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Things to Do Without the Kids in October

Want a spooky Halloween date? Just a sans-kids night out? We've got perfect ideas for you and your boo.


Physick Estate

September 30-October 1

Mulled Wine and Cider Doughnuts

Warm up in the gorgeous fall weather at Old York Cellars in Ringoes. Taste mulled wine, red wine simmered with fruit and spices served hot, and pair it with an indulgent cider doughnut. If you're more into savory treats, head there for the Chili Cook-Off on October 14. For a spook, don't miss the Ghost Talk with Gordon Ward.

October 2

A Taste of Clifton Food and Wine Festival

Sample goodies from top-tier eateries in the area, and wash them down with wine or craft beer from the Beer Garden. This event supports the Boys & Girls Club of Clifton.

October 5

Russian String Orchestra 

The orchestra, formerly known as Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, boasts some of Russia’s most prodigal string players. Head to dinner before the show at Wayne's Shea Center for Performing Arts for a classy date night.

The Ghosts of Princeton

Do you and your brood love ghost hunting shows? Join Princeton Tour Company’s Mimi Omiecinski, who’s been investigating the town for over a decade. Learn about local haunts and use ghost hunting equipment to see what’s hiding in Mary Jacobs Memorial Library in Rocky Hill.

October 6

Marriage and Other Crimes

Instead of hosting a sinful supper at home, dine with a darkly comedic theater company at the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts and Humanities at Aleathea's at the Inn of Cape May. If you think your in-laws are bad, this show will remind you how good you have it. A groom-to-be introduces his fiancée to his family, only to find that they um...don’t approve of her. 

An Evening with Sutton Foster 

Tony winner Sutton Foster, performing with a trio, presents an evening of Broadway favorites at MPAC in Morristown. If you’re a fan of Younger, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Foster perform live.

The Temptations and the Four Tops

You can’t stop the feeling at this Motown musical celebration at NJPAC in Newark. Dance the night away with two Grammy-winning bands and snap a pic of yourself singing along with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legends.

Vegas Casino Night Gala

Step into Sin City for a night­—try your hand at roulette, craps, blackjack or a $300 buy-in Texas Hold ‘Em tournament. Stop by the open bar and have a drink while you watch master impersonator Christopher Peterson parody Hollywood icons. It all goes down at Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway.

October 7

Photo Courtesy of Jun Santiago

The Witches Ball

Grab your pointy hat and broom for this magical Mount Holly tradition. Take part in an epic costume contest, have a tarot reading at Gypsy Village, meet real ghost hunters at Paranormal Alley and shop for unique oddities at the Bizarre Bazaar. 

October 8

1st Annual Chilly Hilly 5K Race

They say couples that work out together, stay together. Come flex with your partner at this morning 5K in Boonton.

Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Union County Performing Arts Center is putting on a stage rendition of this beloved novel about two sisters who have to manage after their father dies and their half-brother inherits the family estate.

October 13

Photo courtesy of JC Midnight Market

Midnight Market

If food is your vice, make your way to the Midnight Market in Kearny, a change from the usual Jersey City locale. This 21-and-over, cash-only event has tons of devilishly good food and drink, plus spooky music. Best part? The indoor market is $5 to get in. All bites and brews are $5 a pop, too.

October 13-14

An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe

Hear a playwright and actress retell some of Poe's most famous (and darkest) tales in the Allaire Chapel in Farmingdale. The Historic Village at Allaire has loads of Halloween events that'll spook you, too, so check it all about before heading home.

October 13-15

Jersey Boys 

Odds are if you’re from New Jersey, you’ve heard of this Tony-winning musical about four blue-collar kids becoming one of the greatest successes in pop music history. If you haven’t, it’s time to see the show inspired by Frankie Valli's music at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

October 14

Midnight at the Masquerade

This Murder Mystery Co. show at the Elks Lodge in Wayne transports you into an elite party at the Billionaires’ Club. Trade clues with guests as you search for the killer in glam evening garb.

Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 14-28

Photo courtesy of Princeton Tour Company Facebook page

Cemetery Visit and Ghost Hunt

If you’re a fan of ghost-hunting TV shows, this is right up your alley. Check out the haunted Princeton campus and nearby graveyard, then listen to local ghost stories. Guests use real ghost-hunting equipment alongside paranormal investigators. After the hunt, splurge on a locally-sourced dinner at Elements.

Saturdays, Oct. 14-28

Tea and Confessions

Hear the chilling tales of Lizzie Borden, Typhoid Mary and the Bride of Frankenstein over afternoon tea at the Physick Estate’s Carriage House Cafe & Tearoom. The estate is one of the most haunted mansions in the country, according to medium and paranormal expert Craig McManus. So don’t miss your chance to get spooked!

October 15

Taste of Leonia

Sip wine, munch local foods, bop to live music and bid on awesome prizes at the silent auction. This event at the Leonia Sculpture Garden benefits Sculpture for Leonia. 

October 19

Grain House "Dinner Ghosts" Event

Enjoy a scrumptious meal at this Basking Ridge gem while Gordon Ward, local author and musician, discusses his research and work in the world of the paranormal.

LSC After Dark: Zombtoberfest

Ghouls and goblins ages 21 and up can head to Liberty Science Center in Jersey City for some beer-fueled Halloween fun. Taste the fruits of local breweries, peruse vendors from the Jersey City Oddities Market and taste some scary-good food from Midnight Market NJ for only $5 per plate. Don't miss the Doom Zoo walkthrough. 

October 20-21

Tango Buenos Aires

Get cultured at this performance at the State Theatre. Tango Buenos Aires is famous in Argentina and beyond for having incredible choreography, passionate music and artistic prowess. 

October 20-29

Photo courtesy of Roxey Ballet


You’ll have a bloody good time at this classic folktale-made-modern, where vampires go way beyond Twilight, Buffy and True Blood. Take in Bram Stoker’s gothic masterpiece, and meet the bloodsucker who started it all in a surprisingly elegant way: through the stunning choreography of Roxey Ballet at the Lambertville Canal Studio Theater. Warning: This ballet may make you want to sink your teeth into some dance lessons.

October 21

8th Annual Taste of the Seaport

Cross the Hudson to NYC for a taste of culinary mastery from all over the Seaport and Financial Districts. Suck down oysters, ice cream and more. 

October 22

Corvette Show

Historic Smithville is hosting a car showcase especially for Corvettes. Check out more than 100 beauties, register your own or explore the carousel, arcade and paddle boats that make Smithville famous. 

October 26

Día de los Muertos

The Calpulli Mexican Dance Company is putting on this seasonal performance at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank. This is an entrancing story that explores Mexican folk culture and the line between the living and the dead.

October 27

Spooky Tales: Ghosts of Historic Fort Hancock

If you’re a beach bum, head to Sandy Hook for a spooky moonlit walk. Sip cider and munch on autumn goodies while you wander and search for specters. 


Photo courtesy of Home of Happiness

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Since 1998, the Home of Happiness has performed this cult classic on the first and third Saturdays of every month at Bellevue Cinemas in Montclair. But Halloween calls for special showings in unique-turned-sinister locations (don’t forget your heels and corset, as encouraged at every RHPS performance). A Friday the 13th show in Clifton will host live bands before the movie, followed by a shadowcast (it’s performed live as the movie plays on screen!). Once you’re off trick-or-treat duty, head to Jersey City to see the show in a cemetery on Halloween night.

The Learned Ladies 

If you like quirky characters and sarcastic servants, pencil this Centenary Stage Company show into your date night. Philamente plays matchmaker for her youngest daughter while supporting a women’s intellectual movement.

Ocean City Ghost Tour

Make your way down the parkway for a ghost tour of Ocean City. The 90-minute walkthrough is rich with history, including local folklore, ghost sightings and encounters with the Jersey Devil himself.

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