32 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend

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We’re heading into mid-May, and with it, lots of outdoor festivals, fairs, and celebrations for the fam. Sit back and relax to smooth Jazz bands performing at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in North Cape May, take a train ride at Mayfest in Smithville, or sample tasty food and live music at the Garden State Plaza Food Truck and Music Festival in Paramus. And if you want to fill up that spring calendar, don’t miss our guide to free things to do in NJ in May. (feature photo credit: @historicsmithvillenj)

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

The LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup
May 11-15
Want to watch some of the best golfers in the world, all while inspiring your daughters to learn the game? The LPGA 2022 Cognizant Founders Cup is once again coming to NJ, and this time it will be at the historic Upper Montclair Country Club. Bring the whole family—all juniors 17 and under receive FREE general admission, and the interactive fan zone offers instructional clinics hosted by LPGA and PGA Professionals. To pre-register for the Junior Clinic, click here. You can also stay updated on all LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup by visiting their websiteInstagram, and Facebook.
Cost: Junior Tickets are free; other events are $40 and up
Upper Montclair, 177 Hepburn Road, Clifton, NJ 07012

Annual St. George Greek Orthodox Church Festival
May 12-15
The festival is back and in-person this year. There will be live entertainment, dancing, and of course, delicious food. Online ordering with pickup will be available too.
Cost: Free
1101 River Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Exit Zero Jazz Festival
May 13-15
Head to exit zero to join this 3-day musical fest with two outdoor stages featuring hundreds of musicians and thousands of visitors. Check out headliners like Mingus Big Band, Marcus Miller, Arturo Sandoval, and more on stage each day from 11 AM – 7 PM.
Cost: $65 and up
Zero Ferry Park Outdoor Venue/ Two Stages, 1200 Lincoln Blvd., North Cape May, NJ, 08204

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.
Cost: Free
5th Street to 14th Street on Asbury Ave., Ocean City, NJ 08226

1-800-BeachNJ

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.
Cost: Free
1050 River Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Somerdale Day
May 14 at 10 AM
The whole family can experience great food, crafters, and a car show. Kids will be happy to join in the activities like Rock and Roll Racing, a gaming truck, and more. There will be a beer and wine garden for the adults too.
Cost: Free
New Amphitheater, Kennedy Boulevard, Somerdale, NJ 08083

Mayfest Smithville
May 14-15 at 10 AM
Bring the whole crew to Historic Smithville for this day of May fun. Kids can ride the carousel and take train rides. After, check out the crafters and vendors, an international food court, and live entertainment.
Cost: Free
Historic Smithville and the Village Green, Smithville, NJ 08060

(609) 652-7777

Shoppes at Dragon Village Spring Craft Show
May 14-15 at 10 AM
Craft vendors, train rides, and food trucks will be available at the craft show. Don’t miss the kids activities too.
Cost: $2 per car
97 Trench Road, Bridgeton, NJ 08302

East Brunswick Food Truck and Music Fest
May 14 at 11 AM
The food trucks and fun are back in East Brunswick at The Brunswick Square Mall. Bring your appetite, lawn chairs, and of course, your dog.
Cost: $4-$6
Brunswick Square Mall, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

Asbury Park Vegan Food Fest
May 14-15 at 11 AM
It’s a two-day celebration that features vegan and plant-based meals from local chefs and vegan products, plant-based fashion, and live music. This event is rain or shine.
Cost: $10-$30
Bradley Park – 101-199 5th Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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.
Cost: Free
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.
Cost: Free
Parade, 26th, and the Boardwalk., Wildwood, NJ 08260

(609) 522-2955

Night Walk at the Zoo
May 14 at 6 PM
Curious what animals do during the night? Now’s your chance to take a zoo tour after hours to see. The last tour will leave by 6:20 pm, and the gates will lock at that time. Don’t forget your flashlights.
Cost: Children (3-12) $15 and 13+ are $25
Cape May County Park and Zoo, 707 Route 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210

Bloom Festival
May 14 at 12 PM
Bring your loved ones to spend the day by the lake enjoying live music, fresh food, and your favorite Autumn Lake wine. Grass n Gravel will come to the stage, and food will be available for purchase. Don’t forget your chairs, blankets, and pop-up tents.
Cost: Admission is $15 (plus tax) per person and includes parking, entertainment, and a souvenir glass
Autumn Lake Winery 870 West Malaga Road Monroe, NJ 08094

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.
Cost: Free
Gloria Brandford Borough Park, 80 Violet Terrace, Milltown, NJ 08850

Strawberry Day in Berlin
May 14 at 12 PM

It’s everything strawberry on this day with crafters, a race, and lots of tasty strawberries. Don’t miss the live music, food trucks, and strawberry contests.
Cost: Free
Berlin Boro Hall, 59 South White Horse Pike, Berlin, NJ 08009

Kids VS Parents Sip and Paint
May 14 at 12 PM and 3 PM
It’s kids vs. parents in a paint-off—the artist @sneak_ecloud creates some of the best painting canvases in town and will work with you to help unlock your artistic skills. Earn a free entry, and it’s $15 for a canvas for you and your child.
Cost: $15
324 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

History Kids Club May: Secrets of the 19th Century Garden
May 15 at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM
Come out to the Historic Village at Allaire for History Kids Club if you want to get your hands dirty, nineteenth-century style. You’ll even get to select and plant your own special herb, shrub, or flower to take home and start your own 19th-century garden.
Cost: $10 per child
The Historic Village at Allaire Chapel 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Wall, NJ 07727

Turtle Back Glide
May 15 at 11 AM
It’s time for a family-friendly disc golf outing at Turtle Back Zoo. Guests will have the opportunity to participate in a custom 9-hole course, explore animal facts, and learn how to play disc golf.
Cost: Pre-event registration costs $20 fee per adult * $15 fee per child (under 14), $15 fee per member adult * $10 fee per member child (under 14), or event day registration: $25 fee per adult * $20 fee per child (under 14), $20 fee per member adult * $15 fee per member child (under 14)
10-62 Cherry Lane, West Orange, NJ 07052

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.
Cost: Free
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.
Cost: Free
62 Walnford Road, Upper Freehold, NJ 08501

(609) 259-6275

Mayfaire
May 15 at 11 AM
It’s time to be “Bringing in the May” and celebrating the storied history of Hezekiah & Agnes Smith and the Smithville Mansion with a free event for the whole family. There will be live music, theatrical melodramas, storytelling, face painting, historic arts and crafts demos, tours, carnival games, and even food trucks.
Cost: Free; some parts of the fair have a fee
Historic Smithville Park, 803 Smithville Road, Eastampton, NJ 08060

Clifton Food Truck Festival
May 15 at 11 AM
This fun festival will include vendors, kids’ activities, and pony rides. This event will support the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton.
Cost: $5; under 5 is free. Please bring an item for the food pantry
181 Colfax Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013

Garden State Plaza Food Truck and Music Fest
May 15 at 11 AM
It’s a fun family festival with food trucks, live music, games, and activities for all ages.
Cost: $8 for adults and $5 for children 4-13 at the door, $6 for adults and $4 for children in advance
501 Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 843-2121

BBQ Jamfest
May 15 at 12 PM
It’s the first Annual Downtown Pt. Beach BBQ Jam fest with an outdoor cookout with family and friends. There will be BBQ, live music, and cornhole prizes. The rain date is May 22.
Cost: $10 in advance or $12 at the gate
710 Arnold Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

Cape May Lighthouse Full Moon Climb
May 16 at 7 PM
This rare nighttime climb up the 199 spiral staircase steps to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse will show you views of nearly 156 feet above the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Interpretive panels along the climb tell stories of Lighthouse Keepers, the surrounding area, and how the lighthouse functioned historically.
Cost: $8 for children 3-12 and $18 for adults
215 Light House Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204

Ongoing Events

Family Fun Night at Riv’s
Sundays in May at 1 PM
Dine with your favorite characters, including Minnie, Rapunzel, and Buzz Lightyear.
Cost: Cost of dinner
Riv’s Toms River Hub, 1850 Hooper Ave, Toms River, NJ 08753

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.
Cost: Free, a limited number of VIP tickets will be sold for each event for $10 and include an AMC kids movie theater ticket, a kids meal at Chick Fil A, a LEGO toy, and more.
Level 2, Macy’s Court Area, nearest Shake Shack, One Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 843-2121

XC Summer Series
April 27-August 31 on Wednesdays at 6 PM
Learn how to run cross country with a weekly series of 5K events on Wednesday nights from April 27 until August 31, 2022. There are a total of 15 races in the series. The course is open to all ages and abilities, and walkers are welcome.
Cost: $8-$10 per race or $50-$85 per series
Central Ave and North Cottage Road, Parsippany, NJ US 07954

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.
Cost: Free
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.

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