The Best Things to do in Monmouth County

Monmouth County Best ThingsAs syllabus week winds down and you have planned out your work, or planned to procrastinate, you may be looking for some things to do. Thankfully, there are countless things to do around Monmouth County to occupy your time. 

Only a ten-minute drive and a couple of dollars for parking can immerse you in the artistic, hipster, and alternative vibe of Asbury Park’s boardwalk. Walking down on the far end, past the Paramount Theatre, are a collection of aesthetic murals. The hand-painted surfaces features everything from mermaids to Marilyn Monroe.

Donna Dolphin, an associate professor of communication, said, “It’s a lovely place, very close to campus, and I can’t think of a reason why anyone wouldn’t want to go there. It can be a free activity. It’s full of cultural history as well.”

Further along the boardwalk, there are various other attractions, such as mini-golf and a vintage-styled shop. There are also beachfront restaurants that are the perfect spot for a date-night.

One of Asbury Park’s most unique attractions is its Silverball Museum. Chris Chen, a sophomore computer science student said, “It was very nostalgic seeing all these old pinball and arcade machines. It was honestly worth the $15 to play until closing since I was there for hours.”

The Silverball Museum is not your average gallery or collection. You can immerse yourself in this pseudo-1950s world with pinball, skee-ball, and even authentic air hockey machines. Similarly, Red Bank offers Yestercades, which is filled with other vintage games like Pac-Man.

If your Friday nights are open, come out and see Aberdeen’s midnight showing of the cult classic, Rocky Horror Picture Show. Throw toast and toilet paper, find your freaky-side, and join the growing community of friendly and obscure people. Performed in live action by the Friday Nite Specials cast, watch the 1975 classic come to life. You may even see some Monmouth alumni or students in the cast, so keep an eye out!

Olenka Mallqui, a junior biology student, said, “Going to see Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Aberdeen Theatre is like stepping out of reality and going into the twilight zone. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”

If it’s way past 8 p.m. on the weekend, or you didn’t get time after your 6 to 9 class to go to the dining hall before it closed, don’t worry. There are more options than buying that overpriced macaroni box at the convenience store.

Over on Route 35 in Oakhurst is one of the best diners in the area, Blue Swan Diner. Open until 1 a.m. weekdays, and 24 hours on the weekends, the diner features cheap comfort food in large quantities.

However, if you’re feeling edgy and want to eat to an alt-rock soundtrack, head on down to Inkwell, which is only a two-minute drive from campus. Loaded with art deco and iconic paintings and pictures, this cozy coffee house is always a popular spot.

Another go-to of Monmouth students is Pier Village. Even when the weather is cold and dreary, Pier Village warms you with their stores and restaurants. The outlet features Playa Bowls, Stewarts, Lululemon, Molly and Zoey, and many more.

When it’s suddenly the end of the fall semester, and the weather makes you freeze to the bone, walking around outside may not be that appealing. But you also don’t want to catch cabin fever! Luckily, Monmouth Mall is close by, with over 100 stores and activities.

Catch a movie, cozy up in a chair at Barnes and Noble, or spend hours traveling from store to store. Not to mention, there is a giant food court and chain restaurants surrounding the parking lot.

Is Monmouth County boring you? There’s a quick fix to that, too! There’s a train station conveniently located right in Long Branch, where you can catch a train to Manhattan on a whim.

There are many cool activities surrounding our campus, so take advantage of all of them.

PHOTO COURTESY of Skylar Daley