Fun Things to Do in NJ in October: Fall Festivals, Art and More

Looking for ways to enjoy New Jersey this October? Check out these events, including autumnal activities and eclectic art shows.

Comedian Paul Reiser
Multi-hyphenate performer Paul Reiser, mostly recently starring as Dr. Sam Owens on Netflix's hit series 'Stranger Things,' is stopping in South Orange on his national comedy tour. Photo by Adam DeGross/Courtesy of Paul Reiser

Looking for fun this October? Check out these events and activities happening all over New Jersey.

Please note that all schedules are subject to change; visit the venue’s website for more information.

Art 

Locating Georgia: Selections from the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union
Oct 5-Dec 30
Georgia, a sovereign nation in the southern Caucasus region, was part of the former Soviet bloc. Now art that was suppressed under the Communist regime is being displayed at Rutgers. The work, dating from 1956 to 1991, questions and challenges the Soviet regime and its government. Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. zimmerli.rutgers.edu

Making Waves! Ocean Worlds in Art Glass
Thru Oct 16
This exhibition features glass art made to produce images of ocean-scapes and aquatic life. The work was made by four master glass craftsmen: David Wight, Edward Hald, Elio Raffaeli and Vittorio Costantini. $8-$12. Morris Museum, Morristown. morrismuseum.org

Visible: Latinx Artists in Focus
Thru Oct 23
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Newark Museum of Art is highlighting works created by local Latinx artists. $8-$10. Newark Museum of Art, Newark. newarkmuseumart.org

Comedy 

Comedian duo Piff-Puddles

America’s Got Talent stars Piff the Magic Dragon and Puddles Pity Party are joining forces for their magic musical comedy tour. Photo courtesy of Piff-Puddles

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias
Oct 2
Mexican-American comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias became a huge name in comedy in the 2010s, producing several standup specials and starring in various movies throughout the decade. Now, his latest tour is bringing his charming sets and impressive impressions to the Prudential Center. 7 pm; $49-$145. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com

Piff the Magic Dragon & Puddles Pity Party
Oct 2
Former America’s Got Talent! contestants, Piff the Magic Dragon (who is attached at the hip to his chihuahua, Mr. Piffles) and Puddles Pity Party have teamed up for an unforgettable musical comedy tour. Piff is a deadpan comic and magician, while
Puddles Pity Party is a sad giant clown with a special singing voice. They are hitting the road together on the Misery Loves Company tour. 7 pm; $29-$59. Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank. thebasie.org

Paul Reiser
Oct 9
Most recently known for his roles on Stranger Things and The Kominsky Method, comedian, actor and writer Paul Reiser is truly an entertainment renaissance man. Now the Emmy-nominated performer is hitting the road on a nationwide comedy tour. 7:30 pm; $38-$58. South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange. sopacnow.org

Jay Leno

Laugh with Jay Leno this month at MPAC. Photo courtesy of the Mayo Performing Arts Center

Jay Leno
Oct 13
Esteemed former Tonight Show host Jay Leno is recapping the major events of the year on his nationwide comedy tour. 8 pm; $100-$150. Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown. mayoarts.org

 Festivals 

Millville’s Festival of Fine Craft
Oct 1-2
Attendees have the opportunity to browse and buy handcrafted works from around 150 artists at Millville’s craft fair. The festival also has live music, crafting demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, and food trucks. $7-$12. WheatonArts, Millville. wheatonarts.org

Bowl for sound healing

This year’s festival will feature sound healing. Photo: Unsplash/Content Pixie

Newark Arts Festival: Artful Healing
Oct 6-9
To acknowledge the hard times we are living in, the Newark Art Festival is focused on collective healing through art this year. The thoughtfully curated artwork, performances and programming scheduled hope to offer multiple meanings of healing to the respective artists and inspire hope, comfort and encouragement.
Newark Museum of Art, Newark. newarkmuseumart.org

Friends raise cups of beer

Celebrate Jersey’s Rose City at Bottle Hill Day this fall. Photo: Shutterstock/AstroStar

Bottle Hill Day
October 15
Downtown Madison’s free annual street festival features all-day entertainment, over 200 vendor booths, family activities and rides, food, a beer garden and more. The Madison Chamber of Commerce and Madison PBA #92 will also host the annual Madison Car Show. 10 am–5 pm. Downtown Madison. rosenet.org/1005/Bottle-Hill-Day.

Annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival
Oct 15-16
The annual Chatsworth Cranberry Festival returns to town this month. The festival features a full weekend’s worth of live music, a craft show and over 150 vendors, including 15 food vendors. 9 am-4 pm. Chatsworth, Woodland Township. cranfest.info

Quill pen poised upon page of close-up handwriting

A gigantic poetry festival is taking place at NJPAC this month. Photo: Shutterstock/mizar_21984

Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival
Oct 20-23
Occurring every two years, this poetry festival celebrates its 19th anniversary by offering more than 120 poetry-related events with over 60 poets and musicians over the course of four days. Some featured readers include former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Pulitzer Prize winner Yusef Komunyakaa and MacArthur Fellowship recipient Sandra Cisneros. Times vary; $25-$110. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org

Music 

Alice In Chains and Breaking Benjamin with special guest Bush
Oct 7
American alternative metal bands Alice in Chains and Breaking Benjamin are embarking on a nationwide tour together, bringing along British rock band Bush as special guests. 5:30 pm; tickets start at $37. PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel. pncbankartscenter.org

Post Malone
Oct 7
American singer and rapper Post Malone first achieved mainstream success with his 2015 debut single, White Iverson, and his 2016 debut album, Stoney. Now one of the biggest names in the music industry, Malone is back on tour with his fourth album, Twelve Carat Toothache. 8 pm; $123-$430. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com

Bad Suns
Oct 22
California-based indie rock band Bad Suns first made a name for itself on the indie scene with the group’s 2014 debut album, Language & Perspective. The band is stopping in Jersey City on tour for its latest release, Apocalypse Whenever. 7 pm; $25-$75. White Eagle Hall, Jersey City. whiteeaglehalljc.com

New Jersey native Charlie Puth is performing at Count Basie Center for the Arts this October. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Cappello

Charlie Puth 
Oct 23
Massive pop star Charlie Puth, a Rumson native, wants your attention. The award-winning musician is stopping in his home county, Monmouth, for his One Night Only tour. 8 pm; $69.50-$99.50. Count Basie Center for the Arts, Red Bank. thebasie.org

Pusha T

See Pusha T perform at Montclair’s Wellmont Theater this month.

Pusha T
Oct 27
Rapper and record executive Pusha T, well known as one half of hip-hop duo Clipse, along with his older brother No Malice, is stopping in Montclair for his It’s Almost Dry Tour with British-American rapper IDK. 8 pm; $49.50. Wellmont Theater, Montclair. wellmonttheater.com

 Special Events

Far Hills Horse Race

This year marks the 101st annual Far Hills horse racing competition. Photo by Dave Luderer

101st Annual Far Hills Race Meeting
Oct 15
The horse races at Far Hills Race Meeting have been attracting loyal crowds in the thousands for over a century. This October, the race celebrates its 101st year, offering a variety of deals from general admission to luxurious tent packages. All day; $110. Moorland Farms, Far Hills. farhillsrace.org

Side-by-side headshots of Daniel Craig and Stephen Colbert

Head to NJPAC for a night with Daniel Craig and Stephen Colbert.

An Evening With Daniel Craig and Stephen Colbert
Oct 28
Comedian and host of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert, who lives in Montclair, is sitting down with English actor Daniel Craig for the 11th annual Montclair Film Benefit. Craig is best known for his role as James Bond, appearing in five such films between 2006 and 2021. Proceeds from ticket purchases benefit Montclair Film. 8 pm; $79-$249. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org

A golden retriever with a tennis ball in its mouth swims in a pool

Pups can swim and splash around to their heart’s content at Montreal Beach Resort. Photo courtesy of Kory Aversa

Montreal Beach Resort’s Doggie Day Pool Pawty
Oct 30
After watching their humans swim the summer away, the dogs will now take center stage in one of Cape May’s most beloved fall traditions—back after a pandemic break. Each dog can join the fun for $10. All proceeds go to Animal Outreach of Cape May County to help save and find forever homes for homeless pets. Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille will have a special doggie menu for the day, as well as specialty themed cocktails for humans. There will also be doggie vendors, a special basket of prizes and other festivities. Noon–4 pm; $10 for participating pups. 1025 Beach Ave, Cape May. Find more info here.

Stage

On Your Feet! 
Oct 7-Nov 6
This production tells the love story of massive Latin pop stars, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who fled to Miami from Castro’s Cuban regime in the late 1960s. Follow the trials and triumphs of the two musicians determined to bring Latin music into the American mainstream. Hear chart-topping classics, including “Rhythm Is Gonna Get You,” “Conga,” and “1-2-3.” Showtimes vary; $35-$125. Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn. my.papermill.org

Red theater curtain

See a show at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre. Photo: Unsplash/Rob Laughter

Something Rotten 
Oct 21-30
Set in the 1590s and following brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, this show tells the story of struggling playwrights who, in the shadow of William Shakespeare, set themselves apart by writing the first-ever musical. Showtimes vary; $22-$24. Kelsey Theatre, West Windsor. kelsey.mccc.edu

 Benefits & Fundraisers 

Topgolf Fundraiser
Oct 6
The Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey in Burlington is holding a fundraiser at Topgolf in Edison to raise money for the organization’s programs and services, which help those in need across the state. Tickets grant access to food, drinks, a silent auction, and unlimited gameplay. 5 pm-8 pm; $95. Topgolf, Edison. lsmnj.org

The Calais School 5K Charity Run
Oct 15
The Calais School, a private K-12 special education school in Whippany, is hosting its first annual 5K charity run, with funds going toward programs and services such as animal therapy, development of workplace readiness, and after-school and enrichment programs. 8:30 am; $35. The Calais School, Whippany. thecalaisschool.org

No Worries Fundraising Gala
Oct 21
Camp No Worries, a Tabernacle-based nonprofit that provides a summer camp experience to children with cancer and their siblings, is holding a fundraising gala. Tickets to the event include dinner, drinks, music, auction items, giveaways and prizes. 7-11 pm; $80. Paris Caterers, Berlin. noworriesevent.com

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