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Do Halloween across the bay at CJ's

The poster for the Halloween party to be

The poster for the Halloween party to be held at CJ's Restaurant and Bar in Ocean Beach on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Credit: Handout

With October now in full swing, the attention of many party people is firmly pointed at Halloween.

There are a few days every year that are considered critical for great times at bars, clubs and other social spots – such as St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve and the night before Thanksgiving – but the celebrating of Halloween on the late-night circuit is a special occasion like no other. Instead of the usual “dressing to impress” theory – to either enhance chances of firing up a new romance or to gain access to a venue with a dress code – the concept of attire befitting All Hallows' Eve involves scary (or sexy) costumes, garish make-up and masks. It’s a singular experience to spend a night whooping it up with a large group while socializing – and with many places offering prizes to those guests deemed “best-dressed,” the Halloween holiday can even be profitable.

In truth, virtually every establishment that serves alcohol has a function, masquerade or ball to mark Halloween (usually between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1), so making the scene at one or more of these bashes is no major feat – but finding an event that is especially unique can be challenging.

One option to consider has all the amenities one expects from a Halloween party – as in drink specials and a costume contest – but then adds the rare plan-of-action involving a ferry ride.

Fire Island is usually thought of as a place where summer fun fans go between Memorial Day and Labor Day -- but in the year-round communities located across the bay, holidays are just as festively observed as they are on the mainland. An example of that spirit will be taking place in Ocean Beach at CJ’s Restaurant & Bar on Friday, Oct. 25 as the pub and eatery will be hosting its “Fright Night at CJ’s” affair starting at 7 p.m.

There will be a free buffet (from 7-10 p.m.), half-priced drinks (from 8 p.m.-12 a.m.) and a costume contest offering $1,000 to the grand prize winner (plus $250 for second place, $150 for showing third).

Of course, as it is off-season, the ferries run less frequently (as of this writing, the last ferry on Oct. 25 leaves Ocean Beach at 8:30 p.m.; the following boat leaves the next morning at 7:30 a.m.) – but CJ’s is owned by the Palms Hotel Group, who also owns the Palms Hotel in Ocean Beach (168 Cottage Walk, 631-583-8870) – and to sweeten the idea of visiting “OB” for this fete, rooms are being made available starting at $99 for the night.

For more information, visit the Palms online at and, or check out CJ’s at

CJ’s Restaurant & Bar: 479 Bay Walk, Ocean Beach, 631-583-9890

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