Mostly Free and Fun Things To Do With NJ Kids This Weekend June 23-24: Fantasy Faire, Firefly Festival, Fun on the Farm & More!
Congratulations parents! If you are reading this, you have survived another school year. Summer vacation may not be as relaxing as it was back in the days of our youth, but it's sure filled with lots of family fun. And of course, we at Mommy Poppins will be here all summer with our top picks from the slew of great events in New Jersey. This weekend there are music festivals down the shore (Point Pleasant, Tuckerton), a Cupcakefest (YUM!) in Rutherford and even in a Firefly Festival in Princeton. Read on for our top picks and remember, you can find a listing of all NJ activities for kids in our Event Calendar.
Rhythm at the Shore Music Festival (Point Pleasant, NJ)
Bring whole crew to this family-friendly festival in Point Pleasant at their Municipal Parking Lot this weekend. National Jazz & Blues Artists will be on stage throughout the day, wine tasting by New Jersey Wineries, food, crafters, vendors and more. This is a free festival, except for the wine tasting for a nominal charge. BYOBC (Bring Your Own Beach Chair.) Saturday 12-9pm. Sunday 12-6pm. 732-899-2424.
Fantasy Faire (Millville, NJ)
It's a weekend of knights, princesses, elves, fairies and fun at the Wheaton Arts Center in South Jersey. Activities include Grymm Witches' Storytelling, sword demonstrations and foam swordplay lessons with the three musketeers, scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" performed by the Cumberland Players, strolling musicians, and of course merchants, vendors, food and refreshments! 10am-5pm. Adults $10.00, Senior Adults $9.00 and Students $7.00. Children five and under are free. On Sunday all children 17 and under are admitted FREE as part of "Family Fun Days".
Saturday June 23rd
Cupcakefest (Rutherford, NJ)
Can it really be true? A whole festival devoted to one of my (and my kids') favorite food groups? Why yes, this fun family event at the Lincoln Park Bandshell from 1-7pm will feature great local music, tons of awesome crafters and vendors, yummy cupcakes, raffles, and a cupcake eating contest to cap off the day. Best of all, this fun is for a good cause, as all proceeds from raffles will be donated to a local animal shelter and the NJSPCA. This event is free, however, attendees are encouraged to bring a monetary or pet food/supply donation for the Shelter and/or the SPCA.
Fossil Discovery Center (Ogdensburg, NJ)
If you didn't have a chance to attend this event last month at the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, make sure to bring all your wanna-be paleontologists this weekend. Working alongside a real paleontologist, you can 'dig' for fossils starting at 10:00 AM and every half hour until 12:30 PM; each dig will last a little less than 30 minutes. Each fossil collector will get 6 fossils and a general ID chart and fact sheet. $4.50 per person. Get there early as digs are limited to 25 people and are on a first-come, first-served basis. For groups of three of call 973-209-7212 for advanced reservations. And check out the Mommy Poppins article for additional information about the Sterling Hill Mining museum here .
Tots on Tour (Hamilton, NJ)
Your little ones will have a blast at the Grounds for Sculpture program that is just for them! Kids ages 3 to 5 accompanied by an adult can listen to a story, become park explorers, and make original works of art, exploring their creative instincts. Programs at 11am and 1pm. FREE with park admission of Adults $12/Children 6-12 $8/Children under 6 FREE. First come, first serve registration at the park. For more information call 609-586-0616.
Fun at the Farm (Bernardsville, NJ)
Come on out to Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Preserve for a day of old-fashioned, down-on-the-farm day fun! Desai Farms will bring their alpaca, miniature horse, and goats. Make sure to check out their goat milking demonstrations throughout the day, and you'll even have the opportunity to give it a try! There will also be also be fiber demonstrations, during which you can try your hand at carding, spinning, and weaving. 10am-2pm. $5 per car (FREE if you arrive in “green” style: In the spirit of our green organizations, if you arrive in an alternative car (a hybrid car, smart car, or electric car) or by people power (bicycle, roller blades, on foot or by carpooling in any type of car with four or more passengers) 908-766-5787.
Baymen's Seafood and Music Festival (Tuckerton, NJ)
What's better than a day of delicious seafood at the Tuckerton Seaport! Add in a full festival of crafters, vendors, music, food, refreshments, family activities, demonstrations, boat rides, boat builders and decoy carvers and you have a perfect family event. You'll also have the chance to speak with commercial fishermen to learn about their occupations or take a clam shucking class. 11am-5pm. $8 for adults; $6 seniors; $3 ages 6 to 12; age 5 and under free. 609-296-8868.
Sunday June 24th
Days of Discovery (Hillsborough, NJ)
Join the staff at Duke Farms from 8am-4:30pm for their free event where you will have the opportunity to explore the variety of plants and animals found on their beautiful grounds. Your family will be able to join researchers and naturalists for a variety of nature walks and surveys. FREE. While you are there you might want to check out their Butterfly Program too, which will examine the importance of gardens to butterflies, the butterfly life cycle, and how you can create a habitat for butterflies in your own backyard. This program is for families with children ages 6 to 10 and advanced registration is required. $5 per child. 908-722-3700.
School Days in the 1830's (Farmingdale, NJ)
Yes, school may be over for most kids in New Jersey, but it's still going strong (very) old-school style at Allaire Village at 1:00 & 2:30pm. Your family can join the Villagers for a day of 19th-century school and see what it was like to attend school in the year 1836 at the Village's Carriage House. Two separate 45-minute sessions will be conducted. Following the lesson, children are invited to participate in an 1836 recess! From Noon-4pm the shops, trades buildings, and homes will be open to visitors. FREE. 732-919-3500.
Firefly Festival (Princeton, NJ)
Visit Terhune Orchards from 4-9pm for their "electrifying" welcome summer event. Your family will enjoy an evening of nature, music, wagon rides, outdoor fun and, or course, the whole farm for firefly hunting! Join Terhune's naturalist for informative talks about fireflies, using hands on materials, crafts activities, and games. There will also be a gymnastics demonstration, mini-obstacle course for kids, and musical entertainment by Miss Amy and Her Big Kids Band. Free admission, $5 fee for craft. 609-924-2310.
Lowe's DreamWorks-Themed Build & Grow Clinics (Throughout New Jersey)
DreamWorks Animation and Lowe’s have joined forces to offer families FREE hands-on fun this summer with their movie-themed Build and Grow clinics, featuring projects from “Madagascar 3,” “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek.” This hour-long clinic is recommended for children in grades two through five and provides participating children with a kid’s apron, goggles and a take-home, customizable wooden project. Make sure to register in advance here as these popular events fill up quickly.
Don't forget: We have additional activity listings in our Event Calendar. And if you are heading into NYC for the weekend make sure you visit the New York City Mommy Poppins events calendar to get the latest on all the fun to be had NYC-style.
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