Winter is a wonderful time in the Princeton-Mercer area. Every season is special in its own way. But there is no more uplifting, inspiring shift in energy and spirit than the dawn of spring.

Bright colors of nature return. Animals reappear. Calendars are filled with festivals and events that celebrate culture and the arts. Longer, warmer days bring more people outside. Local communities come to life!

If you’re ready to dive headfirst into spring, check out these destinations and events and immerse yourself in the season!

Gardens and Parks

Come out of hibernation and get back into nature at the beautiful parks and gardens in the Princeton-Mercer region. Wildlife preserves, bird sanctuaries, historic landmarks, rivers and lakes, outdoor sports and recreation, biking and hiking trails, campgrounds, and more are all nearby.

Delaware-Raritan Canal State Park, Mercer County Park, Princeton Battlefield State Park, the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Plainsboro Preserve, Prospect Gardens, and Sourland Mountain Preserve are just a few local natural wonders that satisfy visitors of all ages and interests. Check out the Visit Princeton-Mercer website for a complete list of parks and gardens!

Grounds for Sculpture

Visit the most magical 42 acres in the area this spring to see more than 270 sculptures surrounded by flowers, trees, and greenery in full bloom! Grounds for Sculpture features events, tours, and classes throughout the season. Remember, the third and final season of Night Forms draws to a close on April 7!

Upcoming exhibitions include Slow Motion, (May 5-September 1) an indoor and outdoor art exhibition curated by Monument Lab at Grounds for Sculpture. Slow Motion reimagines the material possibilities of public memory, showcasing unconventional materials and processes used to make monuments.

Princeton Environmental Film Festival

The Princeton Environmental Film Festival, a signature event of the Princeton Public Library on Witherspoon Street, will be held April 5-14. The festival will feature free screenings of documentary films, Q&A with film directors, producers, and speakers, and discussions about environmental sustainability issues and initiatives.

McCarter Theatre Center

Catch a performance at the Tony Award-winning Princeton McCarter Theatre Center, the only American organization that is both a professional producing theater and a major presenter of the performing arts. The McCarter continues its mission to create stories and experiences that enliven minds, expand imaginations, and engage communities.

The spring calendar is packed with approximately 20 events, including:

  • An Evening with Jon Stewart (March 29-30)
  • Trailblazing Women of Country - A Tribute to Patsy, Loretta, and Dolly (April 14)
  • Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo: 50th Anniversary (April 17)
  • STOMP (June 7-8)
  • Jazz in June, featuring Chris Botti (June 1) and Esperanza Spalding (June 2)

Kelsey Theatre at Mercer

The spring season is underway at the Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College, where you can enjoy award-winning productions ranging from Broadway musicals and plays to dance performances and children’s theatre! Shows coming to the Kelsey Theatre main stage this spring include:

  • Rent (April 5-14)
  • Nunsense (April 19-May 5)
  • The Frog Prince (April 20)
  • Mercer Dance Ensemble in Concert (May 11-12)
  • The Jungle Book (May 18-26)
  • Bright Star (May 31-June 9)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (June 14-23)

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market

The Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market presents the Spring Fling Annual Shopping Extravaganza at Cure Insurance Arena in Trenton on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7. More than 500 vendors will be selling everything from vintage clothing and vinyl records to original artwork and “curiosities” and “oddities.” Look for food trucks, special guests, live tattooing, and more!

Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Is there a better way to enjoy the fresh air of spring than walking outside and spending an afternoon at a family-friendly event in support of a worthy cause? The Best Buddies Friendship Walk, being held Sunday, April 28 at the College of New Jersey, raises awareness and funds for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). This is a fantastic opportunity to help make the world more inclusive – one friendship, one job, and one life-changing connection at a time.

For trip ideas and a calendar of events at our parks, gardens, and arts and cultural venues, go to the Visit Princeton-Mercer website!