Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2019

Spring has sprung! Time to enjoy the fresh flowers, warm weather, and great outdoor activities this April. Check out all of the fun events we have listed below – that you and your family and friends can enjoy this month. We also hope you have a Happy Easter and Passover!

April 4: Lakewood BlueClaws Opening Day Game at 6:35pm vs the Hickory Crawdads. Join the BlueClaws minor league baseball team as they kick off their 19th season at the Jersey Shore! Kids 12 and under will also get to run the bases after the game. Learn more and buy tickets online here, or call 732.901.7000.

April 7:

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Casino Pier (Seaside Heights) at 9:30am and 11am. Enjoy breakfast and fun with the Easter Bunny! Pre-registration is required. Tickets include a breakfast buffet, $5 arcade card, face painting, and photos with the Easter Bunny for $12 per person. Register online here, or call 732.793.6488.

Red Bank Street Fair and Craft Show from 11am-5pm in Downtown Red Bank. Free admission. Don’t miss artists, crafters, vendors, food, kids’ rides & games, live music, and more. See more information here, or call 908.654.1400.

April 12-14: Annual Spring Swap Meet and Auto Show at Raceway Park (Englishtown).  Connect with other car owners, look for hard to find parts/accessories, appreciate American classic cars, there will be over 300 cars for sale, vendors, and more! General admission is $12 per day, free parking, and kids 12 and under are free. Gates open at 7am each day. The event closes at 6pm Friday & Saturday, and 4pm Sunday. Call 732.446.7800 or go to https://etownracewaypark.com/ to learn more.

April 13:

Spring Flea Market at Allaire Village (Wall) from 8am-3pm. Don’t miss bargains among vintage treasures, books, artwork, handmade items and more! $2 admission for adults and kids 12 and under are free. The historic village, general store, and bakery will be open as well. Learn more here or call 732.919.3500.

Langosta Lounge’s Annual Lobster Run (Asbury Park) at 10am. All donations and proceeds from the 5K event go to the American Littoral Society to benefit marine life. A buffet at Langosta Lounge will begin at 10:30am and will be available through 12:30pm. Learn more, register to run/walk in the 5K race, and see the buffet menu here, or call 732.915.9139.

Breakfast with Sonny the Bunny at iPlay America (Freehold) from 8am-11am. There will be a hot breakfast buffet, live performances, and professional photos, treats, and visiting with Sonny the Bunny. Purchase event tickets here, or call 732.577.8200.

Mermaid Tea Party at Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 1:30-3pm. Dress in your best mermaid outfit and have some magical under the sea fun! Enjoy snacks, tea, make a craft, and more. Ages 4-10 only, pre-registration is required. Cost is $30 for an adult/child pair, $15 for each additional child, $20 for each additional adult. Learn more and register here, or call 732.892.0600.

April 13 and 14: Kites at the Pier Festival (Pier Village, Long Branch) from 9am-4pm. Every kind of kite imaginable will be at this festival!  Kites of all shapes and sizes – from inflatable flying creatures to traditional kites, will be flying high over the beach between the Avenue and McLoone’s Pier House in Long Branch. A dazzling display of giant kites will be visible for miles and miles. Learn more about the event at https://piervillage.com/events/kites-at-the-pier-2/ or call 732.923.0100.

April 14: Spring Wreath Workshop at B&B Studios (Arnold Ave., Pt. Pleasant Beach) from 1-3pm.  You’ll learn hands on how to construct your very own fresh spring wreath made with lavender and eucalyptus, led by Amber and Earth. All you need to bring to the class is a pair of garden shears. Learn more here.

April 20:

Easter Egg Hunt and Festival at Allaire Village (Wall) from 11am-4pm. Don’t miss this day of fun for the whole family! Over 15,000 eggs will be hidden on the village green and hunts will take place every 15 minutes. Children will be grouped according to age, and each child can hunt for 6 eggs total. Pre-registration is recommended (the event was sold out in 2018). Tickets are $8 per person and kids under 1 years old are free. If the event is not sold out, tickets on the day of at the door will be $12 each. There will also be music, costumed characters, balloon animals, basket & bonnet decorating, an egg toss and other games, Easter Bunny visits and more. Learn more and purchase tickets online here, or call 732.919.3500.

Easter at the Pier (Pier Village, Long Branch) from 12-4pm. Pier Village will be featuring a DJ, Easter Bunny meet & greet, Easter themed games and contests, face painting, inflatable rides, balloons, and more! Learn more here or call 732.923.0100.

April 27: Belmar Artwalk from 12-4pm on Main Street. Don’t miss the beautiful displays of art throughout downtown Belmar! For more information go to https://www.belmararts.org/ or call 732.749.3360.

April 27 and 28:

Allaire BBQ and Brew Fest (Wall) from 11am-5pm. $8 per adult and $4 per child when purchased in advance, $12 per adult and $8 per child at the door, kids ages 2 and under are free. This event will be held rain or shine. There will be a beer and wine garden, award winning BBQ items to purchase, food trucks, live music and fun. Learn more and purchase tickets here, or call 732.919.3500.

Annual Waretown Spring Wine Festival from 12-5pm both days (Waretown Recreation and Lake Area, Wells Mills Rd.). The Waretown Spring Wine Festival is a two-day event that features an array of samplings from a spectrum of award-winning wineries from throughout the Garden State. In addition to premier wine tastings, there will also be live entertainment, crafters, retail vendors, food vendors, and a children’s play area. Tickets are $20 when purchased in advance (if you are not wine tasting, tickets are $5). Get more details by calling 732.946.2711 or click here.

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this March 2019

Let’s spring into March with a little bit of luck and have some fun with family and friends! Check out the list below of local (free or inexpensive) activities to do with your loved ones all month long.

March 2: Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday at Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 1-4pm. Bring your favorite Dr. Seuss book and share it during story times with the Cat in the Hat. Enjoy crafts too! Cost is free with aquarium admission. Learn more by calling 732.899.1659 or click here.

March 3:

Open ceramics at Thompson Park in Lincroft from 12:30-4:30pm. Choose from a large selection of bisque fired pottery pieces to glaze and make your own. Children age 12 and under are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult. The cost is $6 per hour plus price of bisque ware – cash or check only. Learn more by calling 732.842.4000 ext. 4343 or click here.

Belmar St. Patrick’s Day Parade from 12-4pm on Main Street. Don’t miss one of the biggest celebrations of St. Patty’s Day in our area! See the parade route and get more information here, call 732.280.2648 or watch the parade streaming live the day of!

March 9:

Ocean County’s Annual St. Patty’s Day Parade kicks off at 12pm down the Boulevard in Seaside Heights. Enjoy a great afternoon celebrating with thousands! For more details, visit https://www.ocstpatricksdayparade.com/

March 10:

Belmar Restaurant Tour from 11:30am-3:30pm. Don’t miss over 30 of Belmar’s best places to eat on this year’s annual restaurant tour. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchased online in advance.

Annual Asbury Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade from 1-3pm. The parade begins at 5th and Ocean Avenues, with lots of places to continue to celebrate and have fun afterward. See the parade route and get more information at https://asburyparkstpatricksparade.com/

March 12 & 13: Flavor of Freehold Restaurant Tour from 5:30-8:30pm in Downtown Freehold. A unique tour of Downtown Freehold’s restaurants, bars, and shops held over two days. Participants walk from place to place with their “Passport” used as a guide of where to go. Everyone will receive signature samples from some of Freehold’s most loved establishments. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online.

March 15: Pizza and Penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 6-7:30pm. Your favorite flightless bird will make a special dinnertime appearance while you enjoy pizza and drinks! Learn all about them, ask their keepers questions, and meet Perky the Penguin too. Pre-registration is required. All ages are welcome. Cost  is $20 Adults $15 Children. Call 732.899.1659 or click here.

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day at iPlay America in Freehold from 11am-9pm. Come to iPlay America and feel the luck of the Irish! Purchase an iRide, iRide Plus, or Power Play Pass and you are eligible choose a coin from the Pot of Gold. You can also win a free Shamrock Shake or Free Ride Band. Game Time Bar and Grill will also be having great St. Patrick’s Day specials featuring corned beef and cabbage and more. Get additional details at https://www.iplayamerica.com/ or call 732.577.8200.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off in Downtown Freehold on McLean Street at 1pm and runs through 2:30pm. The parade route will be packed with tons of fun and Irish tradition, as participants march from McLean Street to the Elk’s Lodge. Parking is available in Borough and Public lots. Learn more here.

March 23 & 24: Sugar Shack Tour, Tasting and Tractor ride at Happy Day Farm (Manalapan) from 12-5pm. Freezing nights and thawing days mark the beginning of maple sugaring season, and the work of tapping trees and boiling sap is underway. This is a great outdoor winter experience where attendees will take a tractor ride of the 130-acre farm. Visitors will find out what equipment is needed to collect sap, learn how to identify maple trees, and lend a hand in the process. In the Sugar Shack, visitors can see how sap is produced into delicious maple syrup. $3 per person to attend and 100% pure maple syrup available to purchase. Call 732.977.3607 to find out more, or click here.

March 24: Jersey Shore Comic Book Show at the Elks Lodge in Toms River from 10am-4pm. If you are a comic fan, don’t miss this comic book festival featuring artists, writers, costume groups. Guests include Joe del Beato from Marvel Comics and the Star Wars 501st Legion. There will also be raffles, door prizes, and a costume contest. $3 admission. Learn more by calling 609.242.7756 or visit http://www.jerseyshorecomicbookshow.com/

March 27-31: Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park. The festival begins on 3/27 with a 7pm screening, and various films are shown at different locations around the city. See the full film festival movies and schedule at https://www.gsff.org/ and purchase tickets online at https://www.gsff.org/tickets/ . There are various ticket options available for a full weekend pass, day passes, awards banquet, and more. Don’t miss this great artistic event!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this February 2019

Love is in the air – and there’s so much to love this February with a ton of fantastic events happening in a town near you. Check out the list below of free or inexpensive activities to do with your loved ones all month long.

February 2: Ice at the Pier (Long Branch) from 10am to 10pm. Enjoy one of Pier Village’s most celebrated traditions. Lace up your skates and twirl away by-the-sea at their iconic Ice Rink. Here you’ll find residents and visitors alike skating in the heart of Pier Village’s beautifully decorated community, exciting shops and restaurants. Adult tickets are $14, kids under twelve are $10, and skate rentals are $4. For more information on skate times and other dates to skate, please visit https://www.iceatthepier.com/ or call 732.923.0100 x109

Cheap Thrills Motorcycle Show and Swap Meet (Convention Hall, Asbury Park) from 10am to 6pm. When you pay $10 admission for adults (kids under 12 are free), you’ll be able to check out 60 different vendors and over 60 beautiful custom motorcycles. There will also be great food and cold beer available. Learn more at https://cheapthrillsshow.com/

Glass Blowing Demo and Open House at The Hot Spot at Rainbow Art Glass (Wall) from 3-6pm. Watch experienced artists turn molten glass into colorful hearts, beautiful paperweights, one-of-a-kind cups, and more! Want to create your own piece of glass art? Sit one-on-one with a talented glassblower as they guide you through creating and blowing your own unique glass art project. Walk-ins welcome; reservations recommended. Please call (732) 681-6003 or visit hsrag.com to learn more.

February 3: Valentine’s Day Cookie Making Class (Pt. Pleasant) from 11am-2pm. Soule Culinary Art Studio is featuring a twist on rainbow cookies by making Valentine’s rainbow cookies with red, white, and pink layers. Learn how to make your own almond paste from scratch. The rainbow cookies will be filled with raspberry preserves and finished with chocolate ganache and a little heart for your sweetie. Everyone will go home with at least a dozen cookies. Reservations needed for this class and it is $40 a person. Learn more here.

February 8: An Evening with the Celebrity Housewives (Count Basie Theater, Red Bank) from 8-10pm. Enjoy a fun-filled evening with some of your favorite Television Housewives – on stage live in person! Hear all about these dazzling ladies, their cherished families, amazing businesses, and how fame has changed their lives forever. Don’t miss this outrageous evening with these fabulous Reality TV stars featuring: Teresa Giudice (New Jersey), Dorinda Medley (New York) and Kelly Dodd (Orange County). Learn more and purchase tickets here, or call 732.842.9000.

February 8 and 9: Family Date Night at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (Pt. Pleasant) from 6-9pm. What better way to spend “Valentine’s Day” than with the ones you love the most? Package of Four = $54.95 and includes: Admission for (4) to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a Plain Pizza & Pitcher of Soda at the Pavilion, a $10 PlayCard for the Pavilion Arcade and (4) treats from the Sweet Shop. Learn more here, or call 732.892.0600

February 9: Asbury Park Valentine’s Bazaar from 12-6pm. Come to the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall which features great local and regional vendors selling gifts made with love. There will be plenty of craft vendors, live music, a kissing photo booth, food, drinks, and more.  Get more information and see the complete list of vendors at https://www.asburyparkbazaar.com/valentines-bazaar-2019/

February 9 and 10: Wine and Chocolate at 4JG’s Vineyard in Colts Neck. From 12-5pm, enjoy a perfectly choreographed pairing of award winning wines and locally crafted chocolate. This is the Valentine’s Day event you won’t want to miss! For more information, visit https://www.4jgswinery.com/events-1/

Wine and Chocolate Weekend at Laurita Winery (New Egypt) starts at noon both Saturday and Sunday. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with lots of wine and plenty of chocolate, featuring 3 chocolate vendors, live music, and great food too. General admission is FREE! Call 609.758.8000 or visit www.lauritawinery.com for more details.

February 14: Valentine’s Day Horse and Carriage Rides (Pier Village, Long Branch) from 5-7pm. Enjoy an evening of dinner, shopping and ice skating, complimented by Horse and Carriage Rides through beautifully decorated Pier Village. Get more information here.

Valentine’s Day at iPlay America (Freehold) from 4-9pm. Share a fun-filled Valentine’s Day with friends, family or the one you love! Purchase the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Package for two at just $39.95 which includes: (2) Laser Tag, (2) 4D, (2) Go-Karts, (2) unlimited non-redemption video games, and (2) $10 game cards! Learn more at https://www.iplayamerica.com/events/upcoming-events/ or call 732.577.8200

February 19: Don’t miss the start of Pier Village’s Restaurant Week (Long Branch)! From 5:30-8:30pm each night through February 27th, Pier Village’s culinary scene will be heating up. Participating restaurants will feature a 3 course, prix fixe menu at a great price of either $25 or $35 per person. To see participating restaurants and make your reservations, visit here.

February 20: Wine, Chocolate and More at the English Manor (Ocean Township) from 5:30-7:30pm. Join the Greater Ocean Township Chamber of Commerce for their annual wine, cheese, and chocolate event!  Don’t miss this great night of fun. To learn more, click here or call 732.660.1888

February 24: Annual Chili Cookoff in The Highlands (3-7pm). At Bahrs Landing on Bay Ave, there will be two Chili Cook Off contests. There will be a “Professional” Cook Off (commercial) and an “Amateur” Cook Off (residents). Once the chili lovers have tasted all contestants’ chili, they will vote for their favorite and drop their ballot in the ballot box. Learn more here or call 732.291.4713

February 28: Yoga at Rinn Duin Brewing (Toms River) from 6:30-7:30pm. For just $12, take a yoga class and have a beer afterward. All yoga levels are welcome to attend, and the class is hosted by This is Yoga. Ages 21+ only. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Register online here, or call 732.569.3261

 

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this January 2019

Happy 2019! We’re ready to kick off the new year with some wallet-friendly activities for your family and friends. So, break out that new calendar and pencil in these dates for some free or inexpensive events happening in a town near you this month.

January 4: Pizza and Penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 6-7:30pm. Your favorite flightless bird will make a special dinnertime appearance while you and the kids enjoy pizza! Learn all about them, ask their keepers questions, and meet Perky the Penguin too. Pre-registration is required. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children. Call 914-334-2440 or email to reserve your spot is conservation@jenkinsons.com

January 5: Night Skies Hike & S’mores from 6-8pm (Lincroft). Take a hike around Thompson Park and learn what’s in the night sky before warming up by the firepit with s’mores, warm drinks, and music. Open to ages 7 and up, under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The event begins at the Thompson Park Ski Hut.  For more information, click here.

January 12: Christina Noel and Friends Hands On Cooking Class (Soule’ Culinary and Art Studio, 800 Ocean Road in Pt. Pleasant) from 5-8pm. Hands on cooking for the evening includes making wet mozzarella, stuffed baby bella mushrooms, roasted peppers, crostini, caprese, homemade ricotta for ravioli filling, maple sweet potato sauce, and soufflé for dessert. Purchase your tickets here.

January 13: Goldfish Swim School Free Family Swim (Manalapan) from 4:30-6:30pm. Goldfish Swim School is hosting an exclusive event for local families. The event includes FREE family swim, facility tours and lots of family fun! RSVP at 848-206-3584 or email swimmanalapan@goldfishss.com for more details, or click here.

January 24: New Year, New Flavor Tasting Event (Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank) from 6-9pm. Enjoy an evening of fantastic flavors from some of Red Bank’s finest restaurants, amazing dessert purveyors, and artisan breweries – all to benefit the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide and the Red Bank Business Alliance. The party will rock to the beat of the Sherri Pie Band while you feast on the best food and spirits Red Bank has to offer. There will be an auction of prizes donated by Red Bank and Monmouth County businesses that will add to the fun.  Get your tickets here.

January 26 & 27: Asbury Park Beer Fest at Convention Hall. The event takes place 12-4pm both days, and Saturday night has an additional session from 6-10pm. Advance tickets are available at ticketmaster.com or at the Stone Pony Box Office. Ages 21+ only. The event features craft beer, cider, retro beer, boardwalk food, and tasting classes. Learn more here.

January 27: Beef and Brew at Chubby Pickle in the Highlands from 3-7pm. Tickets are $30 and include a buffet dinner & brew. There will be a gift auction, pipe bands and Irish dancers to entertain. All proceeds will benefit the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Call 732-291-4713 or click here.

January 28: Taste of Long Branch Restaurant Tour at Rooney’s from 5:30-8:30pm. Join the Greater Long Branch Chamber of Commerce for their annual Long Branch Restaurant Tour. They will be showcasing the local restaurants and their talented chefs. Be prepared to taste delicious food from multiple restaurants and bakeries. Taste of Long Branch is a night to eat, drink, and be merry. Rooney’s cash bar will be open for the evening. Learn more here and purchase tickets in advance.

We hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this December 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  With so many joyful and festive events happening this month, it’s definitely going to be hard to choose which ones to attend. Enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends – check out the many free or inexpensive activities happening this December in a town near you.  Happy Holidays from all of us at First Financial, and wishing you a prosperous 2019!

December 2 – 30: Magic of Lights at PNC Arts Center in Holmdel. Don’t miss a mile of festive and vibrant light displays, which celebrates the joy of the holiday season. Experience the drive through the comfort of your own car. Hundreds of sparkling lights – a must see! Sunday through Thursday times are dusk to 10pm and Friday & Saturday are dusk – 11pm (weather permitting). Purchase tickets online and learn more here.

December 7-8 & 14-15: Christmas Lantern Tours, Allaire Village in Farmingdale. The weather is cold, but the scent of Christmas is in the air! Come celebrate the holidays with a stroll through Allaire’s lantern lit village, and learn about Christmas in 1836! Advance ticket purchase is required for this event. Tickets are available for $20 per person. The tour lasts roughly 90 minutes and is an outdoor walking door, with various stops in our historic buildings along the way. Tours begin at 5:00pm and depart from the visitor center every 15 minutes until 8:00pm.  For details call 732-919-3500 or click here.

December 4: Downtown Freehold Tree Lighting from 5-7pm at the Hall of Records. Join DownownFreehold.com and Monmouth County for the Annual Tree Lighting. The Rock and Roll Choir will perform, The Court Jester will be providing hot cider, and Ray Catena Auto group will be helping to transport some of Santa’s elves. The Freehold Fire Department will also be stopping by with a special guest! Learn more here.

December 6: Annual Holiday Bazaar at Monmouth University (West Long Branch) from 9am-4pm at the Rebecca Stafford Student Center. Local vendors will be selling a variety of fun and unique products including jewelry, home goods, clothing, cookware and much more. The event is sponsored by the Global Experience Program – Monmouth University students who will be spending their winter, spring break and summer breaks volunteering in Haiti and Guatemala to aid the under-privileged. Proceeds from vendor table rentals will help support the organizations the students are working with. For more information, contact Corey Inzana at 732-923-4768 or click here.

December 8: Free Santa Photos at all First Financial Locations (Toms River, Neptune, Howell/Freehold). Sit with Santa from 9am-12pm! Each participating child will receive a free 4×6 photo in the mail, as well as the original image file will be sent to each parent/guardian. Register at your nearest branch here, or call 732-312-1500.

Community Christmas Concert at Georgian Court University (Lakewood). Starting at 7pm, celebrate the holidays with the music of the Georgian Court Community Chorale. This diverse group of men and women of all ages will perform a wide variety of classical, traditional, and popular seasonal favorites. The singers are accompanied by piano, flute, and stringed instruments. Cost is $15 for adults; $10 for seniors; FREE for students, children & GCU community members with ID. Call 732-987-2263 or learn more here.

December 8 & 9: Ocean Grove Victorian Holiday Festival House and Inn Tour. The Inns, Homes and Tents will be open for a self-guided holiday tour. Jitney services will be available to shuttle patrons. Tour tickets are $30 per person. Saturday evening, join the Ocean Grove community for a live nativity at 5pm in the Great Auditorium and Tree Lighting and Community Sing-a-long in Auditorium Square Park at 6pm. Other activities include exhibits at the Historical Society of Ocean Grove and the Ladies Auxiliary Christmas Boutique. Ocean Grove’s beautiful downtown will be bustling and decorated for holiday enjoyment! Learn more by calling 732-774-1391 or click here.

December 8, 15, 22: Classic Horse and Wagon Rides from 1-5pm in Red Bank. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season throughout Red Bank’s Business District with a FREE classic horse and wagon ride. Wagons can be boarded at 11 Bridge Ave or 26 Broad St. Learn more here.

December 9 & 16: Sunday Brunch with Santa at the American Hotel in Freehold from 10am-3pm. Bring your wish list and your appetite to The American Hotel’s Sunday Brunch with Santa! Enjoy brunch specialties and grab a photo with Santa too. Adults $38.00, Children $19.00 (12 years and under), 3 Years and under FREE. Reservations required (732) 431-3220 or click here for more information.

December 15 & 16: A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan. Performances take place on 12/15 at 11am and 2pm, and on 12/16 at 3pm. Each performance lasts approximately one hour. Tickers required for ages 2 and up.  Get more information and purchase tickets here.

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Clause at Riverfront Park in Pt. Pleasant from 2-5pm. Come Meet Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause at the Herman Bennett Log Cabin at Riverfront Park. Free gifts and photos with Santa, train display and wonderful holiday décor, plus cookies and hot chocolate. This is a FREE event sponsored by the Point Pleasant Open Space Commission and Historical Society. Call 732-295-8850 or click here for more information.

December 23: A Very Electric Christmas at Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts (Ocean County College, Toms River).  Shows are at 3pm and 6pm, and tickets are $17 for adults and $10 for kids. Lightwire Theater, known for their signature brand of dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and music designed to evoke imagery, “A Very Electric Christmas” will be available at OCC on 12/23 only. This captivating and magical tale of adventure, friendship and love, centers on a young bird named Max and brings a whole new meaning to coming “home for the holidays.” Call 732-255-0500 or click here for details.

December 31: Ring in the New Year at iPlay America in Freehold from 7:30pm-1am. Bring the entire family and enjoy a night of rides, party favors, live DJ, and giveaways! There will be confetti cannons at midnight as you watch the ball drop on 5 large screens. This party sells out fast so get your tickets soon! Advanced ticket purchase discounts are available online. Learn more here.

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this November 2018

It’s time to kick off the start of the holiday season and there are so many great things to do with family and friends in the upcoming weeks to celebrate this special time of year! Check out our list of free or inexpensive activities happening this month in a town near you. We hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

November 2 – 4: Allaire Village’s Stocking Stuffer Sale (Wall). The Allaire Auxiliary has been hard at work all year long making handcrafted items! Everything from ornaments to scarves, decorations, and more will be available for holiday gift purchases. There will also be a hand-sewn quilt raffle. The sale takes place from 10am-3pm on 11/2 and 11/3, and from 12pm-3pm on 11/4. Learn more here, or call 732-919-3500.

November 3: Thanks4Giving Plunge (Asbury Park) is featuring your chance to take a chilly dip in the Atlantic Ocean to benefit 25,000 Special Olympics athletes in NJ. The fundraiser begins at 11am with registration, and the plunge starts at 1pm on the Asbury Park Boardwalk (Grand Arcade of Convention Hall). Register online and learn more here.

Awesome Autumn Fun at Jakes Branch Park (Beachwood) from 1-4pm. Celebrate the Fall season with a hayride through nature trails, Fall games, paint a pumpkin, enjoy hot apple cider, make crafts, and there will be a petting zoo for kids. Get more information by calling 732-281-2750 or visit http://www.oceancountyparks.org/

November 9: Thanksgiving Paint Party at Mama Bear’s Play Café (Holmdel) from 6:30-9pm. Create a “give thanks” painting on an 11×14 canvas. There will be holiday music, trivia, and prizes too! Cost to attend is $30, and tickets can be purchased online here. The registration fee includes paint supplies and holiday confections.

November 10: Fall Craft Show (Eatontown) at Ft. Monmouth Recreation Area from 9am-1pm.  Shop for those special gifts from 50+ unique, quality craft vendors just in time for the holidays! Free admission and parking.  For more information, call 732-542-1642, ext. 31 or click here.

November 10 & 11: Fall Finale Food Truck Festival at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Don’t miss the finale to the Laurita food truck season! There will be food trucks galore, family activities, and fireworks on Saturday night. Firepits will also be available all weekend, and live bands will be playing as well. Admission is $8 per person, and those under age 21 are free. Discounted tickets are available online at www.lauritawinery.com or call 609-758-8000 for more details.

November 21: Bake Sale at Allaire State Park (Wall) from 10:30am to 2:30pm. The Historic Village at Allaire’s Bakery will be hosting a Holiday Bake Sale for the Thanksgiving Season. Pre-order your favorite crumb cake or tea bread to bring home to your family or a loved one.  Baked goods must be pre-ordered and are available for pickup on November 21st  between 10:30am-2:30pm. Learn more and pre-order your baked goods here or call 732-919-3500.

November 22: Ice at the Pier (Pier Village, Long Branch) begins for the winter season from 4-9pm. From Thanksgiving to Presidents Day, visitors lace up their skates and twirl away by-the-sea at Pier Village’s iconic Ice Rink. Here you’ll find residents and visitors alike skating in the heart of Pier Village’s beautifully decorated community, exciting shops and restaurants. Adult skating price is $14, kids and seniors are $10, and skate rentals are $4. Learn more here.

November 28: Jersey Shore Premium Outlets Tree Lighting (Tinton Falls) from 5-7pm at Sand Castle Court. Help count down to the lighting of the tree with special visitors including Elsa and Olaf from Frozen. Children can enjoy complimentary face painting, hot chocolate, music, a dance performance, DJ and more.  At 6pm everyone can help welcome Santa as he makes his grand entrance from the North Pole! This event is free to attend. Learn more here.

November 29: Holiday Wreath Workshop at The Creativity Lab (Main St., Belmar) from 6-8pm. Get in the holiday spirit by making your own handmade fresh holiday wreath with Amber & Earth! The cost is $40 to participate, and you’ll get fresh winter greens, floral wire, a wreath frame and more. Don’t forget to bring a pair of garden shears and the event is also BYOB. Learn more and register here.