Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this March 2017

Happy St Patricks Day leprechaun hat gold chocolate coins on white table.

March is filled with fun and festive holidays – St. Patrick’s Day and the start of Spring. So 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.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades:

March 11 & 12: Chocolate Lovers’ Weekend in Ocean Grove! Starts at 10am Saturday (Chamber Office – 45 Pilgrim Pathway) with the hunt for hearts, there is a tour of the inn’s at 11am, and special chocolate lovers’ dinners at participating restaurants. Sunday includes a winter walk starting at 12pm. For more information, click here or call 732.774.1391.

March 12: Belmar Restaurant Tour from 12pm-4:30pm in Downtown Belmar. Sample the fine cuisine of local Belmar restaurants. (Check website for participating restaurants or call 732.681.3700 x214).

March 14 & 15: Flavor of Freehold Restaurant Tour from 5:30-8pm on Main Street in Downtown Freehold. For more information visit http://www.downtownfreehold.com/ or call 732.333.0094.

March 18 & 19: St. Patty’s Celebration at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Irish food, Irish music, Irish dancers and Irish vendors – it doesn’t get any better than being Irish at Laurita Winery! Come celebrate wonderful Irish heritage! Check out LauritaWinery.com for more information or call 609.758.8000.

March 26: Red Bank Wedding Walk – 10am to 4pm at 146 Bodman Place in Red Bank. Getting married or know someone who is? This event is a one day, free event to showcase Red Bank as a one-stop shopping destination for brides, grooms, their bridal parties and families. For more details click here or call 732.842.4244.

March 27: The Harlem Globetrotters at Pine Belt Arena (Toms River) 7pm. The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater, and comedy. Over the years they have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories. Tickets start at $25, for more information call 732.818.8536 or visit www.pinebeltarena.com

March 31: Disney’s The Lion King Musical at The Strand Theater in Lakewood, 7:30pm. Disney’s The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world. The African savannah comes to life on stage with Simba, Rafiki and a crazy cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again, in this inspiring, coming-of-age tale. Kids 12 and under are $12, $15 all others. To purchase tickets visit www.bcct.org.

 

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth and Ocean Counties this February 2017

Couple of red hearts symbol with shadow isolated on white background, 3D illustration

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 9: Rockin’ Road to Dublin – Inspired by Riverdance (Monmouth University, West Long Branch) at 7:30pm in Pollak Theater. For more information visit https://www.monmouth.edu/events/arts.aspx or call 732.263.6889.

February 10: Family Date Night at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant from 6pm-9pm. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with the ones you love the most? Package includes admission for four to Jenkinson’s Aquarium, a plain pizza and pitcher of soda at the Pavilion, a $10 PlayCard for the Pavilion Arcade and 4 treats from the Sweet Shop (additional tickets can also be purchased if you have more than 4 people). For information go to www.jenkinsons.com or call 732.892.0600.

February 11 & 12: Can’t Buy Me Love Valentine’s Market (Convention Hall, Asbury Park) from 12pm-6pm each day in the Grand Arcade. Enjoy gifts for her and him, roller skating, market workshops, a Beatles cover band and gifts galore! For details visit http://www.asburyparkbazaar.com/

February 11 & 12: Chocolate and Wine Weekend at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Celebrate Valentine’s Weekend at Laurita Winery, chock full of wine and chocolate and lots of love! Visit lauritawinery.com or call 609.758.800. Free general admission.

February 12: Valentine’s Dinner and Show at iPlay America (Freehold), 6pm. Every Ticket includes a sit down, 4 course meal, live show and seat at a table. The live show features Captain Jack, a professional Billy Joel Tribute band consisting of some of the tri-state area’s top musicians. To purchase tickets visit http://www.iplayamerica.com/event/valentines-day-dinner-show/ or call 732.577.8200.

February 17 – 25: Seussical The Musical at Spring Lake Theater on Madison Avenue. Performances take place at 2pm and 7:30pm each day. For more information call 732.449.4530 or go to http://www.springlaketheatre.com/

February 19: George Washington’s Birthday Celebration at Historic Allaire Village (Wall) from 12pm-3pm. As the “Father of America,” George Washington was a hero and his birthday was widely celebrated with cannon fire and fanfare.  Join the villagers as they celebrate. There is a special program in the Chapel at 12pm. For more information go to https://allairevillage.org/ or call 732.919.3500.

February 24: Keansburg Boro Wine Glass Painting, 7pm to 10pm at New Point Comfort Fire Company on Carr Avenue. For details visit http://www.keansburgnewjersey.gov/ or call 732.787.0215, ext. 212.

February 25: Annual Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge, 1pm. Registration begins at 9am until 12:30pm. Plunge takes place at 1pm in the ocean in front of Spicy Cantina in Seaside Heights. For more information visit www.NJPolarPlunge.org

February 26: Annual Chili Cookoff in The Highlands, 3pm-7pm. All proceeds will benefit the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Sample delicious chili and refreshments at Claddah Irish Pub, 297 Bay Avenue. For details go to http://www.highlandsnj.com/ or call 732.291.4713.

We hope your month of February is filled with lots of love!

Things to Do on a Budget in Monmouth & Ocean Counties this January 2017

happy-new-year-2017Happy 2017! 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 1: Fire and Ice – Food Trucks & Fireworks (Tuckerton) from noon to 6pm. Check out the ice cutting demo, ice sculpture, children’s activities, make and take crafts, marshmallows around the fire pits, and a hayride through the frozen woods. Top the day off with fireworks at 6pm over the lake. Featuring live music as well. Free admission, but donations are appreciated. For more information visit http://www.tuckertonseaport.org or call 609.296.8868.

January 4, 11, 18 and 25: Girls Night Out at Laurita Winery (New Egypt) from 4-9pm. Enjoy a night of fun and relaxation! Music by Gary C., Yoga Class (7-8pm), guidance readings and wonderful wine and food. Free General Admission. For more information, please visit LauritaWinery.com or call 609.758.8000.

January 6: Raiders of the Lost Ark at Count Basie Theater (Red Bank) at 8pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

January 15: Winter Light on the Beach (Avon) from 2:30-5:30pm. Takes place at Visions Workshops Home Studio, 37 East End Avenue. For more information call 732.245.6699.

January 21 and 22: Ice Sculpture Fest at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Dress warm and come enjoy the Ice Festival at Laurita Winery! Huge luge for all to enjoy, included in the price. Food trucks will join for extra fun, and fireworks Saturday night. Check out LauritaWinery.com for all details. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for kids ages 4-17, kids 3 and under are free.

January 22: Fourth Annual Vacation Expo at Sickles Market (Little Silver) from 11am-3pm. Held in Sickles’ beautiful greenhouse, the Expo brings to you a range of trusted travel operators under one roof – cruise lines, exotic destinations, yacht charters, adventure holidays & more. Plan your getaway at the Vacation Expo! For more information visit http://njvacationexpo.com/ or call 732.741.9563.

January 28: Winterfest at Thompson Park (Lincroft) from noon to 4pm. Celebrate Winter with the family – join for ice skating, nature hikes on snowshoes, crafts, wagon rides and much more! For details visit https://www.monmouthcountyparks.com/ or call 732.842.4000 extension 4312.

January 29: Annual Beef and Brew in The Highlands, 3-7pm. Join for The Highlands’ Annual “Beef and Brew.” Proceeds will benefit the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Enjoy a buffet & refreshments at Windansea, 56 Shrewsbury Ave. For more information call 732.291.4713 or visit http://www.highlandsnj.com/

We hope you have a happy and healthy new year!

 

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

Outdoor Family Choosing Christmas Tree Together

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 2017!

Town Tree Lighting Ceremonies:

  • Belmar – December 2nd at 5:30-7pm, Pyanoe Plaza at 9th Ave & Main Street
  • Manasquan – December 2nd 6-9pm, Main Street (plus candy cane hunt!)
  • Highlands – December 2nd at 6pm, Huddy Park

December 2: A Christmas Carol at Count Basie Theater (Red Bank) at 8pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

December 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18: Scrooge at the Spring Lake Theater, 300 Madison Avenue. Two shows per day at 2pm and 7:30pm. For details call 732.449.4530 or go to http://www.springlaketheatre.com/

December 3: Spring Lake Candlelight Christmas Inn Tour from 3:30pm to 7pm. Tour Spring Lake’s famous inn’s and B&B’s decorated in their holiday splendor, sponsored by the Historic Inns of Spring Lake NJ. For more information go to http://www.historicinnsofspringlake.com/ or call 732.449.9090.

December 3 – 18: Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar – Every Saturday and Sunday in December until 12/18 from noon to 5pm, gather for one of the most spectacular holiday markets in New Jersey! The Bazaar is located at the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall, 1300 Ocean Ave. For more details go to http://www.asburyparkbazaar.com/ or call 732.829.2663.

December 3 – 24: Holiday Horse and Wagon Rides (Red Bank).  Ride through the Red Bank Business District and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season every Saturday and Sunday in December from 1-5pm through 12/24. There are two start locations to choose from: 26 Broad Street or Bridge Avenue (across from The Galleria). For more information call 732.842.4244 or go to http://www.redbank.org/

December 3, 10, 16, and 17: Christmas Lantern Tours at Allaire Village (Wall) from 5-8pm. 90 minute tours leave every 15 minutes at Historic Allaire Village within Allaire State Park Rt. 524, 4265 Atlantic Avenue. For details go to http://www.allairevillage.org/ or call 732.919.3500.

December 9 and 11: Christmas at Havens Homestead Museum (Brick). 12/9 from 3-7pm and 12/11 from 1-5pm. The Brick Township Historical Society has sponsored this annual event for 19 years. It features the Havens Homestead Museum and two other buildings on the property decked in its festive best with guides dressed in period costumes. This year’s theme is “A Vintage Christmas.” Guests will enjoy homemade refreshments and musical entertainment as they tour the rooms of this 1827 Homestead. $5 per adult, children under 12 are free. For information call 732.785.2500.

December 10: 5th Annual Christmas on the Island & Parade, including Santa Claus from noon to 5pm. A Christmas Parade along the Boulevard in Seaside Heights. Event is open to all Ocean County, NJ residents with gifts, giveaways, Santa’s Workshop, and a special Santa’s send-off with live entertainment as Santa’s way back home to the North Pole is lit up.

December 10 and 11: The Nutcracker at Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, 1pm and 5pm. To purchase tickets go to http://www.countbasietheatre.org/ or call 732.842.9000.

December 10, 11, and 17: A Christmas Light Show (2702 Wooley Road, Wall), 6:30pm and 8:30pm. The Christmas Light Show is a free, world class computerized lighting and pyrotechnic show. Returning for its 11th year, this incredible event has become an area tradition. The show is very much like attending a Disney World concert, featuring pyrotechnics, fog, color changing effects and thousands of lights synchronized to music broadcast over a concert quality sound system. Don’t miss this one of a kind Christmas event in Monmouth County, NJ! For more information go to http://www.thechristmaslightshow.com/

December 11: Breakfast with Santa at iPlay America (Schanck Road, Freehold) at 9am and 11am.  For information call 732.577.8200 or go to http://www.iplayamerica.com/

December 11: The Nutcracker at Ocean County College (Lakewood), 1pm.  The performance will take place at Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. This delightful ballet is a dream story brought to life through music and dance. The Nutcracker tells the story of Clara, a young girl who’s magical journey begins with a Nutcracker doll and ends with the Land of Sweets. Along the way, you’ll meet the Mouse King, Flowers, the Sugar Plum Fairy, and a cast of enchanting characters.Tickets: Adult $12, Child $10. Call 732.255.0400 extension 2466 for information.

December 16, 17, 26, 27, 28: Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights at the Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 6-9pm. Join Jenkinson’s in Point Pleasant Beach as they light up the Boardwalk during Jenkinson’s Sea of Lights. This Holiday Lights Spectacular inside Jenkinson’s Aquarium is a real gift to your family at the special admission price of only $7. For more information go to http://jenkinsons.com/events/sea-of-lights-2016/

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

Family sitting on grass with pumpkins smilingIt’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! Just because it’s getting cold, it doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of “warming” outdoor activities to enjoy. 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 4 – 6: Allaire Village Auxiliary Stocking Stuffer Sale (Wall). You’ll find lots of stocking stuffer gifts ranging from ornaments to scarves, decorations, and everything in between. There is also a hand-sewn raffle quilt! The Stocking Stuffer sale is Friday November 4th and Saturday November 5th from 10am to 3pm, as well as Sunday November 6th from 12pm to 3pm. For more information call 732.919.3500.

November 5, 6, 8: Holiday in the Park at Six Flags (Jackson). This winter, the Santa tracker will lead right to Six Flags Great Adventure. Millions of glittering lights, dazzling holiday entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, Santa’s village, animals and many popular rides will magically transform the summer thrill destination into a winter wonderland. Cost is included with Season Pass or active membership. For more details call 732-928-2000 extension 2831 or click here.

November 6: Don’t forget to turn your clocks back – Daylight Savings Time ends!

November 11: Veterans Day Ceremony (Holmdel). 11am Veterans Day Memorial Ceremony at Exit 116 off the Garden State Parkway. For more details call 732.335.0033 extension 100.

November 11 – 20: A Christmas Story at Count Basie Theater (Red Bank). Come see the new musical version of the classic movie come to the stage for the holiday season. The story takes place in the 1940s in Indiana and focuses on a child named Ralphie, a daydreamer who spends his days counting down to Christmas. He wants a Red Ryder BB Gun, but as his parents and teachers warn him, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” All of the movie’s best-loved moments are here, and tickets range from $22-$32 – you won’t want to miss it! Call 732.842.9000 or visit http://www.countbasietheatre.org/events.asp to purchase tickets.

November 12: Monmouth County Park System’s Fall Craft Show (Tinton Falls). The event takes place from 9am-2pm at the Ft. Monmouth Recreation Center. See over 50 local crafters – the perfect event to get a head start on your holiday shopping! You’ll find soap, jewelry, home décor, candles, ornaments and more.  Call 732.542.1642 extension 31 for more information.

November 12 & 13: Laurita Winery’s Fire Pits, Food Trucks, and Fireworks (New Egypt). Don’t miss one of the best and most fun events in New Jersey – last one of 2016! Fun for the whole family. Check out LauritaWinery.com to uncork all the fun or call 609.758.8000. Cost is $8 at door and ages 12 and under free, the winery opens at 11am both days.

November 20: Six Flags 2nd Annual Santa Run 5K (Jackson). You don’t want to miss this one! Join at the North Pole for Six Flags Great Adventure’s Santa Run 5K. Registration includes admission into the park! The race also features the “Little Elves” sprint run for children ages 5-8 and 9-11. There’ll be snow, elves, and a special guest appearance by Santa to start the race. Spectators  – Watch the race at multiple points! Listen to great music, cheer for your favorites and spend the day with your family in the park. The run begins at 8:30am. For more information click here, or call 732-928-2000 extension 2831.

November 25-27: Holiday Wine Trail at JG’s Vineyard (Colts Neck). Relax at the vineyard from 12pm-5pm on a holiday weekend. For details call 908.930.8066.

November 26: Spring Lake’s Christmas Celebration Kickoff – Enjoy hayrides, music, dancers, holiday treats, and the Clayton Livery miniature village. Shops are open until 8 p.m.  For more information click here or call 732.449.0577.

Tree Lighting Ceremonies

November 26: Keyport 5pm, West Front Street Mini Park. Call 732.739.3900 for details.

November 27: Bradley Beach 4pm, Riley Park – Santa arrives at 5pm. Call 732.776.2999 for details.

 

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

Colorful pumpkins at the farmer market.

It’s officially fall – and October is one of the best and most beautiful weather months in New Jersey. Get the family ready for an action-packed month filled with fun fall and Halloween activities. Check out these free or inexpensive events happening in a town near you!

All Weekends in October: Nightmare at Gravity Hill Haunted Trail – Cicconi Farms (Jackson).  As you enter the gates of Gravity Hill, the nightmare begins. Find over a dozen different scenes on over 5 acres: 35 minutes of spine chilling walkable haunted trails plus creepy themes and adventures – wear comfortable shoes. Cost is $20 per person.  For more information call 732-703-4198 or visit http://nightmareatgravityhill.com/

October 1: Spring Lake Columbus Day Italian Festival and Art Walk – Enjoy 8 hours of music, food, wine/beer, art, and fun for the entire family from 12pm to 8pm. The event takes place on Third and Morris Avenues, and will be held rain or shine. For more information contact the Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce at 732-449-0577 or visit http://www.springlake.org/italianfestival

October 1: Asbury Park Annual Zombie Walk – This walk holds the record for the world’s largest gathering of zombies! Enjoy festivities and music taking place through downtown and along the boardwalk, then end your day with a “blood red” fireworks show along the oceanfront. The walk starts 4pm at Convention Hall to Cookman Ave and Main St., and will be held rain or shine. For more information click here.

October 6: Downtown Toms River Art Stroll from 4pm to 7pm. The Art Stroll will consist of artists of all genres who will set up and sell their work on the sidewalks along Main St. & Washington St. For information call 732-341-8738 or visit www.downtowntomsriver.com

October 7 & 8: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow at Historic Allaire Village (Wall) – Come join the interactive adaptation of the classic ghost story; advance ticket purchases are recommended ($20 per person). The event takes place from 7:30pm to 9pm each night.  For more information call 732-919-3500 or visit https://allairevillage.org/

October 7, 8, & 9: Italian Street Festival in Seaside Heights – Friday through Sunday, featuring performances from Italy. Friday hours are from 4 to 10pm, Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday from 10am to 8pm. Savor a weekend of delectable Italian specialties, arts and crafts, outstanding entertainment, and a parade that is bound to delight young and old alike. For details call 732-477-6507 or click here.

October 9: Belmar Oktoberfest – Join the fun for German food, music, stein hoisting, pumpkin decorating, performers and much more! The event takes place on Main Street (between 8th & 10th Avenues) from 11am to 5pm, with free admission and parking.  For more details call 732-681-3700 ext. 214 or visit http://www.visitbelmarnj.com/

October 10: Pumpkinfest at Delicious Orchards (Colts Neck) – Bring the family for live music, food samples, pumpkin painting, antique tractors and more! The event takes place from 11am to 4pm and will be held rain or shine. For more information call 732-462-1989 or visit http://www.deliciousorchardsnjonline.com/events/pumpkin-fest/

October 14 & 15 and 21 & 22: Forest of Fright at Allaire Village (Wall) – In the dark of the night, the ghosts, ghouls, and monsters fill the haunted village. Admission includes: Haunted Hayride, Mr. Allaire’s Home, and the Haunted Village itself – enter if you dare! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone – for a group rate of 25 or more, call the office at 732-919-3500. Adult tickets are $15, children under 12 are $10 – visit https://allairevillage.org/ . You can arrive any time between 6pm and 9pm to take the hayrides and explore the haunted village. The last hayride is at 9:30pm.

October 22 & 23: Food Trucks and Fire Pits at Laurita Winery (New Egypt) – Don’t miss this great fall event! Cost $8 person and kids12 and under FREE (includes parking, shuttle service and entrance). For more information call 609-758-8000 or visit www.lauritawinery.com

October 29: Howl-o-Ween Festival (Bradley Beach). Furry friends should enjoy Halloween too! Attend a dog fest, live music, and vendors – 12pm to 3pm at Riley Park.  For more details call 732-776-2999 or visit http://www.bradleybeachnj.gov/ .

October 29: Rocky Horror Picture Show at Algonquin Arts Theater (Manasquan). The show begins at 8pm, for more details call 732-528-9211 or to purchase tickets online go to http://www.algonquinarts.org/ .

October 29 & 30: Haunted Wine Walk – 4JG’s Vineyard (Colts Neck). Enjoy a tasting and self-guided haunted walk between 12pm and 5pm. For more information call 908-930-8066 or visit http://www.4jgswinery.com/

Have a great October and Happy Halloween!