Fall is here, which means crisp air, pumpkin spice-everything, and tons of new festivals for you to enjoy with your family. Eat your weight in oysters at the LBT Oyster Shellabration in Long Beach Township, celebrate Halloween with an outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus at Pier Village in Long Branch, or watch the kites soar high at the 5th Annual Kite Festival in Belmar.
Here are 30 free NJ events in October:
First Friday Late Night: BoOonton Ghost Walks
October 5, 5PM – 9PM
Join Boonton for a spooky (but family friendly!) night of finding different haunted places on Main Street. Be sure to come dressed in your favorite Halloween costume for discounts and savings at different Boonton locations.
Bottle Hill Day
October 6, 10AM – 6PM
Bottle Hill Day, named after Madison’s original establishment, “Bottle Hill” celebrates the business district, but it does so much more than that. Over the years, the festival has grown, evolving into a community celebration which now includes sidewalk sales, four stages with live music, a beer garden, amusement areas, food, and craft vendors. Your family will love the boardwalk games and the new rock climbing wall.
20th Annual Elmer Harvest Day
October 6, 10AM – 4PM
Celebrate the cute little town of Elmer with the community and local businesses. To kick off the morning, participate in the 5K Run and Mayor’s Mile Walk, then stick around for the Lew Zane Memorial car show and the 1900s style live auction. Bring your family and follow the treasure hunt map to win free prizes from businesses all day. Enjoy food, bounce houses, games, and a ride on the fire truck.
The 24th Annual Fall Forestry Festival
October 6, 10AM – 3PM
The 24th Annual Fall Forestry Festival is a free, family friendly event that includes fall fun like nature walks, maple sugaring, crafts, forestry displays, crafts, and education information about protecting our forests. If you have a little outdoorsy explorer on your hands, be sure to check out this event.
370 East Veterans Hwy,
LBT Oyster Shellabration
October 6, 12PM – 6PM
How much do you love oysters? The first annual “Shellabration” in Long Beach Township will include oysters, beer, wine, food, oyster shucking, music, and plenty of games and activities for the kids.
Long Beach Township, NJ
Paws for the Cause
October 6, 4PM – 8PM
The annual Paws for the Cause event brings plenty of puppy paws, bouncy houses, face painting, hay rides, pumpkin painting, emergency vehicles, military vehicles, and helicopters for kids to see. The evening is topped off with a large K9 Show performed by K9 teams from around the region. The event encourages you to donate to the Paws Healing Heroes Foundation and their mission to provide service dogs to combat veterans.
South Delsea Drive park
152 Delsea Drive South
The 29th Annual Cranberry Festival
October 6 – 7, 11AM – 5PM
Over 150 artists and artisans, crafters and makers, will line Farnsworth Ave. and join Bordentown’s own unique shops and restaurants, in offering one of a kind, handmade, vintage, and upcycled treats to nourish both the heart and the home. Shop til’ you drop, dance to live music, relax in the beer garden, and bring the kids to the Kids Zone.
Clover Market in Collingswood
October 7, 10AM – 4PM
This open-air market features more than 100 vendors with antiques and collectibles, vintage jewelry and clothing, artisan soaps, finely crafted handmade items and original art. Feast at your favorite food vendors like Jammin’ Crepes, Mannino’s Cannoli, Oink & Moo BBQ, the Tot Cart, and many more. What would all that delicious food be without live music and family-friendly activities to tie it all together? Don’t worry, it’s all there.
735 N Atlantic Ave,
Belmar Fall Festival
October 7, 11AM – 5PM
The Belmar Fall Festival is all about celebrating fall and good times with friends and family. You’ll listen to great music from the Shore Blue Band and your favorite DJs from 95.9 the WRAT. Kids will love the various food trucks including Playa Bowls, the Empanada Guy, and the Little Sicilian. Make sure you try the Pumpkin “Over the Top” shake from Carnivale Donut Bar.
2018 Apple Festival at Kirby’s Mill
October 13, 9AM – 4PM
Apples are returning in October, so let’s celebrate them. The Apple Festival is home to over 100 craft booths, tons of food trucks, live music, kids activities, and all the apple products and apple cider donuts that you can stuff into your purse. See Kirby’s Mill Water Wheel and Grinding Stone in action with corn grinding demonstrations at 11AM, 1PM, and 3PM.
275 Church Rd,
Harvest, Honey, & Garlic Festival
October 13, 10AM – 4PM
Come celebrate Sussex County’s agriculture, ecology, arts, and heritage at the 9th Annual Harvest, Honey, & Garlic Festival. Visit the farmers market to buy fresh, local products including honey, garlic, produce, cheese, and wine. Stop by the Sussex County Beekeepers Association to purchase the best local honey and beeswax products.
Sussex County Fairgrounds,
Verona Green Fair & Open Streets Fest
October 13, 11AM – 4PM
This event features many crafters, non-profit organizations, exhibitions and demonstrations, children’s games and learning experiences, a shredding event, medicine drop-off, health, wellness and nutrition information, live music, local food vendors, and fresh organic produce. It’s all at the Verona Green Fair and Open Streets Fest.
600 Bloomfield Ave,
New Brunswick 2nd Annual Oktoberfest
October 13, 12PM – 5PM
Oktoberfest is a fall celebration of music, food and community held in the New Brunswick City Center. Enjoy a variety of local food and traditional German food, craft brews and German beers. Stick around for the live music, kids activities, and a fun and silly photo booth. Don’t forget Lederhosen(traditional German outfit) for the gentlemen and the Dirndels(traditional German dress) for the ladies.
109 Church St,
New Brunswick, NJ
Countdown to Halloween Movie Night: Hocus Pocus
October 13, 6PM – 9PM
Celebrate Halloween early with an outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus at Pier Village – one of the best spots at the Jersey shore. Your favorite DJ’s from 95.9 The WRAT will be there hosting giveaways. The movie will be screened at the Outdoor Cinema on Festival Plaza. Grab a blanket and a sweater, it might get chilly!
Pier Village, 50 Chelsea Ave,
Long Branch, NJ
Chester Harvest Celebration
October 13-14, 11AM – 5PM
The 35th Annual Harvest Celebration in downtown Chester has every type of entertainment, including a car show, live music, pumpkin painting, blacksmith demos, wood carving demos, and clown performances. Stop by the fun fall-themed “selfie” photo station for those Instagrammable-pics. Don’t forget to tag us @njmom and #NJMOM.
Downtown Chester, NJ
Historic Smithville’s Irish Festival
October 13 & 14, 12PM – 6PM
There’s no time to be upset about the end of summer, not with the exciting fall festivals that Smithville has lined up. Historic Smithville’s Irish Festival celebrates all things about the heritage of the Emerald Isle with live music, traditional Irish dancing, an Irish market, all the Guiness and Shepherd’s pies you can imagine, and tons of kids activities.
Historic Smithville Village,
Thompson Park Day
October 14, 11AM – 5PM
We’re SO excited about the activities at Thompson Park Day, like the scarecrow contest, wagon rides, canoeing, archery, rock climbing, hayrides, and pumpkin painting. Bonus: Thompson Park Day will host the Strut Your Mutt Doggie Costume Contest – check out the pooches dressed as princesses, vampires, pumpkins, and more.
805 Newman Springs Rd,
5th Annual Belmar Kite Festival
October 14, 11AM – 4PM
Watch kites soar at the annual Belmar Kite Festival. Come as a spectator or participate to see the magnificent show of colorful kites flying high over Belmar beach between 2nd and 3rd Avenues.
708 10th Ave,
October 17, 5:30PM – 8PM
Enjoy an evening with the kids at Oak Glen Park featuring a hayride, fall-themed games, pumpkin painting, a “spooky” tent, and a costume contest. Please bring can/bag of pet food to be donated to the local Humane Society.
Oak Glen Park, 246 Preventorium Rd,
Movies In The Park – Coco
October 19, 6:30PM
October 19th is free family movie night at Hamilton Park. If you haven’t seen Coco yet, it’s sure to get you and the kids in the mood for Halloween, bring some warmth into your heart, and possibly a tear to your eye. Bring tissues!
Hamilton Park, 9th Street and W Hamilton,
Jersey City, NJ
Hoboken Harvest Fest
October 20, 11AM – 3PM
A full day of family fun featuring hay rides, a hay maze, pony rides, a petting zoo, a moonwalk, face painting, pumpkin painting, balloon art, soccer, dance and gymnastic demos, and live music. Celebrate the harvest with all of these fun fall activities and plenty of food for you to enjoy in beautiful Pier A Park. A great view of the NYC skyline.
Pier A Park, 1st St. & Sinatra Dr.,
Cowtown Farmers Market Harvest Day
October 20, 8AM – 4PM
A family fun event that features activities like horse-drawn wagon rides, pick your own pumpkins, and Fantasy Face Painting of South Jersey. Moms and dads can shop til’ they drop at the flea market with crafts and antiques.
Cowtown Farmers Market, 780 Rte 40 Harding Hwy,
Hammonton’s 13th Annual Downtown Trick or Treat
October 20, 2PM – 4PM
Downtown Hammonton is a fun place for you to visit with the family – especially during Halloween time. Downtown Trick or Treat is a spooktacular evening filled with music, treats, activities and dressed up fun.
Downtown Hammonton, 10 S. Egg Harbor Road,
Freehold Food Fest
October 21, 12PM – 5PM
This year, Freehold Food Fest is going to the dogs – literally. This year’s event will benefit the SPCA of Monmouth County with a day of NJ’s top-rated food trucks, local vendors, a beer garden, and live music. Stop into IPlay America to keep the fun going.
Iplay America, 110 Schanck Rd,
Squash Fest at the Highland Park Farmers Market
October 26, 11AM – 6:30PM
Tis the season…for a squash party. That’s right, the Highland Park Farmers Market thinks the humble squash needs to be celebrated in all its glory, in all its varieties. This event features live music, squash-themed food demos and activities, raffle baskets of Farmers Market goodies to win, and more.
Main Street Highland Park, 212 Raritan Ave,
Highland Park, NJ
Princeton’s Annual Hometown Halloween Parade
October 26, 5PM
Join this 30-year-old celebration on Palmer Square Green and enjoy the Princeton University Marching Band before you parade through Downtown Princeton to the Princeton Family YMCA. The festivities continue at the YMCA with live music, a bounce house, trunk or treat, food and drink, crafts and family-friendly activities.
Long Branch Fall Festival and Pooch Parade 2018
October 27, 11AM – 4PM
The Fall Festival will feature arts & crafts, touch a truck, bouncy rides, a costumed pooch parade, a kids costume parade, and craft vendors. Kids will love dancing to the music and visiting with their favorite characters. The shops of Pier Village will be participating in trick-or-treating so get ready to bring home some sweets.
Long Branch, NJ
Haunted Downtown Metuchen
October 27, 12PM – 5PM
Join in on the fun(if you dare) for a spooktakular day of fun, frights and Halloween festivities all through Downtown Metuchen. Get spooked with the T-Rex walking around downtown, watch the haunted mechanical bull ride on Town Plaza, and stick around for the annual Zombie Walk hosted by Cai’s Cafe.
10 Station Place, Ste 3,
Rahway’s Halloween Spooktacular
October 27, 4PM
Calling all vampires, witches, princesses, and zombies! Rahway’s annual celebration of all things Halloween is back featuring a costume contest, street parade, Trunk or Treat, and a FEARWORKS display of fireworks at City Hall Plaza. The town will stay creepy well into the night, so be sure to stop into your favorite restaurant or local business.
1 City Hall Plz,
October 28, 1PM – 4PM
Enjoy Trick-or-Treating and interactive performances at the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. Children will have a chance to meet and take pictures with traditional costumed characters, such as the Mummy, the Grymm Witches, the too-tall scarecrow and many others. Throughout the grounds, actors will perform an eclectic mix of short skits capturing the Halloween season.
1501 Glasstown Road,