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The MOST Amazing List of 100 Must Do Summer Activities in New Jersey

It is summer finally!!! It’s been a long school year and maybe even a longer time since we’ve had a great summer in New Jersey. Last year’s restrictions are lifted. More places are opening up. Events are returning. Fireworks are on. This summer promises to be the summer you’ve needed, the summer you want. We’re here to help with our guide to the best things to do in New Jersey this summer in what we call, The MOST Amazing List of 100 Must Do Summer Activities in New Jersey. In fact there’s so much going on that I am pretty sure we’ve passed the 100 count, but I’m sure you don’t mind.

Before we move on in talking about summer things to do in NJ, a big thanks to iPlay America for sponsoring this guide. Read below for what they have to offer families in New Jersey this summer, but know they are a wonderful destination for indoor and outdoor fun in New Jersey.

We are so lucky to live in New Jersey where the activities, day-trip destinations, and yes, even vacations are plentiful. Whether you want to explore a new museum, splash around at the waterpark, beat the heat with a free summer movie, dance at a summer concert, or try something different, our list of things to do in New Jersey with kids this summer will help you make your summer vacation all YOU ever wanted.

summer activities in New Jersey

With that in mind that we pulled together all the things there are to do in New Jersey this summer. From community events to free activities, from summer day trips to NJ staycation ideas we hope you’ll find this a valuable tool in planning your 100 Days of Summer Fun.

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get amazing articles like this delivered to your inbox or visit our Calendar of New Jersey events to find things to do TODAY in New Jersey with kids.

iplay america summer season pass provides for great indoor summer activities in New Jersey.

Best of the Best Summer Activities in New Jersey

Test your luck at Iplay America

Challenge the kids and test your luck. iPlay America offers so many ways to challenge the kids in a friendly battle. Laser tag, bowling, hoops, skeeball, Top Golf games, you could spend day after day at iPlay America and never get bored. With the iPlay America Summer Season Pass you can play all summer long without paying over and over for the same rides.

The iPlay America Summer Season Pass includes unlimited rides all summer long on Kite Flyer, Sky Scraper, Go-Karts, Freedom Rider, Reverse Time, Happy Swing, Crazy Cabs, Dizzy Dragons & Mini Carousel. Plus, season pass holders receive a coupon sheet with EXCLUSIVE offers valued at over $150. All this for one low price of $59.99.

Dizzy Dragons at iPlay America
Get in some time on the Dizzy Dragons at iPlay America this summer.

After enjoying all the rides and attractions iPlay America’s indoor city of FUN has to offer, kick back and relax on the outdoor patio – fit with live music every Friday and Saturday – all summer long!

However you choose to play, iPlay America is the place for some of the best summer activities in New Jersey.

Take a boat ride

The creeks, the bays, the Atlantic Ocean, summer is not summer without getting out on the water. In New Jersey, you can experience all kinds of boat rides from small private boat tours out of the Tuckerton Creek to large ferries that circle AND stop at the Statue of Liberty. Find out more at these links.

  1. Manasquan Reservoir Boat Tours
Tuckerton Seaport boat tours provide a way to ride a boat in New Jersey

Search for dolphins and whales

Speaking of boat rides, if you’ve never experienced a cruise to search for dolphins and whales, do it this summer. There’s several ways to see dolphins and whales in New Jersey.

  • Atlantic City Dolphin Cruises
  • Cape May Whale Watcher
  • Silver Bullet Tours
  • Cape May Lewis Ferry – This ferry doesn’t sell itself as a dolphin watching attraction, but we’ve definitely seen dolphins in the ocean during our Cape May Lewis Ferry rides.
Another thing to do in Atlantic City with kids is the Atlantic City Dolphin Cruises

Have all the dinosaur experiences

If you have kids who love dinosaurs, this is the summer for them. In the last 3 months, 3 new dinosaur attractions opened in our area. There are at least two more scheduled to open this summer. Considering many dinosaur attractions in New Jersey are only open for a limited time, experience as many as you can this summer. Find them with our guide to where to find dinosaurs in New Jersey.

Xpedition-Dino-Dinosaurs-at-six-flags-great-adventure-Diabloceratops

Go camping

Camping is one of those experiences that I feel all children must have at least once. Breathing in the fresh air, learning to start a campfire, roasting marshmallows, listening to the crickets chirp in the evening, finding the constellations in the night sky, all of these are great activities to do with children and teens while camping.

Camping can look different from family to family. For some it’s pitching in a tent in the woods, for others it’s renting a NJ cabin on the lake, and for other families it means rolling into the campground with an RV. Whatever camping looks like for you plan an experience with your children. You can always try each style of camping until you find the ones your kids love the most.

camping on the back of a truck in the middle of Stokes State Forest
Camping can also mean pitching a tent on the back of your Chevy truck at a NJ State Park.

Walk the boardwalks

The smell of a funnel cake, the lights of the ferris wheel, summer is not complete without a walk down one of New Jersey’s iconic boardwalks. When you consider all the attractions, photo ops, and eateries a visit to the boardwalk is an awesome summer activity in New Jersey that you can do over and over.

Check out the boardwalk at one of these Jersey Shore towns. While all provide amazing views of the beach not all have businesses or attractions along their boardwalk.

  • Allenhurst
  • Asbury Park
  • Atlantic City
  • Avalon
  • Avon-By-the-Sea
  • Barnegat Bay
  • Belmar
  • Bradley Beach
  • Cape May has a paved boardwalk, often referred to as a promenade
  • Island Heights
  • Keansburg
  • Lavallette
  • Long Branch
  • Manasquan
  • Ocean City
  • Ocean Gate
  • Ocean Grove
  • Ortley Beach (Toms River)
  • Point Pleasant
  • Sea Bright
  • Sea Girt
  • Sea Isle City
  • Seaside Heights/ Seaside Park
  • Ship Bottom
  • Spring Lake
  • Ventnor
  • Wildwood
Boy on wildwood beach ball statue on Wildwood boardwalk
Get some fantastic iconic shots on the Wildwood boardwalk

Ride the surreys

If you are going to be on the boardwalk with your tweens and teens, rent a surrey. It’s a unique way to get your big kids involved in your family’s summer fun and it’s an experience they likely won’t forget.

You can rent a surrey in these NJ shore towns:

  • Cape May
  • Ocean City
  • Sea Isle City
  • Wildwood
In a Surrey from Crest Bike Rentals in Wildwood

Bring home berries from NJ pick-your-own farms

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, you can pick them all and other fruits too at New Jersey’s pick-your-own farms. Check out these guides for more details.

Yummy-strawberries-picked-at-strawberry-farm-in-Galloway-NJ

Take a walk through the sunflowers

Come late summer sunflowers will be in full bloom across New Jersey. For a few dollars you can walk among the sunflowers, get some great family photos, and pick a few sunflowers to take home. If you love sunflowers as much as I do visit our guide to sunflower farms in New Jersey and read our tips for visiting sunflower farms.

The Best Spots to find sunflowers in New Jersey pinterest image

Make a difference

Life moves at a slower pace during the summer. The kids aren’t in school. Sports programs aren’t usually as active. Take advantage of that extra time to make a difference with your family. Here’s two of my favorite ways to volunteer as a family. You can also read about other ways kids can volunteer in New Jersey.

Cook up a tasty dinner at one of the Ronald McDonald Houses in New Jersey

Now more than ever Ronald McDonald Houses in New Jersey are in need of meal group volunteers! What do meal group volunteers do? They provide a dinner, breakfast, or lunch for the families staying at a Ronald McDonald House.

When you volunteer to provide a meal to the Ronald McDonald House.

  • You can bring up to 4 volunteers (18 and older) to the Ronald McDonald House and cook the meal in their commercial kitchen.
  • You can order from a local restaurant and have it delivered, or you can drop it off.
  • You can choose the option to pay for a meal and the Ronald McDonald House will place the order.

For more information or to sign up contact one of these Ronald McDonald Houses in New Jersey

goya ronald mcdonald house
Dinner is ready and waiting for Ronald McDonald House guests.

Distribute food with the Community Foodbank of New Jersey

Volunteer with the Community Foodbank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township or Hillside, New Jersey. Your family can hold their own food drive or be part of the food distribution process where food is distributed to those in need. That’s what my boys and I have done. While one of my teens and I might be behind a table passing out food, my other teen and tween are usually helping adults take their food to their car. It’s incredibly rewarding to see how much of a difference the Community Foodbank makes and to be involved with it.

Contact the Community Foodbank of New Jersey in Egg Harbor Township (609-383-8843) or Hillside (908-355-3663) to learn about current volunteer opportunities and age requirements.

Volunteering with the Community Foodbank of New Jersey is one of the great summer activities in New Jersey you can do with your family.

More family volunteer opportunities

Have a New Jersey staycation or daycation

Summertime is the perfect time to pack a bag for an overnight staycation or a day-long daycation in New Jersey. These New Jersey towns are especially kid-friendly. From sun up to sun down you’ll find plenty of summer activities in these NJ towns.

Family vacations in Long Branch, New Jersey

Special Note

As New Jersey progresses through the lifting of restrictions and capacity limits it may take some time for these NJ attractions and activities to adjust and get back to normal. Mask policies may also differ from location to location. For any physical locations, please call ahead to confirm their hours of operation and current policies.

This is also a work in progress. Some links may lead to past events that we are still working to confirm for 2021. Additionally, I am confident we will find new things to add to this list of summer things to do in New Jersey all summer long. Bookmark, save, pin, do whatever you need to do so you can easily find this list whenever you’re looking for summer activities in New Jersey.

Free Summer Activities in New Jersey

One of the things I love the most about New Jersey is how many free things there are to do in the summer in New Jersey. You truly can have summer fun without breaking the bank or your budget. In fact, we’ve built most of this site around free things to do in New Jersey. So when you’re done reading this poke around and explore the rest of our site.

Visit these New Jersey beaches for free

Plan a beach day, or two or three! It wouldn’t be summer without some trips to the beach. In New Jersey, we are fortunate to have so many beaches. How awesome that some of our beaches even offer free admission or don’t require beach tags. Get more information on beach tag prices, parking, and more in our New Jersey Beaches and Beach Tag Information.

New Jersey beaches with free admission every day

  • Atlantic City beaches
  • Highlands Beaches
  • Somers Point William Morrow Beach
  • Wildwood beaches

New Jersey beaches with free admission on select days

Auer boys on the beach
The Auer boys have enjoyed the beach since they were little. We don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Rock out to free summer concerts in New Jersey

As parks & recreation departments, beaches, and other communities start planning out their summer activities many will host free summer concerts in New Jersey. If your favorite park or beach hasn’t announced their plans yet, be patient. It’s just recently that they learned they CAN have these free summer concerts again in New Jersey. Click over to see our calendar of New Jersey Free Summer Concerts (currently being updated for 2021. This list will grow as there are nearly 150 concerts series to check still.)

New Jersey towns with free concerts in the park

  1. Absecon
  2. Bradley Beach
  3. Buena Vista
  4. Cape May
  5. Edgewater
  6. Little Falls
  7. Livingston
  8. Lyndhurst
  9. Middle Township
  10. Park Ridge
  11. Sea Isle City
  12. Seaside Park
  13. Waldwick
  14. Washington Township – Gloucester County
  15. Wildwood
  16. Wildwood Crest at Centennial Park
  17. More coming soon

New Jersey towns with free concerts on the beach

  1. Keansburg
  2. Seaside Heights
  3. More coming soon

More New Jersey towns with free concerts this summer

  1. Belmar
  2. Downtown Belmar
  3. Downtown Freehold
  4. Lower Township
  5. Red Bank
  6. Seaside Heights
  7. Somerville
  8. Stone Harbor
  9. Wildwood
  10. North Wildwood
  11. Wildwood Crest
  12. Verona
  13. More coming soon
outdoor summer concerts are back in New Jersey

Watch a free movie in New Jersey

Another one of the fun and easy summer activities in New Jersey is enjoying a free movie in the park, on the beach, or in another relaxing environment. With restrictions lifting there are several places throughout New Jersey that will offer free movies every week. Visit our blog post of New Jersey Free Movies for Families (currently being updated for 2021) for a detailed breakdown by region, county, and town.

New Jersey towns with free movies in the park

  1. Deptford
  2. Franklin Township
  3. Glassboro
  4. Greenwich
  5. Harrison Township
  6. Lodi
  7. Mantua
  8. National Park
  9. Paulsboro
  10. Pitman
  11. South Harrison
  12. Washington Township – Gloucester County
  13. Woolwich Township
  14. Woodbury Heights
  15. More coming soon

New Jersey towns with free movies on the beach

  1. Coming soon

More New Jersey towns with free movies this summer

  1. Coming soon
Free movies in North Jersey
Getting ready to enjoy a movie in the park.

Spend a day at a free festival

Taking some time to spend at festival is another one of the great summer activities in New Jersey. From festivals around food to festivals with art, from music festivals to festivals with flowers we have it all in New Jersey.

Oooohhhh and aww over fireworks

I never tire of watching fireworks. Do you? They are one of my favorite summer activities in New Jersey. It’s amazing to see how firework technology has developed year after year. I’m always curious to see what shapes and designs will be created by the current year’s fireworks. In addition to July 4th weekend there are other New Jersey events where you can watch fireworks.

Friday Night Fireworks in Wildwood

Cool down at a waterfall in New Jersey

New Jersey summer days are hot, but our waterfalls are sooooo cool. Whether you want an epic waterfall hike in New Jersey or one you can pretty much drive right up to, we have several waterfalls in NJ. We can help you find them in our guide to NJ hiking trails with waterfalls.

Stokes-State-Forest-Tillman-falls
Tillman Falls at Stokes State Forest

Cheer on a New Jersey parade

We kick off summer with Memorial Day parades and we end it with Labor Day parades. In between, we have July 4th parades, the Night in Venice boat parade, and other unique parades like below. Pick one, two, or more, and make plans to park on curb and cheer on the parade floats and participants.

Philly Mummers Parade

Talk with the animals

Giraffes, zebras, snow leopards, horses, what your favorite animal to see? You probably already know admission is free at the Cape May County Zoo and Cohanzick Zoo, but did you know there are other places to see animals for free in New Jersey? There are. Coming soon we’ll offer a guide to where to see animals for free in NJ.

Cohanzick Zoo Selfie

Explore a national park for free

We are always advocates for getting your family outside and off the screens, and our protected national parks are a great place to explore. Our national parks offer history, hiking, swimming and more. There are two days this summer where admission will be free.

  • August 4, 2021 First Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act
  • August 25, 2021 National Park Service Birthday

To find a local national park visit our guide to National Parks in New Jersey.

Washington's Headquarters Museum at Morristown National HIstorical Park
Washington’s Headquarters Museum at Morristown National Historical Park

Walk among nature

New Jersey is home to beautiful parks and dedicated volunteers who put on fantastic nature programs so we all can enjoy it. Make sure your summer activities in New Jersey include some of these walks, free activities, and free events with nature in mind.

  1. Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary Tours
  2. Nature Hikes at Liberty State Park
  3. NJ Botanical Gardens Guided Garden Tour 
  4. Nature Walks at Jakes Branch in Beachwood 
  5. Nature Walks at Historic Smithville Park – Smith’s Woods
  6. Head to Cattus Island for a Nature Walk with a naturalist
  7. Enjoy a nature hike with the Double Trouble State Park Weekday Walks and Sunday Saunters

More free nature-themed events on NJ

  1. Family Friendly Events at Stockton University 
  2. Jakes Branch Live Animal Talks
  3. Feeding Frenzy at the Nature Center of Cape May 
Teen with a turtle at the Rancocas Nature Center
Rancocas Nature Center

Fly a kite

Kites can be so magnificent and pretty. Have you ever tried flying a kite with your kids?

We have and we’ve enjoyed it, but we can definitely understand how it can be frustrating. Sometimes you can’t help but have those Charlie Brown, kite-stuck-in-a-tree moments.

Whether you and your kids need a little help with your kite flying techniques, you want to fly kites with others, or you just want to take in the beauty of kites, there are kite flying events and festivals in New Jersey this summer. Take a look.

Kites from International Kite Festival in Wildwood.

Bonfires on the beach

It’s not everyday that you see a bonfire on the beach, but in some NJ towns bonfires are a must do summer activity. Grab your beach chairs and blankets and head to one of these summer bonfires in New Jersey.

Search for treasure

New Jersey is a treasure it and of itself, but in Cape May you can actually search the beach for diamonds and it’s said there are secret spots along the Jersey Shore you can find a bounty of sea glass as well.

Look up to the sky for amazing aerial feats

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a paratrooper! This summer it could be all three as airshows return to our beaches and airports. Watch planes, jets, helicopters, and more show off their amazing talents.

Here’s a few more air shows in New Jersey this summer.

Admissions to these air shows isn’t free, but we think you’ll still enjoy them.

Air Show
We love the planes in formation. | Photo Courtesy Jersey Family Fun

Even when there’s not an airshow happening there are still ways to see planes. Why not take your kids to a New Jersey airport where they can watch planes take off? Here’s our recommendations for the best places to watch airplanes in New Jersey.

Get a little wacky in Ocean City

Ocean City, NJ calls itself America’s greatest family resort and they work hard to make sure their boardwalk and town provides some of the best summer activities in New Jersey. Just check out their Ocean City Wacky Wednesdays where every Wednesday there’s another wacky way for you to have fun with your family.

Ocean City Sandcastle Park 34th Street Playground
Visit some of the great playgrounds in Ocean City when you are in the area.

Help the kids earn free prizes

Reading, eating pie, building an amazing sandcastle, these are just some of the free ways kids can earn prizes this summer. Take a look at these contests and other prize-earning programs below and come back to this guide often to see what new ways kids can earn free stuff in New Jersey.

tween reading a book while lying on a school bench
Summer reading can earn your kids prizes.

More fun and free summer activities in New Jersey

As if that wasn’t enough there are even MORE free things to do in New Jersey this summer.

More repeating free summer activities in New Jersey

One time free summer activities in New Jersey

  • Coming soon.

Visit a new place in New Jersey for free

In addition to all the free summer activities in New Jersey, we also have free places to visit in New Jersey. While we encourage you to read our guide to free places to visit in New Jersey, here’s a sampling of that guide below.

Go back in time with one of these historical attractions in New Jersey

These NJ historical attractions offer free admission. We recommend calling before visiting to confirm hours of operation.

  • C.A. Nothnagle Log House  – 406 Swedesboro Road Gibbstown, (856) 423-0916
  • Camp Olden, 2202 Kuser Rd, Hamilton
  • Colonial House Museum, 653 1/2 Washington St, Cape May, (609) 884-9100
  • Drake House Museum, 602 West Front Street, Plainfield, (908) 755-5831
  • Dr. William Robinson Plantation – Madison Hill Road, Clark
  • Fleming Castle Museum, 5 Bonnell St, Flemington, (908) 782-4607
  • Fort Hancock Historic District – 128 South Hartshorne Drive Highlands, (732) 872-0115
  • Hamilton Van Wagoner House, 971 Valley Rd, Clifton, (973) 744-5707
  • Historic Longstreet Farm, 44 Longstreet Rd, Holmdel, (732) 946-3758
  • Howell Living History Farm – 70 Woodens Lane Lambertville, (609) 737-3299
  • Jacob Vanderveer House and Museum, 3055 River Rd Park, Bedminster, (908) 396-6053
  • The Korean War Memorial – Atlantic City Boardwalk (Behind Claridge)
  • Kuser Farm Mansion – 390 Newkirk Avenue Hamilton, (609) 890-3630
  • Shippen Manor Museum, Oxford, (908) 453-4381
  • Somers Point Mansion – 100 Shore Road Somers Point  (609) 927-2212
  • Southern New Jersey All Sports Museum and Hall of Fame – Burt Ave Rec Center Bridgeton, (609) 451-7300
  • State House – 125 West State Street Trenton, (609) 633-2709
  • Tuckerton Historical Society, 35 Leitz Blvd, Little Egg Harbor, (609) 294-1547
Bikers in front of Somers Mansion in Somers Point
Somers Manion In Somers Point, not far from the Ocean City Bridge.

Kids eat free

You can’t enjoy all these summer activities in New Jersey without stopping occasionally to feed the kids. With restrictions being lifted and NJ restaurants getting back to normal, now’s a great time to check in with our directory of Kids eat free restaurants in New Jersey.

Find out where kids can eat free tonight in New Jersey
summer activities in NJ

Cheap Summer Activities in New Jersey

These things to do in New Jersey might not be free, but we felt these cheap summer New Jersey activities should definitely be included in your summer things to do in New Jersey.

New Jersey beaches with cheap badge prices

The following New Jersey beaches have daily beach badges that are $5 or less. Get more information on beach tag prices, parking, and more in our New Jersey Beaches and Beach Tag Information.

  • Barnegat Light
  • Egg Harbor City Lake
  • Long Branch
  • Ocean City
  • Sea Isle City
little girl plays on beach alone

Watch cheap movies in New Jersey

Unfortunately, not all movies can be free, but cheap $1 or $5 movies are better than paying full price for movie tickets.

New Jersey Regal Cinemas with cheap movies

Visit our guide to Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express to learn more about the cheap movies program that lets kids and their grown ups see movies for $1 each.

  • Regal Burlington, Stadium 20, Burlington, New Jersey
  • Regal Independence Plaza, Hamilton, New Jersey
  • Regal Manahawkin 10, Manahawkin, New Jersey
  • Regal Hamilton Commons, Stadium 14, Mays Landing, New Jersey
  • Regal Moorestown Mall & RPX, Moorestown, New Jersey
  • Regal Commerce Center & RPX, North Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Regal Pohatcong, Stadium 12, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
  • Regal UA Washington Township, Sewell, New Jersey
  • Regal Hadley Theatre, South Plainfield, New Jersey
  • Regal Cross Keys Stadium 12, Turnersville, New Jersey
  • Regal Cumberland Mall, Stadium 14, Vineland, New Jersey
Regal Cinemas
Regal Entertainment Group hosts Summer Movie Express. Source: Regal Entertainment Group

More ways to get cheap movie tickets in New Jersey

  • Coming soon
outdoor movie

Listen to a cheap summer concert in New Jersey

Again, not all NJ concerts are free, but as we find cheap concerts or great deals on family friendly concerts in NJ, we’ll post links here.

New Jersey towns with cheap concerts in the park

  • Coming soon

New Jersey towns with cheap concerts on the beach

  • Coming soon

More New Jersey towns with cheap concerts this summer

  • Coming soon
outdoor concert stage with equipment

Pig out and try new foods at one of NJ’s food truck festivals

Food truck festivals in New Jersey can be so delicious! Where else can you taste a plethora of food all in one place. Whether you have a picky eater or someone who loves tasting new flavor combinations make dinner super easy one day (or more) and head to a food truck festival in NJ. Many have admission prices that are $5 or less to attend.

Gourmet Food Trucks

Splash it up at New Jersey splash pads and spraygrounds

When does a neat and unique playground become even more fun? When it’s one of NJ’s splashtastic splash pads and spraygrounds. Head on over to our guide to NJ spraygrounds and splash pads to find one near you.

Frank Zaccaria Parksplashpad

Celebrate Christmas in July

The last couple of years Christmas in July events in New Jersey have really taken off. This year, since we couldn’t have our regular Christmas events in New Jersey I expect NJ Christmas in July events to be extremely popular. Here’s Christmas in July events we already have on our calendar.

Rent a Kayak

Kayaking down a stream or in the bay is another one of my favorite summer activities in New Jersey, but unfortunately it can be so expensive. I was so thrilled last year when I discovered there are cheap places to rent a kayak in New Jersey. We’ve now added some of those places to our Calendar of Events. Here are a few of them. Also check in with your NJ State Parks, many of them, like Parvin State Park have cheap kayak and canoe rentals on their property.

Boys kayaking at Tuckerton Seaport

Visit a New Jersey State Park

Hiking trails, nature programs, places to hike, campgrounds to camp… I love our New Jersey State Parks. In the off season nearly all NJ State Parks have free admission, but in the summertime there is a small charge. Learn more in our guide to New Jersey State Parks and visit our COVID Vaccine Freebies & Perks in New Jersey to learn how you can earn a free NJ State Park pass so you can visit our state parks for FREE with your family all summer long.

boy on train at Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal at Liberty State Park in Jersey City
Come along and enjoy these ideas for New Jersey staycations.

Climb a lighthouse

Climb to the top of a NJ lighthouse and get stunning views you can’t get anywhere else. NJ is home to 11 lighthouses including the third tallest in the country.

These New Jersey lighthouses offer free admission.

  • Finns Rear Range Lighthouse – Supawna Meadows National Wildlife Refuge at Fort Mott & Lighthouse Roads in Pennsville (609) 463-0994
  • Hereford Inlet Lighthouse – 111 N Central Avenue in North Wildwood (609) 500-1561
  • Sea Girt Lighthouse – 9 Ocean Avenue Sea Girt, (732) 974-0514
  • Twin Lights Historic Site – Lighthouse Road Highlands, (732) 872-1814

These New Jersey lighthouses have an admission price that is $10 or less per guest.

  • Barnegat Lighthouse
  • Cape May Lighthouse
  • East Point Lighthouse
  • Tucker’s Island Lighthouse

Learn more about New Jersey lighthouses. Don’t forget National Lighthouse Day is in early August. Most NJ lighthouses will celebrate with special events or deals on admission. Get more details in these events soon to be updated for 2021, New Jersey National Lighthouse Day Events.

Cape May Point lighthouse at Cape May Point State Park

Enjoy theatre in the park

Enjoy some theatre in the park. Whether it’s Shakespeare or a children’s play watching a story played out while having a picnic is a great thing to do in New Jersey this summer. Find out more in these event listings.

Enjoy a cheap, but fun New Jersey festival

Not every NJ festival can be free, but the ones that charge often do include fun and engaging activities for the kids. Here are some cheap NJ festivals we think your family will enjoy.

Atlantic-City-Chalk-Art-Festival-3
Atlantic City Chalk Art Festival

Shop a NJ Farmer’s Markets

Not only is shopping a New Jersey farmer’s market a fantastic way to support local farmers, but many of these farmer’s markets offer kids activities or live entertainment. Click on the link below to find out their schedule and other details.

  1. Asbury Park Farmers Market
  2. Brick Township Farmers Market
  3. Little Falls Farmers Market
  4. Petersburg Farmers Market
  5. Red Bank Farmers Market
  6. Scotch Plains Farmers Market
  7. Downtown Wildwood Farmers Market 
Farmers' Market produce pic

More cheap things to do this summer in New Jersey

When there’s so many cheap summer activities in New Jersey it can be hard to find a category/heading for each and everyone. Here’s a few more we wanted to share with you.

Stay cool with these summer activities in New Jersey

Not only are some of these New Jersey summer activities cheap or free, they’ll keep you cool and refreshed in air conditioned spaces.

Visit an art museum for free

Park the car in a lot and enjoy these free air conditioned museums in New Jersey.

Explore Art with your kids at the Noyes Museum of Art

Drive along New Jersey’s most scenic routes

You can beat the heat from your air conditioned car while you travel these stunning New Jersey scenic routes.

A-farm-scene-is-painted-on-a-silo-on-the-NJ-scenic-route-23-in-lafayette

Take a look at all of Atlantic City’s murals

While you’re in the car with the AC why not head down to Atlantic City to see all the murals. We’ve created a self-guided tour of Atlantic City’s murals.

find your way atlantic city mural

Check out the new, but temporary outdoor art in Camden

Tour the Art Installations of A New View Camden! Visit their website www.anewviewcamden.com for a map and audio tour to start you on your way! See for yourself the sculptures that transformed Camden lots from dumping hot-spots to community sculpture gardens.

Gutterball or a strike?

Let the kids work on their bowling game at any of the New Jersey Bowling Alleys offering free bowling this summer. For a small one time fee, adults can play for free as well. Learn more in this article, New Jersey Kids Can Bowl Free with Kids Bowl Free Program

kid bowling in Kids Bowl Free program

More unique fun summer activities in New Jersey

Throw an axe

Have you or the kids ever thrown an axe? The next time you’re walking the boardwalk keep your eye open for axe throwing attractions. It’s not usually expensive to take a turn throwing a few axes, plus it’s something different the kids and you will enjoy.

Make a souvenir

Up and down New Jersey boardwalks and in NJ downtowns there are art studios that allow kids, teens, and adults to create their own art. Whether it’s a glass mosaic, a painted ceramic piece, or a stenciled piece of wooden art there are NJ studios that let you design your own art project. Why not create a souvenir remembrance for this summer.

Howl with the wolves

At Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, NJ you can visit with the wolves and even try to howl like them. Explore and learn about these intriguing animals through their educational Wolf Watch tours. Visitors can enjoy either a scenic 1/2 mile nature walk from the parking area to the preserve or take a shuttle bus to the starting spot. Once you are at the preserve you will be invited into the observation area to observe 4 different packs of wolves. Learn more and schedule your tour at the Lakota Wolf Preserve website.

Pose with life-like statues

One of the most unique art museums we have in New Jersey is the Grounds for Sculpture museums. As you walk among the grounds to look at the gardens you might mistake the sculptured people for real people. They are that life like. Pack a picnic. Charge your camera. Plan a trip for the Grounds for Sculpture among your 2021 summer activities in New Jersey.

Grounds-for-sculpture-teen-poses-with-dancing-statue

Fire a saluting gun at the Battleship New Jersey

The Battleship New Jersey is now allowing guests touring the ship to pull the trigger and fire a salute every Saturday from 12 pm to 2 pm. Guests can shoot the saluting gun for a $50 donation to the Battleship, a non-profit museum and memorial. Guests can make a $50 donation online at or at the Battleship’s Ticket Office on Saturday morning. Learn more at the Battleship New Jersey website.

USS Battleship New Jersey
The Battleship NJ on the Camden Waterfront.

Get up close with the Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil is the newest roller coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure! If you’re a daredevil then get close to this devil.

The Jersey Devil Coaster will rank as the world’s tallest, fastest and longest single rail coaster—towering 13 stories, flying at speeds up to 58 miles-per-hour, and propelling riders single file through the dark and foreboding woods over 3,000 feet of track. Inspired by infamous New Jersey mythology, the cutting-edge coaster will feature five intense elements, including three dramatic inversions.

Six Flags Great Adventure Jersey Devil Coaster key art

Even MORE ideas for summer activities in New Jersey

  1. Challenge yourself to try an epic rollercoaster at one of these New Jersey Amusement Parks.
  2. Grab a kid and a tube and take on a twisty turny water slide at one of these water parks in New Jersey.

Our favorite summer activities near New Jersey

Check out these articles about some of our favorite summer destinations and activities near New Jersey.

Statue of Liberty

If you haven’t done it yet, visiting the Statue of Liberty has to be on your list for summer activities in New Jersey. I mean it’s in NJ after all. ;-) Find out how we did it and our advice in Plan to Visit the Statue of Liberty with Kids with These Tips.

The Statue of Liberty with kids

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is so close, it’s a great day trip near New Jersey and Philly offers something for everyone.

Image of child with the Philadelphia Zoo sculpture

New York City

Hop a train! Ride a bus! New York City is open for visitors again and they can’t wait to see you again.

New York City Skyline

Have we left out any summer activities in New Jersey that you would recommend? Are there still more things to do in New Jersey this summer? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree we’ll add it.

the most amazing list of things to do in NJ with kids this summer.

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Friday 22nd of October 2021

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