Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this December 2022

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.

December 2:

The Manasquan Annual Candy Cane Hunt will take place from 6pm-8:30pm at Main Street Squan Plaza. Learn more here, or email info@manasquanchamber.org. You may also call 732-223-8303. This event is free to attend!

Downtown Toms River Tree Lighting takes place from 5pm-8:15pm in the courtyard of town hall. There will be live entertainment, hot chocolate and cookies, Santa will be arriving on a firetruck and then there will be photos with Santa as well. Learn more here.

December 3:

Allaire Christmas Lantern Tours (Wall) takes place from 5pm-8pm at the Historic Village at Allaire. Tickets cost $35-$45 and can be purchased here or you can call 732-919-3500 for more information.

Brielle Chamber of Commerce’s 1st Annual Holiday in the Park will take place from 2pm-6pm at Brielle Park. Come and enjoy a fun filled event for all ages with food, Santa, shopping, pony rides, caroling and more. This all leads up to the tree lighting! For more information click here or call 732-528-0377.

Ocean Grove Holiday Festival will take place from 10am-3pm on Main Avenue. Come and enjoy crafters, artisans and live music from Terry and the Hats from 11am-1pm, and Band of Strays from 1pm-3pm. For more information click here or call 732-774-1391.

Carriage Rides through Historic Allentown Village takes place from 11am- 2pm at Allentown Borough Hall. What a wonderful time of the year to enjoy Historic Allentown by horse drawn carriage! For more information click here or call 609-259-3151.

Bell Works Holiday Markets (Holmdel) takes place from 2pm-7pm. This event is also available on December 7th from 11am-4pm, and again on December 10th from 2pm-7pm. Take advantage of the opportunity to shop local this holiday season! For more information click here or call 732-226-8818.

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar will take place from 12pm-5pm at Grand Arcade of Convention Hall. The Bazaar will feature a curated roster of the best local and regional artists, vendors and shops selling vintage goods, art, photography, live music, food, holiday photo stations, craft workshops, kids’ activities and more. For additional information, click here or call 732-897-6500.

December 4: Jackson Township’s Toyland will take place from 10am-3pm at the Senior Center on Don Connor Blvd. Walk through a winter wonderland, visit the train room, leave a letter for Santa, visit the gift shop, meet your favorite characters, enjoy face painting, balloon art, refreshments, and while supplies last – kids 10 and under will receive a free dressed teddy bear from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Learn more here or call 732-928-1200.

December 6: Downtown Freehold’s Tree Lighting takes place from 5pm-7pm at the Hall of Records. This free event is a great opportunity for the entire family. The Rock and Roll Choir will perform, The Court Jester will be providing hot cider, and the Freehold Fire Department may even stop by with a special guest! For more information click here or call 732-333-0094.

December 9:

Christmas Holiday Evening Stroll (Wall) takes place from 6pm-9:30pm at the Historic Village at Allaire. This is a rare self-guided tour through Allaire Village at night as candles and lights beautifully illuminate the village. The general store will also be open for gift shopping, the bakery will be open for sweet treats, and other various historical buildings will be accessible. Bring the entire family out, ticket costs range from $4-$8. This event is also scheduled for December 16th. For more information click here or call 732-919-3500.

New Egypt Holiday Flea Market from 5pm-8pm at 933 Monmouth Road in Cream Ridge. Eat, shop, drink (wine samples provided by Cream Ridge Winery for those ages 21+) and be merry! Get more info here.

December 10:

Breakfast with Santa (Freehold) takes place from 9am-12:30pm at Sweet Lew’s Café, 6 East Main St. For more information click here or call 732-308-1887.

Winter Wonderland (Pt. Pleasant) will be happening from 4pm-7pm at Pleasure Park on St. Louis Ave. Suggested admission is a $5-$10 unwrapped gift for Toys for Tots and $2 per person to go toward Pt. Pleasant Beach Recreation Committee Fundraising. You won’t want to miss photos with Santa, a pet friendly photo booth, an ice sculptor, hot cocoa and other refreshments, reindeer rides, a movie in the park, holiday crafts, cards for soldiers, carolers, a DJ, and lots of holiday cheer! Learn more here, or you can email recreationcommittee@pointbeach.org

December 11:

Sunday Brunch with Santa (Freehold) begins at 10am and goes until 3pm at the American Hotel. For more information click here or call 732-333-0094. This event also takes place again on December 18th.

5th Annual Santa Fun Run (Highlands) goes from 11am- 2pm at Proving Ground Waterfront Dining. Also happening from 10am-1pm is breakfast and photos with Santa, so bring the kids for a fun experience. To learn more about registering for the Fun Run click here or call 732-291-4713.

Bayshore Holiday Bazaar (Atlantic Highlands) takes place from 12pm-5pm at Shore Casino. Celebrate the holidays with family & friends at this great event for all ages (it’s also pet friendly). Have fun while shopping, enjoy the beautiful decor, holiday photo stations, and food/drinks. For more information click here.

December 16: Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights (Pt. Pleasant) takes place from 4pm-8pm at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk on Ocean Ave. This winter wonderland includes treats, crafts, pictures with Santa, games, diving Santa and holiday entertainment. The Aquarium, Sweet Shop, Aquarium Gift Shop, Pavilion and Pavilion Arcade will also be open. This event will also be held on 12/17, 12/27 and 12/28. Learn more here, or call 732-892-0600.

December 17: Lighting Up Nature (Beachwood) from 6pm-8pm at Jakes Branch County Park on Double Trouble Road. If you’re heading out to drive around and check out holiday lights, don’t forget to swing by this free holiday light display! This event also takes place on 12/18 and 12/19. Learn more here, or call 732-506-9090.

December 21: Wondrous Winter Walk at Big Brook Park (Marlboro) begins at 10am in the lower pond parking lot (County Road 520). Toss on your winter gear and tag along with a Park System Naturalist as you explore the park in winter. Open to all ages, and free to attend. Sturdy footwear is recommended also. See more information here or call 732-842-4000, ext. 4312.

December 31:

Annual JSRC New Year’s Eve Twilight Fun Run and Party (Manasquan) takes place from 4pm-6:30pm at Leggett’s Sand Bar. This event is $20-$35 to attend, depending upon if you are attending the party, the run, or both. More information is available here, or call 732-223-3951.

First Night Ocean County (Seaside Heights) takes place from noon to 5pm at 410 Boardwalk. This is an annual NYE event among participating boardwalk arcades, and admission is $10. Find out more details here, or call 732-830-3700.

Happy Holidays from all of us at First Financial, and wishing you a prosperous 2023!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this November 2022

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.

November 4:

Jersey Shore Restaurant Week (Monmouth & Ocean Counties) runs from November 4th through November 13th and covers a wide range of participating restaurants from Seaside Heights to Red Bank, and several towns in between! Enjoy a 3-course meal with your choice of an appetizer, entrée and dessert for either $30.22 or $40.22. See the participating restaurants, menu and details here. You can also contact jim@jerseyshorerestaurantweek.com or 732-859-5643.

Allaire Village Auxiliary Stocking Stuffer Sale (Wall) takes place from 10am to 3pm (November 4th and 5th) and from 12-3pm on Sunday, November 6th at the Historic Village at Allaire in the Visitor Center. Admission for this event is free. For more information click here or call 732-919-3500.

November 5:

Broadway at the Barn (Holmdel) will take place from 8pm-9:30pm at the Holmdel Theatre Company on Crawfords Corner Road. Come and enjoy a great fall night of storytelling, laughter and music. Doors open approximately 30 minutes prior to show time and tickets cost $49. Tickets can be purchased here. For more information click here, or call 732-946-0427.

Ocean Grove’s Fall Fling Arts & Craft Show takes place from 10am-4pm at Auditorium Square Park. Don’t miss this wonderful event to come out and shop, dance and dine with other crafters, food vendors and bands. There will be live music too! Admission is free. Learn more or call 732-774-1391.

Awesome Autumn Campfire (Beachwood) will take place from 1pm-3pm at Jakes Branch County Park on Double Trouble Road. Enjoy live music, lawn games and refreshments with the family. Don’t forget to Bring a blanket and chairs. Click here to learn more or visit Ocean County Parks & Recreation on Facebook for the latest updates. You may also contact them at 732-506-9090.

November 10: Santa is coming to the Freehold Raceway Mall from 11am-7pm. The magic of the holiday season comes alive with a visit from Santa’s winter wonderland. The entire family is welcome for this fun event. Don’t miss the opportunity to pre-book your appointment to reduce your wait time here. A visit with Santa is always free, and photo packages are available for purchase. Learn more here, or call 732-577-1144.

November 11: Holiday Sip and Shop (Keyport) takes place from 4-8pm at the Kevin Kelly Salon.  This free event is an excellent way to kick off the holiday season. Enjoy a signature cocktail and hors d’oeuvres while getting a head start on your holiday shopping. A portion of the proceeds will help the children from the Collier group home celebrate the holidays. To learn more about this event visit their website, follow the salon on Instagram, or call 732-497-0025.

November 12:  Monmouth Fall Craft Show (Tinton Falls) starts at 9am until 2pm at Fort Monmouth Recreation. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping while enjoying a craft show featuring many hand-made items. Admission and parking are free.  For more information click here, or call 848-456-4278.

November Food Truck Festival (New Egypt) will take place from 11am-9:30pm (Saturday, 11/12) and 11am-8pm (Sunday, 11/13) at Laurita Winery. Admission is $12 online in advance or $14 at the door for guests 21 and older. For more information and to purchase event tickets, click here.

November 13: Holiday Gifts, Crafts & Collectibles Fair (Toms River) will run from 10am-3pm at Toms River High School South. You can expect several vendors, baked goods, used books, displays by numerous historical societies, and a 50/50 raffle. There is free admission to this event. For more information contact Jeff at 609-339-9134, or you can learn more here.

November 20: Monmouth Museum Holiday Train Display (Lincroft) starts from 10am-4pm at the Monmouth Museum on campus at Brookdale Community College on Newman Springs Road. You won’t want to miss seeing this train with the family for free, from November to January 8, 2023. Learn more here or call 732-747-2266.

November 25:

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar starts on 11/25 and runs every weekend through December 18th from 12pm-5pm at the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall. Come enjoy this great event featuring shopping, dining, entertainment, and beautiful holiday décor. Learn more here or call 732-897-6500.

Tree Lighting and Santa’s Arrival (Pt. Pleasant) begins at 5:30pm-8:30pm at Downtown Point Pleasant Beach.  Get your picture taken with Santa at Ocean County Music, and also enjoy refreshments, horse and carriage rides, and many more activities for the children. To lean more, click here or call 732-899-2424.

November 26: Santa’s Viking Christmas Village (Barnegat Light, LBI) takes place from 10am-5pm at the Historic Viking Village. Come and enjoy over 40 artists and crafters, live music, a fire pit, s’mores bar, lawn games, food and special holiday sales. Santa will arrive at 1pm by firetruck! Admission is free. Get more information here.

November 27: Celebrate the Arrival of Santa (Freehold) from 11am-1pm at iPlay America. Meet Santa and get a free photo-op while making holiday crafts that you can take home. You can even spread more cheer and donate a toy or $5 towards gifts for charity, and also get 2 hours of unlimited video games. Click here for more information or call 732-577-8200.

November 29: Holiday Market (LBI) starts at 10am and runs until 3pm at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Long Beach Township.  You can expect to see amazing clothing, jewelry and ceramics made by local residents. To learn more, click here or call 609-494-1241.

November 30: Holiday Style Luncheon & Shopping Spree (Shrewsbury) takes place from 11am-4pm, at the Shadowbrook. This event is hosted by the Monmouth Conservation Foundation and will feature guest speaker Lee Woodruff. Tickets cost $175 and can be purchased here. For more details, click here or call 731-747-0200.

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving holiday with loved ones!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this October 2022

Hello Autumn! It’s that time of the year again when the leaves are changing, the weather is amazing, and you can grab a hot pumpkin coffee and a sweater and check out this list of all the great Fall events happening in a town near you.

Halloween House Ocean County (Toms River) at the Ocean County Mall on Hooper Avenue. This event is ongoing throughout October and is available at multiple days and times, and you won’t want to miss the Halloween fun for all ages! Get all the details and purchase your tickets online here, or call 732-244-8200.

October 5:  Fall Concert Series (Downtown Freehold) takes place from 7:30pm to 9:30pm on East Main Street at the Hall of Records. Come and enjoy an evening of upbeat and entertaining music. This is a free event for everyone. For more information click here, or call 732-333-0094.

October 7: Annual Oktoberfest (Asbury Park) will be happening at the Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten on Lake Avenue from 4pm until midnight. Come and enjoy live music, food, and beer complemented by Munich-style tents on the roof top. This event is for adults 21+ only. Learn more here, or call 732-997-8767.

October 8:

Fall Outdoor Antique and Flea Market (Ocean Township) will take place from 9am-3pm at the Historical Museum on Deal Road. This event is free admission. Find out more information here, or call 732-531-2136.

Fall Harvest Festival (Ocean Grove) starts at 10am and runs until 4pm at Auditorium Square Park on Main Avenue. The event will be held rain or shine, and is free to attend. There will be an arts and crafts show, and live music as well. There will also be parking and a shuttle at Midtown Community Elementary School on Rt. 33 in Neptune. Get more information by calling 732-774-1391 or click here.

Fall Taste of Highlands at Huddy Park, from 12pm-5pm. Enjoy five hours of delicious food samplings and cocktails from nearly 20 restaurants and retailers. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased here, which also includes free parking and a map of participating establishments. To get more information click here or call 732-291-4713.

October 9: Stafford Fall Wine & Harvest Festival (Manahawkin) takes place from 12pm-5pm at Heritage Train Park on West Bay Avenue. Don’t miss this great event for adults 21+ to learn about and sample wines created by some of New Jersey’s leading wineries.  Enjoy live music, and be sure to get in line for some tasty eats from the food trucks. You’ll also want to bring your own chairs or blankets. Tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the gate. For more information call 732-991-1672 or click here.

October 12:

Flavor of Freehold takes place at 10 East Main Street from 5:30pm-8pm. Get ready to take a tour of Downtown Freehold with your event passport, and sample signature treats from different establishments and shops. Tickets are $20 each, and you can find out more about the evening and purchase tickets online here. Be sure to support this event as proceeds go toward preventing substance abuse. Questions? Call 732-333-0094.

Downtown Toms River’s Scarecrow Walk begins, and runs through October 31st. The streets will be lined with scarecrows for this annual event.  For two weeks, the public is invited to visit and vote on their favorite. Participating businesses will have ballots for voting.  Just look for the Scarecrow Walk poster in their window. Learn more here, or call 732-341-8738.

October 14: Family Halloween Movie Night (Downtown Freehold) starts at 7pm with a showing of Ghostbusters at the Hall of Records on East Main Street. This event is free to attend. Get more details by calling 732-333-0094 or click here.

October 15:

Ocean Grove Vintage Car Show from 10am-3pm on Main Avenue. The event will be held rain or shine. A canned good or $5 donation is preferred to attend this event, and all proceeds will benefit St. Paul’s Food Pantry. There will be live music throughout the day as well. Find out more here, or call 732-774-1391.

Brick Fall Fest at Windward Beach Park from 1pm-7pm. Fall Fest is a family friendly event that features food trucks, games, hatchet throwing, rides, fire pits, a cornhole tournament, and much more! The event concludes with a fireworks display and is free to attend. Call 732-262-1000 or visit https://www.bricktownship.net/ for additional details.

Fall Fireworks Festival (Pt. Pleasant) will be taking place from 5pm-9pm at Riverfront Park on River Road. There will be music, activities, food vendors, and fireworks will begin at dusk. Get more information.

October 16: The American Cancer Society’s Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk (Pt. Pleasant Beach) begins at 10am. Come join our team, The First Financial Fighters or donate online to this important cause. Learn more here, or call 732-820-7075. Every little bit helps – Think Pink!

October 22:

Howl-O-Ween Familyfest and K-9 Costume Contest (Upper Freehold) will be happening from 12pm-5pm at Marty’s Place Senior Dog Sanctuary, located at 118 Rt. 526. There will be a 50/50 raffle, vendors, food trucks, and live music. For the dogs, there will be pet photos, a ghost walk, a dog friendly hayride, puppuccino drinks, a costume contest, and more! General admission is $5 each, kids under 6 are free. Learn more here, or call 609-259-1278.

Fall Festival and Outdoor Movie (Barnegat) from 11am to 7pm, located at the field across from the firehouse at 14 Birdsall St. The event features food trucks, children’s inflatables, live music, craft vendors, fire pits and a showing of Hocus Pocus on the lawn at dusk. Admission is $10 for adults, children are free. Call 609-698-0080 ext.130 or click here for more information.

October 23: Lakewood PBA Auto Show will take place from 9am-2pm at the Blue Claws Stadium. Pre-registration to attend is $10, or $15 on the day of the car show. Find out more details here.

October 26: Halloween Ladies Night at the Mathis House (Toms River) on 600 Main Street at 6pm. This is an opportunity to get dressed in your best costume for a special Halloween-themed evening of tea, dinner, contests and shopping. Tickets cost $25 per person to attend. Get more information by calling 732-818-7580 or you can learn more here.

October 29 & 30: Jenkinson’s Boo at the Boardwalk (Pt. Pleasant) from 12-4pm each day. There will be crafts, face painting, a beach maze, underwater pumpkin carving, some kiddie rides & more! Call 732-892-0600 or click here to learn more.

October 31: Toms River Volunteer Fire Company’s Annual Halloween Parade begins at 7pm. The parade route begins at the Toms River Shopping Center on the corner of Highland Parkway and Rt. 166 and travels down Main Street turning left onto Washington Street ending at the corner of Washington Street and Hooper Avenue. Registration is from 8am to 4pm on the day of the parade at the firehouse, 26 Robbins St. You can find out more by calling 732-341-0144 or visiting their Facebook page.

We hope you all enjoy Autumn and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this September 2022

Summer is officially winding down and the kids are heading back to school for another year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great inexpensive events happening near you. Check out the list of activities that are kicking off your local summer and the start of fall. Enjoy!

September 2:  Fire Pit Friday (Brant Beach, LBI) takes place at 68th Street Beach from 7-9pm. Come and enjoy a free fire pit concert to kick off the long holiday weekend! Learn more by calling 609-361-1000 or click here.

September 3: Brick Farmer’s Market from 8:30am to 1:30pm at Windward Beach on Princeton Avenue. Get more information by calling 732-262-1000 or visit their Facebook page.

September 5: Jenkinson’s Labor Day Fireworks (Pt. Pleasant) begin at dark at 300 Ocean Avenue. Don’t miss the last showing of the summer! Call 732-892-0600 or click here.

September 9: Romantic Italian Dinner at the Mathis House (Toms River) at 7pm. This wonderful evening will include live music, great Italian food and dessert and is $42 per person to attend. Reserve your spot by calling 732-818-7580 or visit their website.

September 10:

Ocean County Irish Festival (Manahawkin Lake Park) from 11am to 7pm. There is free admission and parking, plus a beer garden, extensive food vendors, live music and Irish step dancing, craft vendors, kids’ activities, a raffle, and more. Learn more here.

Giant Fall Flea Market (Ocean Grove) from 9am to 4pm. Put your walking shoes on, because there will be dozens of vendors lined up from the Great Auditorium to the ocean for the annual Giant Fall Flea Market! This event will be held rain or shine, and there is free admission. Additional parking is available at the Midtown Community Elementary School on Rt. 33 in Neptune, and there will be a shuttle from this location. Learn more at https://www.oceangrovenj.com/events or call 732-774-1391.

September 15: Jersey Shore Arts Center “E.T.” Outdoor Movie (Ocean Grove) begins at 8pm and goes until 10pm (66 South Main Street). This event is free to attend! Call 732-502-0050 for more information, or click here to register to attend online.

September 16: Stargazing Boat Cruise (Belmar) from 9pm to 11:30pm at the Belmar Marina, 905 Rt. 35. Cruise out into the ocean, away from all the lights, for an amazing astronomy experience! Tickets are $60 each and reservations are required. Click here to reserve your spot, or call 732-681-2266.

September 17:

Pt. Pleasant Festival of the Sea begins at 10am and goes until 7pm. Don’t miss the 44th annual festival, one of the best of the Jersey Shore area! Visit some of the best Point Pleasant Beach area restaurants, over 200 crafters & vendors, live music, games, wine garden, family activities, and free shuttle service. The event takes place in downtown Pt. Pleasant Beach, and you can find out more by calling 732-899-2424 or visit https://www.pointpleasantbeachchamber.com/

Fall Apple Fest at the Allaire Historic Village (Wall) begins at 11am and goes until 4pm. Try your hand at apple cider pressing, an apple pie baking contest, strolling villagers, historic demonstrations, games and so much more! There will also be demonstrations of blacksmithing, carpentry, fiber arts, tinsmithings & weaving throughout the day. The bakery and general store will be open also. Adult admission tickets are $8 and children ages 3-12 years old are $4 each, and must be purchased in advance. Click here to learn more or call 732-919-3500.

Brick Kite Festival from 11am to 4pm at Brick Beach III (2301 Ocean Blvd., Mantoloking). Sky Festival Productions will be entertaining viewers with giant kites flown by professional kite flyers. Other attractions will be giant bubbles, a candy drop from a kite, running with the bolls race, and beautiful ground displays. Find out more details.

September 18: ‘Que by the Sea (Seaside Heights) takes place from 12-8pm at 410 Boardwalk on Grant Avenue. This event is free admission to attend, and will feature lots of great BBQ food and craft vendors. Call 732-830-3700 or go to https://exit82.com/boardwalk/ to find out more.

September 22: Make and Take Pasta Making Class (Toms River) from 10am to 12pm at the Rutgers Cooperative Association of Ocean County, 1623 Whitesville Road. Have you ever wanted to try your hand at making homemade pasta but felt a bit unsure about the process and how the results would come out? This in person class will explore the basics of pasta made from scratch. Learn more by calling 732-349-1246 or click here.

September 23:

Jersey Shore Boat Expo (Lakewood) takes place from 11am to 6pm at FirstEnergy Park, 2 Stadium Way. The event also continues Saturday 9/24 from 10am-6pm and Sunday 9/25 from 10am-5pm. Adults are $7 each and kids 12 and under are free. Find out more information.

Asbury Fest (Asbury Park) takes place from 5-10pm at Bradley Park (1301 Ocean Avenue). The event also continues Saturday (11am-10pm) and Sunday (11am-6pm). Start with some of the best festival food around, add a dash of music, and a pinch of surprises and you have a three-day culinary event you don’t want to miss. This year’s event will be held across the street from the iconic Convention Hall. Learn more here, or call 732-775-7676.

Fall Sunflower Festival (Cream Ridge) at Holland Ridge Farms opens 9/23 and runs through October 23rd. Pick your own sunflowers and more! Admission is $13 for attendees ages 3 and up. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 9/24 and 9/25 will also feature the Fall Food Truck Festival, with over 30 food trucks. Don’t miss it! Get more information by calling 609-448-7483.

September 24: Kids Day America (Wall Township) takes place from 10am-2pm and is free to attend. This annual health awareness event takes place at the Wall Municipal Building, 2700 Allaire Road. Find out more by calling 732-820-4792 or click here.

September 25: Taste of Atlantic Highlands goes from 12-4pm on First Avenue in the business district. The cost to attend is $45 for adults and $10 for kids, and you’ll get to sample delicious cuisine, desserts, and beverages from the restaurants, pubs, bars, breweries, coffee shops, bakeries and meet and greet business owners from retail boutiques. Learn more by calling 732-872-8711 or visit ahchamber.org

September 30: Haunt O’Ween (Holmdel) opens for its first night, and will take place at Bell Works, 101 Crawfords Corner Road starting at 4pm. You and your family will be able to wander through 200,000 square feet of performances, games, rides, photo ops and more immersive Halloween fun. Kids will love trick-or-treating inside, dancing, having their face painted or jumping around in the bounce houses and slide. Come in costume and take tons of photos amidst the thousands of pumpkins! Tickets are $40 each, and children under 2 are free. Haunt O’Ween will be open Fridays through Sundays until October 31st, with special hours of operation the week before Halloween. Learn more at https://hauntoween.com/new-jersey/ and purchase admission tickets online.

We hope you all enjoy the rest of summer and wishing all the teachers and students a great new upcoming school year this month!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this August 2022

As the Summer continues to heat up, let’s look at some free and inexpensive activities to cool it down this August. Grab the entire family and explore these fun happenings around you!

August 1: Monday Concert Series (Seaside) begins at 7pm to dusk on the Franklin Avenue Stage at Seaside Heights Boardwalk. Bring a beach chair and enjoy the sounds of the local singers each week. Learn more here, or call 732-830-3700.

August 2:

National Night Out – Check your local police department’s website or Facebook page for fun, safe family activities! Learn more about the origin of the celebration here.

Jenkinson’s Boardwalk Kite Festival (Pt. Pleasant) from 11am-5pm. Enjoy kite flying, music, games, prizes and unforgettable special moments. Bring the entire family out! *Beach entry fees do apply for this event. Get more information here, or call 732-892-0600.

August 3: Free Family Outdoor Movie Night (Freehold) begins at 8:30pm with a showing of the Lion King (G) 1994, at the Hall of Records downtown. Don’t forget to bring your snacks and lawn chairs! Learn more here.

August 5: Princess Sing-A-Longs (Seaside) every Friday in August at Casino Pier from 3pm-5pm, 800 Ocean Terrace in Seaside Heights. Find out more here, or call 732-793-6488.

August 6:

Old Freehold Day at Topanemus Park, will feature a kids zone, food, various vendors, bouncy rides, a petting zoo and more! The event takes place from 12-5pm at 251 Pond Rd. Find out more details here.

Made in Monmouth (Cream Ridge) takes place from 12-6pm at Cream Ridge Winery, 145 Rt. 539. This event is free to attend. Attendees ages 21+ will get to sample wine while shopping for items by two dozen local Monmouth County vendors. Get more details.

August 6 & 7: New Jersey Friends of Clearwater Festival (Red Bank) from 11am-7pm at Riverside Gardens Park. Don’t miss the 47th annual celebration of music and the environment with live music on two stages, vendors, food and free sailboat rides. To learn more, click here.

August 7:

American Girl Doll Tea (Ocean Township) from 1-3:30pm at the Eden Woolley House Yard, 703 Deal Road. Attendees will get to complete a custom-made craft, enjoy refreshments, tour the house museum, and there will also be a doll shop available. Tickets are $30 and include one adult and one child. Call 732-531-6040 or click here for more information.

Argos Farm Sunflower Festival (Lacey) from 3-8:30pm, 1250 Lacey Road. There will be live music, photo opportunities, treats, an obstacle course, corn hole, tractors, and lots more! And of course you can pick your own sunflowers too. Learn more here.

August 8: Free Movie Mondays on the Beach (LBI) starts at 7pm. “The Goonies” will be shown at 7pm at 68th Street Beach in Brant Beach (6805 Long Beach Blvd.). Family Promise of Southern Ocean County will be selling concessions to help support their organization. For more information, click here.

August 10: Free Family Outdoor Movie Night (Freehold) begins at 8:30pm featuring Dora and the Lost City of Gold PG (2019) at the Hall of Records downtown.  Bring your snacks and lawn chairs! Learn more here or call 732-333-0094.

August 11: A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing (Howell) from 10am-2pm at the Manasquan Reservoir. Learn how to rig, bait, cast and hopefully catch your first fish! This event is free to attend. To learn more and register, click here.

August 13: Brick and Central’s Summertime Carnival (Bayville) from 5-10pm at Central Regional High School, 509 Forest Hills Parkway. There will be carnival rides, games of chance, food trucks and lots of fun! Learn more here, or call 732-269-1100.

August 19: Live Music (Downtown Freehold) from 7pm-9pm.  Don’t miss this free event at the Downtown Freehold Gazebo (1 East Main St.)! Learn more here, or call 732-333-0094.

August 22: Women’s Networking Event (Toms River) at Playa Bowls located at 224 Rt 37, from 5pm-8pm. If you are interested in networking with other local women, there are monthly meetings focusing on various topics regarding health and wellness. The topic for 8/22 is essential oils and massage therapy. The cost to attend is $25, which includes a $15 food credit. Learn more and purchase your ticket here.

August 27: Beachwood Community Day from 12-4pm at Birch & Surf Park, 1001 Ensign Avenue. There will be lots of vendors, giveaways, games, inflatables, pony rides, a petting zoo, live music, food and more! Get more information here.

August 28: Free Movies on the Beach (Seaside) begins at 8pm at Carteret Avenue Beach. Boss Baby 2 will be shown on 8/28. Bring your own beach chairs and blankets! Learn more here or call 732-830-3700.

August 30: Hot Halloween (Pt. Pleasant) will take place at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk from 3pm-7pm. This is a free event for all ages, so don’t forget to dust off those costumes to have a great time! Find out more.

August 31: They Might Be Giants (Asbury Park) will be performing at Asbury Lanes, located at 209 4th Avenue. Doors open at 7pm, come out to bowl and get a chance to see a great performance. To purchase tickets, visit https://www.asburylanes.com/ or call 732-361-6659.

We hope you all enjoy the rest of summer and wishing all the teachers and students a great new upcoming school year!

Inexpensive Summer Activities in Monmouth & Ocean Counties

As most of us know, living in or visiting our beautiful Jersey Shore area – is one of the best places to be in summer. There are so many great outdoor activities for those of all ages. Even better, many of these things to do are free! Keep reading to discover no or low-cost family fun in Monmouth and Ocean Counties, that you can still partake in all summer long.

Free Outdoor Movies

Great Play & Spraygrounds

Downtown Red Bank

Red Bank is a great place to spend the day walking around! There is much to see and do from the Navesink River area, Count Basie and Two River Theater Companies, lots of shopping, restaurants, art, and music. There is also free parking every Sunday! Plan how you’d like to spend your fun-filled day trip to Red Bank by visiting https://www.redbank.org/

Tour a Lighthouse

  • Sea Girt Lighthouse is located at Ocean Avenue and Beacon Blvd.
  • Barnegat Lighthouse at the northern tip of Long Beach Island in Ocean County

Walk the Boardwalk

Take a relaxing evening stroll down any Jersey Shore beach town’s boardwalk. Don’t forget to indulge in some ice cream depending on which one you decide to visit, or pick up some salt water taffy! You can also never go wrong with simply sitting on a boardwalk bench and taking in the peaceful sound of the ocean waves – any day of the week.

Pick Your Own Fruits & Veggies

  • If you haven’t been to Hallock’s U-Pick Farm in New Egypt (38 Fischer Rd.), be sure to make time to check it out this summer! You’ll get to pick your own vegetables and fruit, or visit their plentiful farm stand. Learn more about what you can pick and what’s in season here.
  • Happy Day Farm in Manalapan (106 Iron Ore Rd.), is another great spot to pick your own flowers, lavender, berries, and more.

Free Fireworks

Backyard Campfire and Treats

Spend a low-key evening at home in your own backyard and setup a small firepit and toast some s’mores with the family. Be sure to also check out the stars in the night sky while you’re there!

Go on a Local Hike

  • Hartshorne Woods on the Navesink in the Highlands (1402 Portland Rd.) – A hilly 794-acre site that overlooks the river, and also includes a nice historic district to visit and a beautiful park.
  • Cheesequake State Park in Matawan is a great place to hike, and there is also a lake for swimming, along with many other things to do outdoors.

Butterfly Gardens

  • The Aberdeen Township Butterfly Garden is located outside of the Municipal Building
  • Cattus Island County Park in Toms River – Check out 20 different plants that attract different butterfly species at 1170 Cattus Island Blvd.
  • Jakes Branch Butterfly Garden in Forked River – This SHIP (Soil Health Improvement Project) Butterfly Garden (714 Lacey Rd.) is comprised of native perennial plants that thrive in moderately sunny areas and most soil types, including the sandy soil found in Ocean County.

We hope you enjoy the remaining weeks of summer with family and friends, with the many free or inexpensive things to do in our gorgeous area of New Jersey!

Article Source: NJFamily.com