Burlington County Parks are the must-see places this summer! With a packed calendar of events and programs, residents will be engaged, entertained and enlightened, no matter their age or interests.
“Summer is an exciting time to visit a Burlington County park, museum or gallery and we’re thrilled to see so many fun events scheduled,” said Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel, liaison with the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “Residents can catch a movie or an outdoor concert, learn the basics of fly fishing, discuss history with a new book club, taste fine Italian cheeses or test their knowledge of the founding fathers. and America’s national parks. No matter the age or interests, there’s bound to be a perfect Parks program or event.
To help residents, the Parks Division has created an online Summer Program Guide detailing over 200 events, programs and classes scheduled for the months of June, July and August. Visit the Burlington County Parks webpage at https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/15924/ProgramGuide-Summer2022.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the summer; when registration is required, a link is provided in the program guide:
Mark your calendars for June 26 and the return of the Burlington County Land Fair to Smithville Park.
The theme for this year’s Earth Fair will be Sustainable You! and transform the park into a sanctuary for recycling, gardening, health and wellness. The event will feature a sustainable living tent, a special craft market featuring upcycled and upcycled goods, and several presentations and demonstrations, including one by Mike McGrath of PBS’s “You Bet Your Garden.” There will also be live music, a pop-up nature center, rain barrel workshop, climbing wall, puppet show, games, food trucks, beer garden and more.
“Our Board of Directors is extremely excited about the return of the Burlington County Land Fair to Smithville,” Eckel said. “There is a great range of speakers, musicians, workshops and activities that are sure to entertain and educate.”
movies under the stars
Pack your favorite chairs, blankets and snacks and head to a county park to watch an outdoor family movie. The Movies Under the Stars series continues this summer and will travel to various parks through October.
The first summer screening will be “Raya the Last Dragon” on June 17 at Pennington Park in Delanco, followed by “Peter Rabbit 2” on July 8 at the Burlington County Agricultural Center in Moorestown, then “Soul” on August 5 at the Lycée d’ Natural History and Science of Burlington County at Mount Holly.
All screenings begin at 8:30 p.m. or at dusk. Admission is free and no registration is required.
Residents looking for an evening of entertainment can choose from a full lineup of concerts and shows at the Burlington County Amphitheater and Smithville Park.
The amphitheater is located at 5 Pioneer Boulevard in Westampton (next to the Burlington County Library) and provides a fantastic venue for a variety of performances.
Likewise, the Music in the Parks series is a great way to experience fantastic music in a beautiful setting.
The series of free concerts, theatrical performances and comedy acts begins July 8 at the Amphitheater with the Mahoney Brothers Jukebox Heroes, then July 15 in Smithville with the Wilkins Trio and Chris & The Smooth Jazz Kats.
All shows start at 6 p.m. Chairs and blankets can be laid out from 4 p.m.
The complete program of shows is available in the program guide.
Health and fitness activities
Country line dancing is back in full swing on Wednesday nights at the Burlington County Fairgrounds!
Residents of all skill levels are invited to attend free dance sessions every Wednesday in June starting at 7:00 p.m. under the Expo Pavilion. Registration is mandatory.
If line dancing isn’t your thing, try yoga at the Burlington County Agricultural Center. Free lessons take place every other Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Classes are held on the lawn and include a balance of challenging and calming poses. All levels are welcome. Be sure to bring your yoga mat and register with the link provided in the program guide.
For those looking to get some outdoor exercise, try a lunchtime stroll through Smithville Park. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore, exercise and experience the beauty of Smithville. The 2.5-mile marches will take place at noon each Tuesday in June from the Smithville Park Visitors Center. And for residents who want to take their four-legged family members with them for a group walk in the park, Smithville will be hosting a special Paws in the Park Dog Walk on June 9, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s a great opportunity to meet new dog friends and learn more about Smithville and the trails there.
Registration for lunch walks and the Paws in the Park dog walk is required.
Young Naturalist and Junior Ranger Programs
Summer vacation is right around the corner, but there are plenty of fun and exciting learning opportunities for students and adults alike through Burlington County Parks programs and events.
Registration is now open for the Parks Division Young Naturalist Program. The free program is open to teens ages 13-17 who want to experience the outdoors and learn more about the environment. Sessions are led by park naturalists on Mondays from June 27 to August 15 and include lessons in birding and plant identification, geology, forest assessment, and kayaking. For more information or to register, go online to the Young Parks Naturalist page.
There is also a Junior Ranger program for children ages 5-12. Participants receive an age-specific activity pack to download and can complete at their leisure throughout the summer. Students who complete the package receive a unique Junior Ranger keepsake patch!
In addition to the activity pack, parks staff also organize weekly themed in-person activities in July and August that coincide with the topics covered in the activity packs, including insect identification, fishing, identification of animal tracks and more. Children must be accompanied by an adult for all programs and parents/guardians must be prepared to stay for the duration of the event.
For more information, go to https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/571/Junior-Ranger-Program.
There are dozens of other nature, history, arts and cooking programs and courses detailed in the program guide. Registration is required for most events and some classes may require participants to bring equipment or pay a material fee. Be sure to check out the guide for more details.