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. 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 parks and gardens. Stroll the manicured paths winding between rose bushes at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, admire the exquisite flowers at Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville or spend the day at the sprawling New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood.
2. Fly a kite on the beach.
Take advantage of springtime’s windy weather and launch your colorful kite to soar 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 27-30, 2022, don’t miss the Wildwoods International Kite Festival in Wildwood. It’s the perfect place to watch pros show off their kite skills—and to flaunt your own!
3. See baby animals at a local farm.
Delight in some fresh air, wholesome activities and super-cute baby animals at farms throughout the Garden State. Every year, Alstede Farms in Chester welcomes new generations of all varieties, and kids can meet everything from bunnies to baby ducks, plus lots of other friendly livestock. While you're here, buy a bag of veggies 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 hotspot for observing nesting and migratory birds, especially in the spring. Drift to Cape May, where the abundance of habitats—swamps, marshes, grasslands and forests—make it a prime birding location. Bring your binoculars, and you’ll understand why this is a natural venue for the highly anticipated World Series of Birding competition on May 14, 2022. Discover even more birding spots in New Jersey this spring.
5. Celebrate the season at a spring festival.
Along with warmer weather come the festivals. Listen to jazz, soul, R&B and other genres at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May on May 13-15, 2022. In Washington Borough, head to the Rock & Roll Steampunk Fair on May 21, 2022, for highlights including live music and steampunk vendors. Check our calendar for more upcoming events.
6. Go for a bike ride along a trail.
Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, appreciate the pleasant spring weather and picture-worthy scenery from two wheels. Take in shoreline views from the Sandy Hook Bike Path along the Sandy Hook peninsula, or opt for a forested ride beside cranberry bogs on the Pine Barrens River Ramble. Find even more bike paths to adore this spring.
7. Be awed by cherry blossoms in bloom.
There's nothing quite like cherry trees draped in a shawl of delicate, pink blossom. The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival at Branch Brook Park in Belleville and Newark is being held on April 2-10, 2022. Swoon over more than 5,200 Japanese cherry blossom trees, or challenge yourself with the 10K run or the bike race.
8. Bring your lunch outdoors for a picnic with views.
Dining with a view doesn't get much better than 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 on the Hudson River, featuring picnic tables, grills, restrooms and access to the trail system. Ringwood State Park in Ringwood offers picnic tables and grills at the 74-acre Shepherd Lake, plus opportunities for adventure alfresco.
9. Cheer on a local baseball team.
Take the whole family out to the ballgame! Minor League Baseball teams include the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate) at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood and the Somerset Patriots (a New York Yankees affiliate) at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Township. Or catch the Trenton Thunder (currently a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League) at Trenton Thunder Ballpark in Trenton. Farther north, check out Frontier League teams the Sussex County Miners at Skylands Stadium in Augusta or the New Jersey Jackals at Yogi Berra Stadium in Montclair. These fun, budget-friendly games are ideal for a night out without breaking the bank.
10. Explore nature on a scenic hiking trail.
At High Point State Park in Sussex, breathtaking views from the highest elevation in New Jersey await when you trek up Monument Trail, 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 Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park, the Drake Farm House & Barn ruins and more.
There are many fun activities to experience this spring in New Jersey! Just remember to check the official website or social media channels of your destination BEFORE your visit to get the latest hours of operation and any special requirements or restrictions. For even more ideas, download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.