Bye, bye, winter coat and boots! The sun is shining and spring is in the air — and that means it’s time to get out there and breathe it in! ‘Tis the season for outdoor festivals celebrating all New Jersey has to offer, from music to flowers to food and more. Here is a roundup of some of the state’s best outdoor festivals. So get your sunscreen, and your comfiest shoes out —— it’s time to celebrate outside!
Asbury Park Music & Film Festival
Where: 1200 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park
When: April 20-23
Details: Fifteen musical acts and 40 films, as well as Q&As with performers, will fill the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival. Both an indoor and outdoor festival, guests will get the chance to tour the historic Paramount Theatre and iconic Stone Pony, or sit seaside, all for events that benefit at-risk youth in Asbury Park.
More info: Visit apmff.com or call 732-945-1082.
Spring Food Truck and Wine Festival
Where: Alba Vineyard, 269 Riegelsville Warren Glen Road, Village of Finesville, Milford
When: April 22-23
Details: Get out and celebrate the food and wine of New Jersey at the Spring Food Truck and Wine Festival. Sip local wine from Alba Vineyard and snack on the perfect pairings from your favorite food trucks. Then, sit back and enjoy music by The Bob Lanza Blues Band. While no outside food is allowed in, you are welcome to bring a lawn chair, blanket or beach umbrella.
More info: Visit www.albavineyard.com or call 908-995-7800.
Essex County One-Mile Fun Run & Family Day
Where: Branch Brook Park, Southern Division, Park Avenue & Lake Street, Newark
When: April 22
Details: If you’re a fitness fan, the Essex County fun run is for you. A one-mile walk/run takes place through the Southern Division of Branch Brook Park. Then, head to the Prudential Concert Grove for family fun like hula hoop contests, paddle boats, face painting and a line up of food vendors to satisfy your cravings.
More info: Visit www.essexcountyparks.org or call 973-239-2485.
Where: Reeves-Reed Arboretum,165 Hobart Avenue, Summit
Date: April 23rd, 2017
Details: Fresh on the heels of Earth Day, the Daffodil Day celebration at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum includes live performances by the Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, and family fun like a petting zoo, “green” themed arts and crafts and an outdoor market. And, yes, there are loads of daffodils to see.
More info: Visit www.reeves-reedarboretum.org or call 908-273-8787.
Rutgers Agricultural Field Day
Where: George H. Cook Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
When: April 29
Details: The farm-oriented annual event at Rutgers University is a way for the community to learn more about the school’s Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) through hands-on activities, demos, exhibits, and lectures. Animal farms and plant sales benefit the program.
More info: Visit agfieldday.rutgers.edu.
New Jersey Folk Festival
Where: Douglass College, Eagleton Institute Lawn, New Brunswick
When: April 29
Details: Since 1975, the New Jersey Folk Festival has been a Rutgers tradition. The festival is the end-product of a special three-credit class which offers undergraduate instruction in running a folk festival and the public presentation of culture. Yes, there is a class in throwing a festival. This is one of the only folk fests in the US completely managed by undergrads. They do it all — from advertising to planning to production to promotion. Past festival themes have included Bulgarian traditions, maritime and bluegrass. This year it’s all about Turkish traditions, and there will be music, food and free crafts for the kids.
More info: Visit www.njfolkfest.org or call 848-445-4636.
Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Where: On the Fields at Skylands Stadium, 94 Championship Place, Augusta
When: May 6
Details: Food trucks, craft-beer vendors and family-style fun come together for the Augusta food truck and craft beer festival. A full lineup of live music is on the agenda as are backyard games like wiffleball, volleyball and knockerball. Since lines are expected, keep the kids entertained at a Miners Express train ride and bouncy house. If you’ve got your grown-up pants on, give the mechanical bull a try.
More info: Visit skylandsstadium.com or call 973-383-7644.
The Just Jersey Food, Truck & Music Festival
Where: Chester Municipal Field, 134 Main Street, Chester
When: May 6
Details: The first Just Jersey food and music festival of the year kicks off in early May at the Chester Municipal Field. Expect the same great fun you found last year including a full musical line up (first band starts at 11:00 am, last at 4:00 pm), more than 20 of your favorite local food trucks, beer vendors and more. Bring a chair or blanket and settle in for a fun day. Since this installment of Just Jersey benefits the Chester Fire Department and Food Bank, bring a non-perishable canned or boxed good, too.
More info: Visit justjerseyfest.com or call 973-927-2794.
Hoboken Spring Arts & Music Festival
Where: Washington Street between 8th and 14th Street, Hoboken
When: May 7
Details: This Hoboken festival celebrates spring, food, music and the arts. More than 300 artists, sculptors, and photographers will be showcasing their paintings, pictures and mixed media, and three stages will be live with music. Since the festival takes place all along Washington Street, restaurants will be setting up outdoor cafes showcasing the cultural cuisine of the neighborhood. And it’s Hoboken, so kids will absolutely be included in the fun. Think: rides, games, face painting, sand art and more.
More info: Visit hobokennj.gov or call 201-420-2207.
Jersey Shore Music Festival
Where: Boardwalk, Seaside Heights
When: May 19-21
Details: This is the festival that kicks it all off for Seaside Heights. The first day will feature a music mentors session and live music. The second day moves into more live music along with Tai Chi lessons, yoga on the beach, surf lessons and flag football. Day three is more music, art, video game clinics and a closing celebration that will just leave you wanting more.
More info: Visit www.jerseyshorefestival.com.
28th Annual Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest
Where: The Sussex County Fairgrounds, 37 Plains Road, Frankford
When: June 2-4
Details: This three-day fest is one that will be hard to leave, so pull up your camper and stay the whole time. It’s New Orleans-inspired, so expect lots of live music from R&B to gospel to jazz and more. There will be three stages so you can move from one to the other while you nosh on Louisiana crawfish, alligator sausage, po’ boys and more.
More info: Visit www.crawfishfest.com.