Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial kick-off to summer and something we’ve all been looking forward to since the first snowflake fell a few months ago. From BBQs to parades to pool parties, napkin throwing at D’Jais (ok, maybe when we were in our twenties), MDW is a big deal in New Jersey.

But let’s not forget why the day exists in the first place. It’s a day to remember and pay tribute to those that died while serving our country and we thank them all for their service.

Valentino Funghi via Unsplash
Valentino Funghi via Unsplash

Aside from the parades, flag-waving, and honoring our troops, there is so much to do in the great Garden State to start off everyone’s favorite season.

If you have kids, this is a great weekend to give them a little taste of summer even though there are still a few weeks left of school. You can go for hikes in North Jersey, walk the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore, and visit some of the most beautiful parks in Central Jersey.

It’s easy to pack up the car and head to the shore along with everyone else in the state. And, when I say “easy”, I mean the thought of it. There is nothing easy about sitting in hours of traffic on the Parkway. If that’s your tradition then more power to you.

If you’re not an MDW shore family, here’s a list of the top 10 events happening that weekend in the Garden State that the whole family can participate in:

New Jersey Renaissance Faire

1195 Florence Columbus Rd - Bordentown Township, NJ

Open Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. rain or shine

Tickets start at $10 for kids; $25 for adults. For more information, click HERE.

Wildwoods International Kite Festival

On the beach at Rio Grande Avenue and inside the Wildwoods Convention Center

Friday, May 27 - Monday, May 30; Fri: 12:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Sat & Sun: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Mon: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. - FREE to spectators

For more information, click HERE.

Large colorful kites against a blue sky

Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival

Monmouth Park Racetrack - 175 Oceanport Ave, Oceanport, NJ

Saturday, May 28 - Monday, May 30; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. - General admission is $6; Parking is free.

For more information, click HERE.

Nathalia Segato via Unsplash
Nathalia Segato via Unsplash

Land of Make Believe opening weekend

354 Great Meadows Road - Rt. 611, Hope

Open for the public WEEKENDS ONLY starting Memorial Day weekend (including Memorial Day) thru the third weekend in June.

Tickets start at $35. For more information, click HERE.

Collingswood May Fair

Along Haddon Avenue in Collingswood

Saturday, May 28 - 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Rain date: Sunday, May 29)

200+ artists and crafters will display and sell their unique creations. The “KidZone” features carnival games, rides, and children-friendly crafters. Food and music will be provided as well. For more information, click HERE.

LEAD Fest Carnival at the Westfield Garden State Plaza

One Garden State Plaza, Paramus

Thursday, May 26 - Monday, May 30; Wednesday – Friday: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday/Sunday/Memorial Day: 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Admission is $5; additional price for ride tickets. For more information, click HERE.

Springing into Summer Carnival at Franklin Pond

6 Corkhill Rd - Franklin (Sussex County)

Wednesday, May 25 - Sunday, May 29; Wednesday - Friday: 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday: 2 p.m. -10 p.m.

For more information and for ticket prices, click HERE.

Russ Ensley
Russ Ensley

Woodland Park Memorial Day Street Fair

1250 McBride Ave - Woodland Park

Monday, May 30; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Local vendors will be selling their merchandise such as jewelry, handbags, sports collectibles, clothing, home decor, and more. Live music and food trucks will be available. Kids can partake in rides and games. Admission is free. For more information, click HERE.


Family Fun Night x Memorial Day Weekend - Wall Stadium Speedway

1803 Highway 34 South - Wall Township

Saturday, May 28; Grandstands open: 4 p.m.; Feature Races start: 7 p.m.

It's a demolition derby! Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 7-17, ages 6 and under are free, and all active military and veterans are also free. For more information, click HERE.

Memorial Day Drop In Craft at the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts

9 Main Street - Madison

Saturday, May 28 - Sunday, May 29; 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Remembering and honoring our veterans. Kids will create paper lanterns with the colors of the flag. Free with regular admission. For more information, click HERE.

Google Maps
Google Maps

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 or follow her on Instagram.

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