My Favorite Events in New Jersey
People may know New Jersey from the reality TV show “Jersey Shore” that was once on MTV or by the “smelly state” nickname. I’ve lived in Jersey for over 20 years, and I love it. It’s a big state, and there is always something happening and cool events in New Jersey to check out.
I believe the state has many things to offer residents and visitors. It’s in a fantastic location, geographically speaking. For those that love the beach, they have the Jersey Shore (pun intended ?). It’s also close to New York state and Pennsylvania for those that love hiking, climbing, hunting, dirt bike riding, or gambling, and only 40-50 minutes from New York City from a lot of towns in NJ.
These are some of my favorite events in New Jersey that I loved going to every year when I lived there:
Balloon Festival (Solberg Airport, Readington, July)
This is my all time favorite event. I absolutely love the balloon festival. I didn’t bother me that I had to get up very early each year and drive an hour to see it. Once the balloons go up, the sky is filled with so many colors, it’s truly beautiful.
Visitors can schedule a private balloon ride, which is costly, around $300. However, for those that just want to experience go up in a balloon, there is a $15 option that takes you up and down. Lasts about 2-5 minutes.
There is, also, a food court, music section, and lots of craft tables.
Field Station: Dinosaurs (Leonia, May – November)
This is a theme park for children or Sunday Funday for adults. I visited this Dinosaurs park with my best friend about four years ago and had so much fun. I do have to admit all the activities are for children, and we were the only two grow-ups without a kid walking around and taking pictures, but I’m pretty sure everyone brought a child to secretly experience it without looking like a kid.
You will spend a few hours walking around, watching 3D movies, taking pictures, and having fun; maybe even the entire day if you have kids with you. The park gives you “passports” to get stamped as you go through the park, which is really cool to reminisce about the adventure once the adventure is over.
The sound effects, the dinosaurs themselves, and the whole park, in general, is well designed. So, for those that love dinosaurs, will enjoy it for sure.
This is a huge festival celebrating the Nordic cultures and traditions. You will find Nordic folk music, food, Viking battle demonstrations, marketplace, craft vendors, talks and education programs, re-enacting, and much more.
I really enjoyed it, especially the “Wife-Carry” contest. The Wife-Carry contest is basically visitors competing by caring their wife/or another lady? through obstacles and completing first. The person that wins gets the weight of the wife in beer – a pretty cool prize for beer lovers.
13 Skeletons (Bridgewater, October for Halloween)
13 Skeletons is a local artist that sets up his house for Halloween, as the name suggests, with 13 Skeletons. Each year he changes the skit, and every time he does a wonderful job. I had a chance to discover it coming back from work one day, and as a Halloween lover, I must recommend driving by his place to see the decorations.
The artist is very friendly and welcomes visitors, and allows photos. However, please be mindful of his property and take caution parking on the side road. The property is located on the main road in Bridgewater, NJ, which has heavy traffic.
Check out his Facebook for more pictures and details.