Concerts, plays and movies in the parks offer some of the best family activities of the summer—and most are free! Bring lawn chairs or blanket, a picnic and enjoy. Free, unless indicated.
Check back in June, 2017, for new arts in the parks schedules.
|Concerts in the Parks||Movies in the Parks||Plays in the Parks|
Berkeley Heights Summer Concert Series
Memorial Park, 908-464-0550. Wed. concerts 7:30-9pm.
Bernards Township Parks & Recreation Jayne Hannigan Summer Concert Series
Pleasant Valley Park, 908-204-3003. Tuesdays at 7pm. Rainsite: Ridge High School.
Boonton Area Concerts in the Park
Grace Lord Park, W. Main St. & Essex Ave., Boonton.
Wednesdays 7-8:30pm. Rainsite: Darress Theatre, 615 Main St.
Chatham Community Band
Concerts 7:30pm unless noted.
Essex County's Summer Concert Series
973-268-3500. Free concerts and festivals are held at parks throughout Essex County June to Sept. Those at Brookdale Park, Bellevue and Watchung Aves., Bloomfield, are listed below. Brookdale Park concerts begin at 7:30pm. Visit website link for complete schedule.
Brookdale Park Concerts
Selected Special Events
Flemington Summer Classic Car Shows
Main St., downtown Flemington. Classic cars, live music in front of Main Street Bagel (26 Main St.) and The Grill Shack (136 Main St.), kids' activities and food 5:30-8:30pm select Saturdays May-Sept.
Florham Park Gazebo Concerts
Borough Hall Complex, 111 Ridgedale Ave. Sundays at 7pm. If questionable weather, 973-301-9698. Rainsite: Ridgedale School, 71 Ridgedale Ave.
Freehold Summer & Fall Concert Series
Hall of Records Parking Lot, Freehold, 732-333-0094. Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm June-Aug.
Frelinghuysen Arboretum Cottage Garden Concert Series
Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Twp., 973-394-1100. Outdoor concerts in the Cottage Garden 7-8pm on select Fridays in June and July. Matilda's Cafe open for a snack and beverage. Admission $15, pre-registration required.
Hanover Township Concert Series
Brickyard Field, Bee Meadow Park, Pond Rd., Whippany, 973-428-2463. Activity line: 973-887-7870. Concerts 7:30-9pm on Mondays. Food trucks on site from 6pm. Rain location: Memorial School Auditorium, 61 Highland Ave., Whippany.
Hanson Park Conservancy Concerts
38 Springfield Ave., Cranford. Sunday concerts in the park begin at 5pm.
Hoboken Summer Enchanted Evenings
Free concerts along the Hudson 7-9pm. Amphitheater at Sinatra Park, Frank Sinatra Dr. between 4th & 5th Sts., 201-420-2207.
Family Fun Nights
Shipyard Park, 13th St. & McFeeley Dr. (just east of Kings). Tues. evenings at 7pm June-Aug.
Hudson Riverfront PAC Summer Concerts On the Hudson
Lincoln Harbor Park on the Weehawken Waterfront. Concert hotline: 201-716-4540. Free family-friendly concerts at 7pm presented by Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Inc. Call concert hotline for info and rain dates.
Hunterdon County Park System Music Under the Stars Concert Series
Deer Path Park (Rt. 78 to Rt. 31S), 120 W. Woodschurch Rd., Readington Twp., 908-782-PARK. Thurs. concerts 7-9pm. Refreshments for sale. Please note: alcoholic beverages are not permitted and please car pool. Rainsite: Hunterdon Central Regional High School, 84 Rt. 31, Flemington.
Jefferson Arts Summer Concert Series
Jefferson Twp. Municipal Complex gazebo, 1033 Weldon Rd., Lake Hopatcong, 973-697-2032. Fri. concerts at 7-9pm. Rainsite: Jefferson Twp. High School Auditorium. Visit website link for 2016 schedule.
Jefferson Highlights Concerts
Camp Jefferson Amphitheater, 81 Weldon Rd., Jefferson Twp., 973-663-5590. Concerts at 8pm. Stadium, bench and lawn seating areas. Food and snacks available; no coolers, alcohol or smoking. Individual tickets $20, srs. $15, ages 11-17 $10, ages 10 and under free with paid adult. Advance tickets can be ordered online.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Events hotline: 212-875-5766. Free festival of world music, jazz, internationally acclaimed dance, special events, and fun for kids on the plazas of Lincoln Center each summer late July to Aug.
Midsummer Night Swing
Three weeks of dancing under the stars at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park (62nd between Columbus & Amsterdam) offers a wide range of dance and music styles. Dance lessons 6:30-7:15, live music and dancing begin 7:30. Admission $17.
Livingston Summer Concerts at the Gazebo
Memorial Park Gazebo, Livingston, 973-535-7925. Concerts on Sun. 7-8:30pm in July. Rainsite: Livingston High School.
Long Branch Summer 2016
Long Branch Bands by the Beach
Concerts 7-8:30pm. 732-222-7000 x5447.
Thursdays by the Sea
Concerts 7-8:30pm at Pier Village. Rainsite: Long Branch Middle School, 350 Indiana Ave. & N. Bath Ave.
Madison Downtown Concert Series
Family-friendly Friday evening concerts 6-8pm outside on the lawn of the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts. Picnicking encouraged. Sponsored by the Madison Downtown Development Commission.
Maplewood Community Music
Community bands perform in Memorial Park Amphitheater, Oakview Ave. & Dunnell Rd., Maplewood and other locations in Maplewood and South Orange.
Maplewoodstock Music & Arts Festival
Memorial Park, Maplewood. Two day festival of regional and national music, food and arts vendors and KidsZone.
Mendham Summer Concerts
Borough Park Gazebo, 19 Mountain Ave., Mendham, 973-543-7152 ext. 12. Sunday concerts 7-9pm.
Mercer County Park Festival Groups
Mercer County Park, Hughes Dr. or Old Trenton Rd. entrance, West Windsor, NJ, 609-448-1947. Performing arts stage features 500-700 reserved seats and approx. 7,000 lawn seats for summer concerts. Food vendors on site. For tickets: 888-929-7849.
Met in the Parks
212-362-6000. The Metropolitan Opera presents free performances in parks in and around New York City each summer. 8pm, no tickets required.
Millburn-Short Hills Summer Concerts
Sundays at 7pm in Taylor Park, Millburn, 973-564-7097. Donations for funding may be sent to Township of Millburn, Recreation Dept.–Concerts, 375 Millburn Ave., Millburn, NJ 07041. Call 973-564-7096 for rainout information.
Morris Arts Giralda Music & Arts Festival
Great Lawn, Giralda Farms Corporate Park, Rt. 124, Madison (rainsite: College of St. Elizabeth), 973-285-5115 ext. 18. Advance tickets: Adults $15, under 12 $4, under 4 free. At the gate: Adults $20, under 12 $5. Discount advance tickets available at Kings Supermarkets in Chatham and Morristown; Gary's Wine & Marketplace in Madison; and at Morris Arts, 14 Maple Ave., Suite 301, Morristown, or online.
Morristown Music Beyond Borders
World music concerts 12:30pm Tuesdays on the Morristown Green. Rainsite: Morristown United Methodist Church, 50 Park Place on the Green.
New Brunswick Hub City Sounds
732-729-0320 ext. 201. Free performing arts series in Aug. and Sept. Visit website link for 2016 schedule.
NJBG Summer Concert Series
New Jersey Botanical Garden, Ringwood State Park, 1304 Sloatsburg Rd., Ringwood, 973-962-9534. Friday concerts begin at 6:30pm, and are moved to the Carriage House Visitor Center in bad weather. $5 per person donation. Light refreshments available for purchase.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Theater Square, One Center St., Newark, hotline: 973-353-8046.
Sounds of the City Outdoor Music Series
Free outdoor music series on Thursday evenings in July and Aug. features reggae, funk, Latin music, world music, hip-hop, soul and pop artists. 5-9pm.
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
Free performances in June throughout New Jersey.
New Providence Night Under the Stars
Centennial Park, corner of Springfield Ave. and Academy St., New Providence, 908-464-4430. Thursday concerts 7:30-9pm in July with kids entertainment, free hot dogs by Prestige Diner and free Italian ice from Zita's. In case of rain, concert is in the gym in Borough Hall.
New York City Summer Concerts
NBC Today Show Free Summer Concerts
Mostly Friday mornings on the plaza at Rockefeller Center (between 49th & 50th Sts. near 5th Ave.). Show starts at 7am; for best viewing, arrive by 6am. Additional performances may be announced.
Good Morning America Free Summer Concerts
Friday mornings at Summerstage Rumsey Playfield in Central Park (Fifth Ave. & East 69th St., entrance at 72nd St.). Show 7-9am, recommended arrival at 6am. Additional dates and acts will be announced throughout the summer. Some concerts require free tickets in advance for entry.
New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park
Free summer concerts in New York City parks.
Ocean City Music Pier
Moorlyn Terrace & The Boardwalk, Ocean City, 609-525-9300. Historic 1928 concert hall on the boardwalk presents a variety of shows, nationally renowned musicians, the Miss New Jersey pageant and the Ocean City Pops summer concert series from July through October. Visit website for complete schedule and to purchase tickets.
Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center
4 Boland Dr., West Orange, 973-669-7385. New Jersey Arts Incubator and partners present concerts, movies and special events on the open-air stage at OSPAC.
Princeton Palmer Square Summer Music
Palmer Square, 40 Nassau St., Princeton, 609-921-2333. On the Green Saturdays in July and Aug. 2-4pm.
Rahway Mayor's Concert Series
In front of the Union County Performing Arts Center, 1601 Irving St., Rahway, 732-669-3602. Concerts 7:30pm Thursdays in August. Food vendors and beer garden available, and the UCPAC cafe is open. In the event of rain, concert will be inside UCPAC.
Red Bank Street Life
Downtown Red Bank.
Jazz in the Park. 7:30-9pm every Thursday in Riverside Gardens Park, W. Front St.
Streetlife, music, entertainment and artists on downtown streets 6-9pm Sat. June thru Aug.
River to River Festival
Attend free dance, music, visual art and new media projects in public parks, historic landmarks, along the waterfront in lower Manhattan and on Governors Island.
Sandy Hook Beach Concert Series
Gateway National Recreation Area, Sandy Hook, Beach Area E, 732-291-7733. Wed. 6pm. Free admission to park after 5pm. Sponsored by the Sandy Hook Foundation.
Scotch Plains Summer Concert Series
Alan Augustine Village Green, 430 Park Ave., 908-322-6700 x223. Thursday evenings at 7:30pm.
Somerset County Park Commission Summer Concert Series
908-722-1200. Concerts at Duke Island Park bandshell, Old York Rd., Bridgewater, 7-8:30pm, unless noted. In case of inclement weather over the weekend, 908-722-1200, ext. 7.
Somerville Cruisers & Concerts
Starlit Cinema, classics, comedy, family-friendly films on a giant outdoor screen 8:30pm Thursday evenings, Division Street Plaza, July-Aug.
Friday Night Cruisers, classic car show on Main Street every Friday night Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. 6-9pm.
Saturday Summer Stage, live music at Division St. Plaza Saturday evenings at 7pm July-Aug.
South Orange Taste the Music
Flood's Hill, Meadowland Park, 70 N. Ridgewood Rd., South Orange, 973-378-7754 ext. 2223. Concerts Wednesdays at 7:30pm. Food and beverage vendors; kids art in the park 6-8pm, recommended for ages 5 & up. Rainsite: SOPAC, One Sopac Way, South Orange.
South Orange Downtown After Sundown (DAS) Concert Series
Spiotta Park and corner plaza on Sloan St. and South Orange Ave. 973-763-6899. Fri. and Sat. evenings, weather permitting, 7:30-10pm. Visit website for weekly schedule.
Summerfest Music Series
"The Gardens" on eastern side of Liberty House Restaurant, Audrey Zapp Dr., Liberty State Park, Jersey City, 201-547-4327. If there is a threat of rain, 201-792-1993. Most concerts Tuesdays 7-9pm and Sunday evenings 5-7pm. Check website for artists and times.
Rumsey Playfield, mid-park at 72nd St. off 5th, Central Park, 212-360-2777. Parks weather hotline: 212-875-5709. City Parks Foundation brings free concerts, performances, and readings to Central Park and parks citywide June-Aug. A series of ticketed benefit concerts, featuring some of the biggest stars in contemporary music, support the free shows.
Union County Summer Arts Festival
Wednesday evening concerts at 7:30pm are held at Echo Lake Park, Springfield Ave. end, Westfield/Mountainside or Oak Ridge Park, 136 Oak Ridge Rd., Clark, 908-527-4900. In case of rain, call hotline, 908-558-4079, after 3pm on day of concert. Refreshments on site.
Echo Lake Park Concerts
Oak Ridge Park Concerts
Warren Municipal Grounds, 46 Mountain Blvd., Warren, 908-753-8000, ext. 270. 7-9pm. Food and refreshments available.
West Caldwell Gazebo Concerts
Carne Park Gazebo, 30 Clinton Rd., West Caldwell, 973-226-2300. Thursday concerts at 7:30pm, weather permitting. Food available for purchase from 6:30pm.
Westfield Summer Concerts
Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival every Tues. in July and Aug. Multiple acts play 7-9 on downtown streets. 908-789-9444. Raindate: Wednesday.
Thurs Jun 23, 30, Jul 4, 7, 14, 21
Westfield Community Band Concerts, 7:30pm Thurs. Mindowaskin Park Bandstand, E. Broad St., 908-789-4080.
Wildwood Isle of Wild Festival of Music
Adventure Pier, Spencer Ave. and the Boardwalk, Wildwood. Indie artists and School of Rock students ages 7-17 provide free live music all summer, 7pm. Visit website link for schedule.
WoodbridgeArts Summer Concerts
Presented by Woodbridge Arts and Township of Woodbridge. Inclement weather hotline: 732-602-6045. All concerts free, please bring donation of non-perishable food item to restock food pantries.
On the lawn at Woodbridge High School, 25 Samuel Lupo Pl., Woodbridge. Oldies & doo wop Mondays in July and Aug. at 7:30pm.
Tuesday Tribute Bands
Woodbridge High School, 25 Samuel Lupo Pl., Woodbridge. Classic rock tribute bands perform Tuesdays, 7:30pm.
Parker Press Park, 400 Rahway Ave., Woodbridge. Electric folk, rock, jazz, Americana and world music Wednesdays at 7:30pm. Farmers Market open 3-8:30pm. Rainsite: Woodbridge Middle School auditorium, 582 Barron Ave.
Local Band Thursdays
Tanzman Park, across from Woodbridge Train Station, Woodbridge. Local bands and musicians perform Thursdays at 7:30pm. Free parking at NJ Transit lot.
2nd Friday Jazz
Frank Pelzman Park, Tappan St. & West Park Ave., Avenel. Jazz concerts on the 2nd Friday, 7:30pm.
Belmar Movies on the Beach
8th Avenue Beach, Belmar. Family movies on Saturdays in July and Aug. Movies begin at dusk.
Berkeley Heights Movie in the Park
Memorial Park, Park Ave. & Plainfield Ave., 908-464-0550. Thurs. at 8:15pm or dusk. Free popcorn and water. Check website link for 2016 schedule.
Bernards Township Movies in the Park
Dunham Park, 908-204-3003. Wednesdays at 8:30pm.
Branchburg Movies in the Park
White Oak Park, 200 Baird Rd., Branchburg, NJ, 908-526-1300 x187. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and snacks.
Essex County Free Friday Flicks
Essex County Kip's Castle Park, 22 Crestmont Rd., Verona, 973-433-7659. Gates open at 6:30pm with pre-movie entertainment, movie begins at dusk. Rain dates are the following night.
Fanwood Movies at LaGrande Park
LaGrande Park, Fanwood, 908-370-7092. Tuesdays at dusk, approx. 8:30pm at the beginning of the schedule, 8pm by end. Raindate is the following evening.
Florham Park Outdoor Movie Night
Gazebo lawn of municipal complex, 111 Ridgedale Ave., Florham Park, 973-410-5390. Refreshments for sale.
Hoboken Movies Under the Stars
Pier A Park (at the east most end), 1st St. and Frank Sinatra Dr., 201-420-2207. Wed. June-Aug. Show starts at sunset, approx. 9pm in June and July, 8:15pm in Aug. Snacks available at concession booth. For movie schedule, visit online link.
Outdoor Movies, every Wed. June-Aug.
Kids & Family Movies
Mendham Movies in the Park
Borough Park Gazebo, 19 Mountain Ave., Mendham, 973-543-7152 ext. 12.
Oskar Schindler PAC Movie Night
4 Boland Dr., West Orange, 973-669-7385. Free family movies at 8:30pm.
Princeton Art Museum Outdoor Films
Brown Dod lawn, Princeton, 609-258-3788. Thurs. at sundown, approx. 8:30pm. Rain location: 8pm, McCormick Hall 101.
Princeton Palmer Square Movies on the Green
Palmer Square West, 40 Nassau St., Princeton, 609-921-2333. Family-friendly movies begin at dusk, approx. 8:45pm.
Scotch Plains Friday Movies
Alan Augustine Village Green, 430 Park Ave., 908-322-6700. Movies begin Friday evenings at dusk.
Heading to the shore this summer? Shore Flicks provides outdoor movies for many shore communities in Monmouth and Ocean Counties including Red Bank, Asbury Park, LBI, Spring Lake and more. For schedules, see shoreflicks on FB.
Somerset County Park Commission
Friday Nights at the Drive-in Movies
Duke Island Park, Old York Rd., Bridgewater, 908-722-1200 ext. 351. Friday evenings 8:30pm. Popcorn and refreshments are available. Don't forget bug spray.
Somerville Starlit Cinema Series
Division Street Plaza, Somerville., 908-541-1600. Wednesdays at 8:30pm.
South Orange Moonlit Movies
Flood's Hill, Meadowland Park, 70 N. Ridgewood Rd., South Orange, 973-313-2787. Movies begin at 7:45pm. Visit website for July dates and films.
Summit Screen on the Green
Village Green, 356 Broad St., Summit. Thurs. in July and Aug. Family dance party begins at 7:45pm, interact with on-screen characters before the movie. Movies begin after dark.
Turtle Back Zoo Zoo-Vies
Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex, 560 Northfield Ave., West Orange, 973-731-5800. Family movies begin at dusk on the rooftop of the parking deck. Bring your own lawn chair. Refreshments for sale. Rain cancels. The zoo is open until 8:30pm on Wed. for Family Fun Nights.
Union County Family Fun & Flix
908-527-4900, Hotline: 908-558-4079. Family activities begin at 7:30pm, movie at dusk, in good weather only. Snack stand.
Warren Recreation Outdoor Movie Nights
Municipal Complex Pavilion off Bardy Rd., Warren, 908-753-8000. Call for 2016 dates.
Bernards Township Parks & Recreation
Pleasant Valley Park amphitheater, Valley Rd., Basking Ridge, 908-204-3003. 8pm. Rainsite: Ridge High School. Free, donations appreciated. Bring your own seating, bug spray and flashlight.
Brookdale Summer Shakespeare Ensemble
On the Lawn at Larrison Hall, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, 732-224-2411. Free performances Thurs.-Sat. at 7pm, Sun. at 6pm. If raining, performance will be inside BPAC.
Hudson Shakespeare Company
973-449-7443. Free summer performances in New Jersey parks, libraries and other locations. Most performances begin at 7pm. Visit website for complete schedule.
Kenilworth Public Library, 548 Boulevard, Kenilworth, NJ.
Westfield Memorial Library, 550 E. Broad St., Westfield, NJ.
Stephen J. Capestro Theater, Rt. 1S (1 block south of Menlo Park Mall), Edison, 732-745-3900. Bring your own low-back chairs for these popular performances presented by the Middlesex County Dept. of Parks & Recreation. Box office opens at 5:30pm, performance at 8:30pm. Tickets available on day of performance only, no advance sales. No performances on Sun. Adults $7, srs. $5, 12 & under free, cash only.
The Public Theater Shakespeare in Central Park
Delacorte Theater, mid-park at 80th St., Central Park, 212-539-8500. Pick up free tickets (two max. per person) on the day of performance beginning at noon at the Delacorte Theater. A limited number of tickets are available online the day of performance by logging in 12am-12pm. Online tickets are awarded randomly. Performances Tues.-Sun. at 8pm.
Scotch Plains Stars Theatre
Village Green, 430 Park Ave., 908-322-6700. Performances begin at 6pm.
Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey Outdoor Stage
Open-air Greek amphitheatre on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Station, Morris Twp., 973-408-5600. Tues.-Sun. at 8:15pm, Sun. at 4:30. Purchase tickets from box office or online.
Washington Crossing State Park Open Air Theatre
455 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd., Titusville, 267-885-9857. Tickets available at box office one half hour prior to show.
Performances Fri. & Sat. at 11am, Sun. at 4pm. Tickets $5.
Performances are Fri.-Sun. at 7:30pm. After Labor Day, shows begin at 7pm. Adults $15, 12 & under $10.