One of the only seasons that can compete with summer in our humble opinion is fall at the Jersey Shore. With Jersey Shore Oktoberfests that celebrate the traditional German festival that has been celebrated since 1810 (talk about longest party in history), dressing up in our Halloween best (for pups, kids, and adults), to indulging in festive fall treats (hey, we don’t have to wear a bathing suit for quite some time) – there’s something for everyone to do.
Whether you’re seeing how many steins you can hold, figuring out the difference between all of the “wursts” on your platter, choosing a candied apple, or deciding what Halloween costume is guaranteed to wow the judges – there’s no place quite like the Jersey Shore in the fall. Here’s our list of what to do this October from the best places to celebrate a true Jersey Shore Oktoberfest to dressing up for Halloween spectaculars!
A Jersey Shore Oktoberfest: Beers and Brats to Tricks and Treats
Oktoberfest, Molly Pitcher Inn
Head to the historic Molly Pitcher Inn (88 Riverside Ave, Red Bank 732-784-4059) for their 1st Annual Oktoberfest. Featuring an all you can eat smorgasburg of dishes like Saurbraten Pretzel Sliders, Potato Pancakes, Pork Schnitzel, and even sweet treats like Raspberry Linzer Tartlets, you’ll leave feeling quite German. Tickets are $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity and include all you can eat food and all you can drink beer. With live entertainment, this event on October 5th is not to be missed.
Oktoberfest Beer, Cape May Brewing Company
When you think of Oktoberfest at the Jersey Shore, how can you not think about a good beer to go along with all that schnitzel? The Cape May Brewing Company (1288 Hornet Road, Cape May 609-849-9933) has you covered with the debut of their annual Oktoberfest beer (it’s only around for the next few weeks so get on it!) A Marzen style beer that is both rich and complex, aka the perfect beer for the changing of the season. The brewers blended up a number of German malts including Vienna, Munich, Caramunich, Pilsen, and Melanoidin so that you can “guzzle out of das boot or a solo cup on the beach.” Sounds like our kind of beer.
Oktoberfest, Asbury Park Festhalle & Biergarten
Running until Oktober 22nd, celebrate the German beer season at the Jersey Shore’s premier biergarten – Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten (527 Lake Ave, Asbury Park 732-997-8767). Featuring the best polka this side of the Atlantic, along with pig roasts, traditional German games (with prizes of course), and the best selection of beer (along with a mug that’s as close to “das boot” as you’re gonna get), it’s month long party… German style.
Oktoberfest Menu Specials, The Court Jester
The Court Jester (16 E Main Street, Freehold 732-462-1040) is home to a long list of seasonal beers (from pumpkin to pilsners, stouts, and IPAs) as well as some delicious Oktoberfest specials. All month long, chow down on Beef Goulash, German Style Pot Roast, and a platter full of meat – bratwurst, knockwurst, and pork chops with all the fixings.
A Seasonal Selection of Beer, Little Silver Bottle Shop
What is Little Silver Bottle Shop (497 Prospect Avenue, Little Silver 732-741-3343) specialize in? Well, besides delivering your alcohol, they also have the best selection of beers at the Jersey Shore. You’ll find a beer to pair with every German dish you could possibly cook up at home.
Oktoberfest and Boo at the Boardwalk, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk
Leave it to Jenkinson’s Boardwalk (300 Ocean Avenue, Pt. Pleasant Beach 732-892-0600) to make sure that everyone has fun during October. Whether you’re eyeing that candied apple at their sweet shop, snacking on some pumpkin fudge, or dressing up in you’re Halloween best at Boo at the Boardwalk (October 21-22nd and 28-29th), you can guarantee that you’re entire family will have a good time.
Howl-A-Ween Party, Golden Paws
It may still be up for debate whether your furry friends want to dress up for Halloween, but until they can talk, we can’t help but swoon over the cuteness that ensues. If you’re like us, and just happen to own a pup or two (or are just a dog lover), be sure to join in the fun on Saturday, October 28th from 4-6pm for Golden Paws Pet Boutique & Grooming Salon (269 E. Main Street, Oceanport 732-440-4385) Howl-A-Ween Party. The best dressed pup will go home with some prizes and they’ll be some fun, games, and refreshments for both four-legged and two-legged guests.
Pumpkin Desserts, Antoinette Boulangerie
Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that’s what Antoinette Boulangerie (32 Monmouth Street, Red Bank 732-224-1118) is made of… during October that is! Head over to Red Bank’s very own Parisian bakery to find enticing desserts like Pumpkin Spice Mousse, Creamy Pumpkin Tart, and even Pumpkin Spice Coffee. It’s so sweet, it’s almost spooky!
Harvest Arts Festival, Downtown Toms River
Get into the spirit of Fall and Halloween during Downtown Toms River’s Annual Harvest Arts Festival on Saturday, October 21st from 11:30am – 5:00pm. Admire (and purchase) works from artists across the region, then hang out in the Beer and Wine Garden, listen to some live music, eat some great food, and shop. There’s even plenty to do for the little ones with inflatables, rides, free games, and pumpkin painting.
16th Annual Oktoberfest, Highlands
Taking after the traditional Oktoberfest held in Munich, Germany, the 16th Annual Oktoberfest held in the Highlands on October 7th is focused on three things: eating, drinking, and being merry. Sounds like our kind of event! Of course they’ll be authentic German food, live music, and dancing, but what really sets this event apart is their “Beer Stein Holding” contests where the winner with the biggest and strongest grip gets to go home with a prize… and more beer.
Like we’ve said before, there’s just something about this month that gets people excited. Belmar is also putting its spin on an Oktoberfest celebration. On Sunday, October 8th from 11:00am – 5:00pm, this seaside town will turn into a German festival complete with German food, Oompah Bands, a beer garden, and kids activities.