End of Summer Bucket List: 35 Things To Do with NJ Kids Before School Starts
You know it's time for an end-of-summer bucket list when August rolls around and Target is fully stocked with school supplies. If you haven’t been to the beach, picked your own fruit, or ridden a roller coaster, there's still time to squeeze it in before saying "so long" to summer. Read on for 35 awesome adventures to have with your kids before school starts, and get ready to go out with a bang!
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An End-of-Summer Bucket List for NJ Kids
1. Pick Your Own Peaches
This sweet summer fruit is in peak season this month. Pick your own peaches at one of New Jersey’s family-friendly farms. Be sure to check availability before heading out.
2. Catch a Summer Concert
Head to Newport Avenue Beach (behind Ventnor Library in Atlantic City) on Saturday nights through the end of summer. Hang out on the sand and enjoy live music, food vendors, and crafters.
3. Climb a Lighthouse
On August 7, celebrate National Lighthouse Day by visiting one of NJ's beautiful lighthouses.
Get your gaming action on at the New Jersey State Fair. Photo courtesy of the fair
4. Go to the State Fair
When it comes to fairs and festivals, August in New Jersey is one big party! You can't miss the NJ State Fair: Sussex County Farm & Horse Show, which runs from Friday, August 5-Saturday, August 13; it's an 8-day extravaganza of carnival rides, live entertainment, and delicious food.
5. Catch a Movie Under the Stars
Ditch that regularly scheduled bedtime, grab a blanket and some snacks, and make it a family movie night with a free outdoor flick.
6. Look up to the Sky
There's nothing like a hot-air balloon festival to infuse everyday life with a touch of magic. Catch the last weekend of the Warren County Farmers' Fair and Hot-Air Balloon Festival through Saturday, August. 6.
See the fireworks fly at Jenkinson's Beach. Photo courtesy of Jenkinson's
7. See Some Fireworks
It's like the Fourth of July all summer long with fireworks lighting up the sky on Thursday nights at Jenkinson’s Beach in Point Pleasant.
8. Take a Dip
9. Feast at a Food Festival
Terhune Orchards' Just Peachy Festival on Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, promises tons of tasty peach-filled treats, including pies, cakes, homemade ice cream, and more.
Devour delicious pancakes and other peachy treats at Alstede Farms. Photo courtesy of the farm
10. Enjoy a Special Breakfast
Have peaches for breakfast at Alstede Farms' Farm to Table Peach Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, August 7, then stick around to pick-your-own fruit.
11. Take the Bikes for a Spin
Pick one of these favorite spots for a family-friendly ride.
12. Cool off at an Inflatable Water Park
Elevate your last swim of the season with a visit to an action-packed inflatable water park.
Younger kids can get a thrill on the small roller coaster at the Land of Make Believe.
13. Enjoy the Thrill
Nothing says summer like a trip to an amusement park. But coasters aren’t just for the big kids. Land of Make Believe and other amusement parks for preschoolers provide plenty of fun for little ones, too.
14. Book a Trip to Legoland
Calling all brick lovers! Legoland New York Resort has tons of awesome rides and attractions to keep your crew content. You can visit daily through Labor Day and on weekends in the Fall.
15. Make a Splash
Visit your neighborhood sprayground or splash pad before the sprinklers are turned off for the year.
16. Gear up for an Outdoor Adventure
Climb through one of New Jersey's treetop obstacle courses, or buckle up for a soaring ride on a zip line.
Relax with your little ones as you float down the lazy river at the Land of Make Believe. Photo by the author
17. Float Down the Lazy River
18. Spend a Rainy Day at the Mall
American Dream is no ordinary shopping center. This larger-than-life mega mall recently added two new kid-friendly destinations to its ever-expanding lineup: Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland Discovery Center.
19. Dine Alfresco
Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and pick the perfect place to throw down your basket and blanket and spread out.
20. Camp Out
Pitch a tent at a family-friendly campground—or even in your own backyard. Nothing beats s'mores around the fire and sleeping in a tent under the stars.
The whole family can putter around at Cape May Miniature Golf. Photo courtesy of the course
21. Tee Up
Find your way fore-ward to a mini-golf course sized just right for your minis.
22. Venture to a New Playground
23. Go Flower Picking
Pick a bouquet of beautiful blooms at a gorgeous sunflower field or flower farm.
Jenkinson's Boardwalk is always a blast. Photo by Mommy Poppins
24. Sneak in One Last Trip to the Shore
25. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Rent a paddleboat, kayak, or rowboat to sail across a scenic lake and take in the breathtaking views.
26. Soak up Some Jersey Shore Charm
Check out one of these cute New Jersey beach towns for family-friendly summer fun.
Buckle up for a sugar rush at Coney Waffles. Photo by thosemarlingirls via Instagram
27. Eat Ice Cream for Dinner
28. Get Into the Groove
Boogie on down to the sweet sounds of jazz and blues at a summer music festival at the Downtown Westfield Jazz Festival through Tuesday, August 30, 2022.
29. Stop and Smell the Roses
The fabulous green spaces at the state's arboretums and gardens offer a great opportunity for children to see nature up close.
30. Hang Out With Dinos
Field Station: Dinosaurs reopened this summer and remains open to pint-sized dino-lovers weekends through Sunday, November 13.
Hang on tight: Lakeview Marina offers motorboat-towed tubing adventures. Photo courtesy of the marina
31. Try Tubing
Slip-on a life jacket and enjoy a wet and wild ride down one of Jersey's thrilling waterways.
32. Take a Day Trip
You still have a few summer Fridays left to enjoy a quick getaway without even leaving the state.
33. Save Money
From FREE festivals, comedy shows, and movies to fireworks, crafts, pony rides, and more, check out these totally FREE kid-friendly events.
34. Stay Cool and Beat Boredom
35. Sticking Around for Labor Day?
This post, originally published in 2018, is updated annually.