Weekend Fun: Free Museums, Maker Faire, Autumn Moon, Atlantic Antic

This Saturday, the annual Smithsonian Museum Day means FREE ticketed admission to participating museums around NYC, including the Fire Museum, the Folk Art Museum and more. Be sure to download tickets in advance. Hint: The Intrepid Museum is participating, so you can attend the amazing Space and Science Festival for FREE!

Two more beloved annual favorites coming to NYC this weekend: World Maker Faire takes over the New York Hall of Science, and a mile-long stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn turns into a party for the Atlantic Antic on Sunday. For science-loving kids, the Submerge Marine Science Fest at Hudson River Park promises plenty of free, hands-on projects and activities.

Looking for an old-fashioned fall festival now that the calendar says it's officially autumn? Take your pick: This weekend the historic Wyckoff House hosts the Breukelen County Fair, the Queens County Farm Museum kicks off its annual corn maze with the Queens County Fair, and rides, bounce houses, and face painting also liven up the Brownstone School Fall Fun Fair on the Upper West. Plus, there are free music performances all weekend at the Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.

And don't forget the Autumn Moon Festival and Parade, which weaves through Chinatown on Saturday. In fact, there are Autumn Moon celebrations all across the city, including the Mid-Autumn Moon Family Fest at the Museum of Chinese in America, Snug Harbor's celebration in the Chinese Scholar's Garden, and Japan's version of the holiday on Sunday! Brooklynites can march in Sunday's Autumn Moon Lantern Parade, and get swept up in cultural performances, arts and crafts, and more.

Check the calendar for more (including the adorable FREE ABT workshop for kids), and snag an inside peek at where to find pumpkin patches and hay rides right here in NYC.

Pumpkins, Balloons, and Butterflies: Fall Fun for Connecticut Kids, September 22-23

This week the calendar says we are officially entering autumn (although the humidity says otherwise). That means we can start looking forward to making scarecrows and searching for the perfect pumpkin in the crisp fall air. This week the first leaves should start changing colors, the beginning of what, thanks to the late season rain, should be a bold and bright foliage season. To start getting into the spirit of fall, head over to Seymour for the annual Pumpkin Festival, or go see local farmers compete to get their half-ton gourds on the scale at the Ridgefield Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off. Up north, you can enjoy bounce houses and baked goods at the annual St. Martha's Fall Festival. There also are plenty of non-seasonal activities this week, many of them involving flying things. Head on over to Newtown for a free program on the life cycle of monarch butterflies, to Uncasville for the Heart of America Balloon Festival, or to Simsbury Airport for the Fly-In and Car Show. And this isn't even counting the traditional county fair taking place in Guilford

These fall weekends are particularly action packed so make sure that you subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram so that you won't miss any of the fun! As always, our event calendar is updated with the latest activities, and our top suggestions for fun this weekend are broken out below. Have fun!

Weekend Fun: Maritime Festivals, Fall Fairs, Touch-A-Truck

Sail into Greenport for the Maritime Festival this weekend. Enjoy classic wooden boats, kayak races, demonstrations of high-tech water sports, wood carving, model ship building, and more.

Or enjoy carnival rides, live music, craft vendors, children's shows including the National Circus Project, a petting zoo, pony rides, and more at Lido Beach Town Park's Festival by the Sea. There are also fairs to be celebrated in Bellmore, Mineola, Sands Point, and Seaford this weekend.

Children have a hands-on opportunity to see, touch, and explore heavy machinery and meet the people who build, protect, and serve the community at the Hampton Bays Firehouse FREE  Touch-A-Truck event.

See our Fall Family Fun Guide and our September GoList for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas, fall festivals, corn mazes. and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar is loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

Weekend Fun: Jay Day, Donut Festival, Campfire S'mores

With so many fantastic family programs this time of year in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, we've been extra busy culling the best events for our readers.

In addition to several fall festivals, there’s an eclectic assortment of one-of-a-kind happenings, some of which appeared on our September GoList.  

Celebrate American heritage (and books and animals) at the multi-faceted Jay Day, and various abilities at Wheelchair Games. Get out in nature by building homes for fairies and gnomes or build a campfire to toast some s’mores. Take advantage of FREE admission to museums and national parks. In fact, all of our top picks for Saturday are FREE!

This weekend offers a bonanza of entertaining and enriching events (not to mention apple picking), so you’ll definitely want to visit our Event Calendar to see the extensive fun beyond our top picks below. And be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide for Westchester Kids for more seasonal happenings. Enjoy as much as you can take in—and if you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters to avoid missing any of the fun!

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Camp Out, Apples, Museum Day Live!, September 22-23

Even though pumpkin flavored everything has been lining grocery store shelves for weeks, autumn officially arrives this weekend. It's time for hoodies, football, and apple treats in addition to plenty of fall fun found in our event calendar.

Philly families can welcome the new season by building a scarecrow, wandering through a straw maze, or participating in an apple pie eating contest. Outdoorsy families can learn how to pitch a tent and build a campfire at a family camp-out while animal lovers can see a monarch release and live animal demonstrations. Or, find a spot along the banks of Core Creek Park to watch the boats from the Bucks County Dragon Boat Festival zip by. For indoor fun, families can explore many local museums. This weekend, certain participating museums offer two free tickets to celebrate Museum Day Live! while the Benjamin Franklin Museum provides free admission to recognize National Public Lands Day.

For more ideas on how to spend the weekend, continue reading for our top picks.

Best Family Theater in NYC This Fall

Autumn marks the start of a new theater season, but you don't need to shell out big bucks on Broadway shows to give your kids a memorable live entertainment experience in NYC. In fact, this fall boasts more high-quality theater productions for young audiences than ever—so many in fact, we have a whopping 25 picks, and that's after whittling down the contenders.

Preschoolers will be excited for the return of old friends Pete the Cat and Angelina Ballerina, plus the debut of a new show based on a Laurie Berkner song. Older kids will be inspired by That Inventions Show, the interactive improv piece Show Up, Kids!, and the immersive Gumshoe, which takes place throughout the 125-year-old Henry Street Settlement. There's also funky fare for tweens at Lincoln Center and the New Victory Theater, plus everyone in your family can enjoy the Big Apple Circus. Best of all, many of our picks are $25 or less per ticket.

Weekend Fun: Harvest Fairs, Oktoberfest, Children's Book Festival

With a roster full of harvest festivals, apple picking, and corn mazes, it's beginning to look a lot like fall on this first official weekend of the season. Take in everything autumn has to offer at seasonal festivals like Morey's Piers' Annual Oktoberfest, Wildwood Crest's Annual Seafarers Celebration, and harvest festivals in Hopewell and Allaire. Experience the flavors of fall at Warinanco's Taste of Fall and Tenafly's Apple Cider Making.

The new season also brings fresh museum events. Explore New Jersey State Museum's Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, Morris Museum's Chemistry Day, and Montclair Art Museum's Drop-In Studio. The Princeton Children's Book Festival offers another option for indoor, educational fun.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including 20 Fall Day Trips and 50+ Fall Events for NJ Preschoolers. And look to our September GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers in Chester County

There's only so much time a parent can spend inside the house if they don't want the kids to completely lose their minds. That's when a little socialization and a change of scenery is a great idea! While a trip to the local park or library for story time can be great, there are a few ways to change it up with other indoor play spaces. Our list of indoor play areas in Chester County is here to help. Be sure to also check out our roundups of indoor play spots for little ones in BucksMontgomery, and Delaware Counties as well as Philadelphia.

Interactive “Crash, Splash, or Moo!” Invites Young Readers to Play Along

My daughter and I have read Bob Shea’s brand new Crash, Splash, or Moo! so many times now that I’m pretty sure I could transcribe it here from memory. But instead of giving away the much-anticipated outcomes of the interactive book that plays out like a totally wacky quiz show, I’ll tell you why it’s quickly become “The Song that Never Ends” delivered in book form to our household.

A-MAIZE-ing Kid-Friendly Corn Mazes in Houston

Fall in Texas may boast temperatures hotter than most summers in other places, but that doesn't mean there aren't an array of quintessential fall activities in the area for families to enjoy, with favorites such as pumpkin patches, hay rides, fall festivals and corn mazes topping the list. While the Bayou City doesn't have a large number of corn mazes, the mazes out there offer up larger-than-life fall fun for the family. Put your problem-solving skills to good use this fall as you navigate through one of these corn mazes around Houston. 

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