10 Ways to Enjoy NJ Culture, Alfresco

ShareThis

Summer's a wonderful time to follow the arts in New Jersey. And if you love the outdoors as much as you enjoy cultural pursuits, you're doubly in luck. Download and print this sun-drenched and starlit lineup of lively arts that will thrill every culture connoisseur.

  1. Xperience Indie Music | Head over to the Camden Waterfront and BB&T Pavilion for the 2017 XPoNential Music Festival (July 28-30) to hear established and up-and-coming artists popular on the public radio station WXPN. Wilco and Spoon are among the performers slated for this summer's fest.
  2. Play a Game of "Statues" | Enchanting, refreshing, scenic, unique—Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton is all that and more. Set on the former NJ Fairgrounds, this 42-acre sculpture garden and arboretum is kid friendly, too. Order a "Picnic-in-the-Park" (a picnic basket packed with treats) to complete your picture-perfect family outing.
  3. See Shakespeare Under the Stars | The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey stages one play outdoors each summer, and what could be more seasonally perfect that The Bard's classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Performances will be offered mid-June through July on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown (at the Convent Station train stop). It boasts a grass-and-stone amphitheater, one of the only theaters of its kind in the U.S.
  4. Rock Out by the Beach | Since 1974, the iconic Stone Pony in Asbury Park has been rocking the stage. In the summer, the world-famous venue takes it to the beach with an exciting roster of outdoor concerts. For a true Jersey experience, don't miss Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes on July 1, 2017.
  5. Do Some "Shameless Name Dropping" | Hobnob with the citizens of Princeton's history-making past. Take a scenic three-mile stroll with the Princeton Tour Company on its popular "Shameless Name Dropping Tour" to see the homes and hangouts of Albert Einstein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Woodrow Wilson and more. Offered April through November, Saturdays and Sundays.
  6. Savor the Best of Jersey City | If you haven't imbibed in a cultural food tour yet, you are missing out! Join the enthusiastic foodie guides at Jersey Girls Food Tours for a stroll around Jersey City (aka "chilltown") on the Best of Downtown tour. Get a firsthand taste of Jersey City's awesome eateries.
  7. Choose Lawn or Amphitheater | The PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel is planning a hot summer lineup that ranges from Nickelback and Zac Brown Band to the Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper joint summer tour. This venue boasts plenty of seating, including a lawn area.
  8. Delight in a Classic Musical | Kids and parents alike will enjoy performances at the Open Air Theatre at Washington Crossing State Park in Titusville. This performing company anticipates a move to a new venue in the future, but you can still catch six main stage musicals and six children's theatre productions this summer.
  9. Step Back to the 19th C. | Experience the past alfresco! A visit to Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May sure beats any chalkboard history lesson. See interpreters in period costume demonstrate blacksmithing, woodworking, pottery, open hearth cooking and more. The Village is open Tuesday-Sunday from mid-June through September 1.
  10. On a Classical Note | Throughout the year, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra delights audiences with a program of pops, classical and family programs at seven different venues statewide. But summer is extra special for the NJSO. Stay tuned as the orchestra tunes up for another alfresco summer concert series!

Read more about NJ's entertainment under the stars, plus download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism.