Family Friendly Activities to Take You Through Summer

As parents ourselves, we’re always thinking about what to do with the kids. Whether that’s looking for day-to-day activities, for something to do outside, or need a break from the heat, check out these family friendly we’ve got just below!

duck paddleboats on large pondColonial Park (Somerset)

There’s so much to love about Colonial Park and it’s easy to make a day of it. These adorable duck paddleboats are one of our favorite summertime activities in the county. Adjacent to the paddleboats is their putting course. Currently, both of these amenities are available from noon until 8pm on the weekends and starting June 26 through September 6, they’ll be available daily from 10am-9pm.

Kids may also run free in the park’s jungle gym and cool off in the splash park (stay tuned for opening date!).

Picnic areas are also available. Find out more information here.

If you’re into fishing, or want to teach the younger kids how to fish, head to the water that’s been recently stocked with trout.

Head across the street to the Rudolf W. van der Goot Rose Garden to walk among the beautiful flowers.

kids exploring in wetlands by liliesEnvironmental Education Center (Basking Ridge)

The perfect place to introduce your children to environmental literacy. You can hit the trails here too! The Environmental Education Center is located on the western side of The Great Swamp. Here you can explore habitats including swamps, rivers, marshes, meadows, ponds, and forests that provide homes for diverse plant and animal populations in this environmentally sensitive park.

Head inside for the Great Swamp Experience! This permanent, interactive, educational exhibit is located downstairs in the EEC. The exhibit highlights historical and ecological information about the Great Swamp. Children can crawl into a beaver lodge, feel animal fur, or explore the toddler area. Adults can enjoy viewing habitat vignettes, archeological artifacts, and learning about hydrology, sustainability, and the park’s geographic location.

arcade space invadersBranchburg Sports Complex (Branchburg)

Fun and excitement for the whole family at Branchburg Sports Complex, one of the area’s largest and most exciting indoor recreation destinations!

Visitors here can enjoy indoor turf fields, batting cages, seasonal basketball/volleyball courts, an arcade with redemption center, a multi-level PlayMaze and a 9,000 square foot, multi-level laser tag arena.

Be sure to check out their options for parties. Their staff will handle the details, supplies, and food so you can enjoy  the day with your family and friends. In addition to birthday parties for children, these can also be customized for adults, large groups, team building, and corporate events as well.

kids on climbing wallIron Peak (Hillsborough)

Retreat from the heat. Compete bolder, climb higher, and excel together at Iron Peak! There are so many activities and events for the family to partake in. Challenge yourself on the ninja course, aerial ropes, or the climbing wall – our favorite is the glow in the dark wall!

Need to take a breather? Hit the arcade for the classics (like Donkey Kong or Space Invaders!), instant win games, or even their giant Connect 4! Parents: we totally understand if you need to take a break away from the excitement. Iron Peak has an overlooking galley where you can enjoy a glass of wine from Old York Cellars while you watch the kids below.

patriots td bank ballpark stadiumSomerset Patriots (Bridgewater)

There is so much going on at TD Bank Ballpark this year, the home of the Somerset Patriots, the Double-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees.

So many of their games this season include post-game fireworks (weather dependent), chances to win some cash, BINGO games, and more! It’s a great time to include the whole family in with America’s favorite pastime.



historic car with flag on open hoodDowntown Somerville (Somerville)

THE place for events in Somerset County with something to do Thursday-Saturday nights (and beyond!)

The Starlit Cinema returns this year on Thursdays in July and August. Stroll Downtown Somerville on Friday nights from Memorial Day through Labor Day while you check out the historic cars during the signature Cruise Night event. The fun will continue on Saturday nights for their Summer Concert Series on Division Street, the pedestrian plaza in the heart of town.

If you need a bite to eat or something to drink, you can duck into one of many restaurants conveniently nearby without having to drive elsewhere or repark your car.

Looking for a bit more fun with the family before or after these events? Check out Yestercades for fun and games including traditional arcade games, skee ball, and more! Families with older kids can enjoy time at Ultimate Xscape Rooms, which may also be completed in-person or virtually!

crowd gathered outside to watch movieMovie Nights (Bernards, Branchburg, Downtown Somerville) 

Get out and enjoy a nice, cool evening. Multiple locations around Somerset County will be hosting special movie nights.

Check out:

  • Bernards Township– movies begin at approximately 8:30pm – bring your own blanket or lawn chair!
    • July 7: Frozen 2 (Dunham Park)
    • July 21: Jumanji 2: Welcome to the Jungle (Dunham Park)
    • August 3: Inside Out (Astor Fields)
  • Branchburg Township 
    • June 29: National Treasure (White Oak Park)
  • Borough of Somerville
    • Every Thursday night in July & August (Division Street)

family bicycling outsideDuke Farms (Hillsborough)

Grab your bikes – or rent one right at Duke Farms! The trails here make for a pleasant day trip. Makes stops along the way at the orchid range (open during limited hours), the meditation garden, the mermaid pool, and more. You’ll learn about the eccentric heiress, Doris Duke, and the history behind the property. Remember: on Saturdays visitors must reserve a (free!) parking pass (if arriving by car), so please reserve early!

We hope you’ll take the opportunity along the way to not only take in the scenic views of the property, but the wildlife such as deer, foxes, birds (Duke Farms is designated as an Important Birding Area), moles, and more! AND if you love geocaching, this is is a great place to visit!

Delaware and Raritan CanalD&R Canal (Somerset, Millstone)

The 70-mile Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is one of central New Jersey’s most popular recreational corridors for canoeing, jogging, hiking, bicycling, fishing and horseback riding. The canal and the park are part of the National Recreation Trail System. This linear park is also a valuable wildlife corridor connecting fields and forests. A recent bird survey conducted in the park revealed 160 species of birds, almost 90 of which nested in the park.

Hot day? Take it easy with a turn-by-turn scenic driving tour with Millstone Scenic Byway.

lavender fieldsHidden Spring Lavender Farm (Skillman)

A great place to take the family! Not only will you enjoy absolutely picturesque views of the lavender farm, but you can also check out the alpaca farm on site AND take them for a walk around the property (for an extra fee).

Make sure you stop inside the boutique to pick up any locally made gifts! All of their products are made with 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil and Lavender grown right in Skillman.

blueberry bunches on treeU-Pick Fields

Experience Jersey Fresh at it’s best with ingredients you picked yourself! If you have a hard time getting your children to eat their fruits and veggies, gardening and u-pick fields are a GREAT way for them to get excited about it. Where can you pick your own this summer in Somerset County?

Snyder’s Farm (Somerset)

  • U-pick sunflowers each Saturday and Sunday from 9am – 4pm (last car at 3pm) – PLUS: Don’t miss the sunflower maze open during the same time!

young boy playing with binocularsFairview Farm Wildlife Preserve (Bedminster)

This 170-acre wildlife preserve has five miles of trails through fields and woods, a scenic pond with a dock, a bird and butterfly garden, and a historic barn complex. A former dairy farm, the preserve is also the headquarters of Raritan Headwaters, a nonprofit organization that protects water. Hikers, birders, artists, photographers and school groups experience the best of nature at Fairview Farm Preserve.

You’ll learn so much about water conservation on-site. This destination is definitely worth the check out!




three alpacasBluebird Alpaca Farm (Peapack)

Take a farm tour of the property and meet the alpacas! You’ll have the opportunity to feed and pet these gentle creatures. Children 8 and older also have the opportunity to take the alpacas on a halter training around the rolling hills of the property. This will surely be an experience the kids won’t forget!




waitress serving at movie theaterAMC Theatres – Bridgewater Commons (Bridgewater)

The biggest summer blockbusters are on their way. Another place to beat the heat is Bridgewater Commons. Their dine-in theater makes for a nice reprieve for you and the family to recharge until it’s time to get back outside.



kid painting on canvas

The Center for Contemporary Art (Bedminster)

Channel your creative instincts. This regional art center has a vibrant studio art school, extensive exhibition program and important community outreach component. The Center for Contemporary Art is committed to enabling all visitors to experience its classes and workshops, exhibitions and public programs.

Individuals can choose from a variety of workshops or classes and even summer camps! Individuals in girl scouts or boy scouts may also find opportunities within this organization to earn badges.



kids playing on balance rope outdoorsShimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center (Bridgewater)

Programming available for early childhood development, to youth and teens, and adults!

The JCC facility includes heated indoor and outdoor salt-based pools.  A dome enclosed outdoor pool is available in the off-season for year-round use. The JCC has a newly renovated and expanded fitness center, group fitness studio, spin studio and gymnasium, AND splash park!  They offer more than 70 group fitness classes/week, including the internationally acclaimed Les Mills Fitness Program.


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