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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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