Your NJ Weekend July 2-3: Boats, Bugs, Barbecue and Booming Fireworks!

NJ Weekend July 2-3

Wait!  It’s the middle of summer already??? If your kids’ summer so far consisted of the couch and the computer, get out and catch up on some REAL New Jersey summer fun this weekend!  There’s a bug safari, two boat sailing events, an ice cream social, an American flag exhibit, loads of live music, a fund-raising barbecue-fest, and, of course, fantastic fireworks.  As our own Jersey boy Jon Bon Jovi says, it’s time to “Make a memory!”

SATURDAY ONLY                           
Bug Safari at the Updike Farmstead (Princeton)

Usually, bugs at a picnic are a bad thing—but not this weekend!  Pack a picnic basket and head to the Updike Farmstead for a Bug Safari  Hunt for insects while learning the importance of insects to crops, native plants and animals, with a special emphasis on fireflies. Nets, critter catchers, jars and a butterfly tent will be supplied. Live insect specimens will also be on view. All native insects will be released unharmed at the end of the program. The Farmstead’s open from 10am-4pm with arts and crafts, games, scavenger hunts, and other fun activities;  The Bug Safari runs from 11am-1pm.  (Picnic not required, but there’s plenty of picnic tables in case you choose to!)  Saturday, July 2. $5./person (ages 3 or older), $8. for 2 people, $10. for 3 people, $15. for 4 people. Registration required. Call 609-921-6748 x100 or email
3rd Annual Independence Day Splash Party & Fireworks at Adventure Aquarium (Camden)

Make this Saturday a real splash with a special visit to Adventure Aquarium, and take in an extraordinary view of the City of Philadelphia's fireworks celebration  You’ll start the evening enjoying the Aquarium’s 8,500 animals: touch a stingray; visit an African Penguin; go face-to-face with a shark; and much, much more.  Then park your family on the private outdoor promenade for a fab view of Philly’s fireworks.  (There's even indoor viewing for younger guests who don't like loud sounds ) Saturday, July 2 from 6:30pm-10pm. $20./adults; $10./children 2-12 years of age.  This is a limited-ticket event.  Call 856-365-3300 for more information.

Boat Sailing at Cooper Gristmill (Chester)

Sail, sail, sail your boat, gently down the stream (well, actually, down the “tailrace,” the stream created by the water that has poured over the waterwheel.) Purchase a boat, or borrow one for free, decorate them set sail! Closed-toe shoes or boots required.    All children must be accompanied by an adult. Saturday, July 2. 1pm-3pm. FREE.  Call 908-879-5463 for more information.


The Stars and Stripes: Fabric of the American Spirit™ (Princeton) 

If the name “Betsy Ross” doesn’t ring a bell with your kids, head over to the Morven Museum and Garden to check out one hundred flags from The Pierce Collection of American Parade Flags.  This educational exhibit traces the history of our national emblem from its humble beginnings in 1777 into the twentieth century. Each flag represents a special moment in America’s history, and is accompanied by a unique story. Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3. Noon-4pm. $6./Adults; $5. Seniors and students.  Strollers not permitted in museum.Call 609-924-8144 for more information.


KaBoom Fest 2011 at Riverside Gardens Park (Red Bank)

It’s an explosion of fun, music and fireworks at the KaBoom Fest in Red Bank this weekend!  During the day, there’ll be games, races and crafts, plus loads of live music to move around to.  Then settle down to “ooh” and “ahh” over the fireworks lighting up the night sky and choreographed to patriotic songs. Sunday, July 3.  3pm-evening. Gates open at 2pm.  $10./adults; $5./Children 10-and-under. Limit 2,000 people.  Call 732-842-7337 for more information.

Joey Bella Memorial Fund  Band, Beer & BBQ  Fundraiser (Denville)

Doing good feels great, especially when it’s a rockin’ good time, too!  Sample more than 18 beers from local micro-brewers; stuff yourselves with award-winning barbeque; rock out to The Infernos band—all while supporting the Joey Bella Memorial Fund – a not-for-profit organization that helps raise money for families dealing with a life-threatening illness.  Sunday, July 3.  6pm. $45./person (all-you-can-eat and drink.) Call 973-627-2663 to purchase tickets and for more information.

Ice Cream Party at Howell Living Farms

Forget that old Hasbro Sno-Cone maker that worked once and ended up stowed in the basement—try a REAL homemade summer treat at Howell Living History Farm’s old-fashioned ice cream party!  Start by drawing and grinding ice from the ice house, then crank the ice cream freezer and dip in!  Once you’ve had your fill, drop-in to the craft program; painting toy boats, then racing them on the Farm pond for prizes.  There’ll also be music, wagon rides, games and contests.  Sunday, July 3. Ice cream making: 11am-3:30pm. Craft program: Walk-in 11am-3pm, racing 12:30pm and 3pm. $4./participant for craft program. Groups of eight or more craft program participants must pre-register. Call 609-737-3299 for more information.

Wanting some more fireworks action?  Check out our New Jersey Fireworks post!

Updike Farmstead
354 Quaker Road
08540 Princeton , NJ 40° 19' 14.0268" N, 74° 40' 54.5196" W
New Jersey
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
08103 Camden , NJ
Phone: 856-365-3300
39° 56' 36.1428" N, 75° 7' 49.17" W
New Jersey
Cooper Gristmill
66 Washington Turnpike
07930 Chester , NJ 40° 46' 39.8748" N, 74° 41' 57.8904" W
New Jersey
Riverside Gardens Park
Front Street
07701 Red Bank , NJ 40° 21' 8.9532" N, 74° 3' 51.7032" W
New Jersey
Howell Living Farms
70 Wooden's Lane
08530 Lambertville , NJ 40° 20' 25.3788" N, 74° 54' 16.7256" W
New Jersey