Fairs and festivals and feasts, oh my! It’s non-stop 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.
Berry lovers: be sure to check out our roundup of NJ's awesome blueberry festivals, many of which take place in July. And for more warm-weather action, visit our Summer Fun Guide.
The Cumberland County Fair. Photo by Kevin Jarret via Flickr.
New Jersey State Fair – East Rutherford
June 22 – July 9
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.
Oceanfest – Long Branch
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.
Cumberland County Fair – Millville
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 5 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
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
Blueberry Bash – Princeton
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.
Maplewoodstock – Maplewood
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 Los Lobos. FREE
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Enjoy the D.O.G. Show at the Ocean County Fair. Photo by Kevin Jarret via Flickr.
Ocean County Fair – Berkeley Township
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. Highlights include Ocean County's Got Talent and The Amish Outlaws.
Freedom Fest State Fair – Allentown
The beautiful Horse Park of New Jersey is home to the Freedom Fest for five days this July. Come join in the fun with tons of attractions, including a huge carnival midway, international food court, nightly horse shows, and animal petting farm. There are live concerts and special events every night.
Go for a kayak ride at City of Water Day. Photo courtesy of the event.
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
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Ride the dragon at Burlington County Farm Fair. Photo courtesy of the fair.
Burlington County Farm Fair – Springfield Township
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.
Sweet Corn Festival – Robbinsville
It's all about fresh summer corn at this Oasis Family Farm festival. Activities include wagon rides, crafts, sand art, games, and a corn on the cob–eating contest. Farm-fresh corn will be available for purchase, along with roasted corn, corn dogs, popcorn, grilled corn muffins, and more. FREE
Monmouth County Fair – Freehold
The 43rd annual Monmouth County Fair offers five days packed with family fun, including kiddie rides, a petting farm, games, contests, fireworks, a living history tent, and much more. Daily live entertainment will include pig races, magicians, a juggler, Mutts Gone Nuts, and the Bwana Jim Wildlife Show. And of course, there will be tons of delicious fair food for sale.
Take a hot air balloon ride at Warren County Farmer's Fair. Photo by dfbphotos via Flickr.
35th Annual QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning – Readington
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 Pat Benatar, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Plain White T's, Jake Miller, and children's recording artist Laurie Berkner.
XPoNential Music Festival – Camden
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, which will be hosting its own lineup of festival-related events on July 29 and 30. The fun will include entertainment by All-Natural Science Guy Mike Weilbacher and Rock to the Future, which will invite children to explore musical instruments in its "Musical Zoo." And the Please Touch Museum will be presenting a variety of unique, interactive activities as well.
Warren County Farmer's Fair – Phillipsburg
July 29 – August 5
Pony rides, a mud bog competition, food, and live entertainment are just some of the exciting happenings at this 80th 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. Don't miss Friday night's Kids Rodeo Roundup.
Top image: Rides at the Cumberland County Fair. Photo by Kevin Jarret via Flickr.