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

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 1: Jersey Shore Ghost Tour (Red Bank). Don’t miss the last night of this lantern-lit walking ghost tour through historic Red Bank! Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Ticket sales begin at 8pm and the tour will leave at 8:30pm from Dublin House at 30 Monmouth Street. Learn more and book online here.

November 1 – 3: Stocking Stuffer Craft Show at Allaire Village (Wall). Starting at 10am on both Friday & Saturday and noon on Sunday until 3pm each of the three days, this once a year event features handcrafted items that are perfect for holiday season gifts! You’ll find ornaments, scarves, decorations, a handmade quilt raffle, and more. Get more information here.

November 2:

Fall Fest and Chili Contest at Old Glory (Keyport) from 1-7pm.  Besides the chili making contest, there will also be a DJ, petting zoo, a pumpkin throwing contest, live music, bull riding and more! Find out more details here. You won’t want to miss this fun event for the whole family!

Awesome Autumn Fun at Jakes Branch County Park (Beachwood) from 1-4pm. Take a hayride through nature trails, participate in fall-themed games, get your face painted, there will be a petting zoo, hot apple cider, costumed characters, and more.  Free to attend!  Learn more here.

November 9:

Late Fall Flea Market at Allaire Village (Wall). Hunt for bargains among vintage treasures, books, art work, handmade items, knick knacks and so much more! The event runs from 8am – 3pm and is $2 per person to attend. The Historic Village, Pilsen Gourmet Food Truck, General Store, and Bakery will be open as well. Learn more here.

Fall Craft Show at the Ft. Monmouth Recreation Area (Tinton Falls) from 9am-2pm. Shop for special gifts from over 50 unique craft vendors just in time for the holiday season! You’ll find holiday ornaments and decorations, jewelry, candles, soaps, paintings, baskets, embroidered items and more. Free admission and parking. Learn more by clicking this link.

November 16: Thanks4Giving Turkey Dash 5K and Splash from 10:30am to 3pm at Convention Hall (Asbury Park).  Participate in either the 5K race, cold turkey plunge, or both! The 5K dash goes from Asbury Park to Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach. Cost for the 5K is $35 and the turkey splash is $25 paid in advance (you can also register a team).  All proceeds will go to the Special Olympics of NJ. Register or donate here.

November 17: Annual Granny’s Attic Craft Show (Thompson Middle School, Middletown) from 9am to 4pm. Don’t miss more than 250 craft vendors – perfect for holiday shopping! There will also be food trucks from 11am to 6pm. Admission is $5 per adult, kids ages 3-14 are $2, and under 3 are free. There will be shuttle busses running continuously from Middletown Train Station to Thompson Middle School. There will also be hourly 50/50 raffles and a grand prize raffle at the end of the event. Find out more here.

November 22: Pizza and Penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium (Pt. Pleasant) from 6 to 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.  Pre-registration is required. Call 732-899-1659 or visit Jenkinson’s website for event details.  Event cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children.

November 23 & 24: Wine and Chocolate Weekend at 4JG’s Vineyard (Colts Neck) from 12-5pm. Sip award winning wines, sample delicious locally hand-crafted chocolates and relax. The fire pit will be going (weather permitting), come join the fun! Admission is $15 per adult (ages 21+ only). Learn more here.

November 29: Santa Express and Parade (Red Bank) from 6:45-8pm. Santa rides the NJ Transit train into Red Bank for the annual town lighting and holiday express concert. Join Santa on the train in Little Silver or meet him at the Red Bank train station when he arrives. There’ll be festivities before and after the train arrives with holiday dancers and the Pipes and Drums of the Atlantic Watch. Once in Red Bank, Santa will board a firetruck and lead the parade to Broad Street for the Holiday Express Concert and Town Tree Lighting. This event is free for all ages! Find out more information here.

November 30:

Asbury Park Holiday Bazaar at Convention Hall from 11am-10pm. Check out local and regional artists, vendors, and shops selling handmade art, jewelry, home goods, food, and more. The event will feature live music and special performances, photos with Santa, holiday photo booth pictures, a 30 foot Christmas tree, fireplace lounge, and beautiful holiday decor. While you shop, enjoy a seasonally-inspired menu and holiday drinks at the Anchors Bend and Asbury Oyster Bar. There will alos be kids art classes and holiday craft workshops. Get additional details here.

Seashell Festival (Ship Bottom, LBI) from 10am-3pm. Don’t miss seashells, seaglass, and holiday fun in the 2nd annual LBI Seashell Festival at Things A Drift on Long Beach Blvd. Bring your beach finds and compete in the best shell contest, enjoy some homemade cookies, and support local businesses for Small Business Weekend. There will be vendors with handmade nautical jewelry, art, home decor, holiday gifts and more!  Free admission.  Learn more at https://thingsadrift.com/

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!