Here's a checklist for Summer 2021 attractions

Thinking of what to do this summer? Here's a list of some cool things families and kids of all ages can do. Check out walks, bridges, beaches, ferry rides, amusement parks, water parks, zoos and unique attractions in New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia.

1. Visit any of the Jersey Shore Beaches and enjoy a beach day with the family. Walk on the sand and dip your toes in the water. So many beaches to choose from: Point Pleasant, Ocean City, Wildwood, Cape May, Seaside Heights, Belmar, Atlantic City. Find out what's happening at these beach exits.

2. Sensational thrills and non-stop fun for kids of all ages at the State Fair Meadowlands.  Returns this summer for 24 days thru July 11th. Rides, games, entertainment, animals, contests, fireworks and more. 


3. Listen to one of the many FREE Summer Concert Series throughout the Jersey Shore Beach towns or your local town park.

4. Race boats, cars, tanks and copters at the newest family entertainment center - ARENA STEM located in the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus, NJ. It's all about STEM fun for all ages. 

5. Dinosaurs have appeared in NJ.  Drive through Dino Safari has stampeded into Freehold (July 10) and Paramus (July 16) with over 40 giant moving Dinosaurs.  Or Walk through the Field Station: Dinosaurs in Lodi, NJ (image below) This exhibit runs thru November with  life-sized moving dinosaurs, plus shows and games during 2 seasons of family fun. Hear them roar.  


6. Hop aboard Statue Cruises from the NJ side and visit The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. 877.523.9849.

7. Go see the outdoor family series: Sleeping Beauty (July 17), Pinocchio (July 24) and Galumpha (July 31) @ Premiere Stages at Kean University.

8. See the Guinness World Record for Model Train Display at Northlandz, the world's largest miniature wonderland. Buy tickets here.

9. Need to cool down and get away? Have you been to Sahara Sam's Waterpark?  Plenty of water slides, lazy river, wave riders, and pools galore and they are open everyday! 

10. Visit a lighthouse and admire their beautiful structure. Climb Cape May's Lighthouse. Wednesdays are Family Fun Days with kid friendly activities, games and crafts vendors held at the grounds of the Cape May Lighthouse. Free admission to the grounds. Admission fee to climb the lighthouse. Here's a complete list of  NJ's Amazing Lighthouses to visit.

11. Enroll in a summer Learning Pod at the Newark Museum of Art. Weekly themes, creative and interactive summer learning and fun. 

12. Discover New Jersey Boardwalks. Arcades games, amusement rides, funnel cakes, ice cream, music, entertainment, fireworks, lights, smell, and sounds. Wildwood, Seaside Heights, Point Pleasant, Ocean City, Long Branch, and more.

13. Go barefoot at Northeast's largest outdoor country music fest in Wildwood NJ Beach this August 19-22, a 4 day event on the boardwalk 10am-11pm. 

14. Explore Legoland Discovery Center NJ, located in American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ. (Large image above)

15. Stay cool at a local NJ Sprayground.  (Let us know if there are new ones to add to the list!)

16. Explore the Battleship New Jersey Museum & Memorial. Guests can go 5 levels up and 2 decks below. Daily self-guided or guided tours available. 856.966.1652.

17. Get in touch with nature and animals at the Cape May County Park and Zoo. The park has walking paths, fishing ponds, picnic areas, playgrounds and more!  Here's where to see other animals.

18. Bike ride at Sandy Hook. There is 8 miles of a paved multi-use pathway, which runs from the entrance of Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreation Area to the ferry at Fort Hancock. Link to The Great Outdoors - Guide to Parks, Nature, Trail and Gardens.

19. Montclair Jazz Festival starts July 8 with special events and free concerts throughout July and August with a Grand Finale September 25 "Downtown Jamboree".

20. Don't miss this new Aquarium - SeaLife NJ located in American Dream Mall.  Have you been to these other aquariums - here's the complete guide to aquariums around NJ

21. Sign up for Summer Camp. Explore the great variety of camps for kids ranging from sports, creative, STEM, sewing, art and performing arts, from weekly, monthly to overnight camps. Check out the camp pages and search on the directory and map.

22. Check out our list of FREE Fun Things to Do, and NJ KIDS' monthly calendar of events for ongoing great stuff.

23. Go watch the balloons float in the air at the NJ Lottery Festival of Ballooning in Readington, NJ July 23 - 25th.


24. Go see a Baseball Game at Somerset Patriots. Stadium is now open at full capacity. Various dates with family fun night themes throughout the summer.  

25. Looking for other Group outing or Field Trip ideas?  Flip our Field Trip guide for more attractions and things to do with kids as more reopenings take place.  Look for the new issue due out in September. 

Things to Do with Kids in the New York City Area

26. FREE. Take a 25-minute ride on the Staten Island Ferry as it sails through NY Harbor and see Statue of Liberty from a distance. Get on at Whitehall Ferry Terminal (South Ferry) in Manhattan, get off at St. George on Staten Island, and take the Ferry back to Manhattan.

27. Walk along the High Line in New York City. Public park built on a rail line above Manhattan's West Side. Experience nature, art, and views along the way. Gansevoort St, 14th Streets all the way to 34th Street. Open access without reservations during the weekdays (online reservations during the weekends).

28. Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan and into Brooklyn. Enter by the City Hall area. Once you get to the Brooklyn Side, walk around DUMBO or the Brooklyn Bridge Park, the latter with breath taking views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Skyline.

29. Visit Governors Island for fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. Cost is the Ferry ride over. Miles of biking and walking paths. 4 play slides to entertain the kids. Climb Outlook Hill for 360 degree views. Ferry is FREE Saturdays & Sundays before Noon.

30. Create with colors and learn about crayon making at the Crayon Workshop @ the Jewish Children's Museum - through August 26, 2021.

31. Walk around Manhattan's newest attraction, the Hudson Yards on the West Side. Works of art, shops, food and drink. Explore and climb the "Vessel", an interactive public landmark (FREE to book timed tickets).

32. Experience all that Coney Island offers in the summer. Beach, sun, sand, water, sideshows, and Nathan's Hot Dogs. Enjoy amusement rides at Luna Park or visit the nearby New York Aquarium.

33. Go see a Broadway or off Broadway show with the kids. Family friendly shows are back. Tickets on sale now for shows starting up in August and September. 

34. Math lovers?Take the kids and check out the National Museum of Mathematics. Unique math exhibits, lectures, and workshops. 

Things to Do with Kids in the Philadelphia Area

35. Take a fun day trip to Crayola Experience in Easton PA. Discover the magic of crayons, color, explore, hands on activities, play in the Crayola playground, watch & learn at the Crayon Factory Show, create your own art masterpiece, and much more! 610.515.8000

36. Smart fun at Lehigh Valley Zoo. Spend some time to uncover the wonder of animals. 610.799.4171.

37. Discover all the culinary delights at the Reading Terminal Market, a public food market with fresh seafood, baked goods, sweet treats, ice cream, cheesesteaks, and more! 12th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia.

38. Tour Independence Hall and learn about how the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Timed tickets for Independence Hall tour is distributed at the Independence Visitor Center. 520 Chestnut St, Philadelphia.

39. Go see the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. This bell served as a symbol and message for Liberty. 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia.

40. Run up the 72 steps leading to the Philadelphia Art Museum just like in the movie "Rocky". 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia.