New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands | Photo: Getty Images/Moelyn Photos

10 Ways to Love Spring in New Jersey

Blooming botanical gardens, sunny days at the beach, eclectic festivals and more – there’s a lot to love about spring in New Jersey. And we’re helping you make the most of the season with these top ten things to do.

  1. Visit a vibrant botanical garden.

Spring is known for its gorgeous displays of floral beauty, so savor the seasonal splendor at one of New Jersey’s many gardens. Stroll the manicured paths winding between rose bushes at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown. Admire the exquisite blooms at The Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville. Check out the heavenly horticultural collections on display in Colonial Park Gardens in Somerset. Or spend the day exploring the sprawling New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood. Looking for more places to tiptoe through the tulips? Check out our complete list of gardens and arboretums.

Wildwood Kite Festival

  1. Fly a kite on the beach.

Take advantage of springtime’s brisk breezes and launch your colorful kite to soar high above the shoreline. At Point Pleasant Beach, you can enjoy a pristine stretch of sand and then make the scene at the family-friendly boardwalk for a bite to eat and a bit of fun. At Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, fly your kite on the quiet beach in view of the historic Barnegat Lighthouse for an Insta-worthy photo. Prefer to watch the pros show off their kite skills? On May 24 – 27, 2024, don’t miss the Wildwoods International Kite Festival. Or find a new favorite beach to go fly a kite right here.

  1. Meet adorable animals at a local farm.

Delight in the fresh air, wholesome activities and super-cute animals at farms throughout the Garden State. Alstede Farms in Chester welcomes visitors to meet and feed their horses, goats, donkeys, sheep, cows, rabbits and more. Don’t forget to feed yourself too – their farm store dishes out the most decadent homemade ice cream. At Hidden Spring Lavender & Alpacas, you can even take a fluffy-faced, friendly alpaca for a walk! Digging for more fun down on the farm? Check out all of the places to visit here.

  1. Watch the springtime bird migration.

With its abundance of parks and nature preserves along the coast, New Jersey is a hotspot for observing nesting and migratory birds, especially in the spring. Swoop into Cape May, where the abundance of habitats – including swamps, marshes, grasslands and forests – make it a prime birding location. Bring your binoculars and focus on all the reasons why this is such a natural venue for the World Series of Birding competition on May 11, 2024. Then take wing to even more birding spots in New Jersey this spring.

  1. Celebrate the season at a festival.

Spring is the kickoff to festival season in New Jersey! Listen to toe-tapping tunes at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May on April 19 – 21, 2024. Join in the celebration of a peculiar fish species at Shad Fest in the riveting riverside town of Lambertville on April 27 – 28, 2024. In Washington Borough, you won’t miss a beat at the Rock & Roll Steampunk Fair on May 4, 2024 with its collection of featured live music and local artisans. Check our calendar for even more upcoming festivals and events of all kinds.

Barnegat Lighthouse, New Jersey

  1. Go for a bike ride.

Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, you’ll fall in love with the pleasant temperatures and picture-worthy scenery from two wheels. Take in shoreline views from the Sandy Hook Multi-Use Path along the Sandy Hook peninsula. Pedal around Duke Island Park in Bridgewater. Embark on a woodsy ride beside cranberry bogs on the Pine Barrens River Ramble. Or gear up and find even more bike paths to navigate this spring.

  1. Be awed by cherry blossoms.

There's nothing quite like cherry trees draped in a shawl of delicate, pink blossoms. The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park, which reaches its blooming branches through Newark and a portion of Belleville, is being held on April 6 – 14, 2024. Swoon over more than 5,200 Japanese cherry blossom trees or challenge yourself with the 10K run or the bike race.

  1. Dine alfresco.

Get your meal with a soul-nourishing side of stunning Garden State views. Our outdoor dining guide features a comprehensive list of restaurants and eateries all around New Jersey with deck, patio and rooftop seating overlooking beaches, lakes, mountains and more lush landscapes as well as slick city skylines. 

  1. Take ‘em out to the ball game.

New Jersey’s Minor League Baseball teams include the BlueClaws (a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate) at ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakewood and the Somerset Patriots (a New York Yankees affiliate) at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Township. You can also catch the Trenton Thunder (currently a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League) at Trenton Thunder Ballpark in Trenton. Farther north, you can slide into Frontier League games, including the Sussex County Miners at Skylands Stadium in Augusta or the New Jersey Jackals at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson. These fun, budget-friendly games are perfect for a family outing where you can root-root-root for the home team.

Monument Hiking Trail Waterfall View High Point State Park New Jersey

  1. Explore nature on a scenic hiking trail.

At High Point State Park in Sussex, breathtaking views from the tallest elevation in New Jersey await atop the Monument Trail, which intersects part of the world-famous Appalachian Trail before continuing to the summit. Immerse yourself in soothing green spaces strolling Spruce Run Recreation Area in Clinton. For a little bit of history with your hike, follow the Watchung Reservation History Trail in Union County, which includes some unusual sites to see – watch for the Deserted Village of Feltville, a copper mine and more. For a full list of hiking trails crisscrossing the entire state, click here.

There are so many fun activities to experience this season in New Jersey! Before you spring into action, be sure to check the official website or social media channels of your preferred destinations for the latest visitation details. For even more ideas to plan a dynamic day trip or pack-your-bags getaway, download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.