Fun Things to Do in NJ in September: Fall Festivals, Comedy and More

Looking for ways to enjoy New Jersey this September? Check out these events, including autumnal activities and iconic comedic acts.

Zakir Khan
Comedian Zakir Khan is performing in Newark this September. Photo courtesy of Kevin Kennedy

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 the venue’s website for more information.

Art 

Rose B. Simpson: Witness
Thru Sept 11
There’s only a little time left to see mixed-media artist Rose B. Simpson’s work, which aims at healing her trauma—from being objectified to stereotyped—through her eccentric sculptures. Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton. artmuseum.princeton.edu

Basquiat mixed media collage

Newark-based artist Bisa Butler honors late neo-expressionist artist Jean-Michel Basquiat in her mixed media portrait. Photo courtesy of the Morris Museum

For the Culture, by the Culture: 30 Years of Black Art, Activism, and Achievement
Thru Sept 25 
This is the last month to see Morris Museum’s Black art, activism and achievement collection, which references figures and feats from 30 years ago. $8-$12. Morris Museum, Morristown. morrismuseum.org 

Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Lotto: The American Dream"

Luis Cruz Azaceta’s Lotto: The American Dream, 1992, serigraph. © Luis Cruz Azaceta. Photo courtesy of George Adams Gallery, New York.

American Stories: Selections from the Jersey City Museum Collection
Thru Dec 30
This exhibit, formerly in the Jersey City Museum, has a new home at Rutgers for the fall. It includes numerous depictions of American life through the local lens of various artists. Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick. zimmerli.rutgers.edu

Comedy 

Zakir Khan
Sept 3
With two successful specials and sold-out global tours, Indian comedian Zakir Khan is offering New Jerseyans his humorous takes on everyday life. 7 pm; $50-$65. New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark. njpac.org

Joey “Coco” Diaz
Sept 7-8
Born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in North Bergen, Joey “Coco” Diaz is bringing his stand-up storytelling smarts to his home state. 8 pm; $21.40-$57.75. Uncle Vinnie’s Comedy Club, Point Pleasant Beach. unclevinniescomedyclub.com

Jerry Seinfeld
Sept 9
Comedic legend Jerry Seinfeld, best known for the hit 90s sitcom Seinfeld, is bringing his hilarious observations to the Garden State. 7 pm; $100-$210. Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown. mayoarts.org

Maria Bamford
Sept 11 
Maria Bamford, the first female comic to have two half-hour Comedy Central specials, is bringing her revered jokes about mental illness to New Jersey. 7:30 pm, $30-$45. South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange. sopacnow.org

Terence “TK” Kirkland
Sept 15-18
Born in Jersey City and raised in Compton, California, TK Kirkland is an entertainment icon who got his start as the comedic opening act for the legendary rap group, NWA. Now he is returning home for a weekend to share some laughs and real-life experiences. Showtimes vary; $40-$50. Bananas Comedy Club, Rutherford. bananascomedyclub.com

 Festivals 

Wildwood Block Party & Music Festival

Celebrate Labor Day weekend down the Shore. Photo courtesy of Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority

Wildwood Block Party & Music Festival
Sept 4
Wildwood’s farewell to summer soirée at Fox Park will feature all-day live entertainment, entertainment, food vendors, craft vendors and more. 1-10 pm; free. Fox Park (Ocean Avenue directly across from the Wildwoods Convention Center), Wildwood. wildwoodsnj.com

Manville Food Truck Festival
Sept 10
Food lovers have 15 food truck options at this event, which benefits Manville’s Youth Athletic League. 11 am-7 pm; $5. Gerber Field, Manville. facebook.com

Closeup of hand holding three apples

Usher in the impending season at a fun festival in Sewell. Photo: Unsplash/Natalie Grainger

Duffield’s Food Truck & Apple Festival
Sept 10
Relish in your favorite fall activities, such as apple picking, at Duffield’s festival. Food trucks of all sorts are attending. 11 am-5 pm. Duffield’s Farm & Market, Sewell. duffieldsfarm.com 

DogFest Tri-States
September 17 
Bring your favorite four-legged friend to DogFest Tri-States, a festival dedicated to commemorating your canine. The day includes speakers, training demonstrations, a doggie costume contest and opportunities to fundraise for Canine Companions, a group whose mission is to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained service dogs. 1-4 pm. Campus Town at the College of New Jersey, Ewing Township. p2p.onecause.com/dogfesttristates22

Water Lantern Festival 
Sept 24
This country-wide, family-friendly event is inspired by ancient Asian practices. Attendees write their hopes and dreams or letters to loved ones on the lanterns. Then they release the lanterns and watch them drift softly into the water. In addition to the lanterns, live music and food are available on-site for purchase. 4-9 pm; $25.99-$55.99. Liberty State Park, Jersey City. waterlanternfestival.com

Mural in Jersey City

Residents can contribute to a community mural at this year’s Jersey City Art & Studio Tour. Photo courtesy of Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione

Jersey City Art & Studio Tour (JCAST)
Sept 29–Oct 2
New Jersey’s largest art tour returns. The 32nd annual festival will feature four days of interactive events, live music and theatre performances, immersive exhibitions, artist demonstrations, family activities, curated bus and walking tours, and more. The event will also include a live community mural-painting project for the first time; residents can participate alongside more than a dozen professional artists. Various locations, Jersey City. www.thejcast.com

Attendees enjoy live entertainment at the Olde Time Italian Festival in Wildwood

Enjoy a taste of Old World Italy at this Wildwood festival. Photo courtesy of Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement & Development Authority

Olde Time Italian Festival
Sept 30–Oct 1
Hosted by the Sons of Italy of Wildwood, this free, two-day festival celebrates Italian culture and heritage with Italian crafts, authentic Italian cuisine, kids’ games, contests and continuous live entertainment. A Procession of Saints and Mass will take place on Friday beginning at 5 pm. Saturday’s festivities include Italian folk dancing and a grape-stomping competition. Friday, 5–11 pm; Saturday, noon–11 pm. Fox Park (Ocean Avenue, between Burk and Montgomery Avenues, across from the Wildwoods Convention Center), Wildwood. sonsofitalywildwood.com

People clinking beer mugs outside

Grab your lederhosen and beer stein, and head to the 21st annual Highlands Oktoberfest. Photo: Unsplash/Des Récits

Highlands Oktoberfest
Oct 1
This family-friendly event is modeled after the traditional Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany—emphasizing eating, drinking and being merry. Expect authentic German fare, a beer garden, live music and dancing, various vendors and more. Admission and parking are free. 1–7 pm. (Rain date: October 2; 1–7 pm.) Veterans Park on Bay & Shrewsbury Avenues, Highlands. www.highlandsnj.com

Music 

Rammstein
Sept 6
Rammstein promises that its North American tour is going to be an extreme spectacle, and the rock group is coming to Jersey. 7 pm; $59.50-$149.50. MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford. metlifestadium.com 

Sea Hear Now festival

Sea Hear Now is bringing artists, surfers and musical stars to the Jersey Shore. Photo courtesy of Sea Hear Now/Charles Reagan

Sea Hear Now
Sept 17-18
Head to the beach for two days of art, surfing, food, and a jam-packed musical lineup headlined by Green Day and Stevie Nicks. Noon-11 pm; $215 GA. North Beach and Bradley Park, Asbury Park. seahearnowfestival.com 

My Chemical Romance
Sept 20-21
Iconic punk rock band My Chemical Romance, saviors of the broken, beaten and damned, is returning to its hometown 20 years after its debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. 8 pm; $115-$834. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com

Earth, Iceage
Sept 22
Earth, an experimental rock band from Washington, and Iceage, a Danish punk rock group, are teaming up at Jersey City’s picturesque White Eagle Hall. 8 pm; $25. White Eagle Hall, Jersey City. whiteeaglehalljc.com 

Jenny Lewis
Sept 23
Musician Jenny Lewis is well known as the lead singer and guitarist of the indie rock band Rilo Kiley. Most recently, she showed off her solo talent as the opening act for Harry Styles’ North American Love on Tour. Catch her solo again at the Stone Pony this month. 7 pm; $39.50-$45. The Stone Pony, Asbury Park. stoneponyonline.com

 Special Events

Latin Plug Awards
Sept 14
These awards honor influential Latin entertainers with live performances and guest appearances. 8 pm; $80-$155. Prudential Center, Newark. prucenter.com

Acclaimed American philosopher Cornel West is a political commentator and activist. Courtesy of the Count Basie Center for the Arts

Cornel West
Sept 15 
Princeton University professor emeritus Cornel West is facilitating a community conversation about social justice and race relations in the country and state. 7 pm, $29-$65. Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre, Red Bank. thebasie.org 

Stage

One Slight Hitch
Sept 13-Oct 15
This comedic play, written by Lewis Black, follows the Coleman family on the day of their oldest daughter’s backyard wedding. The show promises to be relatable, funny and heartful. Showtimes vary; $74.50-$84.50. Hunterdon Hills Playhouse, Hampton. hhplayhouse.com

The Wolves
Sept 17-Oct 16
This thriller follows nine young women on a competitive high school soccer team during its nationals competition. The teens are billed as relatable and resilient teen warriors throughout a plot centered on life, love and loss on and off the pitch. Showtimes vary; $35-$60. McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton. mccarter.org

 Benefits & Fundraisers 

Joey’s Fund Charity Classic Car Show
Sept 18
The eighth annual charity car show spotlights unique cars to help parents who are struggling with caring for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Joey’s Fund understands the emotional and financial toll it takes and tries to pay it forward. Those who wish to be in the car show can register their vehicle online. 11 am-4 pm. Closter Plaza, Closter. joeyscharityfund.org 

Tricky Tray Fun Night Fundraiser
Sept 22
The third annual fundraiser event is a community celebration in honor of the late Alex Sebahie, a member of Paterson’s wrestling community. The event raises scholarship funds for athletes, their families and schools that are struggling financially. 6-10 pm. Brownstone Banquet Hall, Paterson. alexsebahie.org

Janine Hee Memorial Foundation Fundraiser
Sept 24
The second annual fundraiser is offering fantastic food, friendship, silent auctions, prizes and dancing with DJ Jimmy Mulholland. Proceeds go toward raising scholarship funds for students at Paul VI High School, as well as other philanthropic causes. 6 pm. Scarpinato’s Cucina and Catering, Washington Township. janineheememorialfund.org

Sammy’s Hope Seventh Annual Charity Golf Outing
Sept 28
Enjoy a day of golf with an open bar, food, prizes, raffle baskets and a 50/50 drawing. Proceeds go directly toward funding care and medical expenses for animals at Sammy Hope’s Animal Welfare & Adoption Center in Sayerville. Sammy Hope’s is a nonprofit animal-welfare organization that aims to find homes for strays in New Jersey. 8 am-4 pm. Royce Brook Golf Club, Hillsborough. golfinvite.net/sammyshope

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