When people identify New Jersey as the Garden State, it’s not hard to understand the nickname as you drive into Hunterdon County. The rolling hills and vast farmlands that greet you take you to a peaceful place many of us remember as children. It’s as if time slows as you drive, roll down your windows and drink in the fresh air that surrounds this picturesque county.
After a summer at the beach, shaking off the sand and cleaning out your car makes way for muddy cleats, broken pencils and the upcoming season that thrusts us back into the busyness of life however, even as activities and sports pack our evenings weekends it is important to continue to take that family time and create memories.
In our family, we find the quiet mornings as the fog lifts and the dew dries to be the time when most of us are present and able to enjoy a few hours together before going our own busy way. While there are fall festivals that pop up giving us easy memory making moments sometimes its nice to enjoy time together for free!
So get dressed, get ready and get going for a morning of fun without spending a fortune. We’re sharing free things to do in Hunterdon County with your kids.
5 Free Things to Do in Hunterdon County With Your Kids
Located just a little ways away from downtown Clinton is the Hunterdon County Library North Branch. This amazing library is host to a wonderful programming including multiple drop in story times. With times on both Wednesday and Saturday, families are sure to find something that fits their schedule. These story times are specifically for children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. Have more than one? Our family likes to split up and spend time focusing on different age groups. While one parent is off with the preschoolers, the other can take time to browse, color or even head over to the nearby park on nice days.
Clinton is located in the heart of Hunterdon and calls everyone locally and from afar to visit its quaint main street with a host of eclectic shops. Gather up the kids and stroll down the streets of town talking to friendly proprietors. You can also walk over to the Hunterdon Art Museum and doodle with chalk on sidewalks and the chalkboard wall. Finish off the excursion with a trip to a local book shop. The Shop Small mentality rings true with this little storefront that has a perfect nook to check out the latest books for kids and adults.
The Columbia Trail
The Columbia Trail located in High Bridge is another great spot to take some quiet time as a family. Originally a rail line, this easy walking path is a great opportunity for families to get together and enjoy time exploring nature. The trail is often dotted with with fairy homes and gnome homes. It’s a great way to spend a morning sheltered from the noise of the world and get back to nature.
Lake Solitude Falls & Dam
Lake Solitude Falls and Dam is another great spot for free family fun. Pack a picnic lunch and grab a blanket and head off the beaten path to Lake Solitude. This little known dam built back in 1858 is the last buttress dam in New Jersey. After a lunch, be sure to check out the foundry on property that was initially the reason Lake Solitude was built. This historical landmark paves the way for a fun field trip that turns into an educational afternoon.
Frenchtown and other border towns are located along the Delaware River throughout Hunterdon County. Frenchtown is just one of nine towns to choose from, our family loves to be in “two places at once”. Many of these border towns have quaint villages to walk and an opportunity to stand in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania at the same time. This makes for many photo opportunities as well as many giggles while siblings and parents alike stand in two places at once.
As the cooler weather hits the area, the homework piles up and the days seem shorter than the nights, its important to take the time and connect. So often we feel memories have to be made with money but in reality I find its often the moments of time that mean more than anything money can buy. This fall as you plan you outings be sure to include these free things to do in Hunterdon County where you will find that time will slow, beauty will be seen and you will have the opportunity to create memories that will last a lifetime.