Summer is almost here, and festivals are kicking into high gear. There’s something to delight everyone this month, whether your family loves history, food, nature or a good, old-fashioned carnival. Highlights include the Privateers & Pirates Festival at Tuckerton Seaport, Chatham’s Fishawack Festival and the Strawberry Harvest Festival at Alstede Farms. You can’t go wrong with any of these awesome outings. So grab the family, slap on some sunscreen and start your season of fun at one (or more!) of these 15 fabulous fests. Check out our Event Calendar for even more wonderful family happenings this month.
Junebug ArtFest (Metuchen)
Fridays, June 5, 12, 19 and 26
Every Friday night in June, downtown Metuchen comes to life with an arts celebration featuring exhibits, window galleries, live performances and special events. Children can create unique arts and crafts with the Metuchen Branch YMCA and enjoy special performances just for them. FREE
Privateers & Pirates Festival (Tuckerton)
Saturday, June 6
Ahoy, matey! Bring your pirate-obsessed kid to this fabulous fest at the Tuckerton Seaport, offering nautical activities such as a scavenger hunt, costume contest, cannon demo and pirate crafts. The Pirates for Sail Band will provide live entertainment, and delicious food is also available.
New Jersey Renaissance Faire (Bordentown)
Saturday, June 6-Sunday, June 7
Calling all lords and ladies! Step back in time for a day of music, dance, juggling, jousting, comedy, wine and food at the whimsical village of Crossford. Special children’s shows including magic, archery and falconry are presented daily.
New Jersey Irish Festival (Oceanport)
Sunday, June 7
Visit Monmouth Park for this lively and unique festival celebrating Irish heritage. Entertainment includes live music, Irish step dancing and a bagpipe competition. Food stands, craft vendors and children’s activities, as well as a “human horse race,” add up to a wonderful day of family fun!
Strawberry Harvest Festival (Chester)
Weekends June 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21
Alstede Farms is hosting its annual Strawberry Harvest Festival for three weekends this June. Enjoy a fun day at the farm with children's activities such as pony rides, moon bounce, petting zoo and corn kingdom. Sample delicious strawberry treats like strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcake, and take a hay ride to the strawberry patch to pick your own.
New Jersey Seafood Festival (Belmar)
Friday, June 12-Sunday, June 14
Head to sunny Belmar for one of the largest seafood festivals in the country. Sample yummy dishes from area restaurants, enjoy live music and visit the Children’s Activity Tent for special games and activities, just for the kiddos. FREE
Fishawack Festival (Chatham)
Saturday, June 13
Families are invited to downtown Chatham for this annual festival including live entertainment, children’s activities, food vendors and a craft show. Visit the gazebo at Reasoner Park for special performances from local music and dance groups. FREE
St. Gregory the Great Family Carnival (Hamilton Square)
Monday, June 15-Saturday, 20
Looking for some old-school carnival action? Look no further! This festival offers rides, games, raffles, yummy food and more. Stay for the fireworks displays on Tuesday and Saturday night. There are plenty of rides for younger kids so it’s the perfect event for all ages.
State Fair Meadowlands (East Rutherford)
Friday, June 19-Sunday, July 5
Over 150 rides and attractions provide hours of non-stop fun for the whole family. Try out classic carnival games, indulge in “fair food” (funnel cake anyone?) and enjoy live circus shows daily. Don't miss the Great American Thrill Show, an all-new event featuring daredevil acrobats and aerialists.
Atlantic Highlands Car Show (Atlantic Highlands)
Saturday, June 20
Both kids and adults will love checking out the classic, exotic and fun cars on display along First Avenue from Highland Avenue to Bay Avenue. Live music, kids’ games, craft vendors and local eateries add to the fun! FREE
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Maritime Festival (North Wildwood)
Saturday, June 20-Sunday, June 21
The grounds of the historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse are home to this wonderful family festival celebrating life by the sea. Artists, crafters, historians, performers and even pirates will be on hand to delight the crowd. Kids can climb the lighthouse and check out antique boats. FREE
Terhune Orchards Firefly Festival (Princeton)
Sunday, June 21
Fireflies are one of the surest signs that summer has arrived. Celebrate these magnificent creatures with an evening of outdoor fun, games, live music and firefly hunting. Pony rides and wagon rides through the farm and orchards will also be available. Wear your wings or make them at the festival. FREE
National Marbles Tournament (Wildwood)
Monday, June 22-Thursday, June 25
This unique event celebrates its 92nd anniversary this year. Watch “mibsters” (marble shooters) compete for prizes and awards at various games over the four-day tournament. FREE
Italian-American Festival (North Wildwood)
Friday, June 26-Sunday, June 28
A Jersey Shore favorite, this annual celebration features vendors, doo-wop bands, kids’ games, meatball relay races and an abundance of food. You’ll probably want to come on an empty stomach. Buon Appetito! FREE
Whitesbog Blueberry Festival (Browns Mills)
Saturday, June 27
Celebrate everything blueberry at this old-fashioned event in historic Whitesbog Village. Enjoy blueberry picking, live music, children’s activities, wagon tours and even a blueberry pie-eating contest. Yum!