Things To Do on a Budget in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this September 2013

familySummer is slowly coming to an end as we enter September, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! Grab your family and friends and enjoy these affordable activities near you.

Sunday, September 1 – BOOM! BANG! That’s right, it’s time to celebrate Labor Day with colorful and bright fireworks. They will be starting at dusk on the beach in Asbury Park so don’t forget a beach chair or some blankets! For more information, call 732-775-2100.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 3, the off-season feeding schedule begins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant! While walking around and seeing some of your favorite sea animals, you can also enjoy watching some of the animals being fed. Seals: 10am, 1pm and 4pm Daily Penguins: 11am and 3:30pm Daily Atlantic Sharks: 1:30pm Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, call 732-899-1659.

Thursday, September 5 – Throw your cowboy hat and boots on and see Blake Shelton, Easton Corbin, and Jana Kramer play at the PNC Banks Art Center (Holmdel). Lawn seats are about $30 and the show starts at 7:30pm. Get in touch with your country-side and enjoy a fun night with friends and family! For more information, call 732-203-2500.

Friday, September 6  – Sunday, September 8 – Come and experience one of Asbury Park’s most popular, free festivals, Oysterfest! You can enjoy food, shopping, and live music and it’s located at The Carousel on the Water (Ocean Ave & Lake Ave). On 9/6 the festival will be open from 5 – 10pm, 9/7 noon – 10pm, and 9/8 from noon – 6pm. For more information, call 732-897-1111.

Saturday, September 7 – Sunday, September 15 – Can’t get enough of the beach? Well, that’s not a problem living in New Jersey! Come down to Belmar’s 16th Avenue beach and watch one of the largest surfing contests on the East Coast while relaxing with your toes in the sand. It starts at 8am and lasts until 8pm – for more information, call 732-681-6405.

Friday, September 13 – Sunday, October 27 – “Thrills by Day, Fright by Night” BOO!!! Join Six Flags Great Aventure’s annual Fright Fest in Jackson (Rte. 537). Have a spooktacular time with hair-raising shows and electrifying street entertainment, plus all rides in the dark. This is a great night out with friends or family! For more terrifying information, call 732-928-1821.

Saturday, September 21 – It’s the perfect time to gather up the family, a blanket, and a picnic basket and enjoy a nice picnic in the park! Located at the Huber Woods Environmental Center (Middletown Township) from 11am to 3pm. After your picnic,  enjoy a hayride (small fee), visit the Reptile House, and a free snake and turtle show (12pm, 1pm & 2pm). For more information call 732-872-2670.

Sunday, September 29 – From 11am-5pm enjoy the Harvest Home Festival at Historic Longstreet Farm (Holmdel). This festival will take their visitors back in time when neighbors gathered to accomplish work, harvest, and spend time socializing and enjoying each other’s company. Experience old-fashioned fun as it was a century ago with wagon rides, games, and live entertainment. See craft demonstrations that will inspire you to start a new hobby or career. Enter one of many competitions ranging from needlework, baked goods to homegrown vegetables. For more information, call 732-946-3758.

Happy Fall & back to school everyone!

Things to do in Monmouth and Ocean Counties on a Budget this April 2013

familyspringWe’re sure many of you are eager and excited to finally be able to get out and enjoy some warm Spring weather. Why not try some new or unexpected activities with family and friends this April? Many events are free or very inexpensive – try one or more of the activities below and post a comment with your feedback, we’d love to hear how you liked it! So who’s done with the snow and ready for some fun in the sun?!

Monday, April 1st: If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, take a ride over to Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson) for some fast, edge of your seat fun! Receive great discounts on admission and plus other coupons when you purchase season passes. The park will be open from 10:30am-8pm – see website for Spring hours.

Thursday, April 4th: Ever wanted to be on American Idol? Well, Laurita Winery (New Egypt) welcomes talented singers to their “American Idol Contest – Laurita Winery Style.” The top prize is $1,000.00 and attractive 2nd and 3rd prizes will also be offered. During the open auditions, each contestant will perform one musical piece. Don’t be shy, admission is free – a great night for everyone! Please direct any questions to To enter the contest please complete the online application and review the rules.

Thursday, April 4-Sunday, April 7: Get out and enjoy New Jersey’s largest Film Festival at the Paramount Theater on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. The 11th Annual Garden State Film Festival will consist of four days of almost 200 screenings, and promises something for everyone from mysteries and comedies, family fare and documentaries. The events are scattered throughout the day – see the schedule and buy tickets online here.

Sunday, April 7: PLAY BALL! Bring the kids to the Lakewood BlueClaws Opening Day!  Enjoy the first home game of the season with the Kannapolis Intimidators (Chicago White Sox) vs. Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park (Lakewood-Cedar Bridge & New Hampshire Aves). The game starts at 1:05 pm and kids eat free – all children 12 & under. The BlueClaws are a Single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. For more information, call 732-901-7000 or visit

Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14: Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, Algonquin Arts Theatre’s (Manasquan) SPAMALOT retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and features a bevy of beautiful show girls, not to mention cows and killer rabbits. With 3pm and 8pm showings, you can bring the whole family to enjoy this comedic show! Tickets are available online here.

Saturday, April 20: Enjoy running? Sign up for the 17th Annual RunAPalooza  – the Jersey Shore 5 and Asbury Park’s Half Marathon. The day will include a Half-Marathon, a USATF Certified 13.1 mile course as well as a five-mile race to accommodate all runners. Both races start at Convention Hall 1300 Ocean Ave. Asbury Park at 8:30am. Register online here.

Celebrate Earth Day at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center (Howell) and help celebrate our Water is Wonderful Earth Day Extravaganza. Fun for the whole family with eco-boat tours, kids’ games, crafts and special Earth Day exhibitors! The event will take place from 11am-5pm – for more information call 732-751-9453.

Monday, April 22: For all the Food Network fans out there, you won’t want to miss “A Conversation with Bobby Flay” at Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank) at 7:30pm. Bobby Flay shares his approach to food, offers tips, stories, and recipes from his new book Bobby Flay’s Barbeque Addiction. Get an insider’s view of the world of Food Network and the restaurant and food industry from the Emmy-winning chef & author himself. Bobby will be joined by moderator and Star Ledger Food Writer Teresa Politano, and the audience can look forward to an interactive Q&A as well. Tickets are available online here.

Saturday, April 27: Just in time for Earth Day and in an effort to be environmentally conscious and to encourage others to “go green”, First Financial will be holding a Shred Event at our Toms River branch from 9am-1pm. There is a limit of 5 boxes/bags per person. 100% of the material will be recycled. This is for Mixed Office Paper only. We do not accept magazines or newspapers and we also cannot accept wet, damp or mildewed paper, or Xrays and MRIs. However, there is no need to remove staples, paper clips, small binder clips and rubber bands. For more information, please e-mail us at or call us at 866-750-0100.

Happy Spring everyone – enjoy!