Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this July 2016

fireworks-3It’s time for some fun in the sun! Enjoy the beautiful weather and all the sights and sounds this season brings. Now is the perfect time to gather your family and friends to check out these free or inexpensive events in a town near you.

4th of July Celebrations:

Saturday, July 9: Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends climbing trees, jumping in puddles, playing tag, and just plain having fun? Well, Rugged Maniac at Raceway Park (Englishtown) is simply an adult version of that! Enjoy 25+ epic obstacles for you and your friends to play on (like fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels), put them in a 3-mile course, and then throw a crazy party with plenty of fun and music. Click the link above to register today!

Wednesday, July 13: It’s July, and the sun is shining brightly on the beach in Belmar. It’s time to gather all your shovels, shake out your pails, bring your sunblock and creativity and head to the 18th Avenue Beach in Belmar for the 30th Annual NJ Sandcastle Contest (rain date is July 14th). Bring friends and family for tons of fun under the Belmar sun, with prizes, games, dancing and more! Registration begins at 8am at the 18th Avenue Beach, with free admission to the beach for the event and judging begins at noon. Be sure to check out unique arts, jewelry and wares from local crafters on the beach! For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Wednesday, July 13-Sunday, July 17: Get the family ready for the 14th Annual Freedom Fest State Fair at the Horse Park of New Jersey (Allentown)! Guests can enjoy attractions and games as well as great fair food and picnic grounds. There will be a variety of exciting activities including a magic show, live animals, racing pigs and much more – bring the whole family for a fun experience. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $15 and there is a pre-sale at participating Walgreens for $10 per ticket starting June 14th. One ticket will include: free parking, free rides (unlimited), free entertainment, free attractions, free admission for children under 36 inches! For more information, call 609-610-0910.

Saturday, July 16-Sunday, July 31: Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a story for the ages and coming to the Algonquin Theatre (Manasquan) stage this summer. This fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” Various dates and show times available with tickets starting at just $20. For more information, call 732-528-9211.

Saturday, July 16 & Sunday, July 17: What better way to soak up the sun this summer than with an ocean-fresh lobster roll, followed by some clam chowder and coconut shrimp? With all the seafood you could imagine on the table, this two-day Surf & Turf Seafood Festival is all-new for Monmouth Park (Oceanport) and one you won’t want to miss! Be a part of the beginning of this seafood festival journey and enjoy your delicious summer treats with an ice-cold beer or a chilled glass of wine, while spending your weekend listening to live music, hanging out with friends or family, and getting your toes wet in some games and activities for all ages. Admission is just $5 and children under 12 are always free. For times and more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, July 23:  The Blues and Brews Festival is back for another year in Asbury Park featuring jazz, blues, food, crafts, games, good company, and plenty of family fun. This FREE event will be held from noon to 8pm in Bradley Park. For more information, call 732-933-1984.

Wednesday, July 27-Sunday, July 31: Join in the fun all weekend long at the 42nd Annual Monmouth County Fair at East Freehold Showgrounds. This year’s fair includes a home and garden competition, live music, animal shows and exhibits, food, entertainment and all new rides. For times and other information, call 732-842-4000.

Have a great summer!

Things to Do in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this June 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-109266507You can smell the freshness in the air, the warmth of the sun, and the grass between your toes – it’s almost summer! This is best time of year to indulge in fun activities and take local day-trips with family and friends. Check out these free or inexpensive activities and events below to start your next adventure…

Friday, June 3 – Sunday, June 5: It’s Red Bank’s River Fest weekend where you and your family and friends will experience a world full of endless fun! The Garden State Craft Brewers Beer Cafe and Brewmasters will be offering delicious culinary delights from local restaurants as well as from festival vendors with non-stop entertainment ranging from nearby to regional musicians! Enjoy free admission – for times and other information, call 732-741-0055.

Thursday, June 9 – Sunday, June 12: Two River Theatre (Red Bank) proudly presents a production of Where the Wild Things Are. “Let the Wild Rumpus start!” This highly interactive show is a guided play experience, adapted from the timeless classic by Maurice Sendak. The audience helps transform Max’s bedroom into the various landscapes of his adventures as they sail along to the land of the Wild Things. This award-winning, internationally acclaimed production is best enjoyed by kids ages 3 to 7 and their parents/guardians.Tickets are just $25 each with various showtimes available. For more information, call 732-345-1400.

Saturday, June 11: Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) will be hosting their Late Spring Flea Market. Hunt for hidden treasures amid furniture, books, art work, bottles, knick knacks, and so much more! The event runs from 8am-3pm and admission is just $5 per vehicle. The village, general store, and bakery will be open as well. Please note that the rain date is June 12th. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Saturday, June 18: The Atlantic Highlands will be hosting their 8th Annual Atlantic Highlands Car Show. This family friendly event features 100+ beautiful cars, two stages of live music, vendors, local food places and boutiques, face painting and more! Come stroll lovely downtown Atlantic Highlands between 12pm-5pm to enjoy the show. Admission is free! For more information, call 732-872-8711.

Sunday, June 19: This year, continue the Jersey Shore family tradition and give Dad exactly what he wants on Father’s Day – a day with his family at beautiful Monmouth Park (Oceanport)! Dad’s first bet is free and all gentlemen receive a $2 betting voucher with paid admission to spend a day thanking all the amazing dads out there. Treat Dad to brunch in the Dining Terrace or bring a picnic and enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of Monmouth Park. You can also enter Dad to win tickets to his favorite local sports teams in our Father’s Day Sports Ticket Drawing. Enjoy great live music from Jersey Shore legends Tim McLoone featuring the Shirleys plus there’s FREE Family Fun Day activities for the kids. General parking and admission are both $5; and children 12 and under are always FREE! Gates open 11:30am, first race 12:50pm. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, June 25 & Sunday, June 26: Bring the whole family to enjoy the Bradley Beach Lobsterfest! This FREE event will feature six (6) bands and DJs playing requests.
There will be over 150 craft and specialty vendors, a beer and wine garden, children’s activities including a water slide, rides, face painters and sand art and of course a great oceanfront location! For more information, call 732-869-1020.

Wednesday, June 29: The Garden Club of Spring Lake will be holding their Annual Seaside Garden Tour! Attendees will tour eight beautiful, unique seaside gardens between 10am-3pm. You will also enjoy refreshments on an historic Spring Lake porch while watching artists paint various garden scenes. All attendees can have lunch at several Spring Lake restaurants offering a 10% discount! Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 on the day of the tour. For advance tickets or information, call 917-579-6213.

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this May 2016

campingactivitiesWoohoo – we can finally come out of our hibernation period and enjoy the sun! Don’t forget to take advantage of your local parks and enjoy a bike ride, a family hike, play basketball or even a have a quaint family picnic! It’s a 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.

Sunday, May 1: Asbury Park will be holding their 5th Annual Restaurant Tour! From noon to 4pm, check out over 25 different food and beer destinations featuring small bites, sampling, and demonstrations. Tickets are available online for just $35 a person – limited amount of tickets will be for sale on 5/1. For more information, call 732-775-7676.

Saturday, May 7: Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) will be hosting two great events on this day – for more information, call 732-919-3500:

  • Spring Craft Market & Art Fair: This craft show showcases local artists as they sell and demonstrate their crafts. The craft market includes handmade items of all varieties from paintings and photography to pottery, woodworking, textiles, and beyond. Stop by anytime between 10am-4pm – admission is just $2 for adults and children under 12-years-old and members are free.
  • Mommy and Me Tea Party: Celebrate Mother’s Day with this great event for all ages. Learn about the history of tea and how it shaped our lives – there will also be storytelling and a puppet show. Make sure to bring a fuzzy friend and a fun hat! Admission is just $5 for everyone 6 years and older. Admission to the Spring Craft Market is free with tea party tickets.

Saturday, May 14 – Sunday, May 15: One of the largest seafood festivals in the nation is back for their 30th annual celebration – the Belmar Seafood Festival! Enjoy great seafood, crafters, and live entertainment all weekend long – PLUS admission is FREE. For a list of vendors and more information, click the link above.

Saturday, May 21: Shop through fine art, handmade crafts and historical antiques to the backdrop of live entertainment and the beautiful waters of the Raritan Bayshore at Keyport’s 2nd Annual Antiques and Artisan Festival. Be sure to treat all your senses and enjoy the delicious work of the town’s lively bar and restaurant community too! Guests can enjoy this FREE event and can reserve a canvas from the Arts Society of Keyport, bring their own supplies and paint along the waterfront. A free trolley service will be running between the Aberdeen-Matawan train station and the festival from 11am – 6pm. Additional parking is available at the train station and is free on weekends. For more information, call 732-739-5138.

Sunday, May 22Ocean Fun Days is the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s annual public outreach event and this year it is being held at Sandy Hook Beach. This family friendly weekend is a great opportunity to learn about New Jersey’s coastal environment and how to act wisely to care for it. Celebrate the wonders of the Jersey Shore with hands-on marine exhibits, classes, nature tours and children’s activities. For more information, call 732-872-1300 ext. 19.

Saturday, May 28-Monday, May 30: Monmouth Park’s (Oceanport) Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival is back and bigger than ever for a total of 3 DAYS! 50 trucks have signed on to participate this year, so you won’t want to miss out on mouth-watering empanadas, juicy cheesesteaks, decadent cupcakes, ocean-fresh lobster rolls, Belgian waffle sundaes, just to name a few…there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone! Bring family, bring friends, come one day or come all three – parking and admission is just $5. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

We hope you have a great month and Memorial Day!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this April 2016

Happy family gardening, planting flowers together. They are looking at the camera. The focus is on the parents. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786778][img]http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/364/familyyv.jpg[/img][/url] [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/lightbox/9786750][img]http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/2613/summerc.jpg[/img][/url]

Spring has sprung! Time to enjoy the fresh flowers, warm weather, and great outdoor activities…finally. 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!

Friday, April 8 – Sunday, April 10: The Asbury Park Music in Film Festival is here! This event is about bringing people together to share the collective passion for both music and film while also helping to inspire and support the community. The festival is unlike any other event of its kind in that it explores and celebrates a single, and perhaps the most dramatic, aspect of cinema…the role of music in film. For more than 100 years, Asbury Park has been a fabled music destination. From the bandstand shows of Arthur Pryor in 1904 to the more than 70 clubs which formed a cradle of rock during the 60s and 70s, Asbury Park and Music are forever intertwined. For the full list of show times and to purchase tickets, click here. For more information, call 732-291-9211.

Saturday, April 9: Head over to Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for their first flea market of the season! Hunt for hidden treasures amid furniture, books, art work, bottles, knick knacks, and so much more. The event will take place from 8am-3pm and admission is just $1 admission for adults, children under 12 and members get in free. The village, general store, and bakery are open as well. Please note that the rain date is Sunday, April 10th. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Friday, April 15 – Sunday, April 24: It’s Jersey Shore Restaurant Week! Enjoy a 3-course meal with your choice of an appetizer, entree and dessert for either $22.16 or $32.16. To view the full list of participating restaurants and to view their menus, click here. For more information, call 732-775-7676.

Saturday, April 16: Spring is in the Wine! Take a Walk through the Vineyard at 4JG’s Winery (Colts Neck). Spring is a time of miraculous transformation in their vineyard where the soil begins to warm and sap runs in the vines. Small nodes on the canes begin to swell. Soon the buds will break and small leaves will make their appearance. The growth of the vines in spring is truly amazing. Take a walk through the vineyard and learn about what is happening as 4JG welcomes bud break and spring. The tasting room will be open from 12pm-5pm for sampling their award winning wines. For more information, call 908-930-8066.

Tuesday, April 19: BizFest, the Jersey Shore’s largest business expo provides companies with the chance to promote their business with limitless opportunities for face-to-face networking. The 3rd edition of the Jersey Shore Biz Fest is produced by Rosa Davis and Chris Fotache and MC’d by WRAT Radio’s Rockin’ Robyn Lane. The expo will take place from 5pm-8pm at the Sheraton of Eatontown and will feature exhibits from dynamic companies in the food service, hospitality, technology, legal, marketing, insurance, financial services, wellness, banking, home improvement and other industries in our region. For more information, call 732-542-6500.

Friday, April 22: Two-time Emmy winner, NY Times bestselling author, four-time Grammy nominee, Broadway darling, 2009’s GLAAD Vanguard recipient and 2011 Trevor Project Life Award honoree, Kathy Griffin is a multi-faceted performer with rapid fire wit. She has been making audiences laugh for years discussing Hollywood gossip and celebrity blunders and is coming to Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank)! Tickets start at just $39 – click the link above for to purchase tickets in advance. For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Saturday, April 23: Bring your friends and family to the 1st Annual Lobster Run – a 5k/walk to Care for the Coast. The race will be followed by a lobster bake on the boardwalk at Langosta Lounge (Asbury Park). Click the link above to register and buy post-race lobster bake tickets. For more information, call 732-291-0055.

Saturday, April 30 – Sunday, May 1: The annual Weekend in Old Monmouth has arrived. This annual two-day event allows visitors to see more than 40 of Monmouth County’s historic sites for free! The event is a self-guided tour and will take place Saturday from 10am-5pm and Sunday from 12pm-5pm. For a list of participating historical sites, click the link above – for more information, call 732-431-7460 ext. 7413.

We hope you have a happy spring!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this March 2016

colourbox1245002This March is filled with fun and festive holidays – St. Patrick’s Day, the start of Spring, and Easter. So let’s spring into March with a little bit of luck and have some fun with family and friends! Check out the list of free or inexpensive events below that are happening near you, and pencil in a few activities to enjoy.

Local St. Patrick’s Day Parades:

Friday, March 11: Sparking his career at the tender age of 12 years old, Nick Carter toured the globe for the last two decades with the group that made him an international pop superstar, Backstreet Boys. After going solo and also coming back as a group, Nick Carter is stopping at iPlay America (Freehold) during his All American Tour for one night only! Tickets start at just $30 and the show beings at 8pm – for more information, call 732-577-8200.

Saturday, March 12: Come out for a good cause to the Highlands Business Partnership’s 3rd Annual Guinness Run fundraiser. The event will start at 2pm and registration is $30.00 and includes a commemorative t-shirt, a pint glass, and access to the Post-Race Party at the Claddagh. All proceeds go to the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For more information, call 732-291-4713.

Sunday, March 13: It’s time to kick off Belmar’s Restaurant Tour! Sample some of the best chef creations from top shore restaurants from noon to 4:30pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Brandl, Mr. Shrimp, 10th Ave. Burrito, and Simply Southern. Tickets are $30 through March 12 and the day-of-event tickets are $35 (available at Brandl – 703 Belmar Plaza). For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Tuesday, March 22: Monmouth University (West Long Branch) brings the Theatreworks’ production of Charlotte’s Web – based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. A great event for children – tickets start at just $12. For more information, call 732-263-5715.

Saturday, March 26: Hop over to Allaire Village for an Easter Egg Hunt! There are over 10,000 eggs in the village for children of all ages to find. Hunts are divided into age groups and take place every 15 minutes continuously throughout the day from 12pm-4pm. Register in advance to avoid lines the day of – plus, children under 3 years old are free. Other activities include story time with Clifford the Big Red Dog, visits from the Easter Bunny, bonnet parade and contest, games, tours, and craft demonstrations. To purchase tickets in advance, click the link above – for more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, March 27: Asbury Park Convention Center will be holding it’s 81st Annual Easter Parade. What a perfect way to kick off the holiday with the entire family – plus, it’s FREE! Head on down to the Convention Center’s Paramount Theatre from 1pm-2:30pm to see the Easter Bunny and great “Spring” sights. For more information, call 732-502-5752.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Easter!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this February 2016

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.

Wednesday, February 10: The State Ballet Theater of Russia presents one of the greatest classical ballets of all time, Swan Lake at Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank). This full-scale production, set to the music of Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell. The State Ballet Theater of Russia presents 50 of Russia’s brightest ballet stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life! Tickets start at just $30. For more information and showtimes, call 732-842-9000.

Saturday, February 13: Take five of the top musicians from the greater New York area and create a sound that blends a healthy serving of traditional jazz, a touch of blues and rock, a dash of international flair, combined with a steady mix of standards and new material; and you begin to have a sense of the tasty cocktail that Sweet Whiskey will be serving up. This Valentine’s Day, take your loved one to enjoy “Jazz, Love, & Sweet Whiskey” at 8pm to hear all those songs that make your heart pitter patter at Algonquin Arts Theatre (Manasquan). For more information, call 732-528-9211.

Thursday, February 18: Join us at 6:00pm for our “How to Buy & Sell Your Home” Seminar, presented by the experts at First Financial. Learn how to go about buying a new home, the best way to sell your current home, figure out how much house you can afford to buy, budgeting tips for home improvement projects, plus so much more! The event will be held at our Wall Office at 1800 Route 34 North (Building 3, Suite 302), Wall. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today! For more information, call 866-750-0100.

Sunday, February 21: Take the journey of a lifetime and step into the “unbubblelievable” magical kingdom of Fan Yang’s Mega Bubble Show at the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank)! The first and only, interactive stage production of its kind, complete with fantastic light effects, lasers, and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry – this unforgettable extravaganza is not to be missed. Bring the whole family for a day of fun – showtimes are at 12pm and 3pm and tickets start at just $20. For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday at historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale). In the early 1800’s there were no holidays that the new nation could bond over more so than George Washington’s birthday. There were dances and festivities in almost every town, so join the workers and their families of the Howell Iron Works in a day of celebration! There will be a special reenactment in the Chapel at 1pm and hearth cooking and craft demonstrations as well as house tours. This event is a great reason to get out of the house during winter and explore the village! For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Head over to Havana Tropical Cafe (Highlands) for their Annual Chili Cookoff! All proceeds will directly benefit the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Sample some of the best chili in the area – the event will take place from 3-7pm and is $30 per person which includes chili tasting and beer. For more information, call 732-291-4713.

Sunday, February 21 – Wednesday, March 3: Mark your calendars! February is the time to dine fine in Red Bank – it’s Red Bank Restaurant Week! From February 21-March 3 (excluding Friday and Saturday), take advantage of $20, $25 and $30 prix fixe dining at over 20 outstanding restaurants, including many brand new eateries! Menus include appetizer, entree and dessert – click the link above to check out the participating restaurants and menus. For more information, call 732-842-4244.

Thursday, February 25: Join us at 6pm for a complimentary “Income for Life” Seminar, presented by the Investment & Retirement Center located at First Financial. Learn the sources of retirement income to rely on and strategies to consider, current retirement risks and how you’re drawing on your savings, and how to use annuities to guarantee income for life. The event will be held at our Freehold/Howell Service Center located at 389 Route 9 North (Next to the Howell Park & Ride), Howell. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today! For more information, call 866-750-0100.

Happy Valentine’s Day!