Free Things to Do In And Around NJ in April - NJ Family (2024)

Free Things to Do In And Around NJ in April - NJ Family (1)

April is the perfect time to get out in nature, head to a flower festival, fly kites on the beach and so much more, all for free. Here are our favorite free things to do in NJ this month:

Throughout April

Tulip Festival
Dalton Farms, Swedesboro
There will be over one million tulips in full display, from classic varieties like the single early tulip to the exotic ones. Wander through the fields, pick your favorite tulips, and take them home as souvenirs. Kids can meet the Easter Bunny, who’ll be visiting the farm on March 30 and 31. There are also paddle boats and live music from local artists on the weekends. There will be wineries and food vendors on site.

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April 1 – May 24

Electric Dandelions
Pier A and Monroe Center Plaza, Hoboken
A series of 10 28-foot LED sculptures crafted from sturdy steel will line Hoboken’s waterfront. When the sun sets, the area along Sinatra Drive and around the Ninth Street and Congress Light Rail Station will be illuminated with light and motion from these gigantic pieces of art.

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April 12 – November 3

We All Scream For Ice Cream
Emlen Physick Estate, Cape May
Learn about the history of ice cream dating back to the Victorian era. It started as an elite and expensive dish but by the end of the 1800s came in simpler flavors and was used in cones, sundaes and banana splits. You’ll see an authentic ice cream maker and other equipment, plus a Victorian ice cream wagon. If you go to opening night on April 12, you’ll get to taste ice cream samples.

April 2-3

Spring Break Activities
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Kids will learn how to recycle water bottles into windwavers.

April 3

Jazz Ambassadors of the U.S. Navy Field Band
Levoy Theatre, Millville
Listen to the marching band-like sounds of the official touring company of the U.S. Navy.

April 5

Baby Walk
Columbia Trail – High Bridge Lot, High Bridge
Get outside with your baby (up to 23 months old) and explore your local trails.

Fridays, April 5 – October 25

Friday Night Bites
The Hungry Puppy Dog Park, Farmingdale
Bring your pup and your friends to the double-gated, specially-designed dog park, where you can relax and listen to some music while mingling with other pet parents. There will be free snacks and treats from a sponsoring pet food manufacturer each week.

April 6

Makerspace Saturday
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison
Hands-on activities for kids ages 5-12 include using the 3D printer, build with LEGOs, painting, making jewelry, experimenting with engineering and coding robots.

Spring Fest
SoHa Arts Building, Haddon Twp.
Take a tour inside the arts building or stroll through the outdoor booths to check out what handmade goods the artisans from Haddon Township, plus the artist residents of the SoHA Arts Building, have to showcase.

Wildlife Wander
Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville
An NJ Audubon Teacher Naturalist will lead a morning walk & talk through the spring foliage surrounding the Hawk Rise trails.

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New Faces Day
Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Step inside a working henhouse where the farm’s Barred Rock chickens are busy laying and helping a farmer make their feed. Then reach into a nest box and take out an egg to bring home. You will learn egg candling and grading, and can also visit the farm’s 50 new baby chicks in the brooder coop. Kids can make crepe paper chicks.

Wheaton Springs 2024
WheatonArts, Millville
On opening day of the season, come by for free art experiences, live music, food vendors, exhibitions, artist demos and hands-on projects.

April 6-7

Opening Weekend
East Jersey Old Town Village and Cornelius Low House, Piscataway
Kick off the 2024 season with historical interpreters who will bring the village to life through reenactments, trades and crafts.

Bank of America Museums on Us Weekend
Liberty Science Center, Jersey City
Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton
Montclair Art Museum, Montclair
Morris Museum, Morristown
The Newark Museum of Art, Newark
Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Millville
Bank of America, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank cardholders can receive free general admission during this weekend.

April 6 and 13

Bluey FAO Schwarz Pop-Up Shop
FAO Schwarz, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY
Celebrate the official arrival of the Bluey Pop-Up shop at FAO Schwarz by having your kids take a picture with Bluey and Bingo and playing with the new Bluey toys.

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April 7

Skylands Manor Tours
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
Volunteer docents lead you on a tour of the architecture and history of Skylands Manor.

Tulip Day
Union Square Park, New York, NY
You can pick tulips to create your own bouquet – for free!

April 8

Here’s where to watch the solar eclipse – safely – throughout NJ.

April 10

A Celebration of Poetry and Native Plants
Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison
To mark National Poetry Month and Earth Day, listen to poems from “Leaning Toward Light: Poems for Gardens & the Hands That Tend Them” by Tess Taylor and Ann E. Wallace, co-hosts of The WildStory Podcast. Native plant expert Dr. Randi Eckel from Ask Randi will share tips on gardening.

April 11

Maplewood Concert Band: Reel Melodies – Songs from TV and Film
The Woodland, Maplewood
The spring concert is opened by a performance by Unaccompanied Minors from Columbia High School in Maplewood.Then the Maplewood Concert Band will continue with songs from Beauty and the Beast, The Incredibles and more.

April 12

Spring Concert
Roosevelt Intermediate School, Westfield
The Westfield Community Concert Band features the music of Leonard Bernstein, Gilbert and Sullivan, Philip Sparke and others.

April 13

Grand Opening of The Baked Bear
Asbury Park
Get in line way before the 12 pm grand opening because the first 100 people in line will get a free ice cream sandwich.

Garden State Distillery, Toms River
There will be craft vendors selling jewelry, crystals, candles, apparel, soaps, beauty products, sea glass art, candy, handcrafted gifts, and décor. You can browse all the items while sipping on drinks offered by the distillery.

Doo Dah Parade
Ocean City, NJ
The procession features marching bands, floats and a brigade of Basset hounds. Philadelphia Flyers great Brian Propp will be the grand marshal; he’ll stay around for about an hour after the parade for autographs and pictures.

Daffodil Day
Main Street, Moorestown
Spring arrives with horse-drawn carriages, live entertainment by local musicians, arts & crafts demonstrations, sidewalk sales, merchant specials – and lots ofdaffodils!

Burlington County Book Festival
Burlington County Library, Westampton
Spend the day meeting talented authors, mingling with fellow book lovers, and shopping for unique treasures. Activities include live drawing sessions; children’s author Alliah Agostini addressing the history of Juneteenth; storyteller and vocalist TAHIRA sharing tales of freedom fighters and The Underground Railroad; and the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers highlighting the origins and meanings of songs, dances and traditions of many North American tribes.

Spring Beekeeping & Gardening
Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Learn about what makes a healthy bee hive. Meet the honeybees, peek inside their hive, and find out what they do around the farm and in the gardens. Howell Farm beekeeper Johanna Swartzentruber will open the hives and check the health of the colony. Join a 45-minute presentation about “Life in a Honeybee Colony” for even more info. Kids can make a bee home craft to take home.

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Small Explorers: Animals of New Jersey
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
On the second Saturday of each month, Trenton area kids ages 6 months to 5 years old can come for a special storytime and playtime. This session will include a visit from the Mercer County Wildlife Center and some of their educational animals, plus the reading of “Over in the Forest, A woodland baby animal counting book” by Marianne Berkes.

Community Science Saturday
Teaneck Creek Conservancy, Teaneck
Explore TCC on a walk with George Tsapellas and participate in community science by learning how to document what you see on your phone using iNaturalist or Seek.

April 13-14

Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival
Essex County Branch Brook Park, Newark
Celebrate spring and the blooming of the cherry blossom trees in Newark. Attend Family Day on Saturday and Bloomfest! on Sunday.

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April 13 – May 19

Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, PA
Community members will build birdhouses for this contest, which will display the boxes all around the village. You can vote on your favorites.

April 14

Downtown Red Bank
There will be a day of family fun, with arts and crafts, shopping, live music, kids’ rides and food vendors.

Downtown Clinton
This brand-new festival is where artists and artisans will showcase their works. Walk through the historic downtown to shop and eat. A schedule of performances is TBA.

Family Woodland Hike
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
During an easy, child-friendly hike in the garden’s woodlands, you will learn a bit about the plants and animals around you.

PuchiCon Karaoke April Pop-Up
Karaoke, Teaneck
This month’s theme is Japanese Anime, games and pop culture. Come in cosplay or whatever is comfortable to wear for Karaoke and board games.

Margate’s Cherry Blossom Festival
Margate Community Church, Margate
Wear your funkiest tie-dyed T-shirt to welcome spring, and bop along to the sounds of The Grateful Dead tribute band Dead Reckoning. There will be kids’ games and activities (egg, spoon, potato sack and three-legged races), cornhole boards, a petting zoo, Tai Chi demos, food, wine and beer, arts and crafts, a vendor market, a “grooviest dog” contest, and lots of environmental exhibitors.

April 15

Passover Storytime
Mercer County Library Branch, Robbinsville
Celebrate Passover with a craft and storytime for kids.

April 16

Spark Orange Day
Spark Car Wash in Mount Holly and Sicklerville
Drive your orange car to either location and you’ll get a car wash for free.

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April 17-24

Daffodil Days Festival
Historic Village of Allentown, Allentown
More than 5,000 daffodils will be planted by volunteers all across town. Meet King Alfred Daffodil and his court amongst the blooms of Sensi Park with free activities for children. Join in the Welcome Spring Gala on April 21 for an elegant evening in the McCormick home.

April 19

Care, Share, Aware
Franklin Township Community/Senior Center, Franklin Twp.
During this autism awareness event, there will be sensory-friendly activities including a bubble show, balloon artist, reptile presentation, and crafts.

April 20

YMCA Healthy Kids Day
YMCAs Across New Jersey
The annual event is dedicated to keeping you and your kids healthy and happy. Events range from sports activities to games to a bounce house to info on nutrition. Check your local Y for their schedule of events.

New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
After you take a spring wildflower walk, learn about how you can join the team as a volunteer. Be prepared to work in the gardens for a bit.

Potato Planting
Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Join workhorses Bill and Jesse to help plant a field of potatoes that will yield over 2,000 pounds of food for local soup kitchens. While farmers drive the horses and steer the plow to open up the rows, helpers will follow behind with baskets of seeds and place them in the furrows. Kids can make a potato print to take home.

Science Under the StarsNew Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Dr. Mariah MacDonald will lead a free talk inside the planetarium, discussing what it means for a planet to be habitable and how astrobiology explains how planets can support life.

Earth Day Workout
Bell Works, Holmdel
Instructors from F45 will lead a free workout on the roof deck to welcome spring.

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USA Football’s Tri-State Blitz
Tinton Falls
Whether your kids are new to football or they’ve been playing for a while, they’ll have fun at these clinics that partner with the New York Giants. There will also be family activities at Fan Fest including a DJ, photo booth, yard games, and more.

S.O.A.R. Earth Day Celebration
Dreyer Field, Manalapan Rec Center, Manalapan
This Earth Day celebration is geared toward kids who are neurodiverse. There will be crafts, plus you can pot your own plant.

Earth Day Festival
Echo Hill Park, Flemington
Planet Earth is the star of the show. Learn about Lenape Lifeways with Carla Messinger, a Lenape descendant from Pennsylvania, from the Turtle Clan Lenape. Rizzo’s Wildlife World will present a live animal show. Take part in activities led by 4-H club members. If you’re wearing boots, you can see what critters are swimming around in the stream, or you can fish in the pond. After the Earth Day StoryWalk, sit by the campfire for another interactive story.

Spring Craft Show
Squan Plaza, Manasquan
Vendors will be lined up in the parking lots, and businesses will have sidewalk sales.

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Kites at the Pier
Pier Village, Long Branch
The annual kite festival includes a craft and artisan vendor marketplace, music, bowling at Pier Pins, carousel rides and games at Boardwalk Fun N’ Games.

Broadway Celebrates Earth Day Concert
Times Square, New York, NY; livestreamed
The Broadway Green Alliance and Times Square Alliance want you to come to NYC for their third annual concert that celebrates all things Earth. The concert kicks off the NYC Department of Transportation’s Car-Free Earth Day.

Family Day: Spring Fest
Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
Kids ages 3–10 and their caregivers can visit the Resnick Education Wing for a free open house featuring fun activities that celebrate the earth, nature, and all things spring. Highlights include instrument building from reused materials; group singing with artists Sonia De Los Santos, Emily Eagen and Skye Soto Steele; sound meditation; and mainstage performances with People of Earth and Michael Hearst and the Unusual Creatures.

April 19-21

Spring Sidewalk Sale
Pier Village, Long Branch
Spruce up your spring wardrobe. On Saturday, the event will include Kites at the Pier, Pier Village’s annual kite festival. There will also be a craft and artisan vendor marketplace, music, bowling at Pier Pins, carousel rides and games at Boardwalk Fun N’ Games.

April 20

Edison EID Festival
Lake Papaianni, Edison
Mark the end of Ramadan with lots of fun, including bounce houses, a petting zoo, face painting, henna, halal food, a shopping bazaar, food vendors and entertainment.

Earth Day Celebration and Folk & Bluegrass Festival
Monroe Center Plaza, Hoboken
Join The Hoboken Alliance for eco-friendly activities, live music, hands-on arts and crafts, interactive fitness demonstrations, up-close animal encounters, earth-friendly educational activities, the Green Marketplace, face painting, food vendors, a community public art project, the Wolfpack Dunk Tank NJ Snake Man’s snakes and lizards.

NJ Audubon Storytime
Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville
Meet at the Nature Store for a short walk to the frog pond where you’ll listen to the reading of a story, then look and listen for frogs and their eggs.

The String Band Parade Down Haddon Ave: A Serenade to Camden County
Haddon Avenue, Haddon Twp.
Line the streets from Euclid Avenue in Haddonfield along Haddon Avenue to Haddon Square in Haddon Twp. and watch as the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association, local string bands and Grand Marshall Jon Runyan of the Philadelphia Eagles pass you by. Along the parade route, you can get your face painted, ask for a balloon animal, and make your own Mummers umbrella. There will be more performances at P.J. Whelihan’s, Crystal Lake Avenue, Reunion Hall, and in Haddon Square.

Earth Day
Newport Centre, Jersey City
Watch an interactive 1-hour show by NJ Snake Man, who will educate kids on snakes, lizards, turtles and more. Participate in a flower planting project and learn how to reduce your carbon footprint. Artwork from the Hudson County Improvement Authority’s Earth Day Art Contest will be on display.

April 20-21

Earth Day Weekend Celebration
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
The gardens are open every day, but this weekend there will be extra-special programs planned to celebrate Mother Earth.

9th N-Scale Gathering
David C. Wood 4-H Center & Fairgrounds, Mays Landing
The Atlantic County 4-H Model Railroad Train Club and NJ Southern NTrak bring you multiple train tracks and layouts to check out.

Shad Fest
The shad fish swims along the Delaware River in Lambertville to spawn before going back home to the Atlantic Ocean, so while they’re in the area, people celebrate with a two-day festival that includes art, jewelry, home goods, food, music and outdoor fun.

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April 21

Van Neste Square, Ridgewood
Many interactive eco-themed activities will include educational displays, demos and crafts, in addition to a petting zoo, recycling magician, musical entertainment from the Blue Plate Special and activities for kids. A highlight every year is the Daffy Dog Parade, where leashed dogs and their owners are welcome to dress in costume to win prizes.

Earth Day
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Use the sun to make a special nature-based craft. Learn about pollinator gardens and how to tell the difference between native and non-native insects. Make your own seed bombs with native seeds to jump start your own garden at home. Explore nature photography and local biodiversity. Hear from museum curators about the night sky and the history of insects. Take a birdwatching tour of the Delaware River and hear more from Tulpehaking Nature Center. Bring home a seedling of a native NJ tree.

Stirling Street Fair
Main Avenue, Stirling
There will be 100 vendors, food vendors, music, shopping and a kids’ zone on Main Avenue between Mercer and Somerset streets.

Earth Fair
Historic Smithville Park, Eastampton
Learn to care for nature, plants, the land, and yourself; this event is all about recycling and reusing inside your home and outside in your garden. There will be musicians, storytellers, presenters and artists to keep the day light and fun.

April 26

Earth Day
Historic Smithville, Galloway
Galloway Green Market will offer native plant sales, baked goods, natural foods and crafters in the evening.

Free Fridays
Intrepid Museum, New York, NY
This year’s Free Friday series kicks off with an Astro Live presentation by Tim Straube, deputy manager of APS for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. He will talk about NASA’s work to return humans to the Moon under the Artemis campaign. There will be demos from museum educators and drop-in activities that include creating an astronaut portrait and building a lunar rover. Local astronomers will be on hand with their high-powered telescopes so you can look at the night sky.

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April 27

Rutgers Day
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
There’s a street fair along College Avenue and on Busch Campus, plus Ag Field Day on Cook Campus and the New Jersey Folk Festival on Douglass Campus. Think food trucks, farm animals, musical performances, arts and crafts, a farmers market, a book sale and a plant sale, and hundreds of local organizations for you to check out across the university.

Hungarian Artisan Market
American Hungarian Foundation, New Brunswick
There will be Hungarian food, desserts and apparel for sale, in addition to info from Magyar Reformed Church.

Spring Makers Market
Haddon Square, Haddon Twp.
The downtown area will come alive with makers of art, jewelry, accessories, homewares, clothing, beauty products and gourmet treats.

South Jersey Arts Fest
Appel Farm Arts and Music Center, Elmer
Celebrate the arts and artists of South Jersey. Appel Farm teaching artists will lead art-making workshops for all ages, and local young artists will display their artwork in a pop-up outdoor art gallery. There will be live music, food and craft beverages.

Lilac Care Workshop
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
In the Lilac Garden, you will get a hands-on lesson in lilac pruning, dead-heading and general care.

Spring Plowing & Field Work
Howell Living History Farm, Hopewell Twp.
Watch as Bill and Jesse, two of the horses on the farm, get to work in the fields. Kids will make a pumpkin garden sampler.

HAM It Up! Free Community Day
Hunterdon Art Museum, Clifton
Take part in abstract painting inspired by exhibiting artist Cynthia Carlson;, folded paper book magic based on Carlson’s current exhibition at HAM; creative word collages inspired by exhibiting artist Kate Dodd and her use of encyclopedia pages for sculpture; plein air drawing with HAM’s expert instructor Lena Shiffman; yoga, and other activities.

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Princeton Porchfest 2024
Throughout Princeton
Walk throughout town and see which neighbors have offered up their front porch or lawn as a concert venue. Musicians will be playing all day during this celebration of music, art and the community.

Eclectic Chic Boutique, Montclair
Poet Niesha Taylor will read an excerpt from her recently published book, “Salt-Soaked Cheeks Still Face the Sun.” You can sign up for the open mic session after her reading.

Sparta High School, Sparta Twp.
More than 60 vendors will sell products to support the Sparta Special Olympics and Special Olympics NJ Area 3 programs. You’ll meet the amazing Athletes of Determination and wish them luck for the 2024 season. Visit the kissing booth to see the bulldogs. There will be food trucks on site.

Lake Lenape East Craft Fair
Lake Lenape Park, Mays Landing
Enjoy a day of crafting and shopping.

Spring Festival and Street Fair
Market Street, Elmwood Park
Shop from more than 50 vendors, then grab a bite to eat at any of the 10 food trucks on site.

Eyes on Eagles
Mercer County Park, West Windsor
Join a naturalist by the Eagle Viewing area along Mercer Lake to take a peek at an eagles’ nest through a spotting scope and to have your eagle questions answered.

Morristown & Morris Twp. Library, Morristown
Career Carnival for Kids will present an event that teaches kids how careers focused on public safety make our world a better place. Meet Career Guides from the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, Morristown Police Department, Morristown Fire Department, United States Marine Corps, NJ Army National Guard, National CSI Camp, and more who will “spark career curiosity” with upper elementary and middle school age kids with hands-on activities, demos, games and giveaways.

HCPTA Spring Marketplace
Hannah Caldwell Elementary School, Union
Stop by the school for shopping with local vendors, food trucks, music and fun activities.

Made in Monmouth
Brookdale Community College, Lincroft
There will be 200+ vendors with products made in Monmouth County. Products include art, home décor, baked goods, jewelry, bath products and so much more.

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April 28

Meander Big Band
Palisades Center, West Nyack, NY
The renowned Dutch High School Big Band, which has a lineup of 36 students aged 14 to 18, is traveling from Zwolle, The Netherlands, on a 10-day grand tour of the United States. The performance will be on Level One in the East Court next to H&M.

Audubon Spring Nature Walk
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood
Don Torino of the Bergen County Audubon Society will take you on a walk through the New Jersey Botanical Garden to look for spring birds.

Kids Hike For Fun
Cushetunk Mountain Preserve, Lebanon
Kids 5 and up, with a parent, are invited to join a nature walk along the path.

Vintage and Antique Marketplace
The Hermitage Museum, HoHoKus
Either shop from the 50 vendors or bring your own items for appraisal. There will be gourmet food trucks, plus live music.

POAC’s Autism Walk for A Difference
ShoreTown Ballpark, Lakewood
Join B98.5 and NJ 101.5’s Bill Spadea during this walk for autism awareness that includes free rides, entertainment, food and a resource fair.

Paramus Food Truck Festival
Paramus Park Mall, Paramus
Considered the OG Bergen County food truck festival, there will be two dozen gourmet food trucks, music, pony rides, a petting zoo, knockerball, a bungee trampoline, mini golf, inflatables, face painting, sand art, vendors, a beer/sangria/margarita garden, and the new Dinosaurs Arise! animatronic costumes and puppets.

Philly Art Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration
Philly Art Center Fairmount Location, Philadelphia, PA
The free art party will be held along with the Fairmount Arts Crawl, and includes art-making stations, a face-painting station, a baby activity zone, a special Mummers performance, and cupcakes.

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