When the weather warms up, we start craving lobster rolls. Thankfully, there’s a host of seafood festivals coming soon to our area where we can indulge in our favorite summer treat and much more:
New Jersey Seafood Festival, May 19-21
Silver Lake Park, 5th and Ocean Ave., Belmar
Eat super-fresh seafood while listening to music, shopping craft vendors and enjoying a drink in the wine and craft beer tent during this three-day festival, which is one of the oldest and most popular festivals of its kind in the nation. Seafood kebobs, crab cakes, clams and more will temp your taste buds, and there will be contests and activities for the kids too.
Bradley Beach Lobsterfest, June 24 & 25
500 Ocean Ave., Bradley Beach
Get your lobster bib ready. More than 180 vendors are expected at this oceanfront festival, which also features a huge beer and wine garden and live music. From lobster mac ‘n’ cheese to lobster empanadas, there’s something for every lobster lover here, plus a wide variety of other local food. If your kids turn up their noses at lobster, don’t worry. They’ll love the water slide, rides, face painting and sand art.
Surf & Turf Seafood Festival, July 15 & 16
Monmouth Park, 175 Oceanport Ave., Oceanport
Clam chowder, coconut shrimp, lobster rolls and more are on tap at this seafood festival (that will also include some “turf” for non-seafood lovers). The two-day event will also feature drinks, music and, of course, horse racing. Sunday is Family Fun Day, so bring your kids for fun clowns, pony rides, face painting and a bounce house.
Clam Festival, Aug. 3-6
Huddy Park, Bay and Waterwitch Ave., Highlands
This four-day festival features clams galore, plus other seafood from popular area restaurants. (Land-lubbers will dig the BBQ and other non-seafood offerings.) Live music, carnival games and rides will entertain the whole family, and don’t miss the clam-eating contest and clam-shucking competition.
Red Bank Guinness Oyster Festival, Sept. 24
White Street Parking Lot, Red Bank
We can’t wait for this one, which is right here in Red Bank. The one-day event (rain date is Oct. 1) will feature oysters, of course, but also lobster rolls, mini-Reubens, filet-mignon sandwiches and much more from 25 of Red Bank’s favorite restaurants. Live bands will perform, and the Guinness will be flowing (but lighter beer and wine are also available). Bring the whole family for kid-friendly activities and shopping from craft vendors.