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

Family-Running-433x279Summer is officially winding down and all the children are heading back to school for another year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great events happening near you. Check out the list of activities that are kicking off the fall season. As always, feel free to post a comment and share your experience from any of the events listed here. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 3 – Monday, September 5: Monmouth Park’s (Oceanport) annual BBQ & Craft Beer Festival is back for three mouth-watering days! Come celebrate the juiciest, most tender BBQ the Jersey Shore has to offer and wash everything down with a great selection of brews in the Craft Beer Garden from 11:30am-5pm. It’s just $10 for 10, 2-oz samples and there will be over 40 craft beers to choose from. PLUS, enjoy everything from fall-off-the-bone ribs, to tender pulled pork, to melt-in-your-mouth brisket. Add in live music all holiday weekend long, three days of craft beers, and three days of heart-pounding Thoroughbred action – there’s no better place to be with friends and family than at Monmouth Park Racetrack on Labor Day Weekend. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, September 3 – Sunday, September 4: Head on over to Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for a weekend of good beer, food, and amazing music. Enjoy an amazing beer tent, food trucks with bacon-themed items, craft vendors, live bands, children’s activities, and tours of the historic buildings – there will never be a dull moment! Allaire loves to keep their history theme going with displays of historic bikes and motorcycles. The event is 11am-5pm with the ‘last call’ for drinks at 4:45pm and admission is $8 for adults – tickets can be purchased in advance (click the link above) or at the door. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Friday, September 9 – Sunday, September 11: The Annual Asbury Park Oysterfest is back and better than ever! What’s the perfect recipe for a cool weekend in the hottest town at the Jersey Shore? Start with fresh seafood and other culinary delights, add a dash of music, and a pinch of surprises – and you have Asbury Park’s Oysterfest, a three-day culinary event you don’t want to miss. This year’s event will be held just outside the iconic Carousel building where the downtown meets the Asbury Park waterfront. Admission is $3 and the hours are Friday: 5pm – 10pm, Saturday: 11am – 10pm and Sunday: 11am – 6pm. For more information, call 732-775-7676.

Saturday, September 10 – Sunday, September 11: The 41st Annual NJ Friends of Clearwater Festival will be held from 11am to 7pm on Saturday and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft). It is the oldest and largest environmental music festival in the state, so bring the family and some chairs and spend the day listening to music while visiting some great vendors! For more information, call 732-784-8547.

Each year, Delicious Orchards’ Apple Fest (Colts Neck) gets bigger and bigger! 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 are always a huge hit. You won’t want to miss this! For more information, call 732-462-1989.

Saturday, September 17 – Sunday, September 18: Zeppolis, Italian sausage and crispy calamari OH MY! Celebrate the proud Italian heritage on the Jersey Shore as part of the 5th Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Belmar. This year’s festival will feature delicious foods, live entertainment, music and dancing in the traditional feast way. The festivities kick off on Saturday with a Mass celebrated in Italian at St. Rose Church in Belmar, followed by the traditional procession of the Statue of San Gennaro to its place of honor on Main Street. Visitors can enjoy Italian treats, a wine & beer garden, eating contests, crafters, kids activities, dancing in the street and more. Stop by Saturday, from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm or Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Saturday, September 24 – Sunday, September 25: The Asbury Park Fall Bazaar is a weekend celebration of local art, music, and summer in Asbury Park! The event will take place in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall from 12pm-5pm. Enjoy local handmade artisan goods, live music & DJs, a bonfire, yoga & brunch, and beach camping overnight! This is an event you don’t want to skip – for more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, September 25: Tons of Oysters, pints of Guinness, plus lighter beers and wine, live music, great food – it’s the Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival! This great time for everyone is fashioned after the 61-year-old Galway Oyster Festival celebrating the opening of the oyster season. From noon-7pm, this huge food and music festival will showcase Red Bank’s excellent restaurants and will also entertain thousands with great live music and family fun. For more information, call 732-842-4244.

Have a great September!

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

01_6-July_Boost-your-holiday-budget-this-summerHappy summer everyone! As we continue to enjoy the beautiful weather and the fun outdoor activities – here are a few exciting events that you and your family and friends can attend all month long. Remember to get out and embrace the summer fun while it lasts!

Tuesday, August 2: It’s National Night Out! This community-building event promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live. Check your township website for information on local National Night Out celebrations in an area near you.

Thursday, August 4-Sunday, August 7: The 22nd Annual Clamfest is coming back to the Highlands! Enjoy FREE admission and parking as well as fresh seafood, live entertainment, contests, rides, vendors, games, and so much more. For more information, call 732-291-4713.

Saturday, August 6: Gather with friends and family to celebrate the culture of Italy with authentic music, fun games for all ages, and of course delicious food at Monmouth Park’s (Oceanport) 1st Annual Italian Festival! Mark your calendars now to enjoy one of the most delicious cultures in the world. Parking and admission is just $5 – children 12 and under are always FREE. For more information, call 732-222-5100.

Wednesday, August 10-Sunday, August 14: Celebrate the Italian heritage and culture at Ocean Twp’s Annual Italian FestivalAdmission is FREE and discounted family ticket ride packages are available every night of the festival. The whole family can enjoy delicious food, games, vendors, contests, and of course thrill-rides. The event is open from 5pm-11pm each night at Joe Palaia Park in Oakhurst. For more information, call 732-517-1040.

Sunday, August 21: Head over to Historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale) for one of the best antique car shows on the shore – the 21st Annual Rolling Iron Antique Auto Show! With over 200 historic cars you have a chance to see everything from firetrucks to family cars, motorcycles to classic cars – plus, so much more! Event will be open from 8am-3pm. For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Saturday, August 27: This is an event you won’t want to miss! Rock the Farm is a premier music and food truck festival at Brookdale Community College (Lincroft). From 1pm-10pm, family and friends will enjoy great food, live music, rides, petting zoo, vendors, and so much more. All proceeds from the festival benefit CFC Loud n Clear Foundation, an organization that promotes positive life choices by aiding drug recovery efforts and inspiring a healthy, positive lifestyle. CFC has helped over 5,000 families in New Jersey. For more information, click the link above!

Enjoy the rest of your summer! 

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

fireworks-3It’s time for some fun in the sun! Enjoy the beautiful weather and all the sights and sounds this season brings. Now is the perfect time to gather your family and friends to check out these free or inexpensive events in a town near you.

4th of July Celebrations:

Saturday, July 9: Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends climbing trees, jumping in puddles, playing tag, and just plain having fun? Well, Rugged Maniac at Raceway Park (Englishtown) is simply an adult version of that! Enjoy 25+ epic obstacles for you and your friends to play on (like fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels), put them in a 3-mile course, and then throw a crazy party with plenty of fun and music. Click the link above to register today!

Wednesday, July 13: It’s July, and the sun is shining brightly on the beach in Belmar. It’s time to gather all your shovels, shake out your pails, bring your sunblock and creativity and head to the 18th Avenue Beach in Belmar for the 30th Annual NJ Sandcastle Contest (rain date is July 14th). Bring friends and family for tons of fun under the Belmar sun, with prizes, games, dancing and more! Registration begins at 8am at the 18th Avenue Beach, with free admission to the beach for the event and judging begins at noon. Be sure to check out unique arts, jewelry and wares from local crafters on the beach! For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Wednesday, July 13-Sunday, July 17: Get the family ready for the 14th Annual Freedom Fest State Fair at the Horse Park of New Jersey (Allentown)! Guests can enjoy attractions and games as well as great fair food and picnic grounds. There will be a variety of exciting activities including a magic show, live animals, racing pigs and much more – bring the whole family for a fun experience. Tickets can be purchased at the gate for $15 and there is a pre-sale at participating Walgreens for $10 per ticket starting June 14th. One ticket will include: free parking, free rides (unlimited), free entertainment, free attractions, free admission for children under 36 inches! For more information, call 609-610-0910.

Saturday, July 16-Sunday, July 31: Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a story for the ages and coming to the Algonquin Theatre (Manasquan) stage this summer. This fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” Various dates and show times available with tickets starting at just $20. For more information, call 732-528-9211.

Saturday, July 16 & Sunday, July 17: What better way to soak up the sun this summer than with an ocean-fresh lobster roll, followed by some clam chowder and coconut shrimp? With all the seafood you could imagine on the table, this two-day Surf & Turf Seafood Festival is all-new for Monmouth Park (Oceanport) and one you won’t want to miss! Be a part of the beginning of this seafood festival journey and enjoy your delicious summer treats with an ice-cold beer or a chilled glass of wine, while spending your weekend listening to live music, hanging out with friends or family, and getting your toes wet in some games and activities for all ages. Admission is just $5 and children under 12 are always free. For times and more information, call 732-222-5100.

Saturday, July 23:  The Blues and Brews Festival is back for another year in Asbury Park featuring jazz, blues, food, crafts, games, good company, and plenty of family fun. This FREE event will be held from noon to 8pm in Bradley Park. For more information, call 732-933-1984.

Wednesday, July 27-Sunday, July 31: Join in the fun all weekend long at the 42nd Annual Monmouth County Fair at East Freehold Showgrounds. This year’s fair includes a home and garden competition, live music, animal shows and exhibits, food, entertainment and all new rides. For times and other information, call 732-842-4000.

Have a great summer!

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

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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!

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

colourbox1245002This March is filled with fun and festive holidays – St. Patrick’s Day, the start of Spring, and Easter. So let’s spring into March with a little bit of luck and have some fun with family and friends! Check out the list of free or inexpensive events below that are happening near you, and pencil in a few activities to enjoy.

Local St. Patrick’s Day Parades:

Friday, March 11: Sparking his career at the tender age of 12 years old, Nick Carter toured the globe for the last two decades with the group that made him an international pop superstar, Backstreet Boys. After going solo and also coming back as a group, Nick Carter is stopping at iPlay America (Freehold) during his All American Tour for one night only! Tickets start at just $30 and the show beings at 8pm – for more information, call 732-577-8200.

Saturday, March 12: Come out for a good cause to the Highlands Business Partnership’s 3rd Annual Guinness Run fundraiser. The event will start at 2pm and registration is $30.00 and includes a commemorative t-shirt, a pint glass, and access to the Post-Race Party at the Claddagh. All proceeds go to the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For more information, call 732-291-4713.

Sunday, March 13: It’s time to kick off Belmar’s Restaurant Tour! Sample some of the best chef creations from top shore restaurants from noon to 4:30pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Brandl, Mr. Shrimp, 10th Ave. Burrito, and Simply Southern. Tickets are $30 through March 12 and the day-of-event tickets are $35 (available at Brandl – 703 Belmar Plaza). For more information, call 732-681-3700 ext. 214.

Tuesday, March 22: Monmouth University (West Long Branch) brings the Theatreworks’ production of Charlotte’s Web – based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little gray spider named Charlotte. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love, and the true meaning of friendship. A great event for children – tickets start at just $12. For more information, call 732-263-5715.

Saturday, March 26: Hop over to Allaire Village for an Easter Egg Hunt! There are over 10,000 eggs in the village for children of all ages to find. Hunts are divided into age groups and take place every 15 minutes continuously throughout the day from 12pm-4pm. Register in advance to avoid lines the day of – plus, children under 3 years old are free. Other activities include story time with Clifford the Big Red Dog, visits from the Easter Bunny, bonnet parade and contest, games, tours, and craft demonstrations. To purchase tickets in advance, click the link above – for more information, call 732-919-3500.

Sunday, March 27: Asbury Park Convention Center will be holding it’s 81st Annual Easter Parade. What a perfect way to kick off the holiday with the entire family – plus, it’s FREE! Head on down to the Convention Center’s Paramount Theatre from 1pm-2:30pm to see the Easter Bunny and great “Spring” sights. For more information, call 732-502-5752.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Happy Easter!

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

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.

Wednesday, February 10: The State Ballet Theater of Russia presents one of the greatest classical ballets of all time, Swan Lake at Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank). This full-scale production, set to the music of Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell. The State Ballet Theater of Russia presents 50 of Russia’s brightest ballet stars to bring this romantic tale of true love to glorious life! Tickets start at just $30. For more information and showtimes, call 732-842-9000.

Saturday, February 13: Take five of the top musicians from the greater New York area and create a sound that blends a healthy serving of traditional jazz, a touch of blues and rock, a dash of international flair, combined with a steady mix of standards and new material; and you begin to have a sense of the tasty cocktail that Sweet Whiskey will be serving up. This Valentine’s Day, take your loved one to enjoy “Jazz, Love, & Sweet Whiskey” at 8pm to hear all those songs that make your heart pitter patter at Algonquin Arts Theatre (Manasquan). For more information, call 732-528-9211.

Thursday, February 18: Join us at 6:00pm for our “How to Buy & Sell Your Home” Seminar, presented by the experts at First Financial. Learn how to go about buying a new home, the best way to sell your current home, figure out how much house you can afford to buy, budgeting tips for home improvement projects, plus so much more! The event will be held at our Wall Office at 1800 Route 34 North (Building 3, Suite 302), Wall. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today! For more information, call 866-750-0100.

Sunday, February 21: Take the journey of a lifetime and step into the “unbubblelievable” magical kingdom of Fan Yang’s Mega Bubble Show at the Count Basie Theatre (Red Bank)! The first and only, interactive stage production of its kind, complete with fantastic light effects, lasers, and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry – this unforgettable extravaganza is not to be missed. Bring the whole family for a day of fun – showtimes are at 12pm and 3pm and tickets start at just $20. For more information, call 732-842-9000.

Celebrate George Washington’s Birthday at historic Allaire Village (Farmingdale). In the early 1800’s there were no holidays that the new nation could bond over more so than George Washington’s birthday. There were dances and festivities in almost every town, so join the workers and their families of the Howell Iron Works in a day of celebration! There will be a special reenactment in the Chapel at 1pm and hearth cooking and craft demonstrations as well as house tours. This event is a great reason to get out of the house during winter and explore the village! For more information, call 732-919-3500.

Head over to Havana Tropical Cafe (Highlands) for their Annual Chili Cookoff! All proceeds will directly benefit the city’s annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. Sample some of the best chili in the area – the event will take place from 3-7pm and is $30 per person which includes chili tasting and beer. For more information, call 732-291-4713.

Sunday, February 21 – Wednesday, March 3: Mark your calendars! February is the time to dine fine in Red Bank – it’s Red Bank Restaurant Week! From February 21-March 3 (excluding Friday and Saturday), take advantage of $20, $25 and $30 prix fixe dining at over 20 outstanding restaurants, including many brand new eateries! Menus include appetizer, entree and dessert – click the link above to check out the participating restaurants and menus. For more information, call 732-842-4244.

Thursday, February 25: Join us at 6pm for a complimentary “Income for Life” Seminar, presented by the Investment & Retirement Center located at First Financial. Learn the sources of retirement income to rely on and strategies to consider, current retirement risks and how you’re drawing on your savings, and how to use annuities to guarantee income for life. The event will be held at our Freehold/Howell Service Center located at 389 Route 9 North (Next to the Howell Park & Ride), Howell. Space is limited, so make sure you sign up today! For more information, call 866-750-0100.

Happy Valentine’s Day!