Seven camp fairs are scheduled throughout New Jersey over the next several weeks.

It's like a wedding expo. But instead of bridezillas looking for the best photographer and DJ, families look for the perfect summer fit for their kids.

The events are free, and parents are encouraged to bring their kids, so they can see the options for themselves.

Each fair happens on a weekend and runs for three hours, and different camps will be at each fair. NJ Kids, which hosts the events, is inviting day camps, sleepaway camps, and special interest camps from New Jersey, as well as New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet with camp directors, pick up brochures, and ask questions.

Parents don't need to RSVP in order to attend, but filling out this form will make you eligible for a free gift.

2023 NJ Camp Fair schedule (all events run 12 to 3 p.m.)

  • Sat. Jan. 21: Bergen Town Center, Paramus
  • Sun. Jan. 22: Oak Knoll School, Summit
  • Sat. Jan. 28: Livingston Mall, Livingston
  • Sun. Jan. 29: Ridgewood Community Center, Ridgewood
  • Sat. Feb. 4: Quaker Bridge Mall, Princeton
  • Sun. Feb. 5: Montclair Art Museum, Montclair
  • Sat. Mar. 5: Menlo Park Mall, Edison

Many camp directors also use the fairs to find staff.

NJ demand for summer camp

Oak Crest Day Camp, located in Somerset
Oak Crest Day Camp, located in Somerset

Parents are being advised to not wait until March to make summer camp decisions.

"Both overnight and day camps are filling up quickly. Some already have waitlists," said Alicia Skovera, executive director of the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey.

During the iffy COVID summers, "a whole new crop of families" gave camp a shot, in order to get their kids outdoors with other children and in social settings. And many of those families continue to fill spots today.

Waitlists generally do shrink, so parents shouldn't be discouraged from trying to book a spot, Skovera said.

"Many families sign up for camp in the fall, and now they're starting to reassess their plans, they're changing their weeks, they may be dropping out," she said.

ACA, NY & NJ offers free one-on-one advice to families looking for the right camp for their children, at 212-391-5208, Ext. 1002.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

Cape May, NJ: 15 wonderful places to visit

15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From amusement rides to all the boardwalk food and lots of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park have endured as a family friendly spot for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier have been struck with tragic disasters - such as fire, Superstorm Sandy and another fire. Both have proven their resiliency through rebuilding and expansion.

More From Beach Radio