursion Park – JFK Blvd. and Pleasure Ave., Sea Isle City, 08243
(609) 263-8687

Twilight Farm Festival
August 19 doors open at 5:30 PM, starts at 6 PM

The City Green Farm Eco-Center in Clifton will be having a free, fun evening for families. There will be live music, lawn games, and free kids’ activities. Make sure you see the learning garden and visit the animals.
Cost: Free
171 Grove Street Clifton, NJ 07013
(973) 869-4086

Barefoot Country Music Festival at Wildwood Beach
August 19-22
All ages are welcome to the Northeast’s largest outdoor country music festival to see the country’s biggest stars come to Wildwood, NJ. The kickoff concert will be on August 19, and the festival will run through the weekend. See big names like Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and more.
Cost: Tickets starting at $39; kids 10 and under are free
3601 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260

Shark Awareness Weekend at Camden Aquarium
August 20-22
Got kids who love sharks? Stop by this weekend to hear how Adventure Aquarium is working to protect the species. Shark and Ray Encounters will be available for a special price, and a portion of the proceeds benefit AZA SAFE.
Cost: Prices start at $21.99 for kids and $31.99 for adults
1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103

Historic Battery Lewis Tours
August 21 from 10 AM-4 PM and August 22 from 1 PM-3 PM
Come and tour the newly restored Historic Battery Lewis in the Rocky Point section of Hartshorne Wood Park. Learn all about the history of this former coastal defense site. 
Cost: Free
1402 Portland Road, Highlands, NJ 07732
(732) 872-0336

Canal Day Music & Craft Festival
August 21, 10 AM-5 PM, fireworks at dusk

Teach the fam some history at this summer festival in NJ—take a guided walking tour of the Morris Canal, travel down the waterway on a free boat ride, or prove your prowess by paddling a kayak. Learn about local wildlife, experience the art of blacksmithing, visit a civil war encampment, or lay back and enjoy listening to some of New Jersey’s best musical performers, and then watch the gorgeous fireworks display over the water.
Cost: Free
Hugh Force Canal Park, 180 West Central Avenue, Wharton, NJ 07885
(973) 361-8444

Bacon Food Truck Festival at Laurita
August 21 from 11 AM-9 PM and 22 from 11 AM-7 PM
Bring your own blankets and chairs to sit on the lawn and enjoy live bands, vineyard wagon tours, country line dancing, and clown painting. Free parking, shuttle service, and kids playgrounds. Fireworks on Saturday night.
Cost: $12 for 21+ online in advance or $14 at the door; 20 and under are free
85 Archertown Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533
(609) 752-0200

Middletown Food Truck and Music Festival
August 21 from 11 AM – 7 PM

Food trucks, live music, boardwalk-style games, face painting, and more. Don’t miss the bounce house too.
Cost: $8 for adults and $5 for children 4-16 at the door, $6 for adults, and $4 for children in advance
Middletown Sports Complex, 214 Harmony Road, Middletown, NJ 07748
(732) 856-9700

Kids and Critters Animal Show
August 21 at 11 AM
Bring littles and bigs to see and participate in a live animal show featuring snakes and turtles. This event is for all ages.
Cost: $1 per person
Cape May State Park, Pavilion by Nature Center

(609) 884-2159

Pupstock Festival: Sussex County Fairgrounds
August 21 from 12 PM-5 PM

It’s the 3rd annual Pupstock Festival—bring your best furry friend and experience dog activity zones, art, food trucks, live music, vendors, adoptions, and there is even a yappy hour for adults at the Biergarten. Don’t miss the peanut butter eating competition, doggie costume contest, and the Chris Clark Bicycle Stunt Show. There will also be fun activities and giveaways for the first 100 people. The proceeds benefit Father John’s Animal House.
Cost: adults $15 for the advanced “Tail Chaser” ticket and $20 the day of the event, children under 10 are free
New Jersey State Fair – 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 948-5500

Collingswood Crafts and Fine Art Festival
August 21 and 22
Over 100 craft and fine artists will showcase their work. There will also be food, live music, and family art activities.
Cost: Free
Haddon Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108
(856) 854-0720

Free Canoes and Kayaks at Scotland Run Park
August 21 and 22 from 9 AM-3 PM

Spend the day on the water—-the whole family can paddle a canoe or hop in a kayak this weekend for free. First come, first serve, and all children 14 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. They provide life jackets and paddles, but you must print out a waiver and fill it out before your visit.
Cost: Free
980 E. Academy St., Clayton, NJ 08312
(856) 251-6710

Family Ag Day
August 22 from 9 AM-1 PM

The County of Passaic and Hazelman Farms present Family Ag days to connect families with agriculture through activities, music, and programs. Don’t miss the produce for sale and the petting zoo too.
Cost: Free
Van Ripper Hopper Museum, 533 Berdan Avenue, Wayne, NJ 07470
(973) 706-6640

Classic Car Show and Oldies Day at Monmouth Park
August 22 from 11 AM-3 PM

Step into the past and bring the whole family to a Classic Car Show & Oldies Day. There will be 100 antique cars to admire and old-school entertainment for the whole family. Big Joe Henry from NJ 101.5 FM’s will be there and a performance from the oldies group, The Cameos.
Cost: Free to park and enter, $10 per car pre-registration, and $15 for day-of registration.
Monmouth Park – Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport, NJ 07757
(732) 222-5100

Big Joe Jersey Talent Show 2021 at Jenkinson’s
August 22 at 7 PM-8 PM

Every Sunday night through August 29, you can live out your America’s Got Talent dreams, show off your skills on stage, or observe others showcasing their talents. The Talent Show champion will be crowned on September 5, 2021. You can enter the Talent Show here.
Cost: Free
On the beach, by Jenkinson’s Aquarium, 300 Ocean Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Free Family Family Fun Night in Sea Isle City
August 23, 30 from 7:30 PM-9 PM

Get the family together and have a family fun night at the shore. This event will be weekly through August.
Cost: Free
Excursion Park JFK Blvd. and Pleasure Ave., Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-8687

Fishing 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing
August 24 from 10 AM-2 PM
Cast, rig, bait, and maybe even catch your first fish with this beginner’s guide to fishing at Manasquan Reservoir. This event is open to all ages, under 14, with an adult, and bait and tackle will be provided. A fishing license is required for ages 16-69. Register at the Manasquan Reservoir Bait Shop.
Cost: Free
311 Windeler Road, Howell, NJ 07731
(732) 919-0996

Seining Along Sandy Hook Bay at Bayshore Waterfront Park
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday until August 28 from 11 AM-12 PM
Get ready for a hands-on nature program in Port Monmouth. Discover fish, crabs, and other sea creatures while pulling a long seine net along the edge of Sandy Hook Bay. Parents and guardians must supervise their children, and closed-toe shoes are required. Meet on the beach near the parking lot. Groups can also reserve a date.
Cost: Free
719 Port Monmouth Road, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

(732) 787-3033

Kiddie Shows on the Beach at Jenkinson’s
Beginning Jun 28-August 30 at 7 PM

Starting in June, enjoy the first Kidde show from the ride park train station. Experience circus, comedy, and magic shows all summer long.
Cost: Free
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Jenkinson’s Fireworks
Every Thursday at dark

Enjoy the sparkle, pop, and boom of the fireworks at Jenks. You can view them all along the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk.
Cost: Free
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Makers + Shakers Pop Up Market
Every Thursday-Sunday from 11 AM – 6 PM through September 5

Kick off the summer at this lively market where you can check out various local makers, artists, and designers selling handcrafted goods, clothing, jewelry & accessories, beauty products, art, photography, home goods, and so much more. The kids can also enjoy rides on the Carousel and don’t forget to visit the beach, restaurants, shops, and the boardwalk.
Cost: Free
52 Centennial Drive, Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-0100

Somerville Summer Stage
Every Saturday, May 29 until October 2 from 6 PM-9 PM

Bring chairs to this concert series, with a new performance every Saturday. Bob Lanza will play on July 3, Nick Ryan and The Mess on July 10, John Busse on July 17 on July 24, The Bryan Hansen Band will perform, and The Broadcasters will perform on July 31.
Cost: Free
Division Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

(908) 524-0104

RWJBarnabas Health: Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen, a Mommy and Me style class for 2-4-year-olds.
Cost: Free
RWJBarnabas, Virtual
(973) 926-7371

Evenings on the Farm at Johnson Locust Hill Farm
Every Saturday and Sunday through August 28
Experience live music, a crafted food menu, Tomasello wine, lawn games, picnic space, late farm market, and ice cream window hours for the whole family. The farm trail will be open along with hayrides, and musicians change every week.
Cost: $9.95
2691 Monmouth Road, Jobstown, NJ 08041

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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.