Weekend Fun: Blessing of the Animals, Kids Theater, Halloween

A long weekend is on the horizon for NYC kids. If you're planning to skip town, we've got lots of day trip and weekend getaway ideas to consider. If you're staying close to home, this weekend is packed with annual favorites like the Chili Pepper Festival in Brooklyn, Honey Weekend in the Bronx, and Blessing of the Animals and Feast of Saint Francis in Morningside Heights.

Hoping to catch a show this weekend? Consider Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea at the New Victory Theater, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil on Randall's Island, or Pete the Cat in Queens.

And if you're already in the Halloween spirit, head to opening weekend of Boo at the Zoo, join in a Ragamuffin Parade, or get up close and personal with Creepy Creatures of Halloween.

Read on for our top weekend picks. For even more options, check out our NYC Staycation post and, as always, remember to peruse our Event Calendar.

It's Fall Y'all: October Festival Fun in the Bayou City

There’s no better way to usher in the harvest season than with a fall festival. With over tons of events happening in the Houston area over the next few months, the opportunities for enjoying cooler temperatures (okay, that may be a bit ambitious for October) and good, old-fashioned family fun are endless. Here’s our roundup of fairs and festivals taking place this autumn. 

October GoList: The Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

Halloween may be the star of the show this month, but there's plenty of other fun to be had in the days and weeks leading up to the big event. This month is jam-packed with awesome activities, from tradition fall fun like hayrides and harvest festivals to stage shows featuring such kid faves as The Wiggles and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. And of course, there are Halloween happenings aplenty, guaranteed to please trick-or-treaters ranging from older ghouls and goblins to the littlest pumpkins. So grab a pumpkin spice latte (or two) and start planning with more than a dozen of the best events this October for NJ kids.

Swale: Floating Food Forest Docks at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Albeit temporary, a brand new installation, Swale, has made its home at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and we are thoroughly impressed. Swale is both a sculpture by talented artist, Mary Mattingly, and a functioning farm located on a barge made from recycled materials. Beyond the beautiful setting is a hands-on learning opportunity showcasing the impact of food sustainability, as well as demonstrating value in reusing our planet's natural resources. Oh, and did we mention that this exhibit is FREE?

25 Scary Haunted Houses, Ghost Tours & Hayrides for Philly Teens and Tweens

Older children who love a good scare during the Halloween season have no shortage of options in the Philadelphia area. We’ve compiled a list of haunted houses, hotels and hospitals, ghost tours, zombie-filled amusement parks, horrifying hayrides and creepy corn mazes. Tweens and teens will find werewolves, witches, skeletons, bloody monsters and menacing clowns around every corner at many of these terrifying entertainment venues. Most of these events are NOT recommended for children under the age of 12. Be sure to check each house's website for more info on dates and schedules. Enter if you dare!

Exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore

Wondering where you can sink your toes into a 40-mile stretch of sand featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Look no further than Cape Cod. Of course, as a New Englander, I may be biased, but only slightly. Without dispute, the waves, ponds, marshes, and dunes that comprise the Cape Cod National Seashore are magnificent. Add biking and hiking trails, historic landmarks, old lighthouses, wild cranberry bogs, miniature golf, and delicious ice cream parlors, and you have a recipe for coastal adventure and lifelong memories.

Best Free Halloween Events for Kids in New York City

What's the one way to make a costume-and-candy filled Halloween celebration even sweeter? Make it FREE. In New York City there are so many no-cost fetes, we've decided to give parents a real treat: a roundup of FREE Halloween events for kids in all five boroughs, including big annual favorites such as Fort Greene's BAMboo! block party, Brookfield Place Halloween Party, and the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park, and the one-night-only theatrical spectacle at Brooklyn's Halloween 313 house.

So bring your trick-or-treat bags, but leave your wallets at home for these gratis happenings. Then check out our Halloween Fun Guide for details on the best trick-or-treat spots and other seasonal festivities.

Spanish Classes for Preschoolers in Westchester

Given a child’s spongy mind, it’s no surprise to learn that kids who learn a second language at a young age may benefit from increased cognitive advantages. While some families may not wish to enroll in a full-on immersion or bilingual preschool, classes that teach Spanish may be more fitting for your child.

We’ve gathered up several places in Westchester where your preschooler can learn Spanish. While the choices are varied, the one thing they all have in common is an emphasis on fun.

Looking for more enrichment classes? Be sure to consult our Classes Guide and our directory, and don’t forget to visit our Preschool Guide

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Pumpkins, Harvest Hayride, Oktoberfest

October is the heart of pumpkin season, and you can get your fill at the many great events happening around the state this weekend. If farm-fresh air, corn mazes, and animals are on your agenda, be sure to check out Terhune Orchards' Fall Festival Weekends or the Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm, where the games include pig racing and a spiderweb crawl. Oktoberfest at Historic Smithville is another classic family event of fun, food, and games. Ever tried pumpkin picking by moonlight? If not, be sure to hop on a Harvest Moon Hayride at Alstede Farms. And if you need a break from all the pumpkins, the Drop-in Studio workshop at the Montclair Art Museum offers the perfect respite. Even better, five of our events are FREE this weekend! 

For more fun ideas, take a look at our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids. And don't forget that it's fall picking season at New Jersey farms, so be sure to peruse our Farm Guide for apple and pumpkin picking spots, plus more hayrides and harvest festivals.

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