Your Guide to The Best Central Jersey Family Festivals & Events: Features Family Oriented Music, Food, Entertainment and Fun Activities
The Central Jersey family festivals feature festivals and events with special themes and are known for
having good music, food, entertainment, skilled artisans and performers,
fun activities, crafts, and more!
Note: Sometimes conditions require cancellations or changes of dates, times and location which are not reflected in the original schedule. Before planning a trip to visit one of the listed events, it is suggested that you call the event sponsor to confirm the event schedule or for additional information on the event.
Multi-Date Central Jersey Family Festivals and Events
Skating On The Square
Now through February 26, 2023; Every Thursday – Friday, 4pm – 7pm Every Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 3pm & 4pm – 7pm (Closed Thanksgiving & Christmas)
Hulfish Street (behind the Nassau Inn Hotel)
Princeton, NJ Website
Cost:$10 cash PER PERSON/ $12 +fees with credit card. Bring your own skates or borrow ours! (skate rental included in ticket price)
Start new traditions this holiday season at Palmer Square's "eco-friendly" outdoor synthetic skating rink!
Bring your own skates or borrow ours! (skate rental included in ticket price) ALL skaters/guardians must sign the electronic waiver to be eligible to participate! Please sign in advance for a contactless experience at the rink.
January 2023 Central Jersey Family Festivals and Events
Ice Carving Exihibition
January 14, 2023
Long Branch, NJ Website
Four professional Ice Sculptors will create 14 sculptures in an elimination style "speed carving" format over a three hour period (12pm -3pm). Witness carvings formed in less than 30 minutes before your eyes. Competition will have staggered heats of live carving and will be emceed by an experienced carver to entertain you with bios of carvers, facts and information on the carving as well as facilitate spectator participation in selection of themes and judging of carvers to be eliminated in the perspective rounds.
This event also includes ice skating, food, libations and shopping from Pier Village retailers.
Wassailing the Apple Trees
January 29, 2023; 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
330 Cold Soil Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Enjoy dancing and singing by the Molly Dancers and re-enactments of old English traditional rituals, as well as chanting and music making, toasts of hot cider and placing gifts of cider-soaked bread in the tree branches while chanting the lively words of praise for the New Year. Top the evening off by a bonfire, complete with marshmallows , and live music by the Spiced Punch Quartet playing traditional music using violins and flutes of many kinds Join the fun. Bring noise makers — drums, whistles, bells, clackers, or put a few pebbles in an empty coffee can with a lid. These will make a joyful and worthy noise to drive away any and all spirits.
Seashore Open House at Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
Sunday, January 29, 2023; 1-4 pm
Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park
o221 Ocean Avenue
Long Branch, NJ
Visit the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park Activity Center for their annual Open House and enjoy seashore fun. Engaging hands-on activities will entertain and educate you and your family about the shore and the sea. Speak with a Park System Naturalist about your own shell collection or the aquatic animals on display. You can even create a beach keepsake to take with you.
February 2023 Central Jersey Family Festivals and Events
Tap the Sugar Maples Saturday, February 4, 2023: at 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, and 3:00
Howell Living Farms
70 Wooden's Lane
Lambertville, NJ 08530 Website
Free admission & parking; Please reserve your space for tree tapping
Hundreds of sugar maple trees line the banks of Moore's Creek and the nearby woods at the foot of Baldpate Mountain. Each year in February farmers begin the annual work of sap collection and maple syrup production.
Visitors can join Howell Farm's expert tree-tappers for a lesson in how to tap a backyard maple tree and make syrup at home. Outside activities include firewood cutting, rail splitting and, if conditions permit, a continuation of ice harvesting operations.
Annual Valentine's Day Plunge
Saturday, February 11, 2023
on Main Beach in Manasquan
Manasquan, New Jersey Website (show your support)
This annual event for a good cause features an exciting fund raiser where participants, called Plungers, collect donations for ALS patients in exchange for plunging into the icy Atlantic Ocean. To support this event, register as an individual, be a spectator, or make a donation.
Nature Kids: Maple Sugaring
Sunday, February 11, 2023: 1 PM to 2:30 PM
Echo Hill Park
42 Lilac Drive
(908) 782-1158 Website
Ages: 4 through 8 recommended (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Cost: $3 per pwerson; accompanying adult attends for free (pre-registration required)
Ages: 6 through adult (children must be accompanied by an adult)
Class size: 15 participants Instructor: Debra Reed, Park Naturalist Collecting the sap is a crucial step of the maple sugaring process! Many methods are used on commercial farms, but the basic idea is the same, moving the sap from the maple trees to the stove. Come participate in the process at Echo Hill! We will meet at the playground and then walk to the sugar bush (a five- or ten-minute walk).
Celebrate Valentines Day at Pier Village February 14, 2023;
3 PM – 10 PM
Long Branch, NJ Website
Celebrate the day and evening with a full variety of activities and events.
Enjoy an evening of dinner, shopping and ice skating, complimented with Horse & Carriage Rides while listing to the sounds of love with a duo of singers through our beautifully decorated Village. During your visit, treat yourself to our rink side open air, apres skate escape where you can cozy up with hot chocolate and a delicious treat and watch the ice skaters. Single? Celebrate you at one of our many bars & lounges. Horse & Carriage Rides 4PM-8PM Ice Skating 4PM – 10PM
New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo
February 16th - 19th, 2023
New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center
97 Sunfield Avenue
Edison, NJ 08837 Website/Tickets
Cost: Adults: $15, Kids 12 and under FREE
The State’s Top Dealers representing boating’s most popular brands. An expansive Boater’s Marketplace full of boating products, accessories, services & more. FREE Seminars & Boating Safety Classes. Kids Cove with activities for the little boaters and much more!
Maple Sugaring Hike Saturday, February 25, 2023; 10 am - 11 am & 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
The Watershed Center
31 Titus Mill Road
Pennington, NJ 08534
Cost: $10.00 per Adult; $10.00 per Child (5 years and up)
Discover the history, folklore, and science of maple sugaring. Visit our maple trees, find out how we tap them using drills and spiles, and try a sample of sweet maple sugar. Learn about the evaporation process and how sticky sap transforms into sweet maple syrup. The operation of our outdoor evaporator is dependent on the amount of sap the trees produce and the weather. It may not be running during all program sessions. Dress for both indoors and outdoors and wear your boots. Sign up for one session – registration and prepayment are required.
March 2023 Central Jersey Family Festivals and Events
Sugar Shack Demonstration
March 11th & 12th, 18th & 19th, 2023 (weather permtting)
Happy Day Farm
106 Iron Ore Rd
Manalapan, NJ Website
$18 per person. Children 1 and under FREE. Cash only!
This is a great outdoor winter experience where attendees will take a tractor ride of their 130-acre farm. Pancakes and maple syrup will be available to purchase. Visitors will then see their 'sugar bush', find out what equipment is needed to collect sap, learn first hand how to identify maple trees, and lend Farmer Tim a hand in the tapping process. In Olivia's Sugar Shack, visitors can see how sap is finally produced into their delicious maple syrup. The sap is boiled and evaporated in a wood-fired evaporator. They have over 700 maple trees and it takes about 80 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup. Goats and chickens will be available to feed.
Tours will take place at select times (10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3pm, 4:15pm). Last tour at 4:15pm. Tickets will be sold at the door only, no reservations are required. Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your desired time slot.