New Jersey

50+ Free Things To Do with New Jersey Kids in June

Who says summer fun has to come with a big price tag? We've gathered oodles of (more than 50!) free events taking place throughout June in New Jersey. As the days get longer, under-the-stars concerts, movies, and other activities fill the evenings without emptying the wallets. Kick back at evening events like South Orange Summer Nights: Art in the Park, Hoboken Movies Under the Stars, Jenkinson's Movies on the Beach, and Union County Summer Arts Festival.

Spend time outdoors at local community events with no admission fees, such as Garwood Rocks, Somerville Street Fair & Craft Show, Glassboro Community Day, and Nutley Father's Day Street Fair.

And it's that time of year to head to the shore. Stop by beachy events like Sea Isle City's Skimmer Festival, Bradley Beach Lobster Festival, and Atlantic Highlands' Shark Fest.

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar, as well as roundups of water playgrounds and free beaches.     

Weekend Fun: Greekfest, Strawberries, E.T., Renn Faire

June kicks off with fabulous and fruity (and mostly FREE) festivals all weekend long. Bask in strawberries galore at festivals spotlighting this favorite spring fruit, including the Strawberry Festival at Johnson's Corner Farm, Alstede Farm's Strawberry Harvest Festival, the West Cape May Strawberry Festival, and City Green's Strawberry Festival.

Celebrate world cultures at festivals with an international flair on Saturday and Sunday, like the 43rd Annual Hungarian Festival in New Brunswick, XRootsFest in Maplewood, and Holy Trinity Greekfest in Westfield. And stop by local town fairs in Wykoff, Garwood, and Somerville.

Check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for family fun, and prep for the summer with our Best Jersey Shore Beaches for Families guide. And look to our event calendar and June GoList for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

June GoList: Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

The school year is winding down, and summer fun is heating up! Most of NJ's amusement and water parks are now open for the season, and Jersey Shore beaches are ready for summer revelers.

June also brings a fresh crop of fairs and festivals, along with strawberry picking, Father's Day fun, and the start of free summer movies. You can camp out by a lake, celebrate fireflies and fairies, and step back in time to the Italian Renaissance and the American Civil War.

Of course, you can always find more fun in our Event Calendar.

Read on for 15 of our favorite family events of the month. Enjoy the start of summer, and happy June!

Nickelodeon Punta Cana: All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort with a Side of Slime

If your dream vacation is one where the kids are out of their minds with fun, while you sip piña coladas by your private plunge pool, have I got a place for you. Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, gives little ones all the fun of a theme park visit while providing adults with a luxurious, all-inclusive vacation that doesn’t leave you needing another getaway when you get back.

From the best rooms, pools, experiences, and eats, read on for our review of everything you need to know to enjoy your Caribbean family vacation at Nick Resort Punta Cana.

Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads in New Jersey

Who doesn't love running through a sprinkler on a hot and steamy summer day? Bring it to the next level at one of New Jersey's splash pads and sprinkler parks, many of which are located in local parks and playgrounds.

We've rounded up some of our favorite water playgrounds around the state, some of which are newly renovated or even brand new for the 2018 season (like one park opening soon in Toms River). Remember, these are not water parks, so you won't find a ton of bells and whistles—though some do offer interactive features like dumping buckets or whimsical designs like water spouts in the shape of cattails (Van Saun Park); animal fixtures (Bridgeton); or basketball sprayers (Manalapan). But the best part? Most of these splash zones are completely FREE.

Visit our Best NJ Water Parks article to go all in for theme park fun. Or strap on those water shoes, pack the towels, and read on for some of New Jersey's best water playgrounds and spray parks in your neighborhood. 

20+ Family Fairs and Festivals in New Jersey This June

Sunny weekends are perfect for family-fun festivals, and New Jersey has a variety this June. Whether your crew loves classic carnival games, art, music, or food, this month's festival lineup has something for everyone.

Little swashbucklers will enjoy National Marina Day, music lovers can dance the day away at Garwood Rocks, and Garden State kids can satisfy their sweet tooth at any one of the many farm-style strawberry fests this month. For carnival games and thrills, don't miss the 31st annual State Fair Meadowlands, and make sure to show Dad some love at several street and shore fairs fitting for Father’s Day.

Read on for 23 fairs and festivals happening throughout NJ in June. And be sure to check out our Event Calendar for even more family happenings this month.

Memorial Day Weekend in NJ: Theme Parks, Beach Fests, Parades

Memorial Day weekend has arrived, and there's no better place to spend it than New Jersey! Whether you're looking for a taste of summer at a strawberry festival or a display of patriotic pride at a Memorial Day parade, our calendar is loaded with three days worth of holiday weekend fun.

As the unofficial summer kickoff, Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to head to the Jersey Shore. Check out the massive display of beautiful kites at Wildwoods International Kite Festival; enjoy rides and games at the Bradley Beach Memorial Day Festival; or catch local artists and musicians at the 2018 Waterfront Arts Festival in Perth Amboy.

Not headed to the beach? Cool off at a lake, pool, or water park, many of which open this weekend, too.

And don't forget the amusement parksField Station: Dinosaurs and The Land of Make Believe open for the season this weekend, while Great Adventure hosts the Garden State Comic Fest.

Check out our Spring Guide for New Jersey Kids for more options for Memorial Day weekend fun, including 10 Themed Playgrounds and 10 Great Picnic Spots  And look to our event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Zip Lines and Adventure Ropes Courses for Kids in and Around NJ

Gear up for an outdoor adventure at one of New Jersey's newest treetop obstacle courses, or buckle up for a soaring ride on a zip line. Swaying bridges, wobbly balance logs, cargo nets, high wires, and rope ladders are among the features at some sky-high ropes courses, along with tree climbers and platforms built right into tree trunks. Many treetop courses are best for older kids and teens, but some also offer tykes courses that are closer to the ground.

We've rounded up some of the coolest of these zip lines and ropes courses in New Jersey, a few in Pennsylvania, and even a year-round indoor option just over the state line in Westchester. You'll find these parks at local zoos, amusement parks, down the Jersey Shore, and even at some of the Poconos family resorts.

15 Awesome Water Parks for New Jersey Kids and Families

New Jersey has several fantastic water parks, some of them right on the beach! From big-name parks and boardwalk favorites to the state's first municipal water park, we've rounded up 15 of New Jersey’s best water parks and an overview of what to expect from each one. We've even included a couple of fantastic indoor water parks to keep kids splashing on rainy days.

If you're looking for water fun on a slightly cheaper scale, check out our Best Water Playgrounds and Splash Pads roundup. For more summer awesomeness, visit our New Jersey Kids Summer Activities Guide and our NJ Theme Parks Guide.

The Grove Resort and Water Park Is a Worthy Disney Alternative

When planning a family vacation to Orlando, Florida, you and the kids might have just one destination on the brain: Disney. But actually, as we’ve pointed out before, there’s more to Orlando than theme parks, including plenty of family resorts from which to choose.

If you’re looking off-park for a hotel, consider The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando. The 106-acre resort is just a few miles down the road from the entrance to Walt Disney World, but sits on a pretty tract of land set back from the major highways in a natural marsh and wooded landscape. It has all the favorite perks of a great family resort, including suites for housing extended family, pools, on-site restaurants, a spa, activities for kids, and even a water park.

We just returned from a long weekend at the resort and are happy to share our review.

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