As the carefree days of summer draw to a close, NJ families can look forward to plenty of fun in the Garden State this fall. Explore nature at the NJ Wild Outdoor Expo, chow down on delicious seafood at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival, or listen to some exciting tales at the NJ Storytelling Festival.
Check out the 17 awesome festivals below, and visit our Events Calendar and September GoList for more fabulous fall ideas, or head over to our just released Fall Fun Guide if you're already envisioning fall foliage and that pumpkin spice.
Please note that events marked FREE have no admission charge, but fees for some activities may apply.
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Flemington Opa! Greek Festival — Flemington
Enjoy great food, games, pony rides, and more at this huge Greek festival while supporting St. Anna's charity efforts.
Atlantic City Seafood Festival — Atlantic City
Relocated to a larger open space in between Showboat Hotel and the former Revel hotel for 2017, this annual AC seafood festival hosts a variety of entertainment for the whole family. Delicious food, live music, and fun competitions are all on the menu. Visit the kids' sand sculpture area, check out the pet costume contest, listen to live music, and more.
Head to the WILD Outdoor Expo to fish, camp, or hit the mini reptile zoo. Photo by ScubaBear68 via Flickr.
New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo — Jackson Township
Introduce your children to outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and rock climbing at this fabulous event celebrating NJ’s natural resources. Attendees are encouraged to try out fishing, archery, birding, camping skills, and more. FREE
Hefty Harvest & Scary Scarecrows — Camden
September 9– 10
This event hosted by the Camden Children Garden’s includes games, crafts, and more. Make your own full-sized scarecrow for a small fee, while supplies last.
Fall Fest — Philadelphia, PA
Enjoy two weekends of live music, apple cider pressing, a small petting zoo, pumpkin carving, flower crowns, and more. FREE
Oasis Family Farms Apple Festival — Robbinsville
Celebrate everything apple at this fun-filled festival, with an apple pie–eating contest and all kinds of apple treats. Free game activities for the kids.
Jersey City's All About Downtown Street Fair offers plenty of family-friendly fun.
All About Downtown Street Fair — Jersey City
Enjoy live music, delicious food, and handmade items from more than 125 local vendors at downtown Jersey City’s annual Street Festival. There’s plenty of fun planned for the kiddos, too. FREE
Madison Storytellers Festival — Madison
Do your kids love read? Check out the Madison Storytellers Festival of Madison, which features a reading of Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Marlborough, storytime and photos with Curious George, a kids' improv workshop and performance, a dance performance, and more. FREE
Hub City Sounds: Central Jersey Jazz Festival — New Brunswick
Introduce children to the sounds of jazz at this annual festival. FREE
1920s Country Fair & Harvest Festival — Morris Township
Bring the family to Fosterfields Living Historical Farm for a simple, old-fashioned good time, including wagon rides, farm animals, food trucks, live music, games, and demonstrations.
PlayDay South Orange — South Orange
Located outside the South Orange train station, PlayDay South Orange is the town's largest public event and features more than 10 play areas. From board games to basketball, radio controlled cars to rope jumping, it’s the most fun you’ve ever had between two curbs. The bouncy houses are always a big hit, but expect to wait for your turn, as well as for face painting. FREE but fees for several activities.
New Jersey Storytelling Festival — Lambertville
Got a kid who's always begging to hear one more story? Bring them to this festival to get their fill! They'll enjoy tales of the Garden State told by master storytellers all day long. Stay for the day and wander the beautiful grounds of Howell Living History Farm.
Harvest Homecoming at the Frazee House — Scotch Plains
Don't miss the live music, wildlife wonders, food trucks, face painting, vendors, and much more at the Harvest Homecoming located at the Scotch Plains Fanwood Community Garden. FREE admission.
Children's Book Festival — Princeton
Meet your favorite children's book authors and illustrators at Princeton's annual festival celebrating a love of books. Kids can listen to authors speak, have books signed, and join in many fun activities throughout the day. FREE
Harvest Home Festival — Holmdel
This old-fashioned festival features wagon rides, games, corn husking competition, pie-eating contests, live entertainment, crafts, and more. FREE
Kids and parents jam out at the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival. Photo by Bill Benzo via Flickr.
Hoboken Arts & Music Festival — Hoboken
A local favorite, this popular festival features live music, arts & craft vendors, neighborhood restaurants, and more. Stop by the designated children’s area on 3rd Street for super-fun activities such as rides, games, face painting, sand art, and musical performances (like Preschool of Rock). FREE
Italian Festival — Smithville
You won't go hungry at this Historic Smithville festival, featuring mouth-watering Italian fare, plus live music, folk dancing, bocce ball, and children's activities. While you're there, explore everything Smithville has to offer, such as the carousel, train, shops, and restaurants. FREE
Top photo courtesy of Atlantic City Seafood Festival.