Best July Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families

25+ Fairs and Festivals for New Jersey Families in July 2018
Burlington County Farm Fair brings family fun to Springfield in mid-July. Photo courtesy of the fair

Fairs and festivals and feasts, what fun! It’s nonstop action in NJ this month—read on for our recommendations and choose your favorites. With everything from state and county fairs to music and food festivals—and of course, awesome July 4th celebrations—there’s something happening almost every day in July. Mark your calendar now, and have a blast all month long.

And for more warm-weather action, visit our Summer Fun Guide.

The Glassboro Town Square is the place to be for Summerfest. Photo courtesy of the festival

Glassboro Summerfest – Glassboro
Thursdays through July 26
Every Thursday night in June and July, Glassboro Town Square transforms into a sizzling seasonal hot spot. Filled with live entertainment, food trucks, art activities, and more, Glassboro’s Summerfest brings an electric energy to the neighborhood. And children aren’t left out of the picture! In fact, they can tune in for performances of Alice in Wonderland each week in the Art Garden, and stay for art activities after the show. FREE

New Jersey State Fair – East Rutherford 
Daily through Sunday, July 8
The State Fair is back in NJ, with more than 150 rides for everyone in your family and tons of free entertainment, too. The fun includes live animal shows, games, more than 50 food vendors, and shopping.

Leonia Sport Booster Club Carnival – Leonia 
Thursday, June 28 – Sunday, July 8
Show up for a week of midway fun full of rides for all ages, from delightful kiddie attractions to more daring amusements for the big kids, as well as carnival games, festive fair fare, and a 4th of July fireworks display that really rocks the house. All proceeds from this family-friendly annual event support local competitive youth sports.

Oceanfest – Long Branch 
Wednesday, July 4
This all-day, family-friendly festival features live music, food vendors, a craft show, and tons of entertainment for kids. Head over to the Garfield Memorial on the Promenade for a magic show, stilt-walkers, costumed characters, a juggling unicyclist, balloon artist, variety show, and more. End your day by watching the spectacular fireworks display on the beach. FREE

RELATED: Best July 4th Fireworks for NJ Families

The Cumberland County Fair offers tons of thrills, from mild to wild. Photo by Kevin Jarret via Flickr

Cumberland County Fair – Millville
Tuesday, July 3 – Sunday, July 8
This is NJ’s oldest fair, and it’s truly the mother of all county fairs. You'll find live entertainment, 4-H exhibits, pie- and watermelon-eating contests, amusement rides, racing pigs, great food, games, and much more. July 4 is Kids’ Day, with free admission for all kids under four feet tall. Special activities and contests will take place throughout the day.

5th Annual Wildwood Crest Sand Sculpting Festival – Wildwood Crest
Saturday, July 7
Compete for prizes in the amateur sand sculpting contest, or watch artists make amazing creations. The event includes live music on the beach, a magic show, beach games, and more. Registration is required to participate in the contest. FREE

TRUCKerton with a Side of Bacon – Tuckerton Seaport 
Saturday, July 7 – Sunday, July 8
Who doesn’t love bacon? Even babies can’t resist that salty sizzle! Come out for a day of feasting, food truck sampling, and demos featuring none other than that fatty favorite. Bring your piglets to the mini pig races and pretzel necklace–making station, and stay for some great live music! FREE for children under 5.

Blueberry Bash – Princeton  
Saturday, July 7 – Sunday, July 8
Revel in everything blueberry at Terhune Orchards' berry fun celebration. Activities include pony rides, games, face painting, music, and delicious blueberry goodies. Plus, pick your own blueberries to take home. Find more blueberry fun in our roundup of blueberry festivals and pick-your-own farms

Saint Mary’s Parish Carnival – Pompton Lakes 
Monday, July 9 – Saturday, July 14
This nearly weeklong fair has so many fun things for the fam. Keep the kids entertained with rides (wristband nights happen EVERY night) and bring your appetites, because the fare is different Monday through Saturday. Gyros to kick off the week, Italian dishes on Wednesday, and Hispanic and special desserts on Friday. You’ll feel like you’re eating around the world!

Illusionist Lance Gifford takes the stage at the Freedom Fest State Fair. Photo courtesy of Lance Gifford

Freedom Fest State Fair – West Windsor 
Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15
The 16th annual Freedom Fest is finding a new home in Mercer County Park this July. Come out to celebrate with tons of rides, a huge carnival midway, international food court, an illusionist show, and animal petting farm. There are live concerts and special events every night, too. And don’t forget to pay a visit to "Cowtown" on your way out—where you can grab some fresh fruits and veggies for the whole family.

Mount Olive Carnival – Mt Olive 
Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15
A favorite of Mt. Olive residents and those in surrounding towns, the Mount Olive Carnival brings thousands of patrons in over the course of five days. Kids can come for the basic festival fun (funnel cakes and Ferris wheel rides) while parents gather at the weekend beer garden. And everyone stays for the Saturday night fireworks show.

RELATED: 100+ FREE Things To Do with Kids This Summer in NJ

Don't miss the D.O.G. Show at the Ocean County Fair. Photo by Kevin Jarret via Flickr

Ocean County Fair – Berkeley Township
Wednesday, July 11 – Sunday, July 15
The Jersey Shore hosts this five-day festival that's chock-full of family fun—rides galore, delicious food, 4-H shows, and live entertainment are all on the schedule. So, bring an open mind (a hypnotist is on tap this year), your love for country crooning, and your cute band of boot-scootin’ Wild West wannabes for the highly anticipated Cowboy Larry show. FREE for kids under 10.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s Feast – Lyndhurst 
Thursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 15
As someone who lived in Lyndhurst for a few years (and grew up going to this feast with my grandparents), I can’t wait to attend the 27th annual event. Practically the entire town shuts down for the duration of the event to feast in the best way possible. From swirly soft serve ice cream cones to powdered zeppoles and hands-down the best sausage and peppers sandwich around, the food puts you under a spell just as you dial down for “Music Under the Stars.”

Duke Farms Firefly Festival – Hillsborough  
Friday, July 13 – Saturday, July 14
Calling all firefly fiends! This two-day lightning bug brigade is the perfect way to celebrate summer. Let your budding entomologists earn their wings by meandering along a 1.5-mile loop through woodlands and meadows to catch the fireflies in action. The trail is illuminated with 20 activity stations along the way, where your group can learn how to communicate with fireflies, discover what a glowworm is, and learn what it takes to build a home for these candescent creatures in your own backyard! FREE

Anglesea Blues Festival – North Wildwood 
Friday, July 13 – Sunday, July 15
The family that BBQs and sings the blues together, stays together. Bring the whole crew out for a weekend of jazz, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll, and binge a little bit on the best barbecue in town—entries prepared for the NJ State Barbecue Championship. So, if you’ve got a team of chicken, ribs, and brisket–eating boys and girls on your hands, this can’t be missed! FREE

South Jersey Caribbean Festival – Camden 
Saturday, July 14
If you aren’t cruising through the Caribbean this summer, don’t worry, be happy. The 18th annual South Jersey Caribbean Festival is happening in Camden, and the multi-cultural family event makes up for any missed vacation opportunities. Come by for some jerk chicken and curry shrimp, and shuffle the kiddos off to the children’s tent replete with tons of free activities. Don’t leave without watching at least one of the incredible local artists who'll be dancing, singing, or rocking the steel drums. FREE

Maplewoodstock – Maplewood 
Saturday, July 14 – Sunday, July 15
Rock out at Essex County's own Woodstock-inspired music festival. Held at Memorial Park, Maplewoodstock features local music, food and art vendors, a Kid Zone, and regional acts. This year's headliner is Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band. FREE

Surf & Turf Seafood Festival – Oceanport
Saturday, July 14 – Sunday, July 15
Get ready to get shell-shocked! This two-day seafood smorgasbord is just the thing to keep your summer social calendar stacked. Check out the famous Monmouth Park sandcastle, and take some shell-fies with all of your seaside snacks. If you expect your teeny ones will get a little crabby, you can plan your visit on free Family Fun Day Sunday. There’ll be pony rides, a bouncy house, face painting and plenty more to occupy them, so you and the rest of your squad can stay on your (lobster) roll! FREE for children under 12.

RELATED: Jersey Shore Boardwalks and Amusement Parks for Family Fun

Go for a ride on a friendly dragon at the Burlington County Farm Fair. Photo courtesy of the fair

Burlington County Farm Fair – Springfield Township 
Tuesday, July 17 – Saturday, July 21
There’s plenty to keep the gang busy at this fair, from 4-H animal exhibits and daily horse shows to amusement rides and live performances. Kids of all ages can join in the fun by entering the recycled scarecrow contest, participating in the “Farmer for a Day” program, or taking part in a scavenger hunt.

Morris County 4H-Fair – Chester
Thursday, July 19 – Sunday, July 22
Along with the mainstay 4-H animal activities, this fair features amusement rides, music, food, and tons of fun for those old and young. Stick around for the root beer floats, watermelon-eating contest, cake decorating, and fur-rociously funny dress-a-pet contest, and keep your fingers crossed for beautiful weather—hot-air balloon rides are happening on Saturday!

The Hudson River will be aglow at te Water Lantern Festival. Photo courtesy of the festival

Water Lantern Festival – Jersey City
Friday, July 20 – Saturday, July 21
Looking for an event for your rugrats that isn’t too rowdy, but will still make them light up with excitement? This is it!  Enjoy a picturesque evening at Liberty State Park, where the Hudson River will be aglow with beautiful lanterns. The festivities begin with food trucks and music, and then the real fun starts—when families everywhere start designing their lanterns and setting them adrift. *Note: the July 21st session is currently sold out.  

Summer in the Street – Toms River
Saturday, July 21
Spend a hot summer day on Washington Street in downtown Toms River. This fun event features games, rides, a dedicated Kid Zone, street performers, live entertainment, local vendors, craft booths, and a variety of delicious food. FREE

Hub City Sounds: Guelaguetza – New Brunswick 
Sunday, July 22
Boyd Park plays host to this colorful celebration featuring the beautiful food, music, cultural dances, and heritage of Oaxaca, Mexico. Festivalgoers with kids can bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating at the park and streetscape events, and let kids do their thing in the Kid Zone, where moon castles, face painters, petting zoos, canvas painting, and more are theirs for the taking. FREE

Monmouth County Fair – Freehold
Wednesday, July 25 – Sunday, July 29
The 44th annual Monmouth County Fair offers five days packed with family fun, including kiddie rides, a petting farm, games, contests, and much more. Live entertainment includes rock and country musical performances, plus pig racing, juggling, an escape artist, a wildlife show, the Moroccan Sheepherders, and more. Check online for a complete schedule of the featured acts.

Gloucester County 4-H Fair – Mullica Hills
Thursday, July 26 – Sunday, July 29
Dog shows and sheep shows and hog shows, oh my! Come on out to enjoy the agricultural exhibits and contests for which the fair is known, then check out the daily rides and games, magic shows, musical acts, tractor parades, craft exhibits, culinary demonstrations, and sales. Local vendors show up with their Jersey best, and a nightly BBQ is prepared and complemented with sides of locally grown fruits and veggies, plus locally made desserts.

36th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning – Readington
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29
Head to Solberg Airport to experience the spectacle of more than 100 hot air balloons floating in the sky. The three-day event will include a nighttime balloon glow, fireworks, children's rides, music, crafters, and food vendors. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even take a balloon ride (for an extra fee). And the music lineup is impressive: performers include Andy Grammer, Lifehouse, Credence Clearwater Revisited, and children's recording artist Laurie Berkner.

XPoNential Music Festival – Camden
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29
Head to the Camden waterfront for excellent music and a variety of family-friendly activities. Grown-ups can catch performances by both established and emerging bands, and kids can have a blast in the Camden Children's Garden, along the Camden waterfront. Kids Corner host Kathy O'Connell "plants" herself in the Camden Children's Garden—referred to this weekend as the Kids Corner Garden. Children can escape the sun-drenched Wiggins Park in four acres of flora and fauna - lots of spots to cool down, including the Garden's Water Spray Ground located in the main plaza.

Take a hot-air balloon ride at Warren County Farmer's Fair. Photo by dfbphotos via Flickr

Warren County Farmer's Fair – Phillipsburg 
Saturday, July 28 – Saturday, August 4
Pony rides, a mud bog competition, food, and live entertainment are just some of the exciting happenings at this 81st annual event. In addition, beautiful hot-air balloons fill the sky at the fair's balloon festival, with balloon rides and a mass balloon launch each night. Children's events in the Kids’ Corral include pie-eating and Jell-O–eating contests, butter sculpting and hula hoop contests (for tweens only), a veggie-style version of Fear Factor, and more. Babies can even compete in a crawling contest.