Top 15 {kid-friendly} Things To Do in NJ, July 28-30


With food, entertainment, music, rides, {and, sometimes adult beverages} all in one place, festival season might just be the best time of the year. This weekend, your family can view over 100 hot air balloons at the QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning, test their limits at the Youth City Challenge Race, be one with nature at Rutgers Gardens Summer Fest, or play carnival games at the Monmouth County Fair, plus many more kid-friendly fairs and festivals in New Jersey this weekend.

Here are 15 Things To Do This Weekend in NJ:

Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.

QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning

QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. via

1. 2017 QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 | Friday 1:00PM to 10:00PM, Saturday 6:00PM to 10:00PM, Sunday 6:00AM to 8:00PM

The 35th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is finally back, and is inviting your family to partake in the balloon extravaganza as 100 balloons ascend into the sky. Your family will find “Love at First Flight” with balloon rides (and go up, up and away) during any of the mass ascensions going on. Book Balloon Rides early, last year they sold out all flights before the Festival gates opened. Hot Air Balloon Ascension/Ride Times: Friday, July 28th at 6:30 pm, Saturday, July 29th at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, Sunday, July 30th at 6:30 am and 6:30 pm. Hot Air Balloon rides are $225 per person in the morning and $250 per person in the evening. You will need to purchase a general admission ticket as well in order to get on the festival grounds.
Solberg-Hunterdon Airport
39 Thor Solberg Rd, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889
Cost: $10 Child, $24 Adult

2. Farmers Market Tomato Festival
Friday, July 28, 2017 | 11:00AM to 7:00PM

The one and only tomato party at the Highland Park Farmers Market is here exclusively for your family on Friday July 28. Join other eager families and festival go-ers to celebrate the beloved Jersey tomato. There will be live music, free tomato samples, food demos, and special tomato-themed products from a variety of farmers and artisans. Market hours till be until 7:00PM for this event, and there will be a featured small punk rock flea market this year, as well. The festival will also be working with Sustainable Highland Park to launch the town’s plastic bag reduction campaign at this event. Thank you to Saint Peters Healthcare System for its support of the Highland Park Farmers Market, and its support of a healthy Highland Park community.
Main Street Highland Park
212 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, New Jersey 08904
Cost: Free

3. 2017 XPoNential Music Festival
Friday, July 28, 2017 | 12:00PM

The XPoNential Music Festival presented by Subaru offers an unmatched experience for music discovery, and a great day for music lovers. The established and up-and-coming artists heard on WXPN 88.5FM is a line-up that is sure not to disappoint. WXPN 88.5FM is an award-winning Philadelphia public radio station that is not just bringing your family a great day of music, but a variety of family-friendly activities. the XPoNential Music Festival has been pleasing audiences of all ages for more than a decade on the Camden Waterfront. Thanks to a partnership with Live Nation, 3-Day Go Everywhere Pass holders also enjoy access to select concerts at BB&T Pavilion. The star studded line-up includes: Amos Lee & Friends with Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Spoon, Chicano Batman, The Suffers 7/29 Wiggins Park, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Angel Olsen, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Strand of Oaks, David Bromberg Quintet, Joseph, Dave Hause, The Arkells, Davy Knowles, Brownout, Adia Victoria, Xenia Rubinos, and more.
Camden Waterfront
2 Riverside Dr, Camden, NJ
Cost: $15 Child, $80 Adult XPN Member, $160 Adult Non-Member, Tickets can be purchased here.

4. 63rd Annual Red Bank Summer Sidewalk Sale
Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 | Store hours vary. Please check with your favorite business for hours of operation.

The finest collection of Red Bank’s retailers display their absolute best on their beautiful town sidewalk during the 63rd annual Summer Sidewalk Sale. Your family can find the best deals of the year as as well as stroll around town enjoying the beautiful scenery and all Red Bank has to offer. There will be no shortage of street artists to provide entertainment during the afternoon and night time. Some participating businesses this year include: Jace Jewelers, Theo Clothier, Quicksilver, Hobbymasters Inc, Trap-Door Escape Room, Castello, Monmouth Street Emporium, DoubleTake Luxury Consignment, Sugarush, Cabana 19, Sweetest Sin Lingerie Boutique, Window Treats Inc, Arthur Murray Dance Centers of Red Bank, Chelsea Yarns, Greene Street, Lux Beauty Store, Red Bank Design Center, Red Bank Family Pharmacy, and Nemo Tile and Stone to name a few.
Red Bank River Center
46 English Plz, Red Bank, New Jersey 07701
Cost: Free

Inspira Health Network Monster Truck & Thrill Show

Inspira Health Network Monster Truck & Thrill Show. via

5. Inspira Health Network Monster Truck & Thrill Show
Friday, July 28 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 7:00PM Every Night

This year, NJMP partnered with KSR Motorsports to bring you 3 Monster Truck and Thrill Shows to blow your mind. KSR Motorsports has been providing top notch monster truck action for over 25 years to fairgrounds, arenas, and speedways all over the country. They are the #1 choice for top quality and affordable monster truck entertainment and high flying action. Powerhouse names such as Big-Foot, XDP, Bad News, and Mopar One Monster Truck rides and more will all highlight all three shows. This unique is surely to leave your family with memories for years to come.
New Jersey Motorsports Park – NJMP
8000 Dividing Creek Rd, Millville, New Jersey 08332
Cost: $12 Kids Under 12, $27 VIP Kids Under 12, $20 Adult, $35 VIP Adult, $13.75 Family 4 Pack, Tickets can be purchased here.

6. Soulsational Festival
Saturday, July 29, 2017 11:00AM to 8:00PM

The most “Soulsational” event of the summer is makes its way to the Jersey Shore. Register for free today to get entered into multiple free prize and gift drawing at the festival July 29, 2017. For its seventh year in a row, Music & Wellness will be blissfully joined together at the Soulsational Festival to take place at Veterans Park in Bayville, NJ on July 29, 2017, 11am-8pm. This festival is a free community event that will display live music, local health and wellness businesses, practitioners, giveaways, a silent auction, and plenty of chances to give back and unite the Jersey Shore community. The goal of this event is to increase awareness of the many different green, holistic, organic, and healthy options within our community, support the local economy and offer a unique interactive family experience for all those in attendance.Together we can create and celebrate a stronger healthier community along with a festival experience that is truly unique.
Verterans Park
489 Forest Hills Parkway, Bayville, New Jersey 08721
Cost: Free but please register here.

7. Youth City Challenge Race at Liberty State Park
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 12:00PM to 2:00PM

The best day to get your kids and family motivated to move is on July 29th at Youth City Challenge Race. Register them for Youth City Challenge Race and they will have the chance to Conquer The Challenge. The course will consist of a one-mile course with obstacles including 3-foot wall, cargo net, police car, and taxi cab, tires, hurdles and so much more. Your kids will feel a great sense of accomplishment when they conquer all of the obstacles that come their way. Those who finish will receive medals, there will also be food, games, music, and more for all.
Liberty State Park
Jersey City, New Jersey 07304
Cost: $50 Child, $23 Parents Running with Children

8. Dog Days of Summer Dog Fest
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 12:00PM to 3:00PM

For the second year in a row, dog lovers will unite for some furry fun. Liberty Harbor is all for the dogs Saturday, June 17th for an afternoon of dog-centric vendors, exhibitors, and service providers. Bring your family and extended furry family to come and celebrate all things dog related. There will be carnival games and giveaways that will keep their tails wagging, and Zeppelin Hall Biergarten & Restaurant will keep everyone’s bellies full. See Spot Rescued will be there with dogs who need forever homes and want to meet you. After the festival, head over to Liberty State Park and take a stroll with your canine best friend in the beautiful state park.
There will be Puppy Froyo donated by Milk Sugar Love while it lasts, along with plenty more puppy activities and vendors such as: Bobbing For Tennis Balls, Snack Catch, Pawcasso Painting, Agility Course , Dig Dog Beach Club and Dog Oasis, Doggie Photo Booth, k9dergarten, See Spot Rescued, Hudson Barks LLC, and Double Dutch Pet Products.
Liberty Harbor Residences
333 Grand St, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Cost: Free

9. NJ Vetfest
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 12:00PM to 10:00PM

The Marlboro Sunshine Fund 501c3 will be hosting its annual NJ Vetfest. The event is a full day of food, music, face painting, and family-friendly events.
Marlboro Recreation Center
1979 Township Dr, Marlboro, New Jersey 07746
Cost: Free

Rutgers Gardens NJ

Rutgers Gardens. via

10. Rutgers Gardens Summer Fest
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 3:00PM to 7:00PM

All families are invited to Join the Gardens’ biggest event of the summer, the annual summer festival. Your family can partake in a specialized “taste and tour” of various parts of the gardens and learn about the unique and different bred and cultivated at Rutgers since the early 1900’s. Professors will be speaking about their breeding efforts involving basil, lettuce, strawberries, and much more. In addition, cooking demonstrations will be taking place, utilizing some of these varieties and focusing on sustainability and fresh produce. Food trucks and lawn games will also be provided, so come on out.
Rutgers Gardens
112 Ryders Ln, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Cost: Free for Kids 17 and Under when Accompanied by an Adult, $5 Adult, Free for Rutgers Gardens Members

11. 4th Annual Food Truck Seafood Festival
Saturday, July 29, 2017 | 6:00PM at the East Apron near the Winner’s Circle

Oceanport’s very own 4th Annual Food Truck Seafood Festival is finally here. Your family is guaranteed to enjoy great local seafood while watching the eliminations for the Hambletonian Oaks. $39.95 Special Pink Seafood Buffet. Add a 1 1/4lb steamed Maine Lobster for $10 more. Some featured seafood include: Raw Bar – located in the backyard and the rooftop terrace, Off The Hook food truck, Hannah’s Meatballs – featuring a seafood meatball, Tacoholics, Mobile Mardi Gras, Jersey Girl Smoothie, Star of the Seafood, Angry Crab, Surf & Turf Truck, Empanada Guy, and Carnival Concessions as well. So much food to fill a whole family, so bring yours down to the Meadowlands.
Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment
1 Racetrack Drive, East Rutherford, NJ 07073
Cost: Free

12. Asbury Park Art Star Craft Bazaar
Saturday, July 29 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 (Rain or Shine) | Saturday 10:00AM to 7:00PM, Sunday 10:00AM to 4:00PM

Asbury’s famous Art Star Craft Bazaar has made its triumphant return for the 3rd year, and this one will be bigger than ever. The Bazaar includes a curated line-up of over 60 Art and Craft Vendors. There will be something for the whole family including: clothing, jewelry, art, prints, home goods, macrame, planters, baby items, bath and body products, accessories, and more. All these high-quality and handmade goods will come straight from some of the best makers from region and beyond. In partnership with Catsbury Park, this local non-profit will be at the show and snuggle their adorable adoptable cats and kittens to the crowd. Your family can also shop their selection of cat-tastic merch to benefit their purrfect organization. They will be opening a tea house and cat lounge on Cookman Ave in Asbury soon, and depend on your support. Food vendors include: OINK and MOO BBQ, Chevere Latin Food Lovers, and Cha-Yen. There will also be Glass Mosaic Making with Hot Sand AP ($25 each), photography taken with Pop Up Polaroid ($5 each), and live music by local talent throughout the weekend.
Bradly Park
Fifth Avenue between Kingsley Street and Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
(Use Convention Hall Address for Directions: 1300 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712)
Cost: Free

13. 2017 Wine & Wings Festival
Saturday, July 29 – Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 1:00PM to 6:00PM

Many can debate, but there is not really a better combination than wine and wings, right? This year the annual Wine & Wings Festival will be a two-day festival hosted by Cava Winery. The ticket price includes a Cava Logo wine glass, wine samplings from all three wineries involved, and live entertainment. There will be food available to purchase from Cava Winery and three featured food trucks: Cheezen, Good Food Good Mood, Luke’s Lobsters, and Sip & Swirl. Families in attendance are encouraged to bring blankets, chairs, and tents to set up in the grass.
Cava Winery & Vineyard
3619 State RT 94, Hamburg, New Jersey 07419
Cost: $8 Guests under 21, $15-$30 Adult, Tickets can be purchased here.

14. Haskell Day
Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 10:00AM to 6:00PM (First Race at 12:00PM)

The biggest day of racing at the Jersey Shore is finally here, and your family does not want to miss out on all the exhilarating activities. Your family can watch the country’s best three-year-olds as they race in the historic Grade 1, $1,000,000 Haskell Invitational. In 2015, a record crowd cheered on Triple Crown winner American Pharoah who went on to be named Horse of The Year. Last year, Preakness winner Exaggerator defeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in a memorable showdown of recent past. Families are encouraged to get there early and receive a commemorative Haskell hat with paid admission while supplies last. Dress to impress and take a photo on one the red carpets. Kids will also enjoy of free pony rides, a bounce house, face painting, and live music courtesy of Thunder 106.3.
Monmouth Park Racetrack
175 Oceanport Ave, Oceanport, New Jersey 07757
Cost: Free for Kids 12 and Under, $5 General Admission, $7 Clubhouse Admission, $5 General Parking, $10 Valet Parking

Monmouth County Fair

Monmouth County Fair. via

15. Monmouth County Fair
Sunday, July 30, 2017 | 11:00AM to 6:00PM

Your families can make memories that will last a lifetime at the 43rd annual Monmouth County Fair. The action packed and non-stop schedule for Sunday, July 30 includes: Rides by Reithoffer Shows (ride wristbands for $25 each), The Chuck Lambert Band on the Main Stage at 12 p.m. & 1:45 p.m, Robinsons Racing Pigs, Monmouth County 4-H Shows & Exhibits, Touch-A-Truck, Farm Stand provided by FFA, Grown in Monmouth / Made In Monmouth, Bwana Jim’s Wildlife Show, World of Wonders & Escape Explosions, Hell on Wheels – BMX Stunt Show, Mutts Gone Nuts, Hilby The Skinny German Juggle Boy, Home & Garden Competitions & Exhibits, Photo Booths, and so much more.
East Freehold Showgrounds
1500 Kozloski Rd, Freehold Township, NJ 07728
Cost: Free for Kids 12 and under, $8 Adults


Don’t forget to hashtag #NJMOM and tag @njmomhq and your little cuties could be featured in our next photo round-up.


About Author

Paula is a short, bubbly writer for NJ Mom, who just graduated from Montclair State University. Everyone calls her Paula except for her family who calls her Pau. She loves to eat Thai food from Four Seasons in South Plainfield, NJ and anything that resembles an empanada (empanadas, samosas, spanakopitas, etc.) In the summer, she enjoys going to the beach with friends and family. At home, she has two blue nose pit bull puppies named Rosie and Rodney, who always have energy. Paula enjoys writing for NJ Mom because she loves sharing all things New Jersey with its readers. She aspires to become a visual merchandiser one day.