There are so many great events and things to do here in New Jersey during the summer. I have put together for your consideration some of my favorite summer events that are available here in New Jersey and part of my Big Summer of Fun 2023.

In no particular order:

State Fair Meadowlands East Rutherford, NJ now through July 9

State Fair Meadowlands is New Jersey's largest event with over 100 rides, games, free shows, and 50 food options. The event runs for a total of 18 days. To celebrate the 4th of July, there will be fireworks on both July 3 and July 4 after 10 p.m. The free shows include a cycling circus, racing pigs, petting zoo with exotic animals, magic shows, and more. The State Fair also includes classic carnival games.

attachment-Big Joe Seaside

The Tribute Bands on the Boardwalk Seaside Heights, NJ Thur. July 6 – Aug 24

This is a unique family opportunity to hear some great music from your favorite artists performed by great musicians. The concert series will run from Thursday, July 6 through Thursday, Aug. 24. I get to be your host. Blaine Avenue gates open at 6:30 p.m. the concert starts at 7 p.m. and goes to about 8:30 p.m. and it’s FREE! Bring a beach chair or blanket and bring your friends and family. Here is the full line-up:

July 6 — Davie Bowie by Ray Andersen’s Bowie & Beyond

July 13 — Aerosmith by Draw The Line

July 20 — Billy Joel by Captain Jack

July 27 — Doobie Brothers by The Doobie Others

Aug. 3 — Styx by Return To Paradise

Aug. 10 — Rolling Stones by Classic Stones Live

Aug. 17 — Heart by Kick It Out

Aug. 24 — Steely Dan by Reelin’ In The Years

Come out and enjoy some great music this summer on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights with me. It’s all part of Big Joe’s Big Summer of Fun 2023.

Grounds for Sculpture Hamilton, NJ open throughout the summer

Grounds for Sculpture is a museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum framed by nature on 42 picturesque acres. You can wander the grounds and discover hundreds of contemporary sculptures. Explore rotating exhibitions in six indoor galleries. Enjoy performances, lectures from top creative minds, or make an art project in one of their many workshops. They have several dining options including Ratz, which is one of my favorite restaurants. It is beautiful and they have many programs and special events that will attract you and your family and friends to a wonderful experience.

More than 270 sculptures by renowned and emerging contemporary artists are thoughtfully positioned on meticulous landscaping complemented by thousands of exotic trees and flowers.

The Classic Car Show at Monmouth Park Oceanport, NJ — July 9

I’ve been at the Classic Car Show at beautiful Monmouth Park for over 20 years. I so enjoy this event. There are over 150 classic cars, great thoroughbred racing and I get to do my show from there live 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gates open at 9 a.m. and the first race is at 12:40 p.m. Come on out see the cars, say hello to me and enjoy the excitement and thrill of thoroughbred horse racing. It is a great day.

The New Jersey State Barbecue Championship in Wildwood, NJ — July 14-16

A great event. If you love barbecue and music, you’re going to be in Shangrila! This great event pits championship barbecue teams against each other for the right to represent New Jersey in the national barbecue championship. There are many of the teams that serve up their barbecue for attendees to enjoy and enjoy you will. I think there is some of the best barbecue available in the country, it’s very good. In addition to the great food, you can hear some blues on a main music stage that seems to get better every year. It’s all put together by the Anglesea Fire Department in North Wildwood, they do a great job organizing and implementing this fun weekend. Get your barbecue and blues on in North Wildwood.

Americans Begin To Celebrate Fourth Of July Holiday Weekend At Jersey Shore
Getty Images

Great New Jersey's Beaches From Sandy Hook to Cape May now thru Labor Day

We have some of the best beaches as a matter of fact Cape May and Wildwood were voted two of the best beaches in the country. From Sandy Hook down to Cape May, there are so many pristine beaches that you can visit and enjoy: Long Branch, Asbury Park, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights and on and on also have great boardwalks. These beach towns are filled with great choices for restaurants, shopping and events. Check out the beaches and the beach towns this summer. It’s a lot less expensive than traveling out of state for a great summer experience.

The New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning Readington, NJ — July 28-30

This is one of my favorite summer fun things to do. The Balloon Festival boasts not only the great ascension of some fun and breathtaking balloons but food, games, hot air balloon and helicopter rides, kids shows and live music. Live music includes Lit with Everclear on Friday Night, KC & the Sunshine Band on Saturday and Fitz and the Tantrums on Sunday. I’ll be doing my show from there Saturday 10a – 3pm. Come on out, bring the family and friends and enjoy the magnificent balloons.

See. Hear. Now Festival Asbury Park, NJ — Sept. 16 – 17

This is a big concert festival held on the North Beach of Asbury Park and a great way to wrap up your summer. This year the Foo Fighters, The Killers, Sheryl Crow, The Beach Boys, and lots of national and local New Jersey musicians will collaborate for a jammed pack two-day festival. If you enjoy music, you’ll want to attend this great event.

TD Bank Ballpark, home of the Somerset Patriots, in Bridgewater
TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater (Somerset Patriots)

Minor League Pro Baseball: Somerset Patriots, Bridgewater, NJ now thru September

Minor League Pro Baseball: Jersey Shore Blue Claws, Lakewood, NJ thru September

Minor League Pro Baseball: Trenton Thunder, Trenton, NJ now thru September

We have three great minor league baseball teams here in New Jersey, the Somerset Patriots are the Double AA affiliate of the New York Yankees so there is a chance you can catch your favorite Yankee rehabbing in Somerset. They have a great stadium and lots of events. The Jersey Shore Blue Claws are an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, they have reasonable ticket prices and food costs. In addition, they have lots of special events and giveaways and make the baseball experience a great way to spend a summer night. The Trenton Thunder have a great stadium and use it to host many special nights when the team is playing. All three teams are a great bargain for summer family entertainment.

Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Waterpark
(Keansburg Amusement Park and Runaway Rapids Waterpark via Facebook)

Water Parks and Amusement Parks — Up & down New Jersey, now thru September/October

There are many water parks and amusement rides m from American Dream in East Rutherford to Keansburg Boardwalk to Six Flags Great Adventure, to Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach, Casino Park in Seaside Heights, to Steel Pier in Atlantic City to Morey’s Pier Amusement in Wildwood just to name a few. New Jersey is jammed packed with amusement parks, water parks and loads of rides and things to do for the kids.

There are many things to do here in New Jersey for the summer, more places that I can list. I just put a few of my favorite things to do here in the summer and I hope that you get out and enjoy your summer right here in the Great Garden State.

NJ county fairs are back! Check out the 2023 summer schedule

A current list of county fairs happening across the Garden State for 2023. From rides, food, animals, and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographical order from South NJ to North NJ)

NJ breweries with top-rated beer

The reviews are in — see which NJ breweries have the most beers with a great rating on BeerAdvocate.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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