Enjoy fun for the family outdoors and get ready for summer’s start 

FREEHOLD, NJ – May is your month if you are ready for the return of farmers’ markets, migrating birds and beach weather in Monmouth County.

Outdoors or in, the Monmouth County Department of Public Information and Tourism details the many events on its Calendar of Events. The list is updated daily at www.visitmonmouth.com. Most attractions are linked to Web sites and provide details. Or, if you prefer, you can request that a packet of information, including the calendar, be mailed to you by calling 1-800-523-2587.

Historic Monmouth Park Racetrack opens for the season May 12 with live thoroughbred racing and many other exciting new changes to the race schedule. The track’s Family Fun Day, with pony rides, live music and clowns is every Sunday beginning May 27.

Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre and Two River Theater, Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre, Algonquin Arts in Manasquan, Ocean’s Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Monmouth University and the Center Street Playhouse in Freehold are booked throughout the month with plays, concerts, readings that are included in the county tourism’s Calendar of Events at www.visitmonmouth.com.

If you love history there is plenty to consider: From 6 to 9 p.m. on May 11 there will be an 18th century Colonial Tavern Party at the Murray Farmhouse in Poricy Park, Middletown. That’s followed by the May 12 Ocean Grove Music and Art Festival in Auditorium Square Park on Pilgrim Pathway in Ocean Grove and the May 12 Spring Crafters Market at Allaire Village in Wall. And don’t forget the May 12 and 13 Antique Show at Festival Plaza in Pier Village in Long Branch.

May 17, 18, 19 and 20 is the Sea Bright Fireman’s Fair from 5 to 11 p.m. and there is also the May 18, 19 and 20 Bamboozle live music festival on the beach in Asbury Park.

On May 20, the Monmouth County Park System features the Outdoor Adventure Expo at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold, and the New Jersey Sea Grant celebrates the wonders of the Jersey Shore with hands-on exhibits at Ocean Fun Days at Sandy Hook, Highlands.

The month wraps up with start of Monmouth County’s summer season on Memorial Day weekend. 

  • Here’s a sampling of items for Memorial Day weekend:
    May 24 at 11 a.m. – 10th Annual New Jersey State of the Shore at the Sea Gulls Nest in Sandy Hook launches the 2012 Beach Season and announces the Top 10 Beaches Awards;
  • May 25 at 9:30 a.m. – The Shore EZride Jitney will take its inaugural ride from the boardwalk at Pier Village to the train station in Long Branch. The Shore EZride Jitney also will help beachgoers get to and from the beaches of Asbury Park, Ocean Grove and Bradley Beach this summer; 
  • May 26 and 27 at 11 a.m. – Bradley Beach Memorial Day Weekend Festival will be on the boardwalk with food and craft vendors;
  • May 26 and 27 at 10 a.m. – The Spring Lake annual sidewalk sale opens;
  • May 27 at 10a.m. – The Seaport Craft Show gets starts at Huddy Park in Highlands, and  
  • May 27 from noon to 5 p.m. at Monmouth Park Racetrack “Food Truck Wars” battle commences with various types of food, crafters, vendors and live music.

Please remember that many towns will host services for the men and women in whose honor Memorial Day is dedicated.

May really is a busy month when restaurants, hotels, stores and more will be getting ready for a great summer season for residents and visitors to Monmouth County. Whether you are looking to the east or west in the county there is something for everyone. Get online and get the county tourism’s Calendar of Events at www.visitmonmouth.com