At Best of NJ, we’re all about showcasing the best events and activities taking place in the Garden State year-round. With that in mind, we do our best to venture out to as many festivals, conventions and other themed venues as possible. Afterwards, we always publish recap coverage and accompanying photo documentaries so that our fans can relive The Best of these great moments along with us.

Chefs Boot Camp with Kwame Williams

Every year, the James Beard Foundation pulls together a slew of important chefs to cook — and to raise awareness of an important topic. The Foundation’s Chefs Boot Camp focuses on bringing together civically and politically minded chefs to strategize on creating an effective and sustainable food system…

PAX East 2017 (Cosplay Edition)

Despite the fact that PAX officially designates itself as “not a cosplay heavy event,” the increasingly popular trend of costume role-playing was definitely on display throughout the entire weekend. Both fans and experienced costumers could be seen wearing outfits matching those of their favorite characters…

PAX East 2017

The East Coast version of the Penny Arcade Expo — aka PAX East — takes place annually at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. This year, despite the light snow and brutal 10-degree weather, fans of video games, board games and other digital forms of content creation flocked to BCEC to check out everything the expo had to offer…

Big Brew Beer Festival in Morristown

While Hoboken was set upon by the Irish and fake-Irish this past Saturday for their annual LepreCon, those looking to celebrate beer without wearing green or binge drinking were at the Morristown Armory for the Big Brew Beer Festival. Best of NJ attended the first of two sessions, and while the doors opened at noon…

dscf9615-600x600General Washington’s 1776 Retreat to Victory Reenactment

George Santayana, 20th century American thinker, wrote it best in The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense, when he said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” With that notion in mind, the historians of Fort Lee took to the streets on November 19 and marched a few blocks…

wigsandwishes-e1477671715452-600x600A Night of Wigs and Wishes

With candles lit and tearful faces, A Night of Wigs and Wishes remembered those who lost their lives over the last year to cancer. The October 23 event, held at Lucien’s Manor in Berlin Township, raised thousands of dollars to help grant wishes to cancer-stricken children and provide wigs to women going through chemotherapy…

dodgepoetryfestival6-1-e1477616204801-500x500Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival

There was no shortage of creativity at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival 30th anniversary this past weekend. The four-day event dominated Newark’s Downtown Arts District where writers, poets and other intellectuals gathered to hear some of their favorite poets both recite their works and discuss the craft

header-crowd-e1477247566688-500x500Bark for Babies

For most, October is a month for non-stop fun. It’s thirty-one days of festive pumpkin-picking, apple cider donuts and fall foliage that ramps up to that much-anticipated costumed night of revelry and candy, Halloween. But October is a somber month for many others, who recognize it as Pregnancy and Infant

nycchero-500x500New York Comic Con 2016

The three C’s of every comic convention are comics, cosplay and comradery. New York Comic Con (NYCC) accounted for all of them this year, as the event welcomed thousands of comic book, film, television and art fans to the Jacob Javits Center for four long days of fun. The fun began on Thursday, October 6

alesntailsoktoberfest2-e1475845202557-500x500Ales ‘N Tails Oktoberfest

October in West Orange kicked off with a bang as Turtle Back Zoo hosted the Ales ‘N Tails Oktoberfest, where guests were able to wander around the zoo while sampling top beers and quality German food. The park kept its doors open late on October 1 as patrons piled in for the spectacular event…

oysterfest5-500x500Hoboken Oysterfest

What better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a party? Hoboken did just that with Oysterfest on September 17. For one full day, Pier A was dedicated entirely to seafood and great music. All was set to go off without a hitch, but the seaside bombing incidents earlier in the morning had officials on high alert.

img_0007-1-e1472737573164-500x500The Solexchange Sneaker Show

At exactly 12 o’clock Noon on Saturday, August 27, the doors of the Meadowlands Exposition Center opened to welcome sneaker fanatics to the summer’s Solexchange Sneaker Show. For two days, Secaucus was bouncing to the beats of hip hop and the countless fans, collectors and wearers of new and rare sneakers…

img_0708-1-e1472656446516-500x500Monsters & Robots Con

Halloween came to New Jersey early this year as Somerset’s Garden State Convention Center hosted the first annual Monsters & Robots Con, presented by Crucial Entertainment. Fans of both popular and not-so-popular cult classics traveled out to Somerset County to enjoy non-stop action…

img_0582-500x500ToyConNJ

Kids and collectors alike were delighted to see ToyConNJ return to the Garden State this past weekend – for the fifth time – for two full days of fun. The event welcomed countless fans of both new and vintage toys and old school collectibles. Adults were able to revisit their youth while browsing through the

img_1134-1-e1472227897594-500x500Newark Comic Con

So far this year, New Jersey has fully embraced its nerdy side; from the Garden State Comic Fest to the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, superhero fans have had an action-packed year. Most recently, Newark Comic Con was held for one day only at Brick City’s Waterfront Place behind Bear Stadium…

lafestaitaliana2-500x500Jersey City’s La Festa Italiana

Like many kids who grew up in the Village, Nick Grillo’s summers were marked by the red, white and green arches that appeared in the streets surrounding Holy Rosary Church. “They would come up in July, and we knew that the festival was just one month away,” he told Best of NJ

img_0863-500x500The Highlands Clam Fest

Nothing brings people together like mouth-watering food and invigorating music that brings you to your feet. The Highlands 22nd Annual Clam Fest celebrated just that. The festival is a four-day family friendly event featuring the freshest seafood, live entertainment, kiddie rides, games, contests and some amazing vendors…

dsc_0102-500x500The Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival

It took a special event to lure people out of their air conditioned homes on July 23, as a heat wave sent Asbury Park temperatures skyrocketing to a near-record 97°. But the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival did just that, as fans of awe-inspiring music braved the sweltering temps in Bradley Park to enjoy the day…

img_0430-500x500Jersey Shore Comic Book Show

Toms River’s Jersey Shore Comic Book Show bills itself as the “biggest little con on the East Coast,” offering comic book and art fans tons of cool comics and collectibles biannually. This summer’s event took over the Toms River Elk Lodge for an entire day of fun on Saturday, July 16. The event featured comic book

img_0075-500x500Garden State Comic Fest

This year’s Garden State Comic Fest kicked off with a bang, filling up two auditoriums with tons of comics, books, art, games and memorabilia. The 2016 edition dominated the William G. Mennen Sports Arena during it’s two-day run. Cosplayers and comic fanatics alike lined up outside the arena to get a head…

img_0434-1-e1467987512630-500x500Heroes & Villains Fan Fest 2016

The Heroes & Villains Fan Fest traveled to the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus for the second time this year, bringing countless goodies and special guests for two days of fun. Due to January’s Fan Fest being partially ruined by “Snowmageddon 2016,” the event returned to the Garden State over the 4th of…

cc51-500x500RTX 2016 – Cosplay Edition!

The Rooster Teeth Expo was filled with good times and great people (for a complete event recap of everything that happened at the Austin Convention Center over 4th of July weekend, click here). One of the best parts of attending a video game, comic book or entertainment expo is the chance to see all…

heroimage-1-e1467829130395-500x500SGC 2016 (ScrewAttack Gaming Convention)

The ScrewAttack name is familiar to most gamers who have actively been a part of internet culture since 2006. Many fans were first introduced to the brand when they debuted their original Top 10 lists on a site called GameTrailers (which only recently shut down). Since then, ScrewAttack has emerged as a major force

rtxhero-1-e1467765414688-500x500RTX 2016 (Rooster Teeth Expo)

Entertainment conventions happen more frequently now that everything from video games to YouTube has become a part of mainstream pop culture. This fusion of content variety is perhaps best represented at RTX, which took place in Austin, Texas over 4th of July weekend. This year marked the expo’s sixth outing…

img_1034-500x500Reef-A-Palooza

During the last weekend in June, for the second year in a row, the New York Reef-A-Palooza took over the Secaucus-based Meadowlands Exposition Center for two days of underwater fun. Reef-A-Palooza is America’s largest saltwater aquarium show. The extensive event was born to provide aquarium hobbyists…

img_0909-500x500Hoboken Arts and Music Festival

On Sunday, June 12, Hoboken welcomed countless residents of the Tri-state area to celebrate music and the arts. The city’s 22nd Arts & Music Festival was a massive event, allowing patrons to travel down Washington Street and enjoy all of the art, food, games, rides and, of course, entertaining live performances…

img_0243-500x500The Once Upon a Time Convention

To kick off the first weekend in June, Creation Entertainment brought the highly anticipated Once Upon a Time Convention to the Garden State. Countless fans of the hit television series traveled out to the Marriott Hanover in Whippany on June 4-5 for a wonderful convention. Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale…

img_0677-500x500The JerseyFest Food Truck Mash-Up

This past Saturday was a day to remember, as it was New Jersey versus Philly in an epic food truck event. The Meadowlands Racetrack of East Rutherford hosted the JerseyFest Food Truck Mash-Up on June 4, as countless people crammed into the racetrack’s backyard and along East Apron…

img_0632-500x500Mill Hill Park’s Pork Roll Festival

It’s an age-old question: Pork Roll or Taylor Ham? This past weekend, Mill Hill Park’s Pork Roll Festival had the answer. The one-day-only event provided the citizens of New Jersey with countless pork roll-based dishes, along with pork roll-themed clothing, accessories, and other household items…

img_0044-2-e1464701364772-500x500The Hillsborough Memorial Day Parade

Many Americans spend Memorial Day weekend relaxing and barbecuing with friends and family, but we cannot forget the everlasting sacrifices of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country. To celebrate, the United States has annual traditions to honor their immeasurable contributions…

the-jersey-shore-food-truck-festival-began-in-2012-and-has-grown-every-year-since-1-1-e1464473343975-500x500The Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival

Under a canopy of blue skies, heavenly aromas filled the air at Monmouth Park Racetrack as the fifth annual Jersey Shore Food Truck festival kicked off its three-day run on Saturday. The crowds and offerings have grown each year, with more than 50 purveyors on hand to serve up something to please every palate.

img_0370-e1464312196300-500x500Hoboken Irish Festival

On May 21, Frank Sinatra Park donned the colors of green, white and orange for an entire day of celebration of Irish culture. The Hoboken Irish Festival brought masses of patrons to the city throughout the all-day event. Festival-goers meandered through the streets, browsing through various stands…

mariocosplayresize-500x500PAX East 2016 — Part 3: Cosplay

The final installment in Best of NJ‘s PAX East recap trilogy has arrived. (In case you missed the first two parts, you can check them out here and here.) This time around — as the title suggests — we’re selecting our picks for the best cosplays at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo. What’s that you say? You’ve never heard…

img_20160423_104724-500x500PAX East 2016 — Part 2: Booths

Part 2 of our PAX East 2016 coverage focuses on highlighting the best booths on the show floor. Since the idea of showcasing booths may seem a bit confusing at first, allow me to explain. This article is dedicated to highlighting the vendors who put together really exciting or entertaining booths…

img_20160422_095547-500x500PAX East 2016 — Part 1: Games

The Penny Arcade Expo (aka PAX) is a gaming convention that started in 2004, and has since grown to become one of the most popular conventions in the industry. What started as a single annual event has turned into an international series of expos. Presently, there are multiple PAX conventions in America…

img_0319-500x500Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration

Hoboken’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration takes place throughout the city on the first Saturday of March every year. The annual event invites people from all over the country to come experience Hoboken’s extensive bar scene, as well as their unparalleled vigor. Both undergrads and adults with full-time jobs lined up…