Seriously Ready for Summer's summer!
By Heather Morse & Erin Bell

Can we be any happier? There is finally no snow, no plunging temperatures and no inches of ice and blustering wind. It’s time to dig out the flip flops, floaties and anything else you can find for some summer FUN! Hold on to this handy-dandy, can’t-be-beat, jam-packed guide of SJ happenings and hot spots. ’Cause after the winter we just had, we’re planning on making this the best summer yet!


Movies under the Stars

Bring your folding chairs and blankets to the park for some outdoor film fun – and it’s free! Shows on the big screen are usually family-friendly.

Knight Park, Collingswood
Tuesdays and Thursdays at dusk starting July 8

Excursion Park, Sea Isle City
Tuesdays at dusk starting June 24

Washington Lake Park Amphitheater, Sewell
Shows start at dusk but dates vary, see website for schedule

Lindenwold Park, Lindenwold
July 11 and 18, August 1 and 15 starting at 8:45 pm
(A live children’s show starts at 7 each night.)

On the beach near Convention Hall, Cape May
Thursdays at 8:30 pm in July and August
(Don’t miss “JAWS” on August 7!)


Sounds of Summertime

Check out jazz, rock, country and more at free concerts across SJ.

Mark Brown Jazz Quartet featuring Siiyara Nelson
June 22 at 2 pm
Burlington County Library Headquarters, Westampton

Annual Sunset Jazz Series
Mondays starting June 23 at 8 pm
Wiggins Waterfront Park, Camden

Bennie and the Jets Elton John Tribute Band
July 19 at 7:30 pm
Centennial Park, Wildwood Crest

Blake Shelton
July 31 at 6 pm
Beach near Caesars Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City

Hollystock Music Festival
August 8 & 9 from noon to 9 pm
High Street, Mount Holly

Musician Impossible House Band
August 23 at 1 pm
Fasola Park, Deptford


Community Theater

“The Fox on the Fairway”
June 1-8; showtimes vary
Sketch Club Players
433 Glover Street, Woodbury

“The First Fifty Years”
June 11-July 19; showtimes vary
East Lynne Theater Company
500 Hughes Street, Cape May

One-Act Play Competition
June 13 at 7 pm
Grand Theatre Road Company
405 South Main Street, Williamstown

“Moon Over Buffalo”
June 18-August 1; showtimes vary
Cape May Stage Theatre Company
Robert Shackleton Playhouse
405 Lafayette Street, Cape May

Broadway on the Boardwalk
June 25 at 7:30 pm
Greater Ocean City Theatre Co.
Music Pier on the Boardwalk, between 8th Street and Moorlyn Terrace

“Young Frankenstein”
July 10-August 2; showtimes vary
The Ritz Theatre Company
915 White Horse Pike, Haddon Township

“Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”
July 11-August 3; showtimes vary
Broadway Theatre of Pitman
43 South Broadway, Pitman

“Fiddler on the Roof”
July 17-26; showtimes vary
Moorestown Theater Company
William Allen Middle School
801 North Stanwick Road, Moorestown

“Miss Saigon”
July 17-August 9; showtimes vary
Haddonfield Plays and Players
957 East Atlantic Avenue, Haddonfield

“Monty Python’s Spamalot”
July 25-August 9; showtimes vary
Cumberland Players
66 East Sherman Avenue, Vineland

“The Little Mermaid Jr.”
July 30-August 2; showtimes vary
Voorhees Theatre Company
1000 Holly Oak Drive, Voorhees

“The King and I”
August 8-17; showtimes vary
Off Broad Street Players
The Levoy Theatre
126-128 North High Street, Millville


Only on the Boardwalk

Miss New Jersey Pageant & Parade
It’s the last stop before the Miss America pageant! See the Miss New Jersey contestants parade down the Ocean City Boardwalk (between 6th and 14th streets) on Wednesday, June 12 at 7 pm. Then watch as the winner – and new Miss America contestant – is crowned on June 14 at 7 pm in the Music Pier.

Celebrate the sea with song and seafood at the Cape May Nature Center on June 14. Take in the sights of the harbor with a water taxi or trolley ride and enjoy the beer garden while listening to live music. Kids can learn lots about ocean life from experts at the nature center.
Harborfest runs from 10 am to 5 pm.

Car and Truck Show
Take your picture with the rare imported cars and trucks lined along the Wildwood Boardwalk on June 13-15. Awards are given to the flashiest and coolest cars during a ceremony on Sunday.

French Fry Festival
Amateur diners flock to the annual eating competition of a beloved Boardwalk brand: Curley’s French Fries. Watch the competition at the Surfside Pier on June 15 from noon to 2 pm.

Boardwalk Art Show
Artists from all over the East Coast display their art on the Ocean City Boardwalk from August 1-3.


Eats & Entertainment

June 21 & 22
Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival
Enjoy Jersey-fresh seafood, live music, family-friendly activities and boat rides at Tuckerton Seaport.

June 28
Whitesbog Blueberry Festival
Head to historic Whitesbog Village to celebrate all things blueberry (including a blueberry pie-eating contest).

July 11-13
New Jersey State BBQ Championship
Sample mouthwatering barbecue, watch cooking demonstrations and enjoy live entertainment at various sites in North Wildwood.

July 13
Sundaes on Sunday Ice Cream Festival
Satisfy your sweet tooth with all-you-can-eat ice cream at All Wars Memorial Park in Linwood.

July 19
New Jersey State Crab Festival
Catch a bite of crab delicacies and enjoy family-friendly fun at this Wildwood festival.

July 24-27
New Jersey Peach Festival
Celebrate the summer fruit at the Gloucester County 4-H Fairgrounds in Mullica Hill.

July 25-27
Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival
Enjoy dining, wine and culinary demonstrations from renowned chefs. Most events take place on the beach and Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

August 9
Craft Beer & Crab Festival
Wash down favorite picnic foods with local craft brews at Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May.

August 30
West Cape May Jersey Tomato Festival
Sink your teeth into Jersey-fresh tomatoes during this family-friendly event at Wilbraham Park in West Cape May.


Festival Fun

Moorestown Day
Along Main Street from Church Street to Chester Avenue on June 7 from 9 am to 3 pm
Highlights: food, crafts, live entertainment

Bay Day
Bayshore Center at Bivalve in Port Norris on June 7 from noon to 9 pm
Highlights: crab picking contest, live music, food, games, lighted boat parade and fireworks at dusk

Fantasy Faire
WheatonArts and Cultural Center in Millville on June 21 and 22 from 10 am to 5 pm
Highlights: whimsical, family-friendly performances featuring knights, princesses, elves and fairies

Maritime Festival
Hereford Inlet Lighthouse in North Wildwood on June 21 from 9 am to 5 pm and June 22 from 9 am to 4 pm
Highlights: artists, crafters, historians, food, best-dressed pirate contest and lighthouse tours

Italian-American Festival
Along Olde New Jersey Avenue in North Wildwood on June 27 from 6 to 10 pm, June 28 from 10 am to 10 pm and June 29 from noon to 6 pm
Highlights: authentic Italian-American foods, vendors, live entertainment, Little Miss Italy contest and kids’ games

Sand Sculpting Festival
Beach Pier at Heather Road in Wildwood Crest on July 12 from 10 am to 2 pm
Highlights: amateur sand-sculpting contest, demonstrations from professional sand sculptors and live music on the beach

Haddonfield Crafts & Fine Art Festival
Along Main Street in Haddonfield on July 12 from 11 am to 7 pm and July 13 from noon to 5 pm
Highlights: crafts and fine arts from more than 250 artists, music and curbside eateries

Collingswood Crafts & Fine Arts Festival
Along Haddon Avenue in Collingswood on August 16 and 17 from 10 am to 5 pm
Highlights: more than 150 crafters and artists, fine cuisine and live music throughout downtown Collingswood

Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival
At the Salem County Fairgrounds on August 29 from noon to 11 pm and August 31 from 11 am to 6 pm
Highlights: performances by more than a dozen bluegrass musicians, as well as children’s entertainment


Boredom Busters

Here’s an arsenal of kid-tested and parent-approved hot spots and activities guaranteed to fight off summer boredom.

Diggerland USA
535 North Route 73, West Berlin
When to go: Sunday-Friday, 10 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm
Why the kids will love it: The construction-themed adventure park lets kids ride in, play on and drive cool heavy machinery. The park, which is the first of its kind in the United States, makes its grand opening on June 14.

Air Victory Museum
68 Stacy Haines Road, Lumberton
When to go: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm
Why the kids will love it: The huge airport hangar is filled with loads of super-cool aircraft, engines and aviation memorabilia. You can even sit in the cockpit of a vintage jet fighter.

Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University
201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro
When to go: Showtimes are 3 pm on Sundays
Why the kids will love it: The out-of-this-world shows give kids (and adults) an awesome – and entertaining – look at space exploration, stars, planets, galaxies, meteors and everything else cosmic.

Camden Children’s Garden
3 Riverside Drive, Camden
When to go: Friday-Sunday in June, 10 am to 4 pm; Thursday-Sunday in July and August, 10 am to 4 pm
Why the kids will love it: After they dig for fossils in the Dinosaur Garden and make their way through the Red Oak Run maze, they can climb aboard the Arrow River Train or take a spin on the Garden Carousel.

The Wetlands Institute
1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor
When to go: Open daily, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm; On Tuesdays-Thursdays from June 17 to August 28 the institute stays open until 8 pm
Why the kids will love it: They are encouraged to explore the center’s gardens and immerse themselves in the diverse ecosystem at the Shore through boat rides, kayaking, animal shows and educational talks.

Rancocas Nature Center
794 Rancocas Road, Westampton
When to go: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm; Sunday, noon to 5 pm
Why the kids will love it: There’s tons of cool wildlife to be spotted along the center’s hiking trails, and children’s programs let your little ones learn about everything from bugs and birds to animals with scales and tails.

Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive, Camden
When to go: Open daily, 10 am to 5 pm
Why the kids will love it: It’s the only place in SJ where kids can touch a shark, pet a stingray, watch penguins play and go eye-to-eye with hippos, all in one day.

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
4 Sawmill Road, Medford
When to go: Monday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday, noon to 4 pm
Why the kids will love it: After hiking around Cedar Run Lake, youngsters can visit with the center’s resident animals, including Reggie the screech owl, Shadow the gray fox and Orion the bald eagle.

Cape May County Zoo
707 North Route 9, Cape May
When to go: Open Daily, 10 am to 4:45 pm
Why the kids will love it: They get to walk on the wild side while checking out the awesome animal displays (the zoo is home to more than 500 critters). Afterward, they can take a spin on the carousel, take a train ride or explore the playground.

Don’t miss the drive-in!
Go back in time, recline your seats and crack the windows open while you watch a movie at SJ’s last and only drive-in movie theater. Double features are projected onto the mega screen, and the audio comes in on the drive-in’s radio station (you’re not really going back in time). There is also a full-service concession stand.
Delsea Drive-In Theatre
2203 South Delsea Drive, Vineland
Open Wednesdays through Sundays starting mid-June

Movie Club
Join film buffs for screenings and lively discussions at the Collingswood Library. Film teacher Bob Castle will lead the free series, which features movies from the 1930s to recent hits. The club meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 pm.


Cool County Fairs

From carnival rides and mouth-watering foods to art displays, animal exhibits and live entertainment, SJ’s county fairs have something fun for all ages.

July 7-12
Cumberland County Fair
3001 Carmel Road, Millville

July 15-20
Burlington County Farm Fair
1960 Jacksonville-Jobstown Road, Columbus

July 17-20
Cape May County 4-H Fair
355 Court House-South Dennis Road, Cape May Court House

July 24-27
Gloucester County Fair
275 Bridgeton Pike, Mullica Hill

August 5-8
Salem County Fair
735 Route 40, Woodstown

August 7-9
Atlantic County 4-H Fair
3210 Route 50, Egg Harbor City


Five Summer Must-Dos

with the kids…

5. See a fairytale come to life
You can literally walk through your child’s favorite stories and nursery rhymes at Storybook Land in Egg Harbor Township.

4. Take an art walk
Your kids have never seen anything like this before. Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton has 42 picturesque acres of outdoor sculptures, as well as indoor exhibitions and educational programs for all ages.

3. Meet minstrels and maidens
Become part of the fanciful action at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire at Liberty Lake in Bordentown on May 31 and June 1, 7 and 8.

2. Cheer on a cowboy
Bull riders, steer wrestlers, barrel racers and colorful clowns put on a heck of a show at Cowtown Rodeo in Pilesgrove every Saturday night through September.

1. Step back in time
Go back 200 years at Cape May’s Cold Spring Village. Tour the 30 acres with its authentic buildings, working farm and historical guides in period clothing.


just for adults…

5. Take a Saturday stroll
Each month, the streets of Collingswood come alive with art, live music and culture for Second Saturday. (Many local restaurants have dinner specials that night, too.)

4. Chill in a cabana
Grab your sunglasses and a good book, and head to one of the many shore resorts that coax and calm with their luscious private cabanas.

3. Refine your palate
Cape May, Sea Isle City, Avalon, Stone Harbor and the Wildwoods each hold Restaurant Weeks throughout the summer, giving you ample opportunity to taste something new. (Visit for a complete list of Restaurant Weeks down the Shore.)

2. Catch a concert
Get your groove on at one of the great shows coming to SJ this summer (Journey and Steve Miller Band, Susquehanna Bank Center, June 22; Darius Rucker, The Borgata, July 25; Rod Stewart, Trump Taj Mahal, August 23)

1. Enjoy some peace and quiet
Spend an afternoon or just an hour at Historic Smithville Park in Eastampton. Take in the beautiful water views, serene hiking trails and picturesque picnic spots. Be sure not to miss the floating walkway.


A View From the Top

August 7 is National Lighthouse Day, and several SJ lighthouses are planning special events to commemorate the holiday. Lace up your shoes, climb the stairs and enjoy the view!

Absecon Lighthouse
31 South Rhode Island Avenue, Atlantic City
Open from 10 am to 5 pm
Special events: Kids climb free and can enjoy arts and crafts activities.

Cape May Lighthouse
215 Light House Avenue, Cape May Point
Open from 9 am to 2 pm
Special events: Free admission to the grounds and activities including storytelling, live music and refreshments. The cost to climb is $7 adults and $3 for kids ages 3-12.

Hereford Inlet Lighthouse
111 North Central Avenue, Wildwood
Open from 9 am to 5 pm
Special events: Free admission and special guest speakers including lighthouse historians and Coast Guard members.

Tucker’s Island Lighthouse
Tuckerton Seaport
120 West Main Street, Tuckerton
Open from 10 am to 5 pm
Special events: Historians will be on hand to speak about the lighthouse’s past, and kids can enjoy lighthouse-themed crafts.


Shiver Me Timbers!

Buccaneers young and old will find a fortune of tales, tunes and treasures aboard the Dark Star, an authentic pirate-themed cruise that sets sail daily from Wildwood Crest. Each hour-and-a-half cruise includes a crew of pirates who entertain passengers with stories, face painting, a treasure hunt, a water cannon battle, music and loads of fun. Cruises depart five times a day, and the cost is $23 per pirate (an eye patch is included with each ticket!).


Camping – SJ Style

Grab the kids and gather ’round the campfire, because summertime means camping – SJ style! Experience the best of the SJ wilderness during a stay in one of our protected state forests like Bass River State Forest in Tuckerton. The campsite features 176 secluded tent and trailer sites equipped with fire rings and picnic tables perfect for a night of marshmallow roasting. You can also take your family of explorers to check out the wildlife at the Wharton State Forest campgrounds in Hammonton, and see if you can spot the river otters, bald eagles and great blue herons native to the area.

If tent camping isn’t for you, some parks have log cabins with bathrooms, beds, fireplaces and refrigerators. Bass River, Brendan T. Byrne Forest in New Lisbon and Belleplain State Forest in Woodbine also have lean-tos and yurts (large circular tents built on a wood frame that feature a Plexiglas skylight so you can watch the stars and sunrise).

Can’t decide which state forest to choose? Try three in one trip – you can set up camp as you hike along the 50-mile Batona Trail, which links Bass River to Brendan T. Byrne and Wharton Forest. While you’re exploring Wharton, check out historic Batsto Village, where a glass-blowing industrial town once thrived, and the Blacksmith shop is still open for demonstrations.

All of the state forests are pet friendly – just be sure to stick to the designated camping areas.

Plus, plenty of campgrounds close to the Shore feature a scenic mixture of the forested Pinelands and swimming lakes, though you’re never too far from the restaurants and beaches you love. Whether you’re in a tent or RV, Big Timber Lake in Cape May Court House offers freshwater lakes. Over at Winding River Campground in Mays Landing take a quiet escape from the noise of the Shore with leisurely tubing and canoeing down the Egg Harbor River. And Avalon Campground offers activities and festivals throughout the summer, such as Hawaiian Hullabaloo and a Winter Wonderland Week in July.


Sailor for a Day

Ahoy there! Kids hit the high seas at Sailor for a Day Camp aboard the A.J. Meerwald, an oyster-dredging schooner built in 1928. The ship has been fully restored to lead educational programs for the Bayshore Discovery Project. A daily excursion aboard the Meerwald allows kids who might not have their sea legs yet to become accomplished mariners as they explore the Delaware Bay from 9 am to 4 pm. Kids ages 10 through 16 plot the course for the excursion, helm the ship (that’s steering the ship, for you landlubbers) and set sail. On the trip, they learn the ins-and-outs of sailing, including tying knots and adjusting the sails, while also netting and examining marine life, dissecting oysters and experiencing the local watershed. The cost is $70.


A Family-Friendly Home Run

The Camden Riversharks really know how families can have fun this summer: every day of the week, moms, dads and kids can take advantage of special offers that make a trip to the ballpark even more memorable. Think Munchkin Mondays (kids’ admission is just $3), Dollar Tuesdays (select menu and merchandise items for just a buck), Friday Fireworks and Sunday Sundaes (post-game ice cream for everyone!). The park also has a Fit and Fun Zone with an old-fashioned carousel. And oh yeah, don’t forget the baseball game!


A Toast to Summer

Now that winter is over, there’s plenty of reason to raise a glass and salute the warm sun. Grown-ups will love the summer offerings of SJ’s wonderful wineries.

On July 20 and 21, select wineries will open their barrel rooms for Barrel Trail Weekend. On these two days, you’ll get a chance to sample future vintages and get a sense of what upcoming wines will taste like. Many wineries also debut new releases, host live music and offer educational tours throughout the weekend.

The state’s largest wine festival, the Jazz It Up Wine Festival, comes to Allaire State Park in Farmingdale on August 30 and 31. The event will feature more than 300 locally produced wines along with live jazz music, craft and food vendors, and tours of the park’s historic 19th-century village.

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to check out the wineries, though. The tasting rooms at most SJ wineries are open every weekend all summer long, and many vineyards host their own unique events. Fire Pit Fridays at Willow Creek Winery in West Cape May (you can enjoy delicious tapas while sipping on wine outside by a cozy fire) and Sangria Sundays at Hawk Haven Vineyard in Rio Grande (you can sample sangrias and savory crepes while local singer-songwriters perform) are two good bets.

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