Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this May 2015

family-spring-gardenIt’s finally time to enjoy the outdoors and all that the warm weather has to offer! During the spring and summer, it’s a great idea to visit your local parks and enjoy a 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 1: First Financial is hosting a Bake Sale & FREE Shred Event at the Freehold/Howell Service Center (389 Route 9 North, Freehold) for Grand Opening Week! Between 9am-11am, bring your items to be shredded by AutoShred. *Limit 5 boxes/bags per person. What can be shredded? Mixed office paper, papers with staples/paperclips, papers with small binder clips and rubberbands. What cannot be shredded? Magazines/newspapers, hardcover books, 3 ring binders, x-rays/MRIs, wet, damp, or mildewed paper. This is a free service, open to the public, and don’t forget to stop in and check out our newest branch location! For more information, call 866.750.0100.



Saturday, May 2: Head on over to First Financial’s new Freehold/Howell Service Center (Freehold) for a free Grand Opening Family Picnic from 10am-1pm! Bring the whole family to enjoy music, food by Vito’s Hot Dogs and Farley’s Ice Cream, cotton candy, popcorn, games, facepainting, palm readings, special visits from the Howell Police Department, Adelphia Fire Department, blood pressure screenings from the Farmingdale Howell First Aid Squad, and more. For more information, call 866.750.0100.

Saturday, May 2 – Sunday, May 3: Enjoy a Weekend in Old Monmouth (Freehold)! This is an annual two-day event when more than 40 of the Monmouth County history sites open their doors to visitors and waive their admission fees. Please note that a Weekend in Old Monmouth is a self-guided tour, it is encouraged to visit the link above for a printable or online map of the historic sites/locations. The event will take place on Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. For more information, call 732-431-7460 ext. 7413.

Saturday, May 9: It’s Opening Day at Monmouth Park Racetrack (Oceanport)! Enjoy FREE grandstand admission and celebrate the return of everyone’s favorite summertime destination. Come take your picture next our 2015 commemorative sandcastle and enter to win one of 100 VIP season and parking passes for the 2015 season. Gates open at 11:30am and the first race is 12:50pm. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, May 9 – Sunday, May 17: Shrek The Musical is coming to Algonquin Arts Theatre (Manasquan)! Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a TONY Award-winning fairy tale adventure featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Caroline or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears, a perfect family outing. For showtimes and tickets, visit the link above or call 732-528-9211.

Saturday, May 9 – Sunday, May 10: Spend some quality time with Mom and Grandma in the vineyard, at 4JG’s Winery (Colts Neck) this Mother’s Day! Join us with Mom and Grandma for a fun day of chocolate demonstrations and wine tastings. Stop by between 12pm-5pm on both days. For more information, call 908-930-8066.

Saturday, May 16: Head on down to Spring Lake’s Irish Festival! From 12pm-4pm, enjoy an Irish soda bread contest, Irish step dancers, live music, food, activities, photo booth, and so much more! You’ll also be able to meet Ray Lucas from the NY Jets and Jeff Feagles, former NY Giants Punter. For more information, call 732-449-0577.

Saturday, May 23 – Monday, May 25: The Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is back at Monmouth Park Racetrack (Oceanport)! Over three dozen of the areas best food trucks will converge at Monmouth Park for three days of amazing food, family fun, and world-class racing. Enjoy unique varieties of plates including fried bacon, mouth-watering empanadas, juicy cheesesteaks, decadent cupcakes, ocean-fresh lobster rolls, Belgian waffle sundaes, and so much more – there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone! So bring the family, bring the friends, come one day or all three. You won’t want to miss the most delicious summer kick-off party at the Jersey Shore! For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Memorial Day Celebrations:

Friday, May 29 – Sunday, May 31: Red Bank River Fest is back and better than ever! The festival will once again showcase talented local bands performing simultaneously on multiple stages capped by appearances of nationally known blues and jazz artists. Attendees will also be able to enjoy food, vendors, and crafters. For more information, call 732-741-0055.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2015

family-picnic-springSpring is finally here! Time to enjoy the fresh flowers, warm weather, and great outdoor activities. Check out all of the fun events we have listed below – many of them are free or very inexpensive that you and your family and friends can enjoy this month. 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!

Saturday, April 4: Visit Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for an Easter Egg Hunt in the Village from 12pm-4pm! The handmade Easter Bonnet Parade (with prizes) will be held at 3pm. There is a limited supply, please purchase tickets in advance – just $5 per person, children under 3 are FREE. All of the historic buildings are now open for the season! For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, April 5: Get dressed up in your Sunday best and stroll the boardwalk at our legendary celebration – the 2015 Asbury Park Easter Parade! This will be the parade’s 80th Anniversary and will be held from 1pm-3pm. The parade features men, women, boys and girls all competing to be judged the best dressed for trophies and prizes from local merchants and restaurants. For more information, call 732-502-5752.

Saturday, April 11 & Sunday, April 12: The Company of Dance Arts is pleased to present their original version of Cinderella, which was performed for the first time in the spring of 2012. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s stirring score, this classic tale of rags to riches comes alive onstage. Audience members of all ages will enjoy this ballet and the beautiful choreography, costumes and staging. In addition to the classical touches, this ballet includes many comedic moments featuring the hilarious Step Mother and Step Sisters! The show will be held at Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank) and tickets start at just $20 a person. For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Thursday, April 16: Join Salt Creek Grille (Rumson) for their 12th Annual Wine & Martini Tasting to benefit the Kortney Rose Foundation. Enjoy an evening of wine vendors, hors d’oeuvres, pasta stations, live jazz music and so much more. The event starts at 7pm – a great date night or girls’ night out! For more information, call 732-933-9272.

Thursday, April 23: Are you a small business owner looking to get noticed on social media? Join First Financial along with Social Media Expert, Deborah Smith, for our “Paid Social Media Ad Campaigns for Business” Seminar. The event will be held at our Wall Office at 8:30am for networking and light breakfast followed by the seminar promptly at 9am. Space and time is limited, reserve your seat today! For more information, call us at 866.750.0100.

Saturday, April 25: It’s the Great Spring Perennial Plant Swap at Deep Cut Gardens (Middletown)! Bring plants in one-quart, one-gallon, or two-gallon containers to the park and take home the same size and number of plants. It is asked to please label all plants prior to the event. Herb and vegetable seedlings may also be exchanged, but invasive plants will not be accepted; a list of such plants and further information is available at Please Note: To allow for plant inspection as per N.J. Department of Agriculture regulations, plant intake will be from 8-10 a.m., with no plants accepted after 10 a.m. Plants may be selected and taken from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 732-671-6050.

Bring your “furry” family members to the Monmouth County SPCA’s 21st Annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair! Join over 2,000 people and their pets and enjoy shopping vendors, live music, raffles, doggie costume contests and much more. The event will be held at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft) from 10am-3pm. For more information, call 732-440-1558.

Sunday, April 26 (Rain date May 3): You don’t want to miss Red Bank’s International Flavour Festival! From noon-7pm, enjoy 25 of Red Banks finest restaurants who will be cooking up international favorites including Korean, Thai, Italian, Chinese, American, Mexican, Irish and more. There will also be international beers and wines from various countries. Bring the entire family to this unbelievable fundraising event – proceeds will benefit the Red Bank River Center, Parker Family Health Center, and Monmouth Day Care. For more information, call 732-829-1104.

Happy Spring!