Summer is almost here, and festivals are kicking into high gear. There’s something to delight everyone this month, whether your family loves history, food, nature or a good, old-fashioned carnival. Highlights include the Privateers & Pirates Festival at Tuckerton Seaport, St. Andrew's Big Greek Festival and the Strawberry Harvest Festival at Alstede Farms. You can’t go wrong with any of these awesome outings. So grab the family, slap on some sunscreen and start your season of fun at one (or more!) of these 15 fabulous fests. Check out our Event Calendar for even more wonderful family happenings this month.
Junebug ArtFest (Metuchen)
Fridays, June 4, 11, 18 and 25
Every Friday night in June, downtown Metuchen comes to life with an arts celebration featuring exhibits, window galleries, live performances and special events. Children can create unique arts and crafts with the Metuchen Branch YMCA and enjoy special performances just for them. FREE
Fido's Festival USA (Columbus)
Saturday, June 4- Sunday, June 5
Have a doggone good time at this 7th annual pup extravaganza for dogs and their families. Activities include superhero-themed contests, dock diving and a lure course plus vendors, food, entertainment and adoptable rescue dogs.
Circus Dance Festival (Hillsborough)
Saturday, June 4
Choose your own adventure at this creative performance, which follows the story of two children and their magic tokens. Audience members will meet the characters, see street performances and partake in their own challenges along with the show. FREE
Privateers & Pirates Festival (Tuckerton)
Saturday, June 11
Ahoy, matey! Bring your pirate-obsessed kid to this fabulous fest at the Tuckerton Seaport, offering nautical activities such as a scavenger hunt, costume contest, cannon demo and pirate crafts. The Pirates for Sail Band will provide live entertainment, and delicious food is also available.
Big Greek Festival at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church (Randolph)
Friday, June 10, Saturday, June 11 and Sunday June 12
If you love Greek food and culture, this is the festival for you. Explore Greek cuisine, art, music, dance, vendors and much more at this 3 day jam-packed festival.
New Jersey Renaissance Faire (Bordentown)
Saturday, June 4-Sunday, June 5 and Saturday, June 11-Sunday, June 12
Calling all lords and ladies! Step back in time for a day of music, dance, juggling, jousting, comedy, wine and food at the whimsical village of Crossford. Special children’s shows including magic, archery and falconry are presented daily.
Strawberry Harvest Festival (Chester)
Weekends June 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19
Alstede Farms is hosting its annual Strawberry Harvest Festival for three weekends this June. Enjoy a fun day at the farm with children's activities such as pony rides, moon bounce, petting zoo and corn kingdom. Sample delicious strawberry treats like strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcake, and take a hay ride to the strawberry patch to pick your own.
Tri-County Fair (Rockaway)
Saturday, June 18- Sunday, June 19
It's a spring fair with all the fixins at this 4 day funfest. Activities include rides for all ages, games, food trucks, live music, classic cars and fireworks. Admission is free.
St. Gregory the Great Family Carnival (Hamilton Square)
Monday, June 20-Saturday, June 25
Looking for some old-school carnival action? Look no further! This festival offers rides, games, raffles, yummy food and more. Stay for the fireworks displays on Tuesday and Saturday night. There are plenty of rides for younger kids so it’s the perfect event for all ages.
State Fair Meadowlands (East Rutherford)
Thursday, June 23-Sunday, July 10
Over 150 rides and attractions provide hours of non-stop fun for the whole family. Try out classic carnival games, indulge in “fair food” (funnel cake anyone?) and enjoy live circus shows daily. Don't miss the Great American Thrill Show, an all-new event featuring daredevil acrobats and aerialists.
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse Maritime Festival (North Wildwood)
Saturday, June 18-Sunday, June 19
The grounds of the historic Hereford Inlet Lighthouse are home to this wonderful family festival celebrating life by the sea. Artists, crafters, historians, performers and even pirates will be on hand to delight the crowd. Kids can climb the lighthouse and check out antique boats. FREE
Terhune Orchards Firefly Festival (Princeton)
Sunday, June 26
Fireflies are one of the surest signs that summer has arrived. Celebrate these magnificent creatures with an evening of outdoor fun, games, live music and firefly hunting. Pony rides and wagon rides through the farm and orchards will also be available. Wear your wings or make them at the festival. FREE
National Marbles Tournament (Wildwood)
Monday, June 20-Thursday, June 23
This unique event celebrates its 93rd anniversary this year. Watch “mibsters” (marble shooters) compete for prizes and awards at various games over the four-day tournament. FREE
Italian-American Festival (North Wildwood)
Friday, June 24-Sunday, June 26
A Jersey Shore favorite, this annual celebration features vendors, doo-wop bands, kids’ games, meatball relay races and an abundance of food. You’ll probably want to come on an empty stomach. Buon Appetito! FREE
Whitesbog Blueberry Festival (Browns Mills)
Saturday, June 25
Celebrate everything blueberry at this old-fashioned event in historic Whitesbog Village. Enjoy blueberry picking, live music, children’s activities, wagon tours and even a blueberry pie-eating contest. Yum!
Image provided by author
Originally published May 2015