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Art Indoors and Outdoors: Museums, Craft Fairs, Glass Blowing and More

Whether you’re a connoisseur of fine art or don't know the difference between Cubism and Realism, spark your creative side with a New Jersey arts & culture experience. The state mounts a vibrant arts calendar with plenty of indoor and outdoor exhibits and events to enjoy around the year.

Outdoors: Arts Festivals, Craft Fairs, Sculpture Gardens and Public Art in New Jersey

Along with flowers, late spring in New Jersey blooms with arts and crafts fairs. Browse all manner of artwork and handcrafted items, meet the artists and enjoy the lively vibe of a street fair practically every weekend. Princeton, Fanwood, Cape May, Bloomfield, Montclair, Seaside Heights are among the many New Jersey towns with art fairs and craft festivals happening in the spring and summer.

Late spring is also a good time to peruse the calendars of NJ’s performing arts venues to see what’s coming for the summer season and purchase those “must have” concert tickets. Pair your arts experience with a B&B stay and a winery tour to make the most of the warm weather.

Continue exploring art in the great outdoors at Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton. Created to make contemporary sculpture more accessible, this sprawling garden provides an informal setting where you stroll outside on 42 landscaped acres, viewing an evolving collection of sculpture and taking advantage of photo ops with the resident peacocks. Dine at one of the on-site restaurants or request a Picnic-in-the-Park from The Peacock Café to enjoy an al fresco lunch on the scenic grounds.

Many of the installations at Grounds For Sculpture are quite large, but if “colossal” is more your style, take the ferry from Liberty State Park to see Bartholdi’s neoclassic sculpture Liberty Enlightening the World, better known as the Statue of Liberty. Other places to enjoy outdoor art installations on a smaller scale include the museum garden at Newark Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum, which offers a self-guided tour of outdoor sculpture geared towards children. 

Indoors: Museum Exhibits, Art Events, Glass Blowing Studios and Galleries

Rich with the natural resources needed to make glass, New Jersey was home to the nation’s earliest successful glass factory (1739). Delve deeper into the area's contributions to glass and participate in a hands-on experience at Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center. Stroll through the Museum of American Glass, watch contemporary glass artists use century-old techniques to create new works of art or make your own glass paperweight memento.

In northern New Jersey, GlassRoots Studio is the only metropolitan “hotshop” for youth and adults, offering workshops in glassblowing, flameworking and more. Other glass studios with interactive experiences include Hot Sand in Asbury Park, Glassworks in Morristown and the Glass Underground in Warren.

For kid-friendly art, Imagine That!!! children's museum in Florham Park encourages artistic play in its arts and crafts area, while Montclair Art Museum features a self-guided Learning Lab, an interactive space where families can explore art through hands-on experiences.

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