It’s August, which means we’re only a few weeks away from the start of school and we’re all back into our regular routine.

I’m watching friends post on Facebook from other parts of the country send their kids back to school already.

Luckily, here in New Jersey, we still have summertime to enjoy.

It feels like Memorial Day was just last month but we’ve already been through two full months of summer.

Americans Begin To Celebrate Fourth Of July Holiday Weekend At Jersey Shore
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Summer vacation is something we all look forward to whether you spend it at the Jersey Shore, take a road trip to another beach, or hop on a flight and head somewhere tropical.

We’re now in the final weeks of perfect beach weather and everyone trying to fit events, activities, and even one last vacation in before Labor Day hits.

We’ve been able to indulge in a lot this summer like fireworks, carnivals, and fairs like the State Fair at the Meadowlands, and the big Festival of Ballooning that takes place in Hunterdon County.

Some balloons are ready...some need more...hot air. (Craig Allen photo)
Some balloons are ready...some need more...hot air. (Craig Allen photo)
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There have been all kinds of concerts taking place in the Garden State from music in a park to big festivals on the beach in Atlantic City.

But there’s still time to soak in the summer and enjoy family time out and about during these last few weeks of warm weather.

Here are 10 free events happening in the Garden State this month:

Keyport Fireman’s Fair

Aug. 2 – 6

American Legion Dr. & W. Front St., Keyport, NJ

It’s the 54th annual Fireman’s Fair located on the waterfront at Firemen’s Park in Keyport. The Fair features carnival rides for all ages, carnival games and prizes, great food, and more. There will be a fireworks display on the night of Aug. 6. For more info, click HERE.

Free movies on the beach – Jenkinson’s

Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 - 8 p.m.

300 Ocean Ave., Pt. Pleasant Beach, NJ

Every Tuesday of the month you can enjoy a movie on the beach by Jenkinson’s Aquarium. This is weather permitting. For more info, click HERE.

Pier Village Family Fun Night

Aug. 7, 14, 21, and 28 – 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Festival Plaza, Pier Village

Every Sunday of the month, you can check out rides, games, mini golf, a rock-climbing wall, trampoline bungee, and more. For more info, click HERE.

New Jersey Friends of Clearwater Music Festival

Aug. 6 and 7, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Red Bank's Riverside Gardens Park

This is an annual music festival where proceeds benefit the New Jersey Friends of Clearwater (501(C)3 Charitable Organization). There are 2 stages with local and national performers. You can hear all kinds of artists from soul, folk, rock, jazz, Latin, country, and more. For more info, click HERE.

The Italian American Association of Ocean Township Annual Italian Festival

Aug. 10 – 14

200 Whalepond Rd., Oakhurst, NJ

If you love the taste of traditional Italian food and heritage and culture, this festival is for you. But not only is there food, but rides, games, music, and more. Click HERE for more info.

Passaic County Fair

Aug. 11 – 14

8 Mountain Ave., Woodland Park, NJ

Nothing says a fair like pony rides, games, bounce houses and fair food. Friday and Saturday night will feature a firework display and every day will be filled with local music complimented with a beer garden and local food. Click HERE for more info.

New Brunswick Heart Festival

Aug. 13, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

15 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ

This festival celebrates all of the arts and history that New Brunswick has to offer. There will be craft and food vendors, live music and performances, interactive activities, games, and more. For more info, click HERE.

Flemington’s Corn, Tomato and Beer Festival

Aug. 13, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Stangl Rd., Flemington, NJ

This festival will feature an expansive micro-brewery beer garden, live music, food like New Jersey corn and tomatoes, and family entertainment (there will be a kids zone). for more info, click HERE.

Asbury Refresh – Vintage, Oddities & One of a Kind Collectibles

Aug. 13, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

104 Grand Ave., Asbury Park, NJ

Over 50 vendors selling unique items and all things vintage, oddities and one-of-a-kind collectibles. For more info, click HERE.

Atlantic City Airshow

Aug. 24

See the show from Atlantic City’s FREE beaches and Boardwalk

The Air Force is sending The Thunderbirds to this airshow along with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team and other airshow performers. For more info, click HERE.

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Morning Show Producer Kristen. Any opinions expressed are her own.
Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Producer Kristen an email at kristen.accardi@townsquaremedia.com or follow her on Instagram.