It may be mid-summer, but there are no signs of a summer lull with a bunch of family-friendly things to do this weekend. Catch a sneak peek of the new original Apple TV+ series Amber Brown Screening at Garden State Plaza in Paramus, soar up into the clouds at the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning at Whitehouse Station, see all the cuteness at the 89th Annual Baby Parade in Cape May, or encounter a life-size T-Rex at Jurassic Quest in Edison. And if you want more summer fun, don’t miss free things to do in July. (feature photo taken at The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning)
(Note: It’s always best to check ahead for in-person events)
July 28, doors open at 5:45 PM for pre-screening activities
Bring your BFF to a special sneak peek of the Apple TV+ original series Amber Brown for a pre-screening of episodes 1 & 2 in the series (doors open at 5:45 PM for pre-screening activities/ 7 PM start time). All guests will receive fun prizes, free concessions, activities, and surprises (make sure to arrive early for some swag). Amber Brown is an unfiltered look at a girl finding her voice through art and music in the wake of her parent’s divorce. Sign up for tickets here: Gofobo.com/
Garden State Plaza 16, 4000 Garden State Plaza Blvd 4 & 17 Paramus, NJ 07652
LEAD Fest Carnival at Brunswick Square Mall
Get ready for food, fun, rides, and more for the whole family at the Law Enforcement Agents Drugs and Violence (LEAD) Fair. There will be nightly entertainment, a petting farm, rides, Cowtown USA, and a pie-eating contest.
Brunswick Square 755 NJ-18, East Brunswick, NJ 0881
Kites in the Heights
July 26 at 4 PM
Come out to see giant kites fill the sky near the Pier. You can even bring your own kite to join in the flying.
Enter at the Carteret Ave. beach (north of Casino Pier), Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
Manasquan Fireman’s Fair
It’s the Manasquan Fire Company #2 Fireman’s Fair. There will be rides, games, food, a 50/50 raffle, and a beer tent for the adults.
Cost: Ride passes from $30-$60
111 Parker Ave., Manasquan, NJ 08736
Monmouth County Fair
There will be rides, vendors, and plenty of shows at the Monmouth County Fair. See Touch-a-Truck and 4-H exhibits, racing pigs, and a BMX stunt show.
Cost: $8 per person, 17 and under are free; there is an extra cost for rides, and parking is free.
East Freehold Showgrounds, Kozloski Road, Freehold, NJ 07728
Twilight Farm Festival
July 28 at 2 PM
The City Green Farm Eco-Center in Clifton will have 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.
171 Grove Street Clifton, NJ 07013
Princeton University Art Museum Picnic and Family Movie Night
July 28 at 6 PM
Celebrate summer with the Museum at the annual picnic on the lawn and enjoy barbecue fare, live music, and family-friendly activities. At sunset, they’ll be showing Disney’s Fantasia. Be sure to bring a blanket or chair, and popcorn will be provided.
Alexander Beach, Princeton, NJ 08544
Gloucester County 4-H Fair
Bring the family to see 4‑H projects, daily rides, games, magic shows, musical acts, tractor parades, craft exhibits, demonstrations, and animal visits. Each night, there’s a barbeque with locally grown produce and homemade desserts.
4-H Fairgrounds, 275 Bridgeton Pike (route 77) Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
89th Annual Baby Parade Cape May
July 29 at 11 AM
It’s the cutest parade returning for its 89th year. The procession begins down Beach Avenue and will conclude at Cape May Convention Hall, where there will be an awards ceremony. Trophies will be awarded to Best Beach Baby, Decorated Baby Carriage, Walking in Fancy Dress, Walking in Superhero Outfit, and Decorated on Wheels.
Cost: Free; registration required.
Congress Street and Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204
Newton Outdoor Movie Night
July 29 at 8 PM
It’s time for an outdoor movie night with the Academy Award-winning film—Disney’s Encanto. Bring something comfortable to sit on during the movie.
Memory Park, 111 Moran Street, Newton, NJ 07860
New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning
Watch beautiful balloons take flight along with other events such as the Running with the Balloons 5K, “The Bullet” human cannonball, and performances from Laurie Berkner Band, Kansas, and Collective Soul. At night, make sure you catch the fantastic fireworks.
Cost: Adult tickets are $32 as an early bird saver, children (4-12) are $12 as an early bird saver, there are added costs for the concerts, etc.
Solberg Airport, 39 Thor-Solberg Road, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
Dinosaurs in NJ? From a Stegosaurus to a gigantic T-Rex, dinosaurs come alive at this special event with the largest rideable dinosaurs in North America. There is also an interactive Baby Dinosaur & Raptor Training Experience. Don’t miss the giant fossil dig, Triceratots” soft play area, and science fossil exhibit.
New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center, 97 Sunfield Ave, Edison, NJ 08837
Vintage Boat Festival
July 30 from 10 AM
See everything vintage at this fun fest, including vintage boats, food vendors, and unique watercraft. All ages will appreciate the celebration of maritime history.
Huddy Park, 39 East Water Street, Toms River, NJ 08753
Soulsational Festival 2022
July 30 at 11 AM
Bring your crew to this festival, uniting the Jersey Shore community. There will be music, vendors, giveaways, a silent auction, and lots of opportunities to give back. Join one of the free group classes, hang out in the kids’ village with craft stations, and see art, poets, and live demonstrations.
Veterans Park, 489 Forest Hills Parkway, Bayville, NJ 08721
The Astronomical World of Harry Potter
July 30 at 3:30 PM and 7 PM
Got kids who love Harry Potter? Take them to this unique night at the planetarium, where they can be transported to Hogwarts and learn which characters take their origins from the night sky.
Cost: $20-$25; Please Note: these shows will include flashing lights & laser effects.
Robert J. Novins Planetarium, 1 College Dr (Ocean County College Bldg 130, Toms River, NJ 08754
July 30 at 9 PM
This family-friendly educational evening is geared to learning about species that live in specific Pinelands habitats, as well as moths common throughout New Jersey. Interactive displays offer photo opportunities. Attendees are encouraged to bring their cameras for close-up photos, a flashlight, and a lawn chair.
Whitesbog Preservation Trust, 120 West Whites Bogs Road # 34, Brown Mills, NJ 08015
Mercer County 4-H Fair
July 30-31 at 10 AM
Bring out the fam for animal shows and exhibits, magic shows, and farm tours. There will also be homemade ice cream, hay rides, pony rides, music, and displays by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Mercer County, Mercer County Wildlife Center Friends, Mid-State Beekeepers Association, and many more.
Cost: Free admission and parking for all; please bring a non-perishable food donation for Rutgers Against Hunger.
Howell Living History Farm, 70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530
Antique & Summer Market
July 30-31 at 10 AM
The whole family can come to this market, featuring 40+ Antique Dealers from the Mid-Atlantic area showcasing a wide selection of ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, memorabilia, toys, vintage accessories, and more. There will be free family art activities, including making Paper Fruit Fans, a cardboard Spinner, and a Summer Windmill.
Cost: Included with general admission to Wheaton Arts
1501 Glasstown Road, Millville, NJ 08332
Family Fun Days Crafts & Collectibles Show at the Cape May Lighthouse
July 27, August 3, 10, 17, 24 from 9 AM-2 PM
Head to Cape May for a crafts and collectibles show featuring vendors and crafters from the northeast in July and August.
Cape May Lighthouse, 215 Lighthouse Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204
New Jersey Sunflower Festival
It’s sunflower season—explore 2.5 acres of sunflowers, walk through the fields, snap photographs, and cut your own sunflowers. Each festival ticket includes a wagon ride to the sunflower fields, time to take photos and enjoy the blooms, live music, and access to vendors.
Cost: $20.99 and up
Stony Hill Farms, 15 North Road, Chester, NJ 07930
Summer Vibes Festival
Get ready for all the summer vibes, including mouth-watering treats, beverages, eye-popping spectacles, live entertainment, and colorful curiosities, all in one place. Six Flags Great Adventure will be transformed into six colorfully themed areas.
Cost: Day tickets start at $44.99
1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, NJ 08527-5369
Pier Village Family Fun Night
Every Sunday in the summer at 5 PM
Try everything from Miniature Golf, Rockwall Climbing, Trampoline Bungee Jumping, Rides, and Games. Come early and join the Pier Village Carousel Stage for the “Oceans of Possibilities” themed complimentary story time by the sea at 1 PM.
Cost: $4 per ticket, sheets of 7 tickets for $25, wristbands are $35pp
Festival Plaza, Pier Village, 68 Ocean Ave. N., Long Branch, NJ 07740
Jenkinson’s Movies on the Beach
Tuesdays, Now-August 30
Grab your beach towel and chairs and get ready for free movies on the beach at Jenkinson’s. Films include Paw Patrol: The Movie, Encanto, and Cars 3.
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Super American Circus Atlantic City
Now-September 5, Thursday-Sunday
Catch this fantastic show with acts, thrills, and laughs that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Some of the highlights include America’s Got Talent superstars, Cirque Du Soleil performers, and talent from Ringling Bros.
Cost: Ticket prices vary
Showboat Atlantic City, 801 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Friday Night Fireworks in Wildwood
Every Friday at 10 PM
Is there a better way to end a fun-filled week of summer in Wildwood than with free fireworks? Every Friday night, watch a spectacular display exploding to a musical score played along the Boardwalk and simulcast on 98.7 The Coast. Grab a beach chair to relax on the sand, or you can see them from anywhere on the boardwalk. Rain dates are every Sunday at 10 PM.
Wildwood Boardwalk, On the Beach at Pine Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Tropicana’s Free Fireworks Series
Every Saturday at 10 PM until September
This dazzling 10-minute show is part of Tropicana’s Summer Celebration Fireworks Series. The performances are displayed from the beachfront and include intricately designed scenes and vivid effects.
Tropicana Atlantic City, 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Wednesday Night Fireworks at Seaside Heights
Every Wednesday at 9:30 PM July 6 – August 24
Head to the boards to hop on the rides, pop into the arcades, indulge in some ice cream, and win prizes with your kiddos. When the sun sets, find your favorite spot on the boardwalk to enjoy fireworks at 9:30 PM.
Seaside Heights Boardwalk, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
Thursday Night Fireworks at Jenkinson’s
Every Thursday at dark until August 25
This dazzling display at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant is a local tradition—catch the fireworks show on the beach every Thursday night. Before the show, stop by the aquarium or hit up everything else this fave boardwalk has to offer, then take a seat on the sand for the colorful display starting at dark.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
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