The Best Things to Do in NJ This September: Festivals, Concerts and More

This month's hottest happenings in festivals, music, comedy and more.

The Watern Lantern Festival, happening in Mays Landing and Jersey City this month, is a luminous and moving celebration of life. Photo: Courtesy of Water Lantern Festival

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

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


From Flame to Flower: The Art of Paul J. Stankard
Opens Sept 15
New Jersey artist Paul Stankard is internationally renowned for his delicate sculptures of flowers and in- sects encased in glass globes and cubes. His creations have been shown in major musuems throughout the world, and now, the Morris Museum is showcasing work from his 50-year career. Morris Museum, Morristown.

Newark Arts Festival 2023
Sept 27-Oct 1
This year’s annual Newark Arts Festival celebrates “Cross Cultural Perspectives” and the 5oth anniversary of hip hop. The festival will feature dynamic art installations, live performances and poetry, youth activities, media events and panels. FREE. Newark Museum of Art, Newark.


See Internet personality Nick Colletti live in Rutherford. Photo: Courtesy of Nick Colletti

Nick Colletti
Sept 15-16
Nick Colletti, who plays Duncan in the Facebook Watch hit The Real Bros of Simi Valley, draws laughs and fans for his situational comedy and frat-boy impressions. This month, New Jerseyans can see him live on stage, rather than the small screen. 7:30 pm and 10 pm; $22-$30. Bananas Comedy Club, Rutherford.

Jay Pharoah
Sept 29
The esteemed Saturday Night Live alum was named the 55th greatest SNL cast member by Rolling Stone in 2015. Now, he’s bringing his hilariously uncanny impressions to Newark. 7 pm; $29-$49. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark.

Cultural celebrations

Photo: Shutterstock/Png Studio Photography

Sept 3
Enjoy traditional Nordic foods, handicrafts, music, games and more. Vasa Park, Budd Lake. $11 in advance/$14 at gate. Free admission with authentic dress.

Don’t miss one of the largest Italian festivals in the tri-state area.

Hoboken Italian Festival
Sept 7-10
Enjoy a free parade, rides, entertainment, food and fireworks. On Saturday at 2 pm, the 800-pound Madonna Dei Martiri will be carried through the streets, from St. Francis Church to the Hudson River.

Photo: Shutterstock/muddanaturdesign

Greek Festival
Sept 7-10
The 46th annual festival features food, music and more. St. Demetrios Church, Union Township. $2 admission.

Photo: Shutterstock/Simone Hogan

The Latino Festival of Monmouth County
Sept 16
The festival features music, dancing, rides, food and more. Hall of Records, Freehold.


Water Lantern Festival
Sept 1-2 & 23-24
Experience the Water Lantern Festival, a luminous and moving celebration of life. Create your lantern, set it on the water and watch it join other lanterns, bringing hope, peace, and connection to those who participate. On Sept 1 and 2, the location for the festival is Mays Landing; on Sept 23 and 24, the event moves to Jersey City’s Liberty State Park. $29.98-$59.99.

Photo: Shutterstock/urfin

New Jersey Film Festival
Opens Sept 8
Film fans can savor a smorgasbord of independent pictures from around the globe, courtesy of the New Jersey Film Festival. On select Fridays and Saturdays, films are being screened in-person and online (tickets are good for both the virtual and in-person screening). Following some in-person screenings, attendees can stay for a talkback with filmmakers, actors, screenwriters and other members of the production crew. Various times; $15 (single movie) or $100 (festival pass). Voorhees Hall at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, and online.

Rock out at Asbury Park’s gigantic end-of-summer beach bash. Photo: Courtesy of Grant Hodgeon for Sea Hear Now

Sea Hear Now
Sept 16-17
The Foo Fighters, the Killers, Weezer and the Beach Boys are among the performers jamming on three stages at Asbury Park’s annual Sea Hear Now festival, co-founded by rock photographer Danny Clinch. In addition to the performances, surf legends vie for top wave-riding honors. Also check out musicians’ art at the Transparent Clinch Gallery pop-up, and hit after-hours shows at the Stone Pony and other venues. Starting at noon daily; $125 and up.


Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen returns to light up his home state with three concerts at MetLife Stadium. Photo: Courtesy of Shore Fire Media/Danny Clinch

Bruce Springsteen
August 30; September 1 & 3
After seven long years, Bruce Springsteen has finally returned to his home state this year for a string of concerts, his first in New Jersey since the River tour. With the E Street Band, he played the Prudential Center in April and is back for three late-summer MetLife shows. High prices prompted fan frenzy when tickets went on sale, but you can judge if the experience is worth it! 7:30 pm; $45 and up. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford.

Karol G
Sept 7-8
The Colombian singer and Latin pop star has sold multi-platinum albums and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Nicki Minaj, Bad Bunny and Shakira. She’s making a stop at MetLife Stadium this month, touring her fourth studio album Mañana Será Bonito. 7 pm; $133-$291. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford.

Skid Row & Buckcherry
Sept 8
California natives Buckcherry and Toms River legends Skid Row have released a cumulative 16 studio albums over the last 34 years. Now the two heavy metal-veteran bands are hitting the road, having each released new albums within the past year. 7:30 pm; $29-$39. Wellmont Theater, Montclair.

Special events

Assortment of glass bottles

Photo: Shutterstock/Pedal to the Stock

Fall Antique Glass & Bottle Show
Sept 24
Go treasure hunting at the Fall Antique Glass & Bottle Show at Batsto Village. Afterward, take a walking tour of Batsto Village’s grist and saw mills, blacksmith forge, iron furnace and nature center. The community started as an iron works in 1766 before transitioning to glassmaking in the 1800s and is on the state and national historic registers. The Bottle Show runs from 9 am-3:30 pm and is free of charge. Guided tours of village and mansions are available for $3. Wharton State Forest, Hammonton.


Opens Sept 30
The groundbreaking rock musical Hair opens the Two River Theater’s 30th anniversary season. Hits such as “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine” and, of course, “Hair,” celebrate the spirit of the 1960s. $32.50- $67.50. Two River Theater, Red Bank.


JAR of Hope Invitational Golf Outing
Sept 13
JAR of Hope is a NJ-based organization dedicated to raising money for Duchenne muscular dystrophy research, a rare muscle disease that typically affects boys. The organization is hosting a golf outing fundraiser in Colts Neck, which will also have a lunch buffet, dinner and awards reception. 11 am; $1500+. Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck, Colts Neck.

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