Delaware River Tubing (Photo used with permission.)

The summer heat is here, and like everything else right now, COVID-19 is making things a little more complicated! Sure, you could spend your summer inside with the AC cranked, but if your family is getting stir crazy, here’s a list of ways to cool off, stay safe and have fun in & around Hunterdon County.

Spend the Day on the Water

Getting out on the water can be a relaxing way to enjoy nature and cool off on a hot summer day. Yellow Dog Paddle (a 2020 Hunterdon Happening List Finalist) is a company started in 2015 by long-time Hunterdon County residents, offering certified instructors, new equipment and a variety of activities such as kayaking, fishing and offsite rentals.

Delaware River Tubing just north of Frenchtown is another favorite offering excursions between Frenchtown and Stockton. They even have their own private island where you can stop midway for a free BBQ meal from “The Famous River Hot Dog Man.” This activity is perfect for social distancing. Bring your mask for checkin and on the bus.

Eat Ice Cream

No summer is complete without at least one trip to a local ice cream stand.  Check out Hunterdon Happening List Winner for Best Ice Cream Jimmy’s Ice Cream just north of Milford. For more ideas, take a look at the Food & Drink section of our 2020 Summer Guide.

Go to a Museum

On those really hot days, sometimes air condition is the best place to be. This option is a little more difficult this year, but you CAN find museums that are open if you’re willing to drive a bit. In Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute is now open. And in Bucks County, Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle are opening soon.

If you’d like to keep your museum visit virtual, take a look at your favorite spot’s website or social media. Many places such as the Hunterdon Art Museum are offering virtual tours, classes, and more.

Make a Splash

Water is the best way to cool down on a hot day. For outdoor pool fun, check out Holland Township Pool at Riegel Ridge just north of Milford, a 2019 Hunterdon Happening List finalist. It offers a pool, water park, and even water fitness classes.

Play Indoors

While many location remain closed right now, you CAN find things to do in the air conditioning! West Hunterdon Lanes in Frenchtown (a 2020 Happening List Finalist) recently reopened for bowling. And Gravity Vault in Flemington (2020 Happening List Winner for Children’s Play Center) is open for climbing as of July 2.

Take a Drive to the Beach!

We’re lucky enough to live in a location where you can reach several shore cities within a couple hours. For quieter beaches, try Belmar or Brigantine. And if you’re missing the boardwalk fun, Ocean City is always a family favorite. Many businesses are open this season, but with precautions.

Photo by Michelle Reese

Watch a Movie

This year, there won’t be packed movie theaters to see the summer blockbuster. But if movie nights at home on the couch are getting stale, there are other options! Music Mountain Theatre and ACME Screening Room, both in Lambertville, are offering weekly drive-in movies, so you can watch a movie (and enjoy a live musical performance) from you car.

Listen to Music Under the Stars

As temperatures cool off in the early evening, it can be a perfect time to listen to music. The town of Clinton celebrates every summer Friday night with Clinton’s Come Together Friday Night Music Festivals. Clinton was our 2020 Happening List Winner for Best Downtown/Main Street, so you’ll love checking out the local shops and restaurants while catching live music from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Get the Hose!

If all else fails, get out the baby pool (or jump in the big pool!), turn on the sprinkler, or toss some water balloons!

Photo by Michelle Reese)


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