Guide to Memorial Day Weekend in NJ

Guide to Memorial Day Weekend in NJ

After this exceptionally rough winter, what better way to gear up for summer than to plan your Memorial Day weekend? And what better place than New Jersey? Mountains, historic towns, beaches—New Jersey has it all!

Heading to the Shore

Most Jersey Shore beaches officially open on Saturday, May 23. Occupying three slots on the Top 10 Best New Jersey Beaches list is NJ Wildwoods. A great getaway for all ages, Wildwoods’ 38 blocks of boardwalk boasts a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and amusements.

With their calendar-chock full of events, Memorial Day weekend won’t disappoint. You won’t want to miss Wildwoods’ International Kite Festival, which takes place at Rio Grande beach as well as inside the Convention Center. From May 22 to 25, see kite makers from around the globe color the sky with their unique creations.

Also on Rio Grande Avenue will be the Memorial Weekend Boardwalk Craft Show on May 23 and 24. Starting at 9 am, browse the long stretch of tents filled with handmade crafts. Sunday night, enjoy a free live concert at Centennial Park (Fern Road and Ocean Avenue) featuring the Fabulous Greaseband.

Up north a bit, Monmouth County is home to miles of beautiful boardwalk and beaches. The Asbury Park Boardwalk is lined with great restaurants, stores, live music, mini golf, a water park for young children, and Silverball Pinball Arcade & Museum for the big kids. Open till 1 am, Silverball has machines dating back to the 1950s. Buy a wristband and play them all!

For a more sophisticated experience, try a homemade ginger beer or in-house infused cocktail while watching the fireworks on the deck at the Watermark, located on the 2nd Avenue boardwalk.

Close out your long weekend at Langosta Lounge and sample what they call “vacation-inspired cuisine” while listening to the eclectic sound of legendary local bands Stringbean and The Boardwalk Social Club, playing from 6 to 11 pm.

Meet Me at the Festival

Just 15 minutes west of Asbury, located in Oceanport, is Monmouth Park Racetrack. Along with their regular race schedule, Monmouth Park will host the Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival from May 23 to 25. With your $3 admission to the race track, you can sample specialties from more than 35 food trucks. Pizza, lobster, hot dogs, ice cream—there’s something for everyone. The festival runs from 11:30 am to 5 pm, and racing post time is 12:30 pm.

On Saturday, May 23 from 10 am to 7 pm, visit NJ’s capital for the free 2015 Pork Roll Festival. This year’s event will take place at historic Mill Hill Park in Trenton. You can enjoy lots of great food, live music, a beer garden, and the crowning of Pork Roll Queen You don’t get more Jersey than that, so come see who wins the coveted pork roll recipe contest!

With all of the fun activities taking place across the state, let’s not forget what Memorial Day is really about: honoring American lives lost while serving our country. So take the family to a parade, wave a flag, and thank a veteran for his or her service.

Whatever you decide to do this Memorial Day weekend, enjoy yourself and be safe!