Indulge in some brie and macarons as you celebrate Bastille Day in Frenchtown, take the Tilt-a-Whirl for a spin and enjoy some cotton candy at the Ocean County Fair in Berkeley Township, or get your ‘que on and vote for your favorites at the New Jersey State BBQ Championship in North Wildwood. This is a summer weekend to feast!
featured image via @karlfs
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Here are 10 kid-friendly things to do this weekend:
The Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Festival
July 10 – 16
This unique summer festival celebrates Italian culture with unlimited carnival rides, live entertainment and games, with a grand finale parade and fireworks on Feast Day, July 16th, at 10PM. This is a true family tradition (dating back 144 years!) with lots for the littles to enjoy. Come hungry for some delicious festival food and check out the beer garden for adults to enjoy.
Mount Carmel Lane
L.E.A.D. Fest State Fair
July 10 – 14
The 16th Annual L.E.A.D. (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) State Fair is a safe, family-friendly celebration of food and fun. The kiddos can marvel at the magic and hypnotist show, watch adorable performances by Robinson’s Racing Pigs, check out the tractor show, compete in boardwalk games, and enjoy unlimited carnival rides. Listen to rock legends or country hits with a great live music lineup and don’t miss all the fresh local produce you can take home!
Mercer County Park
West Windsor, NJ
Cost: online $12.50, at the gate $17.50
The Ocean County Fair
July 10 – 14
The Ocean County Fair is known for its rich history (it started in 1947!) and tradition of celebrating community, family, and fun. The event features music acts, all your favorite amusement rides, delicious BBQ and other fair food, pony rides, an open horse show, and tons of local animals to visit with as the kids learn about agriculture. Unlimited ride wristbands cost $18 and are available on Thursday and Sunday.
Robert J. Miller Air Park
Berkeley Township, NJ
Cost: $8, Kids under 10 free
New Jersey State BBQ Championship
July 12 – 14
Watch barbecue teams from around the country smoke the competition for the best and taste mouth-watering brisket, pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. Check out barbeque demonstrations and classes, the open air market, craft beer sampling, games, and a chance to vote for the pitmasters you think make the tastiest ‘que. Bonus: the Anglesea Blues Festival arrives the same day, bringing the best of the best in blues music. This is perfect to satisfy even the hungriest of foodie families!
Beachfront North Wildwood, NJ
July 13 – 14
Maplewoodstock is the family-friendly, way cooler, Jersey version of Woodstock where you’ll hear all kinds of rock, jazz, funk, blues, and soul music. The two-day fest features a variety of art, music, and food for the entire family. Shop a serious collection of vendors or let the kids loose in the Kid Zone, which features bouncy rides, face painting, arts and crafts, and ice cream. Psst! There’s a beer garden for the adults too.
Cost: free, suggested donation
Surf & Turf Seafood Festival
July 13 – 14, 11AM
Spending a day at Monmouth Park Racetrack is always a summer family win…now add some splurge-worthy surf & turf and it’s really a party! Head to this summer festival on Sunday for Family Fun Day, featuring pony rides, face painting, a bounce house, and more for the kids. You can enjoy seafood favorites like crab cakes, cool off with a beer and live music and as always, watch your favorite horses as they leave the gate!
Monmouth Park Racetrack
Cost: $5, Kids 12 and under free, $5 parking
July 13 – 14
Celebrate all things Irish, Scottish, and Welsh at Historic Cold Spring Village’s 15th Annual Celtic Weekend. Listen to authentic music from Nae Breeks Pipes & Drums Band, Joe McGonigle, and Tom Brett. The entire village is open for you to shop the country store, sip your favorites from the brewery, dine at the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant, then grab ice cream at the end of the day. The New Jersey Irish Setter Rescue is bringing a few furry friends for guests to meet and greet so make sure the littles get a chance to show them some love!
Historic Cold Spring Village
Cape May, NJ
Diggerland Family Camp Out
July 13-14, 6:30PM-8AM
Camp out with the fam at Diggerland, New Jersey’s construction-themed adventure park. This all-inclusive family event features access to the arcades and attractions, a bonfire and s’mores, and the overnight campout. All meals will be provided during your stay. The kids will love operating the excavators then staying the night with all the big machinery around them.
West Berlin, NJ
Cost: participants over 42″ $59.95, under 42″ $54.95
Ice’d Cream Family Fun Day
July 13, 1PM-4PM
Focus on the sweet things in life this weekend with your fam at this treat-themed day of fun. While you sample old-fashioned and modern ice cream flavors from Rita’s Italian Ice of Berkeley Heights and Main Freeze of Madison, historian Deborah Peterson will demonstrate how to make colonial “ice’d creams.” Play games and watch family-friendly entertainment provided by the performers of Step Right Up and the band Cracked Walnuts.
Museum of Early Trades & Crafts
Frenchtown Bastille Day
July 13, 12PM-7PM
Celebrate your inner Francophile at this annual celebration of France in, where else, Frenchtown. Teach the littles about the tradition of Bastille Day, when celebrations are held throughout France with music, dancing, and lots of deliciously rich french fare like macarons, baguettes, cheese, and savory tarts. This event brings it all right here to the Garden State! Bring home some French favorites to savor later.