10 Ways to Love Spring in New Jersey
Blooming botanical gardens, sunny days at the beach, bustling street festivals—there’s a lot to love about spring in New Jersey. Make the most of the season with this quick bucket list of must-try experiences.
1. Explore one of the many botanical gardens in New Jersey.
Spring is known for its gorgeous displays of floral beauty, so take in the seasonal splendor at one of New Jersey’s parks and gardens. Stroll the manicured paths winding between rose bushes at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, see the blooming flowers at Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville or spend the day exploring the sprawling New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands in Ringwood.
2. Fly a kite on the beach.
Take advantage of springtime’s windy weather and launch your colorful kite to fly along the shoreline. At Point Pleasant Beach, enjoy the pristine, family-beach, and then walk along the boardwalk for a bite to eat. At Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, fly your kite along the quiet stretch of sand while taking in views of the historic Barnegat Lighthouse. On May 22 – 25, 2020, don’t miss the Wildwoods International Kite Festival in Wildwood; it’s the largest kite festival in North America and the perfect place to watch pros show off their kite skills.
3. See baby animals at a local farm.
Enjoy some fresh air, wholesome activities and some super cute baby animals at farms throughout the Garden State. Every year, Alstede Farms in Chester welcomes new babies of all varieties, and kids can enjoy seeing everything from bunnies to baby ducks at this year-round farm. While you're here, buy a bag of veggies at the farm to feed the animals, and then pick up some treats (we're talking homemade ice cream and freshly baked pie) at the farm store.
4. Watch springtime bird migration.
With its abundance of parks and nature preserves along the shoreline, New Jersey is a hot spot for seeing nesting and migratory birds, especially in the spring time. Don’t miss a trip to Cape May, where the abundance of habitats—swamps, marshes, grasslands and forests—make it a prime birding location. Bring your binoculars and see why Cape May was a natural choice for the location of the highly anticipated World Series of Birding competition on May 9, 2020. Discover even more birding spots in New Jersey this spring.
5. Celebrate the season at a one of the many spring festivals.
Along with warmer weather come the festivals. Listen to jazz, soul and R&B at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May April 17 – 19, 2020. For a true street festival experience, enjoy artists, crafters, vendors, live music and more at the Red Bank Street Fair & Craft Show or the Somerville Arts & Crafts Festival, both on April 5, 2020. Find more upcoming events during your trip.
6. Go for a bike ride along a nearby trail.
Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, enjoy the pleasant spring weather and picture-worthy scenery from two wheels. Take in the shoreline views from the Sandy Hook Bike Path along the Sandy Hook Peninsula or opt for a forested ride alongside cranberry bogs on the Pine Barrens River Ramble. Find even more bike paths to enjoy this spring.
7. See the cherry blossoms in bloom.
There's nothing like seeing the cherry trees draped in a shawl of delicate, pink blossoms every spring. Take in this seasonal splendor at the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park in Newark on April 4 – 19, 2020, which includes festivities such as a bike race, 10k run, 1-mile fun run, a family day and Bloomfest. Hurd Park in Dover, located along Route 46, is also well known for its spectacular display of cherry blossoms.
8. Bring your lunch outdoors for a picnic with views.
Dining with a view doesn't get much better when you're at one of the many spectacular picnic spots in New Jersey. At Palisades Interstate Park, unpack your lunch at the Alpine Picnic Area, a waterfront area with views of the Hudson River, picnic tables, grills, restrooms and access to the nearby trail system. Ringwood State Park in Ringwood offers picnic tables and food concessions at the 74-acre Shepherd Lake, where you can enjoy a picnic followed by a paddleboat, kayak or canoe ride.
9. Cheer on a local baseball team.
Take the whole family out to the ballgame with American Minor League Baseball teams throughout New Jersey, including the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood and the Trenton Thunder at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton. These fun, budget-friendly games are ideal for a night out without breaking the bank.
10. Explore nature on a scenic hiking trail.
Take in breathtaking views from the highest elevation in New Jersey when you trek up Monument Trail at High Point State Park in Sussex, which follows part of the famous Appalachian Trail before continuing to the summit. For a little bit of history with your hike, follow the Watchung Reservation History Trail in Union County, which includes interesting sites like a copper mine, the 1920s Drake Farm House & Barn and more.
Planning to bring the whole family? Find even more fun things to do with kids with these spring break ideas.