10 Free Things to Do with the Family This Summer in New Jersey


Looking for ways to save money this summer but also have fun with your kids? Believe it or not, there are plenty of places in New Jersey that offer FREE entertainment that’s suitable for the whole family.

Check out just 10 of those places below.

1 – Hoboken Community Cove Boathouse

Spend a day on the Hudson River with views of New York by kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. The Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse is open for the season without prior reservation necessary. Show up, grab a life jacket and you’re free to go!

No prior experience is necessary. Small lockers are available to store personal belongings. An extra change of clothes is highly recommended as you may get wet.


Giraffe (Misty Mullican)

2 — Cohanzick Zoo

Visit New Jersey’s very first zoo! Nestled in East Bridgeton Cohanazick Zoo. With 47 different species of animals and 25 exhibits, there are plenty of animals to see and enjoy.

To park

Park (Nick Cooper – TSM Duluth)

3 — KidStreet playground

KidStreet is not your everyday playground. This 10.2-acre park in Bridgewater features ziplines, plenty of climbing structures, and a large sandpit. Children of all ages are bound to have fun.

This park lets kids’ imaginations run wild with a two-story pirate ship, grand castle, race car and fire truck themed areas, and a wooden police station that includes a jail .

KidStreet also offers picnic tables and drink vending machines to keep little ones energized all day, with parent seating everywhere so their children can play freely without worry.

American flag

American flag (faisalkhalid)

4 – New Jersey State Museum

Learn more about our state’s history by taking a trip to New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. With over 2 million artifacts, visitors have the opportunity to see many exhibits up close that showcase different levels of history. Children can take part in hands-on activities, interact with scientists or stroll through the galleries.


Canoes (rmbarricarte)

5 — Lake Wilson

Experience Scotland Run Park Beach in Clayton for free on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. Paddle around Wilson Lake on a boat or take a canoe and kayak. Prior registration is required due to the limited number of boats. It’s perfect for a fun weekend in the sun for the whole family.

6 — Cape May County Zoo

Ever wanted to see a red kangaroo? How about a snow leopard? Spend the day touring the zoo and learning about the variety of animals that Cape May County Zoo has to offer, for free.


Sprayground (Getty Stock / Think Stock)

7 — Dorbrook Recreation Area

Enjoy a hot summer day with your child by visiting the Dorbrook Sprayground in Cols Neck. Reserve a 90-minute time slot on their website to visit and head to the water-enhanced playground. Dorbrook is an awesome place to cool off and have fun.

nature trail

Nature trail (flyzone)

8 — Nature center at the edge of the trail

Hike one of the many trails at the Watchung Reserve in Mountainside, then end your day at one of the many exhibits at the Trailside nature center.

Learn about the animals that live in the woods in the wildlife viewing area, watch for snakes in the children’s discovery room, or watch the birds in the backyard habitat. Kids can crawl through a hollow log to see fish and turtles, or visit the Night Theater to learn about nocturnal creatures.


Playground (Lyudmila, Chetvertnykh)

9 – Newport Green Park

Located in Jersey City, Newport has amenities all kids will enjoy with pirate ship-shaped climbing gear, rock faces, and a spray park. Walk a bit more, and there’s even a small beach to enjoy.


Trail (Jonathan Mauer)

10 – South Mountain Fairy Trail

Let your child’s fairytale imagination come to life on the Southern Mountain Fairy Trail at Millburn. This 1.6 km hike includes mini castles and houses scattered in hollows, branches and roots, all built by the fairies themselves. The path is also dotted with small waterfalls that are sure to bring the magic to life.

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From the rides to all the boardwalk food to the many water fun, Seaside Heights and nearby Seaside Park has remained a family friendly place for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights boardwalk and Casino Pier were hit by tragic disasters, such as a fire, Super Hurricane Sandy, and another fire. Both have proven their resilience through reconstruction and expansion.

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