21 Free Things To Do In September


It’s back to school this month, and only a matter of time before pumpkin spice and hayrides take over. So why not spend the last few weeks of summer into fall with free things to do with the whole fam? Spend the first weekend of September paddling away on a Free Canoe or Kayak at Scotland Run Park in Clayton, step into the crisp weather with the Awesome Autumn Amble at Huber Woods Park in Middletown Township or say opa and watch Greek Dancers at Greek Fest in Roseland.

Featured Photo Credit: Istock/MaxTopchij

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

Glassboro Car Show and Food Trucks
September 3 from 5 PM-9 PM
This show will display over 300 vehicles with live music, food trucks, vendors, and more. This is the 16th year that car enthusiasts can gather at the premier car show in South Jersey.
1 High Street, Glassboro, NJ 08028 

Salute to Summer Festival
September 4 from 9 AM-4 PM
West Cape May is hosting a Salute to Summer Festival (formerly known as the Tomato Festival) to celebrate the end of the summer season with a patriotic-themed festival. Proceeds benefit the West Cape May Shade Tree Commission in their plan to protect and improve the tree canopy of West Cape May.
Borough’s Backyard Park, 732 Broadway in West Cape May (behind the Fire House)
(609) 884-1005

Free Canoes and Kayaks at Scotland Run Park
September 4 and 5 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.
980 E. Academy St., Clayton, NJ 08312
(856) 251-6710

Historic Battery Lewis Tours
September 4 from 10 AM-4 PM and September 5 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. 
1402 Portland Road, Highlands, NJ 07732
(732) 872-0336

Cookstove Demonstration at Historic Longstreet Farm
September 4 from 11 AM-3 PM

Discover how recipes cooking techniques, and kitchens have changed since the 1890s. At the same time, you see what’s cooking on the woodstove at Longstreet Farm.
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733
(732) 946-3758

Annual Wildwood Block Party and Music Festival
September 5
It’s the 15th Anniversary Celebration in Wildwood. Enjoy a family festival of crafts, games, rides, food, and free live entertainment at Fox Park (Ocean Avenue between Burk & Montgomery Avenues) in Wildwood from 1 PM to 10 PM.
Ocean Avenue, Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 522-2444 

Big Joe Jersey Talent Show 2021 at Jenkinson’s
September 5 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.
On the beach, by Jenkinson’s Aquarium, 300 Ocean Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Riverdale’s Annual Labor Day Street Fair
September 6 from 10 AM-5 PM
Exhibitors, live entertainment, kiddie rides and games, foods, and food trucks, and more. There will also be a “Kidz Traveling Shindig” in the school parking lot area dedicated to children with kiddie bounce rides, slides, and interactive blow-ups, face painters, sand art & kids games.
120 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale, NJ 07457
(201) 998-6311

Annual South Plainfield Labor Day Parade
September 6 

It’s the 62nd annual South Plainfield Labor Day parade, and the theme is “South Plainfield’s Heros,” celebrating those that give back to the community. Parade participants can win awards for Best Band, Best Entry, Best Antique Vehicle, Best Youth Entry, and more. There is no rain date for this event.
Maple Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080


The Newark Museum of Art Family Movie Night
September 10 at 7:30 PM
The movie Soul will be playing at The Newark Museum of Art for Family Movie Night. Please reserve your free tickets in advance to secure your spot.
The Newark Museum of Art – 49 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 596-6550

Bonsai Day at Deep Cut Gardens
September 12 from 12 PM-4 PM
The Monmouth County Park System and the Deep Cut Bonsai Society present Bonsai Day at Deep Cut Gardens. Experience demonstrations and displays, with experts on hand to answer your questions.
152 Red Hill Road, Middletown, NJ 07748
(732) 671-6050
Awesome Autumn Amble at Huber Woods Park
September 13 from 10 AM-11:30 AM
Explore the trails at Huber Woods Park with a Park System Naturalist and discuss plant and animal as they adapt to the changing season. Meet in the Environmental Center parking lot. Open to all ages, but anyone 18 must be with an adult.
25 Brown’s Dock Road, Locust (Middletown Twp.), NJ 07716
732-872-2670 or 0336
8th Annual Manasquan Community Day
September 18 from 11 AM-4 PM
It’s time to celebrate an endless summer with complimentary food and refreshments, carnival games and prizes, and a live radio broadcast from Thunder 106.3. The rain date will be on September 19.
Squan Plaza – Abe Voorhees Dr., Manasquan, NJ 08736
Piano Ballads at Historic Longstreet Farm
September 18 from 1 PM-3 PM
Sing-along with ballads from the turn of the century at Historic Longstreet Farm.
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel 07733
Sussex County Day 2021
September 19, 2021, from 12 PM-5 PM

It’s the 5th annual Sussex County Day, and the theme this year is “Celebrating Our Community Heros.” Compete in a Sussex County Idol singing contest for kids grades K-12, join a scavenger hunt, visit a mini petting zoo, explore exhibits, enjoy entertainment, and don’t miss the food.
Sussex County Fairgrounds – 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 948-5500
Roseland Greek Fest
September 24-26
Live Greek music, dancing, and authentic Greek food and desserts at Ss Nicholas, Constantine, and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Don’t miss the Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, Terpsixorian Hellenic Dancers, and Fantasia Music. Free shuttle bus service.
80 Laurel Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068
(973) 251-2920
Open House Barn Dance
September 24 at 7 PM
Spin your partner round and round and give square dancing a try during this fun, family-friendly event with the Middletown Ramblers. Held at the Thompson Park Activity Barn in Lincroft. Open to all ages, participants under 18 must be with an adult.
805 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738
(732) 842-4000 ext 4312 
Shamrocks by the Sea Irish Festival
September 25 from 10 AM-6 PM
Listen to the Shamrock and Thistle Pipe Band or watch Devrin Academy of Irish Dance dancers. Taste the food available and check out the craft vendors too.
101 J Street, Seaside Park, NJ 08752
Harvest Home Festival at Historic Longstreet Farm
September 26 from 11 AM-5 PM

This old-fashioned fair will send you back to the 1890s. Visitors can enjoy wagon rides, games, and live entertainment. Admission and parking are free.
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel 07733

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.
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

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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.