Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend

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With Halloween just around the corner, we’ll soon be bidding October adieu to welcome even chillier nights and possibly some, dare we say it, snow.

Before that happens, there are tons of things to do this weekend at the Jersey Shore, including fall festivals, music and special menu releases. 

One way to truly authenticate this season before it ends is to break out the lederhosen because it’s Oktoberfest time.

Jingleheimer, a North Jersey group with plenty of oompah, will play for free at 9 p.m. Friday at the Asbury Park Yacht Club on the Asbury Park Boardwalk. Jingleheimer specializes in German polkas, waltzes and marches, so grab a stein and have a good time.

Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend
© FILE PHOTO Tap beers available at a past Asbury Park Oktoberfest.

For more information, visit facebook.com/AsburyParkYachtClub.

Here are more fun things to do this weekend: 

Alternate Ending Beer Co. celebrates first anniversary

Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend
© Courtesy of Alternate Ending Beer Co. Alternate Ending Beer Co. is continuing its outdoor service this fall.

Alternate Ending Beer Co. is celebrating its first year in business with a week of festivities that are sure to be can’t-miss gatherings for local craft beer lovers.

Friday features an anniversary stout bottle release and special tappings, and customers will get the chance to be among the first to try the brewery’s new flagship American Pale Ale.

That will be followed by a sold-out late night scary movie night on Saturday, but reservations are still open for a boozy jazz brunch on Sunday featuring a raw bar by Barnegat Oyster, New Orleans-inspired brunch menu items and cocktails.

Alternate Ending Beer Co. is at 1057 Route 34, Aberdeen. For more information and to make reservations, visit alternateendingbeerco.com/pages/anniversary-week.

Anna Deavere Smith and Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Grunin Center

As part of a Visiting Writers Series, The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts at Ocean County College will be hosting actress, playwright, teacher and author Anna Deavere Smith for a special talk, addressing the vulnerability of youth, inequality, the criminal justice system and contemporary activism. The talk will be available both in-person and virtually.

The Grunin Center also will be hosting the Glenn Miller Orchestra at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The 18-member ensemble will perform some of their original, mid-20th century arrangements, as well as more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound.

The Grunin Center is at 1 College Drive, Toms River. For tickets or more information, visit grunincenter.org or call 732-255-0500.

Hoofy Fall Festival coming to Barnegat

Who is Hoofy, you’re probably asking, and why does he have his own festival?

Hoofy was the nickname of Alex Hoffman, a patrolman with the Barnegat Township Police Department who died in 2019. In his memory, Barnegat PBA 296 created the festival to support the Alex Hoffman Memorial Scholarship Fund, which benefits high school students in the township. 

The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at 11 Birdsall St. There will be food trucks, beer tasting, live music, children’s activities, craft vendors and fire pits, concluding with an outdoor showing of “Hocus Pocus.”

The cost is $10. Children are admitted free. 

For more information, visit the PBA’s Facebook page. 

618 Restaurant in Freehold debuts secret cocktail menu

Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend
© Courtesy of Jon Lazo Productions “The Tea” cocktail at 618 Restaurant in Freehold, which is available on their secret speakeasy menu.

For history buffs and fine liquor aficionados alike, 618 Restaurant in Freehold has launched a Speakeasy Cocktail Menu, inspired by prohibition in the 1920s.

While this new menu is available online, guests who visit in person will be let in on the little secret when sitting at the bar only: They will be dealt a playing card that features a QR code menu.

Visitors will get the chance to try a variety of prohibition-era cocktails, including the Jack Rose, which is presented in a bird-shaped glass and made with Laird’s Applejack, lime, pomegranate and grenadine. 

Those interested in taking a friend can also enjoy group cocktails, big enough to serve several at a time. The Tea, which is served in a teapot for two, uses Real McCoy 3 year Rum, lime, Curoçao, Orgeat, cucumbers and mint. 

The “Guava Lava,” which is blanketed with smoke creating an eruptive illusion, serves six and features Tanteo Chipotle Tequila, guava, lime and agave.

To check out the entire menu or to get more information, visit 618nj.com/speakeasy or call 732-577-0001.

Thomas Edison Film Fest at LBIF

This Friday at 7 p.m., The Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences will present the Thomas Edison Film Festival. For the last 40 years, the international juried competitions have advanced the power of short films by celebrating all genres and independent filmmakers across the globe.

This year’s collection focuses on struggles within contemporary society such as the environment, race, class, gender, sustainability, LGBT issues and social justice. This compendium of contemporary, award-winning work is curated by Jane Steuerwald, festival director.

To purchase tickets for $15, visit lbifoundation.org.

Birria tacos in Belmar 

Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend
© COURTESY OF EDWIN VAZQUEZ A pizzadilla and a watermelon drink from Los Barbaros Birria.

About a year ago, Los Barbaros Birria became known for its birria tacos, quesabirrias, mulitas and tortugas, served out of Asbury Park’s Mayan Restaurant only on Sundays. 

At the time, the birrieria was one of only a few around making the popular dipping taco, a Tijuana take on a meat stew from the western state of Jalisco in Mexico. Birria has since exploded, and last weekend, Los Barbaros Birria opened in Belmar. 

The restaurant is at 1110 Main St. in the space previously occupied by Cielito Lindo (Los Barbaros Birria will no longer be offered at Mayan Restaurant). In addition to the dishes mentioned above, diners will find noodle birria (think ramen meets birria tacos) and agua frescas in flavors like sandiaplayera (watermelon) and peoiloco (cucumber with chamoy, a condiment of pickled sour fruit).

For more information, call 848-404-9041 or visit losbarbarosbirria.com.

Spooky shows at Novins Planetarium

The Robert J. Novins Planetarium at Ocean County College is getting into the spooky season, with Laser Fright Night this Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., as well as a Not-So-Scary Halloween Laser Show at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The planetarium also will host Laser Metallica on Friday at 8:30 p.m., and a slew of educational programming on Saturday, including “Wonders of the Fall Sky” and “One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure.”

Masks are required for all patrons 2 and up, regardless of vaccination status, and seats will be socially distanced. For tickets, visit tickets.ocean.edu. More information is at ocean.edu/planetarium, or contact Cara Muscio at 732-255-0400, ext. 2388, or cmuscio@ocean.edu.

Gabriela L. Laracca recently joined the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey and eagerly brings her passion for cuisine and culture to our readers. Send restaurant tips to glaracca@gannett.com.

Alex Biese, Sarah Griesemer and Chris Jordan contributed to this story.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Oktoberfest in Asbury Park and 8 other things to do at the Jersey Shore this weekend

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