Summer is the season for no-cost fun all across New Jersey. From fireworks and festivals to free outdoor movies, we’ve rounded up more than 100 family-friendly events to enjoy all summer long that won’t break the bank.
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Put your kids in the swings and your feet in the sand at beachfront playgrounds along the Jersey Shore. The beaches of New Jersey are home to playgrounds that are like giant sandboxes, with colorful play structures and ocean views. Swing by some of these beachy-keen playgrounds on your next day trip or vacation to the shore.
Please note that some of these playgrounds may require fees for beach entrance during the summer months.
In the midst of New Jersey's Union County's busy highways lies a grassy, spacious retreat known as Echo Lake Park. The sprawling park offers an escape from the bustling surrounding towns and truly provides something for everyone, even the family pet.
At the heart of the park is the scenic Echo Lake, home to activities such as boating, fishing, and ice skating, as well as several peaceful walking paths. Surrounding the lake are green hills, ball fields, playgrounds, a dog park, and a snack bar. Echo Lake hosts a variety of seasonal activities, from sledding to Halloween fun to summer concerts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or a day of activity, you can get the best of both worlds here.
Every fall, I face the same dilemma planning my girls’ birthday party. Do I take advantage of the crisp autumn weather with an outdoor venue? Or do I play it safe with something indoors? Planning a party is stressful enough in any season, without the added anxiety over weather. If an outdoor party is what you have in mind, don’t let Mother Nature put a damper on your child’s special day. From nature centers to water parks, the following party venues offer outdoor party options with indoor alternatives.
For even more ideas for fun in our NJ Kids' Birthday Party Guide.
This weekend kicks off the mid-winter break for New Jersey schoolchildren, and there's plenty to keep the kiddos entertained. Enjoy a drama-filled weekend with a variety of theatrical performances, including Charlotte's Web Live, Beauty and the Beast, Gobsmacked!, and Mr. Popper's Penguins. Partake in a whole afternoon of kid-friendly games, crafts, and other activities on Saturday at Kidabaloo in Asbury Park. Or celebrate George Washington's birthday with Washington himself!
If you're looking for day-off entertainment on Presidents Day, head over to Morris Museum for Presidents Day activities, State Theatre New Jersey for Family Day, or Trailside Nature & Science Center for a Mad Science demonstration.
Monday is a banner day for New Jersey families. Not only is it Christmas, but it's also the first official day of winter break! A week off from school means a week of digging for entertainment for the little ones. Luckily, Mommy Poppins NJ has a full roster of winter break activities throughout the state.
Make Christmas last all week, with holiday adventures like Cranbury Christmas Lights, Adventure Aquarium's Christmas Underwater, and Jenkinson's Sea of Lights. Plus, stay warm with hands-on museum fun at New Jersey State Museum's Winter Break Art Studio, Morris Museum's Winter Vacation Celebration, and Newark Museum's Holiday Fun Days. And get ready for the New Year at Lawrence Library's New Year's Eve Party for Families.