Top 10 Things To Do “Down the Shore” in New Jersey

Goodbye summer, and hello fall! As you hang up your bathing suits and beach towels and welcome in the season of crunchy leaves, warm boots, and pumpkin spice lattes, take advantage of some of the shore’s fantastic fall activities and keep the good times going. There are plenty of fun happenings taking place in late September—here are ten that you shouldn’t miss.

  1. Savor the best of the shore at the 6th Annual Stone Harbor Savor September Food, Wine and Beer Festival at 96th Street in the shopping district. This year’s foodie-friendly event will highlight some of the area’s top picks in food, wine, microbrews, art, music, and culture. Kids will go wild for the festival’s carnival games, zoo animals, and arts and crafts activities, while adults will have just as much fun with oyster and clam shucking, a grape stomping competition, and a café with fire pits to enjoy live evening entertainment.
    Saturday, September 23, Noon-8pm
    www.stoneharborbeach.com or 609-368-6101
  2. Send off summer in style at the Sunset Lake Seafarers Celebration, a day-long street festival at Sunset Lake that includes live music, craft vendors, entertainment, activities, plenty of food, and much more. This kid-friendly day features entertainment from the Valhalla Pirates, interactive games, roaming street performers, magic shows, a live turtle exhibition, pie-eating contests, bounce houses, and face painting—and that’s not even all of it. The fun continues after 5pm, with live music by oldies band Big Bleu at 7:30pm and a fireworks show at 9pm at Centennial Park.
    Saturday, September 23, festival at 9am-5pm, music at 7:30pm, fireworks show at 9pm;
    www.visitwildwoodcrest.com or 609-523-0202
  3. Every year, thousands of birds migrate across the Cape May Peninsula, which is situated directly within the great Atlantic Flyway. Head to the Fall Migration Festival at the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor at 1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard and witness their majestic flight up close. In addition to having a first row seat to this amazing experience, delight in guided nature walks and kayak tours, native plant garden tours, live animal presentations, a monarch butterfly presentation, and more. You won’t want to miss this once-a-year spectacular tribute to our feathered friends.
    Saturday, September 23, 9:30am-4:30pm;
    www.wetlandsinstitute.org or 609-368-1211
  4. Take a swing back in time at the 1940s Big Band Dance and Concert at the Naval Air Station in Wildwood, located at 500 Forrestal Road, Cape May Airport, Rio Grande—Hangar #1. Sweethearts from all generations will enjoy this night of nostalgia, complete with dinner, drinks, music, and of course, plenty of swing dancing. Not totally confident in your moves? Arrive at 6:30pm for a dance lesson with swing instructor Tom Cupp, who will show you it’s easier than you think to get into the swing of things. At 7pm, The Serenaders will hit the stage with their 14 piece Big Band.
    Saturday, September 23, 6:30-10pm;
    www.usnasw.org or 609-886-8787
  5. Lace up your running shoes for the OCNJ Half Marathon and 5K, with a route through beautiful Ocean City. Not feeling quite up to the challenge? You can also participate in the event’s 10 mile non-competitive walk/run, which takes place on the same course as the half marathon. This year’s course offers a stunning trip through the various neighborhoods of Ocean City, including the downtown business district, and of course, the city’s award-winning beaches and boardwalk. Register online until September 20 for $60, or between September 21 and 23 for $70. And act fast—there’s no same-day registration for the half marathon.
    Sunday, September 24, race starts at 8:30am;
    www.ocnj.us/race-events or 609-399-6111
  6. Celebrate New Jersey’s spectacular Italian heritage and culture at the Olde Time Italian Festival, located in Fox Park at 4500 Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood. This event is free to attend, and features some of the best of Italy—right here on the shore. Activities include crafts, games, rides, a Procession of the Saints, and tons of live entertainment. And of course it wouldn’t be an Italian festival without plenty of delicious food. Eat local delicacies from all over Italy, and try your hand (and stomach) at the spaghetti eating contest. Friday, September 29, 5-11pm and
    Saturday, September 30, Noon-11pm;
    www.sonsofitalywildwood.org or 609-374-0016
  7. Honor those who keep us safe at the Mid-Atlantic Police and Fire Survivors Weekend, with events being held in North Wildwood at 2nd & Surf Avenues and at the Lou Booth Amphitheater. Join the Cape May County Police and the Fire Emerald Society in support of the brave men and women who risk their lives in the service of others, including those who have lost their lives in this pursuit. Event activities include a ceremonial wreath arrival, candlelight vigil, morning prayer service, public safety expo, family night dinner party, pool side cookout, and a motorcycle show put on by the Philadelphia Police Department.
    Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 1, visit website for specific event times;
    www.midatlanticsurvivors.org or 609-522-2030 x. 1503
  8. Gear up for the Monster Truck Beach Nationals, taking place on the beach between Lincoln and Spencer Avenues in Wildwood. Qualifying races take place on Friday, with title races and tough truck races taking place Sunday—and plenty of fun and races in between. Enjoy loads of tasty food and monster truck merchandise, as well as monster truck rides right on the beach.
    Friday, September 29 to Sunday, October 1, visit website for specific event times;
    www.wildwoodmotorevents.com or 609-522-3644
  9. It wouldn’t be right to send off summer at the shore without a seafood festival. Head to the Sea Isle City Harborfest at Marina Park in Sea Isle for a family-friendly day of seafood, music, nautical displays and crafts, and specialty vendors, and a true celebration of Sea Isle’s long and storied fishing and nautical history. You definitely won’t want to miss it.
    Saturday, September 30, 11am-4pm;
    www.seaislechamber.com or 609-263-9090
  10. You can’t welcome in October without Oktoberfest, taking place on Carpenter Lane between Decatur and Jackson in Cape May and continuing on Jackson Street and Beach Avenue. Give a big “cheers!” to the celebrated Bavarian Oktoberfest tradition with beer gardens, German food courts, and artisan tables selling German crafts, antiques, and collectibles. Grab a pint or simply walk around and enjoy the festivities—there’s plenty to do for festival-goers of all ages.
    Saturday, September 30, 10am-5pm;
    www.capemaychamber.com or 609-884-5508

This September is full of fun on the shore. We hope to see you and your family at one of these spectacular events that celebrate the very best of what this beautiful area of New Jersey has to offer!

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