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

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 the fall season. Enjoy!

September 2 & 3:

Allaire Bacon, Bikes, and Brews (Allaire State Park, Wall). With a beer tent, food trucks with bacon-themed items, craft vendors, live bands, children’s activities, and tours of the historic buildings – this is an event you won’t want to miss!  The event is 11am to 5pm with the ‘last call’ for drinks at 4:45pm on September 2nd and 3rd. Admission is $10 for adults, 18 years old and older.  Kids under 18 are free! Tickets can be purchased in at the door. For details, click here or call 732-919-3500.

Grape Stomping Festival at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Grape stomping for all! $8 per person and kids 12 and under are free. Call 609-758-8000 or go to www.lauritawinery.com

September 2-4: BBQ and Craft Beer Festival at Monmouth Park Racetrack (Oceanport).  Come celebrate the juiciest, most tender pulled pork, brisket and ribs the Jersey Shore has to offer – plus so much more. There will also be a craft beer garden with over 40 beers to choose from. Gates open at 11:30am and the festival goes until 5:30pm each day. Kids will enjoy FREE Family Fun Day activities from 12-4pm on Saturday and Sunday including clowns, face painters, pony rides and a bounce house. For more information click here, or call 732-222-5100.

September 8-10: Asbury Park Oysterfest.  This 3-day culinary event is one you won’t want to miss! Friday: 5-10 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday:  11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Located at Bradley Park, across from Convention Hall and the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel.  Admission is $3. For details visit http://www.asburyparkchamber.com/festivals.asp or call 732-775-7676.

September 9: Ocean Grove Fall Flea Market. Over 300 vendors selling new, used and antique items as well as a variety of food offerings. Rain or shine event from 9am-4pm! Ocean Pathway from the Great Auditorium to the boardwalk. http://www.oceangrovenj.com/ or call 732-774-1391.

September 9 &10: Delicious Orchards Apple Festival (Colts Neck). Attendees will enjoy a full antique car display (over 40 cars ranging back to the early 1900’s), fun games, local vendors offering delicious product samplings, farm animals, a clown, live music, and of course plenty of apple options including more than a dozen varieties: Delicious Orchards’ famous apple cider, seasonal apple ice cream, apple flavored cotton candy and made on site apple fritters. Click here or call 732-462-1989.

September 16:

Late Summer Flea Market at Allaire Village (Wall). Hunt for hidden treasures amid furniture, books, art work, bottles, knickknacks, and so much more! The event runs from 8-3pm. $1 admission for adults, children and members of the Historic Village at Allaire are free. Learn more here or call 732-919-3500.

40th Annual Festival of the Sea (Point Pleasant Beach). Visitors sample dishes by the area’s finest restaurants, from clam chowder to lobster, to steak, even desserts! Arts and crafts, pony rides, and hundreds of vendors. Kiddie games, live entertainment and more. Voted Best Seafood Festival in Ocean County by the Asbury Park Press Readers Year after Year! Free shuttles provided, rain date September 17th. Festival runs from 10 am to 7 pm on Arnold and Bay Avenues. Learn more at www.pointchamber.com or call 732-899-2424.

September 16 &17:

The Feast of San Gennaro at the Jersey Shore (Belmar). From 11am-6pm enjoy games, a beer & wine garden, and kids’ activities on Main Street between 10th and 13th Avenues. There will also be a cannoli eating contest on Saturday and a pasta eating contest on Sunday. There will also be live entertainment all weekend. Learn more here or call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Food Trucks and Firepits at Laurita Winery (New Egypt). Fireworks Saturday evening! $8 per person and kids 12 and under are free. Call 609-758-8000 or go to www.lauritawinery.com

September 23: Ocean Township’s Fall Fest at Joe Palaia Park (Whalepond and Deal Road). The event takes place from 10am-4pm. http://www.oceantwp.org/ or call 732-531-5000 ext. 5401.

September 24: Red Bank Oyster Festival. Join a celebration filled with food, wine, live music, beer & more! Don’t miss this fun event located in the White Street Parking lot from noon to 7pm. http://www.redbank.org/ or call 732-842-4244.

September 30:

Fall Harvest Festival at Allaire State Park (Wall). Come celebrate the harvest, bring your sweetheart and try your hand at cider pressing, games, dancing, and much more! Adults are $5, children ages 5-12 years old are $3. (Children under 5 are free).  Wagon rides additional cost $7 adults, $5 children. Tickets can be purchased at the door. The festival takes place from 11am-4pm. Click here or call 732-919-3500.

Spring Lake Italian Festival and Art Walk. The event takes place from noon to 6pm at Third and Morris Avenues. There will be an Italian specialty food court, wine & beer garden, live music, face painting, art and more. http://springlake.org/italianfestival or call 732-449-0577.

Food Truck Wind Up and Craft Beer Fest (First Energy Park, Lakewood). The event takes place from noon to 5pm. Take your family and your friends out to the ballpark at the Lakewood BlueClaws Stadium for this fun-filled day of food trucks, craft beer, bands, vendors and crafters. Admission is free; $5 parking per car. Call 732-316-0222 or visit www.irunnewjersey.com

 

Local Alert: Skimming Device Found on Point Pleasant NJ Rite Aid ATM

A skimming device was found on a local ATM in Point Pleasant, New Jersey at Bridge Avenue Rite Aid on July 24th. However, it is suspected that the device was placed around July 17th.  If you used this ATM – you should monitor your bank statements and change your card PIN numbers. Anyone who discovers any unauthorized activity on their account should contact the Point Pleasant Police Department to file a report. If you are a First Financial member and used one of your First Financial cards at this ATM, please call Member Services at 732-312-1500.

To read the full article from Patch, click here.

Please be careful of such devices and be sure to protect yourself and your bank account by using the following steps:

  • Use secure ATM machines under video surveillance or inside of a bank lobby. They’re less likely to be tampered with!
  • Pay careful attention to what the card reader and keypad normally looks like on the ATMs you use most frequently.
  • Don’t use an ATM if the card reader appears to be added on, fits poorly, or is loose.Some thieves place a fake box over the card slot that reads and records account and PIN numbers.
  • Call the customer service number on the ATM immediately if a machine appears suspiciousor if it does not function properly.

Don’t become a fraud victim!

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 & 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!

How to Plan for Your Child’s Financial Future

Piggybank family isolatedIn this economy and time period, every parent shares a mutual fear. You think to yourself, “What if my son or daughter isn’t financially stable in their lifetime?” You may be nervous that your child will not be able to pay off college loans or purchase a home when they are older. You might also be worried that your child will struggle to meet car payments, or that they won’t be able to save up money in case of emergencies or for when they grow older.

Read the tips below to learn how you can relieve your fears and help prepare your children for their financial future.

  • Teach financial responsibility. It’s natural to fear that your children will take on too much debt or be unprepared for financial emergencies when they reach adulthood. But you don’t have to wait until they make a mistake to prepare them to be financially responsible. It’s important to remember that it’s never too early to start talking to kids about money and saving. When your kids are young, you’ll want to start with simple conversations about money (sharing tips about your purchase decisions with them when you shop), and as they get older introducing more complex money matters (such as the value of having an emergency fund and saving for unexpected events).
  • Use an allowance as an educational tool. An allowance is an ideal way to teach about responsible spending and saving. Provide your children with the opportunity to save and spend their allowance as they please (with some guidance). This flexibility will allow them to learn early on that spending money as fast as they earn it can have consequences. Depending on the age and maturity of your child, you may choose to share with them a financial mistake you made in the past and how you recovered from it.
  • Plan for college. As college tuition increases, many parents worry about how their children will afford to attend, or how you as a parent can possibly save enough to pay for your child’s college education. As parents, consider beginning to save into a 529 Plan early in your child’s life. When it comes time to make college decisions, help your child evaluate the tuition and other college expenses (travel home, club dues, entertainment costs, etc.) for each college he or she is considering. Make sure to educate yourself on current student loan lending practices and options and help your child determine a realistic amount of student loan debt he or she can take on if necessary.
  • Prepare for life’s big purchases. Even for young adults with a responsible mindset, a lack of financial knowledge can be detrimental for large purchases like a car or home. As a parent, you can offset this concern by being open to discuss these things as your child grows older and begins managing their own money.
  • Reframe your money mindset. Changing the way you think about money can go a long way to alleviating your financial fears for your children and, at the same time, help your children learn to make smart financial decisions. The real question you should ask isn’t, “Can we afford this?” but rather, “Do we need this, and if so, is this the best deal we can get on it, and should we wait and buy it when we have saved the money for it?” These may seem like small differences, but they aren’t. How our children think about money will make a huge difference in their ability to wisely manage it and consequentially will have a huge impact on their quality of life.

Visit First Financial’s website resources tab to view a list of free financial calculators and resources that you and your children can utilize to help save for college and future big ticket purchases like a car, home, and how to save money.

Join us on Thursday, August 7th, for First Financial’s free seminar on this very subject – teaching your children about finances. The seminar will be held at the credit union’s Wall Office on Route 34 at 6pm. Space is limited so we recommend that you register beforehand.

For more information and to register online, click here.

 Article courtesy of Daily Finance Online, by Michele Lerner