Spring Bucket List

Make the most of the season with this quick bucket list of must-try experiences.
  • Cherry Blossoms in Hurd Park in New Jersey
    Hurd Park in Dover, New Jersey

Blooming botanical gardens, sunny days at the beach, bustling street festivals—there’s a lot to love about spring in New Jersey.

1. Explore one of the many botanical gardens in New Jersey.

Spring is known for its gorgeous displays of floral beauty, so take in the seasonal splendor at one of New Jersey’s parks and gardens. Walk beneath the dazzling pink cherry trees in bloom at Hurd Park in Dover, stroll the manicured paths winding between rose bushes at Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, see the blooming flowers at Cross Estate Gardens in Bernardsville or spend the day exploring the sprawling New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands in Ringwood.

2. Fly a kite on the beach.

Take advantage of springtime’s windy weather and launch your colorful kite to fly 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. From May 25 – 28, 2018, don’t miss the Wildwoods International Kite Festival in Wildwood; it’s the largest kite festival in North America and the perfect place to watch pros show off their kite skills.

3. Explore nature on a scenic hiking trail.

Take in breathtaking views from the highest elevation in New Jersey when you trek up Monument Trail at High Point State Park in Sussex, 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 1920s Drake Farm House & Barn and more.

4. Watch springtime bird migration.

With its abundance of parks and nature preserves along the shoreline, New Jersey is a hot spot for seeing nesting and migratory birds, especially in the spring time. Don’t miss a trip to Cape May, where the abundance of habitats—swamps, marshes, grasslands and forests—make it a prime birding location. Bring your binoculars and see why Cape May was a natural choice for the location of the highly anticipated World Series of Birding competition (May 12, 2018). Discover even more birding spots in New Jersey this spring.

5. Celebrate the season at a one of the many spring festivals.

Along with warmer weather come the festivals. See the cherry blossoms in bloom in Newark at the Essex County Cherry Blossom Family Day on April 14, 2018. Listen to jazz, soul and R&B at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May April 20 – 22, 2018, or hear folk music at New Jersey Folk Festival in New Brunswick on April 28, 2018. For a true street festival experience, enjoy the face painting, fair food, arts and crafts vendors and more at the Lambertville Shad Festival April 28 – 29, 2018. Find more upcoming events during your trip.

6. Go for a bike ride along a nearby trail.

Whether you rent a bike or bring your own, enjoy the pleasant spring weather and picture-worthy scenery from two wheels. Take in the shoreline views from the Sandy Hook Bike Path along the Sandy Hook Peninsula or opt for a forested ride alongside cranberry bogs on the Pine Barrens River Ramble. Find even more bike paths to enjoy this spring.


Planning to bring the whole family? Find even more fun things to do with kids with these spring break ideas.