Fill your weekend up with music festivals, craft beer, flea markets, and the living dead.
If you want to pinpoint the exact moment when fall begins in New Jersey, it's when Fright Fest opens at Six Flags: Great Adventure. The frights kick off on Saturday, and this year there will be some new nighttime attractions, including Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival in 3D, Blood Shed, and The Demon District. If you're bringing the little ones during the day there's plenty to do as well, and kids under 12 are encouraged to trick-or-treat. There are a number of different ticket options, from general admission to pre-ordering tickets. 1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson.
ALL ABOUT DOWNTOWN JERSEY CITY STREET FAIR
Jersey City is such a hot town right now -- it's where the hip people are moving, and the food scene is off the charts. And while you can mumble about how it's become "too cool for school," even the grumpiest of people cannot deny the power of a good street fair. On Saturday, Jersey City's All About About Downtown Street Fair celebrates its fourth year; it stands poised to break its impressive 2014 attendance record of 25,000. The fair will feature food trucks, a sea of vendors, and entertainment for the entire family. Grove Street Path Plaza, Jersey City.
THE FOOD TRUCK & ROCK CARNIVAL
The weekend goes to 11 in Clark. The first ever Food Truck & Rock Carnival takes place in Oak Ridge Park, Friday to Sunday, and will feature a jam-packed line-up. The carnival is split into two parts. The first is a free section filled with 40 food trucks, a craft beer village, amusement park rides, a BMX stunt show, pro wrestling, stand-up comedy, and a mechanical bull. Meanwhile, there's also the 'rock' part of the carnival, for which fest-goers must purchase tickets. There will be performances from (deep breath): Slash, Godsmack, Anthrax, Myles Kennedy, Three Days Grace, Black Label Society, Crobot, and Lita Ford, plus local rock acts, and tribute bands.
IRISH FESTIVAL AT THE JERSEY SHORE
The Irish Festival at the Jersey Shore consistently delivers one of the finer celebrations of Irish culture in the Garden State. This Saturday, Sea Girt turns into a gathering place of all things Irish: Guinness, Gaelic sports, Guinness, bagpipers, traditional music, heaps of corned beef, and did we mention Guinness? There's live music all day from a plethora o' Irish bands including McLocals like Round the House. The fest will be headlined by legendary Irish musician Derek Warfield, and his new band The Young Wolfetones. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Sea Girt National Guard Armory, amp Drive & Sea Girt Avenue.
SHADOW OF THE CITY AT THE STONE PONY SUMMER STAGE
You can take the boy out of Jersey, but you can't the Jersey out of the boy. On Saturday, Bergenfield's Jack Antonoff comes back to the Garden State curating the first-ever Shadow of the City festival at The Stone Pony. The Bleachers frontman has said he wants Shadow of the City to become a Jersey tradition, and with this line-up there's a good chance it will. It includes Charli XCX, Cults, Bully, Robert DeLong, Sam Dew, How to Dress Well, Jersey's bands The Front Bottoms and Misterwives, and of course Antonoff's band, Bleachers. Tickets are $59.50 in advance, $69.50 at the door. 913 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park.
HIGHLANDS FESTIVAL AT WATERLOO
Iron Maiden once famously asked us to 'run to the hills' and on Saturday and Sunday you can do just that. In this case the highlands wouldn't be a bad idea at all. The Highlands Festival at Waterloo is a celebration of the 'highlands' where the Appalachian Mountains cut through the Garden State. There's plenty of fall activities for the outdoorsy types (including camping; reserve your spot by Sept. 18). For the environmentally conscious, there are demos and workshops. Musically, there will be a slew of local acts including Joe Cirotti (of Only Living Boy) and celebrated rock 'n' rollers like Garland Jeffreys and Willie Nile. Tickets are $15 per day ($18 at the gate), $25 for a weekend pass ($40 at the gate) and children 12 and under get in for free. 1053 Waterloo Road, Allamuchy.
'Baby Doll' at McCarter Theater
Princeton's McCarter Theater gets the Hollywood treatment, as Dylan McDermott headlines their production of Tennessee Williams' play "Baby Doll." McDermott, who made his name in films like "In the Line of Fire" and TV series like "The Practice," plays a cotton gin owner in a 'steamy' relationship with a younger woman (played by Susanna Hoffman). The play is based on the 'darkly comic' 1956 film written by Williams, which starred Karl Malden and Eli Wallach. "Baby Doll" officially opens on Saturday and will run until October 11. 91 University Place, Princeton.
HISPANIC HERITAGE FESTIVAL
The city of Engelwood will be hosting a 'sabado gigante' at the Bergen PAC as they celebrate Hispanic heritage this Saturday. The festival is open to the public and will run from 11am to 4pm. The requisite food vendors and beer garden will be on hand, but there will also be dance exhibitions and live Latin-tinged music throughout the day. For those willing to continue to the fiesta into la noche, check out Latin songsters Grupo Niche in concert inside the BergenPAC. 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood.
The Supernaturalists at The State Theater
Sp, why not magic this weekend? The Supernaturalists, a new show from the Mindfreak himself Criss Angel, headlines Friday to Sunday at The State Theater in New Brunswick. The Supernaturalists are a collective of seasoned magicians, illusionists and mentalists that have performed on stages across the world, on past seasons of "America's Got Talent," and with Criss Angel's shows. There's one show Friday, two on Saturday, and one on Sunday. Tickets are available for all shows. 15 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick.
RESORTS BEER FESTIVAL
You know what never gets stale? Beer festivals. On Saturday, Resorts Casino hosts it's third annual craft beer festival. Crafts on tap include: Lagunitas, Cape May, Tuckahoe, Angelsea Irish Red Ale, Octoberfish, and the red hot Not Your Dad's Root Beer. There will be food served to soak up the suds, and there will be tunes from the band Seven Stone. Tickets are $25. 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City.