There’s lots to do this holiday weekend, the last weekend before the unofficial end of summer! Treat your teen to a back-to-school sailboat cruise, head to the mall for a pop-up experience or hit up a Labor Day carnival, event or parade happening all weekend! Make sure you squeeze in every last bit of summer with our last-minute suggestions!
Fire Department Carnival
Boonton High School, Boonton
Thursday – Sunday
This end-of-summer carnival will include rides, games, entertainment and food. And don’t miss out on the Labor Day Parade along Main Street, beginning at 1:30 pm Saturday – you can head to the carnival after!
Sip Shop Eat
Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall, Paramus
Friday – Saturday
All the best in local food, style and drinks collide at this interactive pop-up. The two-day event features 50+ vendors, curated selection of small, local businesses, immersive photo-ops, complimentary beverages, a nail bar and more!
Fair Haven Fire Department, Fair Haven
Friday – Saturday
There will be lots of seafood and chowder at this festival, plus rides, games, mini golf, raffles, and of course time well spent with local firemen and first responders.
Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival
Friday – Sunday
Enjoy a weekend filled with bluegrass music, pickin’ classes and clogging instructions.
Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival
Friday – Sunday
There are 75 planned launches of hot air balloons throughout the weekend during the 31st annual Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival. There will be full flights and tethered flights, plus evening hot air balloon illumination moon glows. For the adrenaline junkies, you can also take a helicopter ride. There will be live music, live entertainment, family activities, food trucks and vendors – plus fireworks – every night.
Monster Truckz Chaos Tour
Miller Farms Arena, Berlin
Friday – Sunday
The 90-minute show is action-packed with extreme car crushing, the free Pit Party to learn all the inner workings of the giant Monster Truckz, photos with the drivers, a Kids Fun Zone, a bounce house, face painting and food.
Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum, Cape May
Friday – Monday
The Military Aviation Museum/Fighter Factory will be returning in 2022 for this super fun event, marking NAS Wildwood Aviation’s 26th anniversary. You’ll be amazed to see World War II aircraft (such as the Corsair, PBY Catalina and Junkers JU-52), the Tuskegee Airmen, helicopters and the Aero Club of PA. Also enjoy live music, food, a beer garden, vendors, classic cars, exhibitors and lectures.
St. Bart’s/UNICO Italian Fest
St. Bartholomew the Apostle Parish, Scotch Plains
Friday – Monday
There will be nightly live music, rides, games, bands and great food, including favorites like pizza, pasta, zeppole, clams, mussels, and calzones. The super 50/50 raffle will be drawn on Labor Day – last year the winnings were over $63,000!
Saint Joseph Feast
Saint Joseph Church, Lodi
Friday – Monday
If you are religious, make sure you come by on Monday for a special Mass and procession. And if you’re not, you can still come by for a weekend filled with great food, games and entertainment.
Sunrise Yoga at Balloon Fest
Saturday – Sunday
As a special treat, join Pellegrino Healing Center at 6:30 am Sept. 3 and 4 to practice yoga while watching the sunrise and hot air balloons take flight during the 31st annual Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival. All levels are welcome.
C is for Celebrate
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Saturday – Sunday
Visit Elmo for a patriotic photo op during Labor Day weekend – he will be dressed up in red, white and blue attire. And you won’t want to miss the “C is for Celebrate” fireworks display on Sunday night. Rock out with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count.
West 24th Street, New York
Everyone is welcome to celebrate Tonka’s 75 years of Tonka Tough with an epic in-person birthday “Playcation.” There will be lots of fun activities for the family, including a Tonka Playcation Truck, chalk art, games, prizes and giveaways, a free Tonka Playcation kit with snacks, and other goodies. Don’t miss the special surprise guest appearance!
Back to School Bash
Sesame Place, Langhorne, PA
Join Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count as they share all of their favorite parts of going to school and celebrate all the ways that school rules. Make sure you include the Back to School Bash Dine in your plans.
Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Madison
Madison’s own Classic Pop/Rock band Rosewood features Mary McManus (vocals, percussion), John McManus (guitar, vocals), Val Schuszler (guitar, vocals) and Rich Haddad (bass, vocals). Rosewood plays favorite hits from the ’60s through today.
Foundation Room Debut
Asbury Ocean Club, Asbury Park
Be part of the debut of this brand new art gallery, which will feature works from 12-year-old internationally acclaimed artist Joe Whale, also known as “Doodle Boy.” Inspired by his life and interests, his black-and-white drawings sprawl across numerous surfaces, including murals, canvases and even books. The debut event is Sept. 2 but his exhibit runs Sept. 3 through Oct. 31.
Car Show and Food Truck Festival
Rowan Boulevard, Glassboro
Head to the downtown area to see 300 vehicles while listening to live music, hearing from DJ Pepper Paul 92.1, and enjoying great food trucks and cold craft beer.
Beach Baby Goat Yoga
Join fellow yogis and animal lovers on the beach for a beginner-friendly goat centric yoga experience and snuggles with baby and miniature breed goats. Reap the benefits of animal and laughter therapies as the baby goats jump on your back, snuggle in your lap or take a nap on your mat as you move through the instructor’s guidance.
Friday Night Cruise Nights return to Downtown Somerville. Through Labor Day weekend, the coolest classic cars around line up along Main Street every Friday.
Wind Therapy Sail for Teens
Wilberts Marina, Forked River
This three-hour sail aboard the Wind Therapy sailboat is geared for teens ages 11 – 16 ahead of the new school year. There will be a mindfulness workshop focused on back-to-school expectations, goal setting for the 2022-23 year, breathing techniques and mindset exercises, guided meditation, visualization practice for a positive new school year and the playing of the crystal bowls. There will be an option for open swim time when the boat is anchored.
Pier Village, Long Branch
This family-friendly interactive bubble show is right by the ocean! Look out for foam bubbles, smoke bubbles, bubble nets, giant bubbles and much more during 45 minutes of awesomeness.
West Cape May
Celebrate one of New Jersey’s beloved fruits with lots of activities and food.
BBQ & Touch-a-Truck
McAfee Fire Department, McAfee
Kids can try on firefighting gear and check out the trucks while the adults get some grub at the Bearded Baby Que food truck.
Labor Day Concert & Fireworks
Main Street, Manasquan
Head to the shore for a concert by Deep Six followed by fireworks sponsored by Osprey.
Brunswick Square End of Summer Fest
Brunswick Square Mall, East Brunswick
The mall’s parking lot will be overtaken by food trucks, face painters, henna artists, bands and lots of kids activities to celebrate the end of the summer.
Rock the Block
Roosevelt School, New Brunswick
The first 500 students will get a free backpack. Plus, there will be free haircuts, face painting, games and more activities for kids.
Burger Eating Contest
Stage Left Steak, New Brunswick
Try to eat two burgers in 10 minutes in order to win prizes from Stage Left and Makers Mark Bourbon.
You can also see a movie for $3 today at certain theaters around the state in honor of National Cinema Day!
Vasa Park, Budd Lake
If you dress in authentic folk attire, you’ll be admitted to this festival for free! Celebrate the culture of the six Nordic nations (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) with food, music and entertainment.
Skylands Manor House Tours
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
New Jersey Botanical Garden volunteer docents will lead visitors on a tour of the architecture and history of Skylands Manor.
Labor Day Festival
Clifton Municipal Complex, Clifton
This festival is a combination of food trucks, art and music in celebration of Labor Day. Of course, there will be special activities for the kids, too.
Summer Carillon Concerts
Graduate School, Princeton University, Princeton
The carillon is a musical instrument of 23 or more bells that produce music when sounded. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to sit on.
Apple Pancake Breakfast
Alstede Farms, Chester
Indulge in a hearty farm-to-table apple pancake breakfast complete with homemade pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, homemade apple pancake topping, coffee and drinks. Take a wagon ride down to Harvest Hall where the buffet will be served. Afterward, continue at the PYO fields for apples or vegetables.
Street Fair & Craft Show
If you’re looking for something to do on the last unofficial Sunday of the summer, head out for artists, crafters, vendors, rides, games, live music and more.
Hispanic Parish Food Festival
St. Magdalen Church, Flemington
You’ll love trying dishes from Mexico, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica.
Labor Day Live Music
Broadwalk, Red Bank
Tim McLoone will perform with Mountain Station as this weekend of live music keeps growing.
MONDAY (LABOR DAY)
Labor Day Parade and Carnival
Starts on East Main St. and Mountain Ave., Mendham
The Mendham Labor Day Parade marches up Main Street ending at Borough Field. Don’t forget to enter the 50/50 raffle, either – in past years the prize has been more than $50,000.
Labor Day Parade and Festivities
Veterans Park, South Plainfield
This year’s theme is Parade Around the World. Stick around for food, drinks, live music, vendors and fireworks.
Labor Day Street Fair
Newark Pompton Turnpike, Riverdale
Shop ’til you drop, since there will be lots of exhibitors selling a selection of assorted items, a special arts and crafts section, live entertainment, kiddie rides and games, great festival foods and food trucks. The Kidz Traveling Shindig section will have bounce rides, slides and interactive blow ups, face painters, sand art and kids games.
Labor Day Classic
Choose from a 1-Mile Fun Run/Health Walk or a 5K to kick off the holiday! The 5K race is a USATF-NJ 500 point grand prix event on a USATF certified course; the walk goes around Verona Park.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, Point Pleasant
After spending the day on the beach or boardwalk, stay for a fireworks display at night.
Half Mile of Horses Artwork
Downtown Freehold Borough
Every day (through Sept. 30)
There are 12 painted horse sculptures decorating Main Street. The display honors the equine heritage of Freehold Borough, home of the oldest half-mile horse racing track in the country. Vote for your favorite one!
Dig It! Plant It! Eat It!
Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
From pollinators to plant dyes, each Saturday discover something new in nature! Rain or shine. Recommended for ages 4 – 10.
Art Exhibit: Joe Whale AKA “Doodle Boy”
Sept. 2 – Oct. 31
Asbury Ocean Club, Asbury Park
Be part of the debut of this brand new art gallery, which will feature works from 12-year-old internationally acclaimed artist Joe Whale, also known as “Doodle Boy.” Inspired by his life and interests, his black-and-white drawings sprawl across numerous surfaces, including murals, canvases and even books.
Chowder Traveling Taster
Sept. 3 – 30
You can join the Chowder Trail as a VIP Traveling Taster: visit every stop along the way in a day or take the whole month of September (Sept. 3 – 30) to taste and visit the LBI Region. The month-long cookoff ends with the Chowderfest celebration on Oct. 1.
Shark Tooth Summer
Adventure Aquarium, Camden
Every day (through Sept. 5)
This month-long celebration highlights the aquarium’s jaw-some collection of sharks. The highlight, the new Scuba Tooth Fairy, will use their special skills to find and scoop up fallen shark teeth hidden in the sand of the Ocean Realm exhibit. Walk through the Shark Tunnel or Shark Bridge or visit the Touch-a-Shark Tank.
Super American Circus
The Boardwalk by The Showboat, Atlantic City
Thursday – Sunday (through Sept. 5)
Catch this fantastic show with acts, thrills and laughs that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Some of the highlights include America’s Got Talent superstars, Cirque Du Soleil performers and talent from Ringling Bros.
Field Station: Dinosaurs
Summer Hours: 10 am – 6 pm, Tuesdays – Sundays, through Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 5)
At Field Station: Dinosaurs, more than 30 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs are sure to impress all the paleontologists in your group. Enjoy dozens of shows, Jurassic Jump, and then Dinosaurs: After Dark come October.
Sunset Sips & Sounds
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Fridays (through Sept. 9)
Meet in this historic apple orchard for Terhune wine, music, light bites and friend-filled evenings every Friday night at Terhune Orchards Vineyard and Winery. It’s a great way to unwind after the week, meet friends, bring your family and enjoy the sunset on the farm.
Virtual Reality Experiences
Harry Potter New York, New York City
Select dates (through Sept. 12)
“Chaos at Hogwarts” and “Wizards Take Flight” give fans of the Wizarding World and thrill seekers the chance to explore the magical world as never before through virtual reality.
TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater
Select dates (through Sept. 17)
After watching an exciting Minor League baseball game with the Somerset Patriots, stick around for a great fireworks display! Scheduled dates are Aug. 13, 24 and 27, and Sept. 17.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
New York, New York
Fridays (through September)
Enjoy the history and magic of the Intrepid for free on select Fridays through September.
Stargazing Boat Cruises
Fridays and Saturdays (through September)
Take a sail out to the ocean while gazing up at the moon, stars and constellations.
Sunrise Wellness Sails
Wilbert’s Marina, Lacey Twp.
Saturdays (through September)
Anyone who is interested in yoga, meditation and mindfulness is welcome to take part in a 3-hour Sunrise Sail along the Barnegat Bay. Sail into rejuvenation with Jaime Zazzara and Captain Dave from Jersey Coastal Adventures for the wellness retreat. There are options to enjoy a swim or float in a tube when the boat anchors out at sea.
Tours of Wyckoff-Garretson House & Museum
215 South Middlebush Road, Somerset
Second Sunday of every month (through October)
Docents will lead tours of the house, which dates back to 1730.
Seward Johnson Sculptures
George Street, New Brunswick
Every day (through Oct. 15)
A series of sculptures by renowned artist Seward Johnson are placed along George Street in New Brunswick for public viewing.
Outdoor Walking Tours
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton
Saturdays and Sundays (through Nov. 20)
Princeton University is home to one of the country’s most significant collections of 20th- and 21st-century public sculpture. Join a free, hour-long walking tour led by a museum tour guide and discover the campus’s outdoor artworks, including Henry Moore’s bronze Oval with Points, monumental geometric screens by Louise Nevelson, and more.
Sunday Farmers Market
Garden State Plaza, Westfield; in the parking lot between Macy’s and Route 17
Sundays (through Nov. 20)
Garden State Plaza is the site of weekly Sunday farmers markets. Expect food vendors, food trucks, music, activities for kids and a car show from 9 am-2pm.
Weekend Wine Tasting
Weekends (through Dec. 31)
Tomasello Winery, multiple locations
Plan a relaxing evening sipping wine at any of their five locations in the South Jersey region. Choose from a wide variety of award-winning wines and bubblies, accompanied by assorted cheese boards and truffles. Wine Tastings are available every day, but reservations are strongly recommended for a weekend wine tasting.
Don’t miss one of the great festivals taking place this month, or some of our favorite free activities you can do with the kids!
Plus, you can plan ahead for a commemorative ceremony to mark the 21st anniversary of 9/11.
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