Along with July 4 fireworks and a host of somewhat unique activities this week, this is the time to take advantage of the Somerset Hills YMCA "Free Fridays," in which non-members can enjoy the facility for free on Fridays through the summer.
Kid-friendly activities are contained in a full range of ideas of things to do!
When/Where: From 5:15 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday at the in Basking Ridge.
Why Go: It's the perfect time to try out the facilities. The start of "Free Summer Fridays" gives you the opportunity to work out in the gym, take a dip in the pool, and more ... all for free.
Pricing: Free for Somerset County residents. Photo identification required.
When/Where: At noon on Thursday at in Basking Ridge.
Why Go: To plan ahead with expert advice and some light refreshments.
Pricing: Free. Registration required.
When/Where: The festival begins a 5 p.m. on Monday at in Bridgewater. Fireworks commence at 9:30 p.m.
Why Go: Billed as Somerset County's biggest party, this also is a family festival with patriotism and fun. Performers, games, revolutionary reenactments, and of course, spectacular fireworks. The park will be transformed into a "Boogie Wonderland" with a patriotic bang.
Pricing: Free admission.
When/Where: At 7 p.m. on Thursday at the in Basking Ridge.
Why Go: Brian Richards will present magic from around the world for tweens entering grades five and six. Comedy, juggling, and audience participation will keeping you laughing and guessing ... "How'd he do that?"
When/Where: From 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at thein Warren.
Why Go: The "Music Under the Stars" series continues with the Dugan's Hooligans' family ensemble. It's entertainment that the whole family is sure to love and marvel at.
When/Where: From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at in Warren.
Why Go: The flea market continues with hundreds of vendors. If you haven't stopped by yet, Sunday is the day.
Pricing: Free admission.
When/Where: At 9 p.m. on Sunday at the in Hillsborough.
Why Go: A Hillsborough tradition returns with a spectacular fireworks display. Enjoy the ooohs and aahhs of patriotic pride with your family and neighbors.
When/Where: At 6:05 p.m. on Sunday at in Bridgewater.
Why Go: To see the Somerset Patriots compete against the Long Island Ducks with proceeds helping the Janet Fund save lives.
When/Where: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Black River Playhouse in Chester.
Why Go: To enjoy the poignant story of two unconquerable women. It's an emotional musical based on American royalty.
Pricing: $24 general admission, or $22 for seniors and students $22. Reservations are recommended.
When/Where: From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at in Basking Ridge.
Why Go: For children infant to five to discover the shapes of nature in flowers, trees and in the sky while exploring the Great Swamp. Remember Mom, a little mud is allowed in the search for knowledge.
Pricing: $10 per child and parent and $5 per additional child. Registration required.
When/Where: At 10 a.m. on Saturday at in Warren.
Why Go: To laugh with a puppet show that is a blast and features over forty television, movie and cartoon characters.
When/Where: From 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the in Warren.
Why Go: To drop in anytime between the listed times and create a postcard. The destination is up to your imagination.
When/Where: From 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday at the in Hillsborough.
Why Go: To make candy sushi, watch videos, and discuss your favorite Manga title with other teen anime fans.
When/Where: At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at in Hillsborough.
Why Go: To see an "out-of-this world" musical and befriend a strange alien creature performed by the talents of the Performing Arts Camp students.
Pricing: Free. Contact the studio at 908- 874-8800 to register.
When/Where: At 7 p.m on Thursday at the .
Why Go: It's the kickoff to the Summer Reading Club. These guys and their juggling talents will inspire sidesplitting laughter in both kids and adults.
When/Where: From 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at in Bridgewater.
Why Go: It's part of the Home Depot Kids' Workshop series. Create a cool coaster set with imagination, your own two hands, and a sense of pride.
Where/When: From noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday at in Morristown.
Why Go: Because Ian Ziering is dreamy. Also, you can get a mini facial lift with the “Galvanic Spa.”
Where/When: From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Pioneer Park, 3 Speedwell Ave. in Morristown.
Why Go: IABC-NJ is hosting an after-work networking event where participants can enjoy the fun and frozen pleasure of South Street Creamery's ice cream cart after work.
Pricing: $25 at the door.
Where/When: From 7 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at in Morristown.
Why Go: To experience an insightful pre-performance talk by a Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey artist who will provide background information and an expert’s perspective on "A Midsummer Night’s Dream."
Pricing: $5 general admission, $4 for subscribers.
Where/When: From 7:45 to 9:15 p.m. on Thursday at the .
Why Go: To enjoy an hour and a half of social dancing in a beautiful ballroom environment.
Pricing: Free for current students, $15 for the public.
Where/When: From 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursday at the .
Why Go: To enjoy a fun beginner group run.
Where/When: From 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday at in Morristown.
Why Go: All young professionals, ages 21 39, are welcome at this Independence Day celebration, so long as they've got tickets and they're wearing red, white, or blue (or all three). There will be colorful drink specials and a private room packed full of young professionals ready to celebrate into the night.
Pricing: $5 online at NJYP.org, or $10 at the door.
Where/When: From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the .
Why Go: It's a good way to help out, and you get something in return.
Where/When: At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday at .
Why Go: You’re interested in a 30- to 50-mile, hilly bike ride.
Where/When: From 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday at in Morristown.
Why Go: Because you want to enjoy a night of music this weekend.
Pricing: No cover.