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School’s Back: Celebrate with a Night (or Day) Out Without the Kids!

45+ things to do in September sans-kiddos.


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Photo courtesy of Chester Lions Club Facebook
 

September 6

Paint-a-Scape

This adult-only workshop is perfect for girls’ night out or a crafty date night. You’ll get a lesson in painting, then take your skills to the canvas. Head to Warren County Library in Hackettstown to make your masterpiece.

September 6-9

Paranormal Cirque

Jumpstart Halloween season at this thrillingly dark circus show. Visit Livingston Mall (if you dare!) to see this big top production complete with theater, cabaret and illusions.

September 7

Downtown Concert Series: Rosewood

Grab your lawn chairs for a live concert at Madison’s Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. Bring goods for a picnic, tour exhibits and more while taking in live music.

September 7-9

Asbury Park Oysterfest

Squeeze in one more shore trip before summer ends for live music, fresh seafood and more in the buzzing Bradley Park across from Convention Hall. Go on the 7th to get in free.

September 8

NJ Taco Festival

Rain check your Taco Tuesday plans for a Saturday at Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta. Eat your way through various taco food trucks, sip on margaritas, watch the pepper eating contest and stay for live music.

Food Trucktoberfest

Monmouth Park Racetrack is going to be chock-full of local food trucks featuring faves like lobster rolls and butterfly fries for this fest. Wash down street fare with German brews and tune in to live music.

The Bike Train

Hit the Lehigh Gorge trail in Jim Thorpe, PA with Pocono Biking. A scenic train ride will take you 25 miles up the gorge, then drop off you and your biking partner to ride back at your own pace. Make sure your phone’s charged: there are tons of Instaworthy scenic overlooks and waterside views of the Lehigh River.

Maple Shade Sidewalk Sale, Festival and Car Show

This is an annual tradition you don’t want to miss. Shop retail vendors, take in live entertainment, browse and shop exhibitors and crafters and chow down on festival eats.

Hub City Sounds: Rock New Brunswick

This Latin rock and Afro-punk free concert is a can’t-miss. Visit Boyd Park for a range of performances and refreshments.

Brew at the Zoo

This wild event at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in PA boasts more than 40 craft brews to try. Splurge on VIP admission to get in early and score a zoo swag bag. Be sure to visit with Murphy and Tatu the giraffes?

Famous Semi-Annual Schnitzelfest

Wunderbar! The German-American Society is serving up this authentic Deutch cornerstone with all the trimmings in Trenton. Wash it down with German beers and wine.

September 14

Comedy: Jo Koy

Laugh away the evening at NJPAC in Newark with stand-up comedian Jo Koy, a joker of Comedy Central and Netflix fame.

An Evening with Vanessa Williams

This beloved vocalist is bringing her hits to MPAC in Morristown. Hear her sing tracks from Broadway, television and film (remember Colors of the Wind?)

September 14-16

Central Jersey Jazz Festival 2018

Travel to New Brunswick and Somerville an epic lineup of performers like Dave Stryker and Sachal Vasandani. Best part? It’s all free.

September 14-23

Cape May Food and Wine Celebration

Calling all foodies! Hit Cape May’s MAC by tasting fine wine and sampling fare from tons of Cape May restos.

September 15

Eastern State Penitentiary Van Trip

Road trip with a group to venture though Philly’s legendary haunted prison. After learning the history of the spot, have lunch at Jack’s Firehouse Restaurant, an eatery situated in a 19th-century firehouse.

Harvest Brew Fest

Beer nerds, assemble! Get your fill of local bites, Jersey craft beer and local entertainment at Cape May’s Emlen Physick Estate. Food vendors include Empanada Mama, Joe Battle BBQ, Nick’s Roast Beef and more.

KEM with Special Guest Marsha Ambrosius

Newark’s NJPAC is hosting this platinum-selling singer famous for R&B hits like “Love Calls,” “It’s You” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”

September 15-16

Bergen Street Fest

This Teaneck celebration is back in action for its 2nd annual event at the National Guard Armory. Come for a beer garden, gourmet food trucks, a cover band, raffles and a vendor market.

September 16

The Ridgewood Art Institute’s 2nd Annual Plein Air Paint Out

Venture into the gardens to see artists at work outside the studio with models, props and sets. Then, walk over to the Ridgewood Craft and Art Street Fair to shop.

Crafts and Drafts at Lone Eagle Brewing: Fall Edition

This microbrewery hosts local artisans in an upstairs loft and open the space to shoppers seasonally. Peruse crafters’ items, sample a dozen craft beers and sink your teeth into food truck specialties, all in Flemington.

Sussex County Day

Get some grilling inspo while the weather’s still warm at this free Augusta showdown. Watch the Champion of the Grill BBQ Competition, get your hands on free tastings, peruse hot rods at the classic car show and more. Don’t miss the Chopped Sussex cooking challenge featuring local chefs and the chicken wing eating contest.

HistoryFest

Learn all about Princeton at Updike Farmstead. This year’s theme of the Historical Society of Princeton is Edible Princeton History, so be sure to bring your appetite.

September 21

Ladies’ Night Out at the Brick House

Round up the squad for a girls-only outing to this Wyckoff resto serving up a full dinner buffet, two comped cocktails and a collection of retail and beauty vendors to shop. Your seat scores you five raffle tickets that could win you some major prizes, too.

September 22

Sunset Goat Yoga

Work on your downward dog with a different species of furry friend: goats from Totes Goats! Head to The New Weis Center in Ringwood for vinyasa yoga and cuddly selfies.

Celebrating the Music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Belt out tracks like “Love the One You’re With” and “Teach Your Children at the Shea Center for Performing Arts in Wayne.” The cover band CSNsongs will play all your faves.

September 22-23

The German-American Society of Trenton’s Oktoberfest

Yardville will become home to Mercer County’s biggest German event. Thing beer, food, tunes, vendors and a pig roast. Don’t forget to wear your lederhosen; anyone dressed in full German attire gets free admission.

September 23

Team TSF 5K Lake Walk

Break a sweat in Medford for a fall workout boasting some seriously scenic views. The run will take place at YMCA Camp Ockanickon.

Gipsy Kings

NJPAC is hosting this Grammy-winning Latin group of performers who play everything from flamenco to Western pop.

September 25

Afe Tacvba with Ruen Brothers Niu Gueis

This alt rock band is already beloved in Mexico for its innovative stylings and tracks. Find out why at NJPAC in Newark.

September 27

5th Annual Uncorked & Uncapped: Wine, Beer and Food Fest

Make your way to The Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange for gourmet samples from Essex County restos, wine, spirits and craft beer. Then try your luck in the silent auction.

September 29

Flemington Rotary Beerfest

Sample your way through a wide range of brews while tuning in to live tunes and chowing down on local grub. It’s all at Liberty Village Market Place.

Honey Brook Organic Farm’s Harvest Supper and Smooth Jazz

This is a seasonal dinner date you won’t want to pass up. Gear up for autumn with a chef-made 5-course meal starring Honey Brook’s fall harvest at The Rooted Affair in Robbinsville.

Rock the Farm

Some epic cover bands are heading to Seaside Heights for an epic day of music, sand and sea. In addition to hearing your fave classic rock from back in the day, you can munch your way through food truck fare, do beachfront yoga and get in on a foam party.

19th Annual Leonia Oktoberfest

Visit the local American Legion Hall for authentic German bites, top-tier beer, live music and more. Don’t forget to dress up!

Our Lady of the Lake Oktoberfest

This Verona celebration is back for its 9th year. Snag tix for live entertainment, seasonal bites and a whole slew of wine and beer beneath the famous big tent.

!Hola Fest! NJ

Diviertate (aka enjoy yourself) at Maplewood’s inaugural Hispanic heritage celebration. Fill up on Latin culinary treats, play dominos, shop cigars and learn to dance salsa from on-site instructors.

September 29-30

Annual Oktoberfest Weekend

Prost! Chester will be home to traditional tunes, Oktoberfest brews and next-level German food. Think bratwurst, apple strudel, plum cake, sauerkraut, smoked pork chops and more.

September 30

9th Annual Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival

Kick off oyster season downtown with two stages of music, one-of-a-kind vendors and a range of bites from local restaurants.

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Keep it classic (literally) at this Sitnik Theatre performance in Hackettstown. You’ll take a musical journey through Italy from tarantella dances to Puccini.

Ongoing

The Dinner Detective

Dust off your P.I. cap for a four-course plated meal paired with a hilarious murder case at the DoubleTree in Fort Lee. Uncover clues with the audience while you chow down every other Saturday night.

River Trips

Through the end of October, you can make a splash on the Delaware in a canoe. Explore South Branch on September 8 or go from Phillipsburg to Riegelsville on September 23. The excursions are about four hours of paddling plus a lunch break.

Paint Nite

Sip, munch and DIY your own canvas painting. Visit Miller’s Ale House in Woodbridge to make a dreamy dusk scene on September 5. Freehold’s TGI Friday’s is hosting a Whimsical Pumpkins paint project on September 11, perfect for kicking off fall. If you’re still holding onto warmer weather, not to worry: Barnyard Daisies at Plank Pizza Co. Beer Parlor in Saddle Brook will do the trick on September 26.

Parental Time Out in Weehawken

Can’t find a sitter for your night out? Drop ‘em at Play City any Friday night this year. They’ll have dinner and open play while you get some alone time. Have a Greek dinner at Molos, Mexican at Charrito’s or Thai at HI-SO Thai.

Super Swing Tuesdays at Brix Restaurant and Bar

Learn West Coast Swing with WCS National Champion Arjay Centeno. Bring a partner to socialize and dance with at this Belleville hotspot.

 

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