Fun in the Summertime

Sunset Sips & Sounds at Terhune Orchards Vineyards and Winery (Photo Courtesy of Terhune Orchards)

By Laurie Pellichero

Summer is just around the corner, along with a plethora of events in town and all around. Here is just a sampling of activities to enjoy as the weather heats up…

CONCERTS AND SHOWS

The Arts Council of Princeton (www.artscouncilofprinceton.org) and Princeton Shopping Center (www.princtonshoppingcenter.com) present the 35th annual Summer in the Courtyard Concert Series, featuring the best in local and regional jazz, folk, world, rock, and blues. Concerts are every Thursday, 6 to 8pm, from June 21 through August 23 at the Princeton Shopping Center. Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair! Acts include The Dirk Quinn Band on June 21, Blawenburg Band on June 28, DCFusion on July 12, BRIZ and the Revival on July 26, Grace Little Band on August 2, Eco Del Sur on August 9, and the Octavia Blues Band on August 16. In the event of inclement weather, concerts will be held inside the Arts Council’s Pop-Up Studio, next to Metropolis Spa & Salon at the Princeton Shopping Center.

The Palmer Square Summer Music Series (www.palmersquare.com) kicks off on Saturday, July 7. Enjoy live music on the Palmer Square Green every Saturday from noon to 2pm. This summer’s lineup includes Strictly 60s on July 7, SunDog on July 14, El Kabong on July 21, Strictly 60s on August 4, Deni Bonet on August 11, Mr. Ray on August 18, and The Shantys on August 25.

McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton (www.mccarter.org) presents its first Jazz in June Festival in the Berlind Theatre, featuring four performances that celebrate three generations of the jazz-piano combo. The festival kicks off on June 8 with The Bad Plus, followed by The Joey Alexander Trio on June 9. Christian Sands performs on June 14, and the Fred Hersch Trio concludes the festival on June 15. All performances are at 8pm.

Hopewell Theater (Photo by Thomas Robert Clarke)

The Hopewell Theater (www.hopewelltheater.com), located on South Greenwood Avenue in the space formerly occupied by the Off-Broadstreet Theatre, reopened last year after an extensive renovation. Now a 176-seat theater with state-of-the-art projection, lighting, and sound, it offers a wide range of cultural experiences including independent movies, live music, and guest speakers, along with special Supper Club Nights.

There are many live music events coming to Hopewell Theater this summer, including The PI Power Trio on Friday, June 8 at 8pm, a Family Fun Concert: Lucy Kalantari & The Jazz Cats on Saturday, June 9 at 11am, Parsonsfield on Saturday, June 23 at 8pm, James Maddock on Saturday, July 7 at 8pm, Danielia Cotton on Thursday, July 12 at 7:30pm, Slambovian Circus of Dreams on Saturday, July 21 at 8pm, and Dharmasoul on Saturday, August 11 at 8pm.

Just a short drive away, the historic Count Basie Theatre (www.countbasietheatre.org) in Red Bank is hosting a wide array of shows, including The Midtown Men on May 31 at 8pm. The Basie Summer Jazz Fest kicks off on Saturday, June 2 at 4pm with Michael Franks, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin, the Bob James Trio, and Lizzie Wright. It continues on June 3 at 6:30pm with Snarky Puppy, Esperanza Spalding, and Moonchild. The Fab Faux will appear on June 16 at 8pm, and The Monkees Present The Mike and Micky Show is June 25 at 8pm. Pretenders Live is June 28 at 8pm, and Grammy and Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. will perform on Saturday, June 30 at the Count Basie Theatre Summer Gala. The Count Basie Theatre also presents the Indie Street Film Festival (www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org) from July 25-29, featuring five days of film, art, discussion, and inspiration.

FARMERS MARKETS

There’s nothing like Jersey Fresh local produce! The West Windsor Community Farmers Market (www.westwindsorfarmersmarket.org) operates at the Vaughn Drive Parking Lot of the Princeton Junction Train Station every Saturday from 9am to 1pm until Thanksgiving.

The Princeton Farmers Market (www.princetonfarmersmarket.com) Summer Market Series runs from 10am to 3pm every Thursday through November 15 at Hinds Plaza in downtown Princeton. Listen to live music as you shop local.

Fresh seasonal produce, meats, bread, lunch items, soap, honey, and much more are featured at the Montgomery Friends Farmers Market (www.montgomeryfriends.org) at the Village Shopper on Route 206 in Skillman. Visit on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm from June 3 through October 28.

The Stockton Market (www.stocktonmarket.com) is a year-round indoor community market that’s open on Friday from 3 to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. You can also enjoy live entertainment and delicious food at Friday Night Live from 3 to 8pm every Friday.

Also open year-round, the Trenton Farmers Market (www.trentonfarmersmarket.com) on Spruce Street in Lawrence Township is a historic institution housing 40 different businesses and nine farms. Visit the website for summer hours.

The roadside stand at Snyder’s Farm in Somerset (www.snyders-farm.com) is open daily from July through mid-September, 11am to 6pm, offering plenty of in-season fruits and vegetables picked fresh daily. The farm also features U-Pick days, when you can pick your own strawberries and blueberries. Snyder’s is hosting Family Movie Night at the Farm on Saturday, June 2. The gates open at 5pm and the movie begins at 8:30pm. Spend the evening picking your own strawberries before enjoying a showing of Moana. The farm store will also be open, offering a wide variety of Snyder’s signature jar good, jams, salsas, dressings, ketchups, honey, and hot and BBQ sauces.

FESTIVALS

Running June 9 – July 1, The Princeton Festival (www.princetonfestival.org) offers Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, a Baroque orchestra, chamber and choral music, the musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and a jazz concert at venues in and around Princeton. The piano competition is always a highlight, and free extras include over a dozen workshops and lectures to boost your musical knowledge. 

Art All Night – Trenton (Photo by Michelle Lawlor/Lucky 17 Photography)

Artworks Trenton will present its 12th annual Art All Night — Trenton (www.artallnighttrenton.org) arts festival on June 16 and 17, a 24-hour arts extravaganza that celebrates community, creativity, and inspiration for the city of Trenton. Kicking off at 3pm on Saturday and running through 3pm on Sunday, the festival will once again take over the historic Roebling Wire Works Building, packing the facility and surrounding area with thousands of pieces of art, live music, an array of food truck vendors, and more.

June 23 brings the Sourland Music Festival (www.sourlandmusicfest.org) at the Hillsborough Golf & Country Club. Now in its 15th year, this family music festival features great music, local food, and a spectacular view in the heart of the Sourland Mountain Preserve. The music lineup includes blues, folk, jazz, and rock. Attendees can also enjoy the on-site beer and wine garden, along with local food trucks. Proceeds from the event go to the Sourland Conservancy, a local nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Sourland Mountain Region.

Down at the Shore, the 26th Annual Baymen’s Seafood & Music Festival (www.tuckertonseaport.org) is on June 23 and 24 from 11am to 5pm at Tuckerton Seaport. This festival features live music from local favorites, along with Jersey fresh clams, crabs, scallops, and shrimp from the finest local seafood purveyors. There will also be a microbrew court, crafters, vendors, food, refreshments, family activities, demonstrations, boat rides, boat builders, and decoy carvers. Event admission includes access to the Seaport’s 40 acres featuring maritime activities, historic and recreated buildings, live animals, a boardwalk, miniature golf course, and exhibits. 

Firefly Festival at Terhune Orchards (Photo Courtesy of Terhune Orchards)

Also on June 24, the Firefly Festival at Terhune Orchards (www.terhuneorchards.com) in Princeton features a family evening of nature, music, wagon rides, outdoor fun, and the whole farm for firefly hunting! Celebrate fireflies by making your own wings, bug boxes, and antenna ($5 charge). Schafer’s Gymnastics will be on hand to show children some moves through a mini-obstacle course. Enjoy live music by Miss Amy and her Big Kids Band while you wait for the fireflies to come out. Hungry? You’ll find lots of goodies available at Pam’s Firefly Tent: grilled chicken, hot dogs, corn on the cob, pie, apple cider, donuts, cookies, apples and more. Pony rides and wagon rides through the farm and orchards will be available all evening.

Terhune Orchards will also celebrate “everything blueberry” at the annual Blueberry Bash on Friday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 from 10am to 5pm. Visit the farm again for the Just Peachy Festival on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5 from 10am to 5pm.

The 15th Annual Princeton Student Film Festival, sponsored by the Princeton Public Library (www.princetonlibrary.org) will be held on July 18 and 19 at 6:30pm. The mission of the festival is to encourage and support the work of youth filmmakers (ages 14-25) in a range of genres and styles, with the opportunity and a venue for the filmmakers to show their work to a broad audience.

The Watershed Institute’s (www.thewatershed.org) 18th Annual Butterfly Festival will be held on Saturday, August 4 from 10am to 4pm at the 950-acre Watershed Reserve in Hopewell Township. It is the Institute’s largest annual educational event, focusing on the importance of maintaining the delicate balance between humans and the natural world. This family-oriented day has grown to be a major regional event, attracting more than 3,000 visitors.

WINERIES

On Sunday, June 3, at 3pm, William Heritage Winery in Mullica Hill will host The Winemakers Co-Op Spring Portfolio Tasting, featuring 32 fine wines from some of New Jersey’s top producers. Attendees can mingle with winemakers and proprietors, and also learn how the wines were crafted and what makes New Jersey wines unique. There will also be live music from The Slicked Up 9s, playing big band/swing, Motown, and hits of the Rat Pack. To learn more, go to www.thewinemakersco-op.com.

Hopewell Valley Vineyards (www.hopewellvalleyvineyards.com) in Pennington features Jazzy Sundays every Sunday with live music from 2-5pm, complemented by a lite fare menu. There is also jazz on Thursday evenings, and Music & Merlot is presented every Friday and Saturday evening from 6-9:30pm with a variety of live music along with artisan brick oven pizza.

Unionville Vineyards (www.unionvillevineyards.com) in Ringoes will host an open mic night at the winery with Antimo’s Italian Kitchen serving wood-fired pizzas on Friday, July 13 at 6:30pm. Their annual Sunset Lobster Bake will be the next day, Saturday, July 14 at 6pm.

Terhune Orchards Vineyards and Winery (www.terhuneorchards.com/winery) presents Sunset Sips & Sounds every Friday night this summer from June 1 through September 7, from 5 to 8pm. The evenings will feature award-winning Terhune wine, light fare, and live music from local artists. Styles range from jazz and blues to folk and rock. Families are welcome at this rain or shine event. It’s the perfect way to kick off your weekend!

The Laurita Winery (www.lauritawinery.com) in New Egypt is host to Summer Grill Dinners on Wednesdays from 6-9pm. The winery will also feature the 2018 Laurita Senior Idol Singing Showcase on Thursdays from 7-9pm and Country Line Dancing and Awesome 80s Dance Party on alternate Fridays from 7-11pm. On Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17, the School’s Out Food Truck Festival brings lots of great eats and entertainment from 11am to 9pm.

Event dates and times subject to change. See websites for full details.