The Beachcomber Fall Festival Guide

Enjoy Fall Fun for Free at Several Church Events in October

By David Biggy | Sep 27, 2019
Courtesy of: Bayside Chapel At Bayside Chapel's annual Family Fall Fest on Saturday, Oct. 26, children can meet cool characters, take photos and even participate in a dance party with them.

Stafford Township — With so many options for family enjoyment during the fall, it’s easy to spend a lot of money. And then there are free events for families, especially those with children, such as those offered at several churches in the area.

Yes, the following events are completely free – no admission, no purchases, no bargaining. Just show up and have fun. Families are welcome to stay for the entirety of the event or stop by for a short time, but there is something for even the youngest of youngsters at each one, in a safe, friendly and welcoming environment.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, Manahawkin Baptist Church hosts its annual Fall Festival from 3 to 5 p.m. A Trunk or Treat, hayrides, face painting, snacks and games will be part of the festivities on the grounds of the church, located at 400 Beach Ave. Children are welcome to stop by in costume, but it is not a requirement to participate in any of the activities. Afterward, all are welcome to enjoy a bonfire and musical time of worship.

On Saturday, Oct. 26, Bayside Chapel will have its fifth annual Family Fall Fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a rain or shine event; every aspect of it would be brought indoors in case of foul weather. The church is located at 965 West Bay Ave. in Barnegat.

“Inflatables are booked!” announced Tiffany Stoltzfus, Bayside’s director of children’s ministry, in a Sept. 10 Facebook post. “This year, we will be featuring the classic bounce house, the kid favorite obstacle course, the ultimate racing favorite double-lane slide, and the older kid favorite, the wrecking ball!”

Appropriate for the whole family, everybody can arrive in costume for the “Black Light Trick or Treat Hallway,” which is back by popular demand, not spooky in any way, and is appropriate for little ones. Costume parades will begin at 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., and will end with a character dance party. Meet in the gym to participate.

Also, there will be a character meet and greet – the character is to be determined – and he/she/it will be in the gym and available for photos from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 to 1:30 p.m., 2 to 2:30 p.m., and 3 to 3:30 p.m. Characters also will lead the costume parades and participate in the dance party.

All other attractions will be available for the entirety of the event, including all inflatables, popcorn, cotton candy, coffee/hot chocolate bar, carnival games, and the “Trick or Treat Hallway.” Do not arrive before 10:45 a.m. so all volunteers have time to get into place at their stations.

Of course, when you’re done in Barnegat, the next best stop will be Main Street Alliance Church, which will be hosting its Trunk or Treat event on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. The church is located at 1000 North Main St. in Manahawkin. All are welcome to Main Street Alliance to grab some candy, popcorn and apple cider, and enjoy games, hayrides and more. —D.B.

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