FREEHOLD, NJ - Colorful leaves, crisp air, hot cider, bountiful harvests, hayrides and Halloween fun!  Fall is in full swing, and many activities have moved from the beaches to the fields. 

The sights, sounds and smells of the autumn season will surround you this October. On Oct. 3 The Mediaeval Baebes will perform at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan at 7:30 p.m.

The first weekend provides enough options to fill your fall fix! On Oct. 4 visit the grand opening of Monster Mini Golf on Hope Road in Eatontown, check out “The Full Monty” at Algonquin Arts in Manasquan, head over to Pollak Theatre in West Long Branch for “Ghost Hunters Live,” or catch “Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure” at the Spring Lake Community Theatre.

On Oct. 5 there is no shortage for fall fun:

  • The Heritage Society hosts an Artisan Festival with over 30 antique and handcrafted vendors at 10 a.m. at the Oakley Farmstead Museum House in Freehold;
  • The SPCA will host their 20th Anniversary and Pet Fair at Brookdale Community College where you can join over 2,000 people and their pets and shop over 75 vendors, enjoy live music, raffles, dog costume and “inner beauty” contests, and more;
  • The 9th annual Latino Festival of Monmouth County in the Freehold Hall of Records parking lot in at noon where you can enjoy music, food, art & entertainment;
  • Oktoberfest in the Highlands from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Veterans Park for traditional Bavarian food, German beers, live music, vendors and children’s activities;
  • The 6th annual Asbury Park Zombie Walk, the world’s largest gathering of zombies, which begins at Convention Hall at 5 p.m.

But wait, there’s still more this weekend!  On Oct. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., stop by Historic Walnford in Upper Freehold for Walnford Day where you can experience hands-on history as you celebrate life in the 18th and 19th centuries, or sign up for the Purr’n Pooch 5K-K9 Class Run/Walk to help animals in need of love and rescue.

Take pleasure in the great outdoors on Oct. 12 at 9 a.m. for the 2013 Timberbrook Triathlon.  One of the state’s most unique races offers you a chance to participate in a three-mile run, a two-mile canoe/kayak race or a five-mile mountain bike race!

Looking for more fun on Oct. 12? Ocean Grove’s Fall Harvest Festival and Craft Show will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Main Avenue. This festival features over 90 arts and crafts vendors, sidewalk sales, pony rides, live music and a variety of food. Spring Lake will also be hosting their Columbus Day Italian Festival and Art Walk so stroll along 3rd Avenue any time from noon to 4 p.m.

For more Halloween fun, visit Historic Allaire Village on Oct. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. for All Hallows’ Eve, an event featuring pumpkins and a costume parade with prizes! Also on Oct. 13 is Belmar’s Fall Festival.  The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street, (between 8th and 10th Avenues) and will feature antiques & original crafts, performers, a pumpkin decorating contest, food and children’s activities.

On Oct. 20, from 11 a.m.to 5 p.m., Thompson Park Day will put you in the Halloween spirit with a corn maze, dog costume contest, scarecrow contest, pumpkin painting, wagon ride, food, crafts and live entertainment. 

More Halloween events will be popping up all throughout the county this October.  Highlights include:

  • “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” an interactive adaptation of the classic ghost story, at Historic Allaire Village, Oct. 4 & 5;
  • Jersey Shore Ghost Tours, walking lanterns tours of Red Bank every Friday and Keyport every Saturday night at 8 p.m. through Halloween;
  • Camp Evans “Base of Terror” at Historic Camp Evans on weekend nights throughout the month;
  • Downtown Freehold will sponsor Spooktacular Haunted Hayrides on Oct. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m.;
  • Halloween Hayrides at Historic Allaire Village, at 6 p.m. the last two weekends in October; and
  • Spring Lake “Pumpkin Patch Day”, an Oktoberfest Celebration on Oct. 20;

Need a break from pumpkins and ghosts?  Not a problem, Monmouth County is always filled with variety. 

Gather all the ladies together and start the weekend early on Oct. 17 for Girls Night Out in Red Bank!  Participating Red Bank restaurants, bars and shops will offer specials and discounts for you and your girlfriends to enjoy.

The Tavernfest Celebration at the Historic Allen House will take place on Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Entertainment, food and spirits will be offered at this seasonal event.

You can find more detailed information at www.visitmonmouth.com. Click on the Tourism tab to find the Calendar of Events, Monmouth County Tourism’s comprehensive source for all such things.  You can also call 800-523-2587 to have a packet of information mailed to you, or stop by the office at 1 E. Main St., Freehold, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays to browse the extensive literature. The calendar is updated every day, so it’s the best source for current information.

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