If you’re looking for some fantastic fun with your family in New Jersey this summer (and who isn’t?) I have a few family events lined up for you that you may not even be aware of.

Last week I posted about family movie nights, which is one of my favorite things to do on a summer night. But I also bemoaned the fact that when my kids were younger it was so difficult to come up with fun, unique activities for families. So here are some cool original ideas I wish I had back when my kids were growing up.

The Belmar Friday Night Concert Series on The Plaza is such a beautiful way to bond with your family. Oh, and by the way, it’s a free concert series. It runs until Sept. 1 and the concert begins at 6 p.m. and goes till 9 p.m.

(Belmar via Facebook)
(Belmar via Facebook)

Speaking of music, every Sunday you can pack your blankets and head to West End Park in Long Branch for "Bands by the Beach." We were lucky enough to have a similar program when I was a Long Branch resident and I can tell you from experience, this is so much fun. But it’s even better now that it’s become so popular and families are encouraged to attend. Great vibes— great music. Make sure to check the website for the full schedule of performances. 

Welcome to Long Branch sign
Welcome to Long Branch sign (Google Street View)

Everybody loves a farmers market and the west end, Long Branch farmers market is no exception. Again, I might be a little partial to Long Branch activities because I love that town so much, but this farmers market happens every from July 18 to Oct. 19 between 12 and 2 p.m. You are going to love the opportunity to pick out Jersey's best from Jersey's best farms for your family. Plus it’s such a fun, vibrant cool thing to do with kids! Every year, it just keeps getting better and better!

Balloons over the NJ Festival of Ballooning
Balloons over the NJ Festival of Ballooning (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot-air balloon and music festival in North America. It happens at the Solberg Airport in Readington, where they have twice daily mass launchings of up to 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons! There are also concerts, this year featuring KC and the Sunshine Band, crafters, vendors, and so much more.

It’s happening this year from July 28-30.

Pier Village Long Branch
(Google Maps)

And of course, there are Thursdays by the Beach at Long Branch Pier Village. Pier Village is that beautiful stretch of beach across the Long Branch oceanfront that makes you feel like you’re on vacation. It’s great for that beach music vibe. Get ready to enjoy some great tunes at Pier Village, and don't forget to bring a cozy blanket to enhance the experience.

If you can attend all or even some of these events, you’ll have a blast with your loved ones this summer, and get a chance to make some really great lasting memories.

NJ county fairs are back! Check out the 2023 summer schedule

A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2023. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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