Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth and Ocean Counties This September 2014

Family-fall-leavesAs the summer quickly comes to a close and your children prepare to go back to school, it’s important to make time for family activities. This September, there are so many things to do that are fun and low cost  for everyone.  Check out these budget friendly activities that are going on locally, and make some memories with your family and friends!

Saturday, August 30 – Start your day with the Spring Lake Labor Day End of Summer Celebration & Sale/Art Walk. This all day event takes place on Third Ave from 8 am – 5 pm. For more information, call 732-449-0037.

Monday, September 1 – Kick off September with a night out at Show Place Ice Cream Parlour (Beach Haven, LBI).  Enjoy a show and dessert as you become part of the entertainment. Watch the talented staff perform Cabaret, show tunes, and improvisation. For more information, call 609-492-0018.

Wednesday, September 10 – What better way to start fall off then a Farmers Market! Come to Downtown Toms River from 11am – 5pm for a fabulous day at the market. Check out fresh produce, baked goods, honey, herbs, nuts, and prepared foods. You can enjoy a yummy lunch under the tents with your family and friends on this beautiful day. Parking is also FREE! For more information, contact Huddy Park at 732-341-8783.

Saturday, September 13 – Take your children to Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) for a behind the scenes tour. Ages 5 and up are permitted to join for a fun morning to learn about what goes on in the Aquarium. Prices are $10.00 for children and $14.00 for Adults. For more information, contact Jenkinson’s at 732-899-1659.

Sunday, September 14 – 5K Race or 1 Mile Fun Run for the 9/11 Heroes 2014 (Wall Township) will take place starting at 8am at the Wall Municipal Complex on Allaire Rd. For more details visit wall@911heroesrun.org or click here.

Wednesday, September 17- Have a Girls Night Out at Laurita Winery (New Egypt)! Laurita calls out all ladies and their friends to enjoy a night of yoga, wine, and relaxation from 6-9 pm. Admission is free. Finish the night off with the sounds of live music and good laughs. For more information, call 609-752-0200.

Saturday, September 20 – Support scholarships and classroom grants in Monmouth and Ocean Counties by attending the First Financial Foundation’s Food Truck & Restaurant Bash at our Toms River Branch from 1-5pm! Join us for a fun day of food truck/restaurant vendors, games, entertainment, prizes and more. Entry donation is $5 per person (kids 12 and under are free!) and advanced tickets pay be purchased in any First Financial Branch or online using Credit/Debit/PayPal. We hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 21 – Come out to Freehold and check out the Circus at iPlayAmerica. The one and only Michael Dubois is the featured performer for the day. Bring your children, parents, and friends for a 40 minute show filled with magic, juggling, slack wire, and sideshow stunts! This is one event you certainly DO NOT want to miss! First show starts at 12pm and the second starts at 3pm. Tickets are under $20.00.  For more information, call 732-577-8200.

Saturday, September 27 – Join Allaire Village for a fun-filled day at the 1830’s Fall Harvest (Wall)!  Explore what life was like during the 1830’s with villagers as they cook food over the hearth, make apple cider, and play historic games. Kids can take part in arts and crafts and go on wagon rides around the village. Don’t miss the exciting demonstrations with ax and knife throwing, and fire starting. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children ages 5-12. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Have a great start to your fall season!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this August 2014

family august blogCan you believe this summer is almost over? June and July quickly came and went, so now it’s time to focus on spending the last month of good weather and beach days with your loved ones by your side. Carnivals, contests, movie nights and fireworks are only some of the family fun activities that are coming near to a town near you this month. Check out some more free or inexpensive activities below that you can enjoy with your family and friends.

Friday, August 1: It’s the 2nd Annual Beach Ball-A-Palooza! Head down to Ocean County Park in Lakewood Township from 5:30pm-8:30pm and enjoy kayaking and canoeing on the lake, live music from Jimmy and the Parrots, crafts and family fun games. Bring your beach blankets, sweatshirts, and chairs – and enjoy the party. This event is free and it’s the perfect way to bond with your family and friends! For more information, call 732-506-9090.

Saturday, August 2: From noon-6pm head on over to the Bayshore Irish Festival in Keansburg! This day long festival is free of charge and offers a variety of activities and entertainment for the entire family. It’s encouraged that you make yourself comfortable and bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy a gorgeous summer afternoon. Local Irish musicians as well as Irish bands will be providing entertainment all day – including Celtic Connection from Philadelphia, and the always upbeat Narrowbacks from New York. You can also enjoy traditional Irish step dancing by the Shea-Jennings School of Irish Dance. This is one event you certainly do not want to miss!

Thursdays, August 7 – August 28: Enjoy a Firework Spectacular every Thursday throughout the moth of August at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk! Spend the evening wandering around the mile long amusement park and visit the aquarium, amusement park rides, arcades, mini-golf course, or the delicious food stands – before finishing the night with a fireworks show on the beach. It’s a free event that the whole family can enjoy – for more information, call 732-892-0600.

Tuesday, August 12: It’s the annual Seashell Decorating Contest! Come down to Seaside at 6pm and kids ages 12 and under will have the chance to participate. This contest is free of charge and prizes will be awarded to the kids with the best seashells! For more information, call 732-793-3700.

Tuesday, August 19: Celebrate a beautiful night along the Manasquan Inlet and enjoy good food, music, a car show, and more! The celebration is being held from 5:30pm-9pm. For more information, call 732-223-0544.

Wednesday, August 20: Looking for a relaxing family night on the beach? Head over to the North End Pavilion in Spring Lake and watch Finding Nemo! Admission is FREE and the movie begins 30 minutes after sundown. For more information, call 732-241-6038.

Saturday, August 30: What better way to spend a Saturday night than a Moonlight Hike! Head over to Island Beach State Park and for $5.00, take a hike around the beach and learn about plant and animal life. The hike ends with a bonfire, roasted marshmallows and a beautiful scenic view of the ocean! For more information, call 732-793-0506.

Have a great end of your summer!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this July 2014

Family-at-the-beach_summer-funSweet summertime! Time for trips to the beach, BBQs, fireworks, fairs, boardwalk fun, and so much more. Enjoy this time of year with the people you love spending time with – like your family and friends! Check out these free or inexpensive events below that are happening this month in a town near you.

Tuesday, July 1 – Saturday, July 5: It’s the Atlantic Highlands Firemen’s Fair! Bring the whole family to enjoy games, rides, food, and some good ol’ fashioned fun! Fireworks are on Friday, July 4 at 9:45 p.m. Fair starts every night at 6pm and is located at the Atlantic Highlands Marina, 2 Simon Lake Drive. Admission is FREE! For more information, call 732-872-8711.

4th of July Celebrations:

Tuesday, July 8: Head over to the MAC at Monmouth University (West Long Branch) and see AMERICAN IDOL® LIVE! This show gives fans the unique opportunity to be up close and personal with Season 13 Finalists including C.J. Harris, Jena Irene, Caleb Johnson, Jessica Meuse, MK Nobilette, Alex Preston, Dexter Roberts, Majesty Rose, Malaya Watson and Sam Woolf. Tickets start as low as $46 – for more information, call 732-571-3483.

Thursday, July 10 – Sunday, July 13: If you’re looking for some family fun, head over to the Colts Neck Country Fair! There will be live music, food, games, contests, entertainment and of course, a firework display on July 10th. The fair will be held at Bucks Mill Park – for more information, call 732-462-8500.

Saturday, July 12 – Sunday, July 13: Looking to test your pallet while enjoying an amazing view? Check out Bradley Beach’s Annual Lobster Festival! Both days are completely free to enter and will take place from 11am – 9pm on Saturday and 11am – 6pm on Sunday. Enjoy more lobster than ever before including broiled lobster, lobster mac and cheese, lobster rolls, and more. There will also be six bands, live DJ playing requests, over 100 craft and speciality vendors, beer & wine gardens, giant water slide, children’s activities including rides, face painters and sand art. For more information, call 732-897-1111.

Sunday, July 13: The 6th Annual American Girl and Teddy Bear Tea Party is the perfect mommy-daughter date! Children and their favorite adults will gather under tents on the lawn of the Eden Woolley House (Ocean Township). The dolls and their young owners are the main attraction. Children show off the outfits of their favorite dolls (or teddy bears) in a charming fashion show. They make a craft, hear an original story of the Woolley Sisters, and enjoy a tasty tea party. Tickets are just $30 and admit one child (5 years and older) and one adult. Reservations are a must. To make reservations and for more information, call 732-531-6040 or 732-531-2136.

Wednesday, July 23 – Sunday, July 27: There’s another fair in town – the Monmouth County Fair (Freehold)! The fair will have fireworks, 4-H events, animal shows & exhibits, rides, free stage entertainment, racing pigs, home & garden competition, and more. Fairgrounds are located on Kozloski Road – for more information, call (732) 842-4000.

Thursday, July 31 – Sunday, August 3: Bring your family and friends out to this 4-day, action packed event, the 20th Annual Highlands Clam Fest! The festival will be featuring the freshest seafood from local restaurants, spirits, live entertainment, thrill rides, games and more. The event will be held at Huddy Park – for more information, call 732-291-4713.

 Have a wonderful summer!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this June 2014

Family on bikes outdoors smilingMemorial Day has quickly come and gone, but that just means that summer is finally here! Time to put that harsh winter behind and focus on the great weather, great food, great activities and great times with family and friends! As always, we’ll be featuring free or inexpensive activities throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties that everyone can enjoy.

Thursday, June 5: Enjoy an intimate performance with musicians, Kevin and Joe Jonas, formerly of the pop rock band Jonas Brothers. This time they aren’t singing their hit songs, but instead answering questions and talking with their fans in an intimate, interactive theater experience called Off the Record with Kevin & Joe Jonas. Off the Record is a chance for Kevin and Joe to interact with fans like never before. The live show will feature Q&A sessions, never-before-seen video footage, audience participation, and many other surprises that will give fans a rare up-close and personal look at the two Jonas brothers. Don’t miss this! The event will be held at iPlay America (Freehold) at 7pm. Tickets start at just $39. For more information, call 732-577-8200.

Saturday, June 7: Wear glow-in-the-dark accessories for Dorbrook Recreation Area’s (Colts Neck) first-ever Glo-in-the-Park 3k Fun Run night race! The 3k course will be glowing and ready for seasoned runners or first time racers. Register in advance or day of race for a minimal fee. The race waves will take place between 7:30pm-10:30pm. For more information, call 732-542-1642 ext. 23.

It’s time for the Asbury Park Blues & Brews Festival! This FREE, rain or shine event will be held from noon – 8pm, attendees will enjoy 6 great bands with headliner: Rob Paporozzi & the Hudson River Rats! There will also be vendors, crafters, art, kids’ activities and above all, a ton of music! The event will be featuring a Beer Garden and downtown shopping. For more information, call 732-933-1984.

Sunday, June 8: The 44th Annual New Jersey Irish Festival is back at Monmouth Park (Oceanport)! Enjoy live entertainment on two different stages, pipe and drum band competition, Catholic Mass, food and craft vendors, Irish Step Dancing, family activities, 50/50 raffle, Ceili & Step Dancing, a human horse race, as well as a full day of live Thoroughbred racing! Gates will open at 10:00am, Catholic Mass will be held at 11:00am and the 1st post will be at 12:50pm. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Friday, June 13 - Sunday, June 15: It’s back and better than ever – Belmar’s 28th Annual Seafood Festival! One of the largest seafood festivals in the nation. Visitors will enjoy great seafood, crafters, live entertainment, and more. Event times vary: 6/13: 4pm – 8pm, 6/14: 11am – 8pm, 6/15: 11am – 6pm. For more information, call  732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Sunday, June 15: Celebrate Father’s Day at 4JG’s Winery (Colts Neck) for a Pig Roast! Mark your calendars and treat your Dad with a special day together. Call in advance to reserve your space – reservations required at just $25 per person. The event will take place from noon – 5pm. For more information, call 908-930-8066.

Saturday, June 21: Bring the family out to the Middletown 350 Time Capsule Celebration and Parade! Celebrate Middletown’s birthday at this FREE family-friendly event featuring a parade, the burying of the Time Capsule, entertainment, and more! The parade begins at Middletown High School North at 11 a.m. and ends at the Middletown Arts Center. For more information, call 732-615-2260.

Saturday, June 21 & Sunday, June 22: It’s the Win & Wine Weekend at Monmouth Park (Oceanport)! Be sure to save the date – the best local New Jersey wineries will be pouring their featured wines. This is a great opportunity to plan a picnic with family and friends for the day! No advance tickets required. The event will take place from noon – 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 609-758-5400.

Friday, June 27 & Saturday, June 28: The NJ Surf Show & Algonquin Arts Theatre (Manasquan) presents the Saltwater Festival! The event was created to provide New Jersey and the East Coast the best offerings in surf, film, and art. An ambitious and remarkable lineup of artists, shapers, photographers and vendors headline the event, which shines a light on all the amazing men and women who inspire greatness and promote a positive reflection of what a surfer is, and can be. The theme of this year’s event is informally “East Meets West,” with some of the best creative spirits from both coasts involved. Times and ticket prices vary – for more information and to purchase tickets online, click on the link above. For additional questions, call 732-528-3149.

Have a GREAT summer & Happy Father’s Day!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this May 2014

familypicinicIt’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the great outdoors! During the warm weather months, you can visit your county’s local parks and enjoy a nice bike ride, a family hike, play basketball or even a have a quaint family picnic! It’s free, fun and a great way to stay active and get some fresh air. Check out some more free or inexpensive activities below that you can enjoy this month with your family and friends.

Friday, May 2 & Saturday, May 3: It’s Spring Lake’s Fashion Show Kick-Off Party at the Spring Lake Community House! Friday’s events will be held from 7pm -10pm and includes your entrance to the Fashion Show previewing 2014 fashions, open bar courtesy of Egan’s Liquors, swag-bag, photo booth, hors d’oeuvres and light fare. Saturday’s events are from 10am – 5pm which includes a special appearance by Dr. Christopher Godek of the Personal Enhancement Center, designer trunk shows, salon blowouts, make-up demonstrations, wine tasting, restaurant price-fixed menus, gifts, giveaways and so much more! Tickets are $50 per person – for more information, call 732-449-4530.

Saturday, May 3: Head on over to Wall Stadium Speedway for Fan Appreciation Day! There will be a party on the track where fans can meet the drivers and see the cars up close. Cars displayed include: Downs Ford Modifieds, Sportsman, Legends, Limited Late Models, Factory Stocks and 4-Cylinders. Tickets will be sold at a discounted price – for more information and times, call 732-681-6400.

Saturday, May 10: It’s Opening Day at Monmouth Racetrack (Oceanport)! The staff welcomes back Thoroughbred racing to the Jersey Shore with FREE Grandstand admission and half price Clubhouse admission. A shore tradition since 1846 and home to the best racing fans in the country, the Monmouth Park gates re-open for the 2014 season at 11:30am and the first port is at 12:50pm. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a VIP Season & Parking Pass! For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Sunday, May 11: Make a statement this year and surprise your mom with a special Mother’s Day Brunch at Laurita Winery (New Egypt)! Catered by Branches Catering, brunch will be served featuring a spread of exceptional dishes using many local seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery of their 43 acres of beautiful vineyards surrounded by rolling hills and local farms while enjoying a wonderful and memorable meal with the mom you love! Space is limited, call 732-542-5050 to make reservations in advance.

Tuesday, May 13: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Ocean Counties are hosting their 15th Annual Gourmet Food and Wine Tasting Event at Buona Sera Ristorante (Red Bank)! From 6:30pm-9:30pm, enjoy six different wine tasting tables, sample Tito’s Handmade Vodka and a surprise brew for the beer lovers. The night will also include passed hors d’oeuvres, raw bar, pasta and specialty stations, and a delectable desserts display that will round out this fantastic evening. There will also be Silent and Chance Auctions that will offer something for everyone! The attendees’ presence will enable BBBSMMC to sustain and expand their one-on-one mentoring programs for children in our community. For more information, click on the event link above.

Saturday, May 17 & Sunday, May 18: Enjoy a 2 day cycling adventure for the Bike MS 2014: Coast to Coast Tour! Choose your challenge, with route options for all cycling abilities all starting at Monmouth University (West Long Branch). You’ll travel through seaside towns, across inlets, through the Pine Barrens and finish in historic Cape May. There are route options for cyclists of every level, ranging from 25-170 miles. The ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike mechanics, full meals, and support vehicles. Invite your family and friends to cheer as you cross the finish line and enjoy a lunch at Monmouth University for the shorter routes or a wonderful evening celebration for those riding to the Pinelands. A fantastic dinner awaits you with great food, music, a beer garden, massage tent and fun. For prices and more information, call the MS National Society at 732-660-1005 ex.44321.

Saturday, May 17: It’s the Calendar for Kids of Monmouth County’s Family Fun Day at Pier Village (Long Branch)! The event is free of charge and will be held from 10am-2:30pm including outdoor family oriented activities, kiddie yoga, face painting, tumbling demonstrations along with family vendors and resources to help you have a happy and healthy family. This annual event has grown each year and is now one of Pier Village’s signature family events. For more information, click on the event link above.

Click on the links below for information on local events just for Memorial Day!

Friday, May 30 – Sunday, June 1: Three days of sun, sunsets, and evening stars featuring the best restaurants, non-stop music, and family fun – it’s the Red Bank Riverfest! Red Bank, considered the hippest town in the state of New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly Magazine, is home to this three-day event. Additional attractions include a children’s palace and river cruises to enjoy the scenic views of the Navesink River. Times are as follows, Friday 5pm -10pm, Saturday 11am -10pm, and Sunday 11am – 6pm. For more information, 732-741-0055.

Have a great month!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2014

family-spring-gardenSpring has FINALLY sprung! Alas, we can put this brutal winter behind us and focus on the warm weather that is here to stay for a while. We know many of you are eager to be able to get out of house and enjoy the many activities that the spring weather brings. Listed below are many free or very inexpensive activities that you and your family and friends can enjoy this April. As always, we welcome you to post a comment with your feedback, we’d love to hear how you liked any of the events we posted!

Tuesday, April 8th: Celebrate dining at the Jersey Shore and the kick off to the 2014 spring/summer season with a glance at signature dishes and new items debuting this season from some of the hottest restaurants in town! Join 94.3 The Point and Driscoll Foods at “Sample the Shore” event being held at The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel (Asbury Park) from 6pm to 9pm. Admission is just $15 per person or two for $20 and will include sampling from more than 20 participating restaurants. For a list of all participating restaurants, click on the event link above. For more information, call 848-221-8082.

Wednesday, April 9th: The Southern Ocean County Community Foundation will be hosting the 19th Annual “Taste of Southern Ocean County Hunger Relief Dinner and Auction” for the benefit of our local food pantries. Since its inception in 1995, the Taste Dinner has enabled the foundation to distribute more than $550,000. The dinner features fabulous dishes that showcase the talents of local chefs who donate their time and talent to support this cause. The 2014 dinner, Evening in Venice, features flavorful dishes of this romantic paradise that have inspired chefs for centuries. This year the dinner will be held at Sea Oaks Country Club (Little Egg Harbor) from 5:30pm – 10pm and will be transformed into a Venetian splendor! For more information, click on the event link above.

Saturday, April 12th: Bring the entire family to the Searchlight’s Community Egg Hunt (Long Branch). Kids will enjoy carnival games, inflatables, air-brush tattoos, cotton candy, and of course the Easter Bunny will be hopping around! The event will take place from 11am – 1pm and admission is FREE! Parents, be sure to bring a bucket or basket for your kids to collect all their goodies. Also, be sure you bring a camera because there will be lots of photo opportunities. The egg hunt is open to children up to the 6th grade and registration is required – click on the event link above to get started!

In celebration of Earth Month, head on down to the InfoAge Science History Museum (Wall Twp) for an educational and interesting event titled, Observing Earth Beyond Hurricane Sandy.” Learn about the earth’s changing climate, while focusing on the risks and solutions. The event will be held from 2pm – 4pm and is open to the public but it’s encouraged that attendees give a $5 donation to the museum. For more information call 732-280-3000.

Saturday, April 12 & Sunday, April 13th: An all-time favorite of audiences since they first performed in 2000, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz presented by the Company of Dance Arts is a charming and whimsical presentation of this classic tale and will be performing at the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank) for a limited time! The beautiful lighting and set design, colorful costumes, and exciting choreography combine to make this production one that all will enjoy. The show will begin at 3pm on both days and tickets start at just $20. Bring the whole family for a fun filled day! For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Saturday, April 19th: Join the Allaire Village Easter Bunny and villagers to celebrate the holiday with the 10,000 Easter Egg Hunt! Once you enter through admissions, let the hunt begin – 10,000 eggs will be hidden in the village for children (up to age 12) to hunt for in order to fill their baskets. Don’t forget to bring your basket and start your fun – there will be larger prizes with special tickets hidden in select eggs. Admission opens at 12pm and the hunt begins upon entry. There will also be a homemade Bonnet Contest and a parade that will begin at 2pm in front of the General Store. The event will also include historic children’s games, militia demonstrations, children’s arts and crafts projects, face-painting and open-hearth cooking. Come and join the EGG-cellent fun! For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Friday, April 25th: Go for a run in the Asbury Park & Jersey Shore RunAPalooza! Registration is FREE and is now open for 2014 (click on the event link to register). Participants can sign up for either the Asbury Park Half Marathon or the Jersey Shore 5K. This event is organized by the Jersey Shore Running Club. For more information, call (609) 896-8000.

Saturday, April 26th: The Monmouth County Park System is hosting a FREE Spring Craft Show at Tatum Park (Middletown). Stop by anytime between 9am – 2pm and pick up the perfect homemade item for your garden or home! For more information, call 732-842-4000 ext. 4312.

How about a girls’ afternoon out? The Township of Ocean Historical Museum will hold it’s 10th Annual Spring Tea, which will take place from 2pm – 4pm and seating will begin at 1:30 pm at the West Park Recreation Center (Oakhurst). All food is prepared by museum volunteers and includes: tea sandwiches, breads, desserts and scones with whipped cream, butter and jam along with a variety of teas. There will be a gift auction, a boutique of hand quilted crafts and doll clothes, and entertainment. Prizes will be awarded for a fancy hat contest, so plan on wearing a hat to the event! Tickets must be purchased in advance and are just $25.00 per person – get your tickets today by calling 732-531-2136.

Sunday, April 27th: Looking for a “Sunday Funday” adventure? Why not head down to Bradley Beach for their Spring Restaurant Tour! From 11:30am – 3:30pm, the Bradley Beach Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its Spring Restaurant Tour, featuring delicious samples of signature dishes from participating restaurants. Tickets are $20.00 in advance, and $25.00 the day of the event. For more information, call 732-776-2999.

Spring into fun this month – enjoy!