Weekend Fun: City of Water, Mad Science, Ocean County Fair

This weekend, the outdoor summer fun continues with free movies, fairs and festivals, concerts, and celebrations of nature. This is the last weekend to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and to enjoy the sweet summer delights of Alstede Farms' Blueberry Festival.

You can celebrate Summer in the Street in Toms River, see a Mad Science show in Paramus, and meet all kinds of creatures—both the winged and four-legged kind—at Wagner Farm Arboretum's Festival of Nature. Of course, don't forget about City of Water Day, an iconic FREE annual event in Hoboken and Governors Island.

Find ways to have fun without spending a cent in our list of 100 Free Things To Do with Kids This Summer in NJ, or make a day of it with 20 Super-Fun Summer Day Trips

Check out our July GoList to see our picks for this month's top activities, and as always, look to our Event Calendar for a complete list of happenings this weekend and all summer long. 

All Weekend

Enjoy rides and classic fair fun at the Ocean County Fair. Photo by Kevin Jarett via Flickr.

Ocean County Fair – Berkeley Township
This Jersey Shore festival wraps up this weekend with two days of family fun—rides galore, delicious food, 4-H shows, and live entertainment are all on the schedule. Highlights include Marvelous Mutts and the Commerford Zoo. 

White Meadow Lake Festival Days – Rockaway
Come for the live entertainment, contests, fair food, and rides for all ages. Sunday's festivities include a parade and fireworks after dark. Admission, parking, and entertainment are free; ride costs vary.

Day Out with Thomas – Philipsburg
All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to team up with him for a day of family fun at Day Out with Thomas: The Friendship Tour 2017. The event includes a 25-minute ride with a talking Thomas the Tank Engine, a meet-and-greet with Sir Topham Hatt, an Imagination Station featuring a variety of activities, and live entertainment including a juggler and ventriloquist.

Catch a ride out to the blueberry fields at Alstede Farms. Photo by Mommy Poppins.

Blueberry Festival at Alstede Farms – Chester
Catch the final weekend of Alstede Farms' blueberry festival, where you can take a scenic hayride to the blueberry patch to pick your own berries, ride on ponies and tractor trains, jump in the Moon Bounce, play in the Corn Kingdom, and more. Save room for blueberry treats including tarts, shortcake, cheesecake, pie, and ice cream. The farm also recently opened up peach picking!

Saturday, July 15

City of Water Day – Hoboken 
Celebrate the NY-NJ Harbor at this waterfront festival in Maxwell Place Park (or on Governors Island in NY). Highlights include free historic boat tours, live music, ferry rides, and delectable food from local vendors. There is plenty of fun for the kids too—visit the children’s tent for interactive and educational activities relating to the waterfront. Don't miss the Cardboard Kayak Race! FREE

Summer in the Street – Toms River
Spend a hot summer day on Washington Street in downtown Toms River. This fun event features games, rides, street performers, live entertainment, local vendors, and a variety of delicious food. FREE

Festival of Nature at Wagner Farm Arboretum – Warren
The Arboretum's annual Butterfly Festival has been expanded this year to include tons of activities and exhibits celebrating a variety of creatures and natural wonders. The fun includes a raptor exhibit featuring owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles; demonstrations by Rizzo's Reptiles; a petting zoo; and a giant, walk-through butterfly pavilion. There will also be inflatables, games, geological exhibits, face painting, and more!

Mad Science Summer Camp – Paramus
Mad Science sets up shop at Westfield Garden State Plaza this summer for a series of free shows featuring high-energy science demonstrations. Today's theme is "Up, Up, and Away." Visit the site to RSVP, and get there early for a good spot! FREE

Peter Pan – Manasquan
The boy who won't grow up comes to Algonquin Arts Theatre in a musical stage show featuring songs from the original Broadway production, including "I'm Flying" and "Never Never Land." Recommended for ages 4 and up. 

Sunday, July 16

Family Woodland Hike – Ringwood
The New Jersey State Botanical Gardens hosts an easy, kid-friendly hike in the woodlands, where families can learn about plants and animals. Meet at the Carriage House Visitor Center. The hike is free; parking is $5 for cars with NJ plates and $7 for others. 

Learn About the Fire Department Museum – Hoboken
Kids are invited to learn about the fire department museum in two guided tours geared toward young visitors. A 3 p.m. session is for ages 2-3, and a 3:30 p.m. session is for ages 4-6. FREE

Seaside Heights Movies at the Beach – Seaside Heights
Tonight's feature is The Wild Life, an animated movie in which a parrot recounts the story of how Robinson Crusoe came to be stranded on a tropical island. Bring your chairs, blankets, and snacks. FREE

Somerset County Concert Series – Bridgewater
Pack a picnic dinner and hang out on the grass at Duke Island Park for a free concert featuring renowned pop vocalist Darlene Love. FREE

Top photo: City of Water Day/courtesy the festival.

Sunflower Picking at Happy Day Farm
Happy Day Farm - 8:00 AM Pick
Turtle Back Zoo Reopening
Turtle Back Zoo - various times Pick
Free Comic Book Day 2020
- various times Pick
A Hamilton Read-Along
- various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides