Free Halloween Fun for Kids in the Delaware Valley

Halloween is such an exciting time for Philly kids. Games of make-believe come to life when kids dress as their favorite superhero, princess, or storybook character. And, whether you spent weeks creating a Pinterest-worthy costume out of recycled materials or you purchased the perfect outfit from a local shop, Philly parents are glad to know there are many free events for their kids to wear their latest Halloween gear.

Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up some free fun for everyone in the family. From parades to mall events to pumpkin patches, young ones and older kids alike can savor all the sweetness of this candy-filled season. Many of these activities distribute treats and most encourage kids to wear costumes which is sure to delight the little pirates, monsters, or fairies in your crew. Be sure to browse through our event calendar for a multitude of delightfully spooky activities. For now, continue reading to find free Halloween fun!

12 NYC Food Courts and Markets That Make Family Mealtime Easy

Food courts, in spite of their mall­-culture reputation, are enjoying a bit of a renaissance, and not just in suburbia. Right here in NYC, food halls are gaining major foodie clout with excellent vendors, artisan marketplaces, and appealing perks (and sweet treats) for families with kids. Actually a food court might just be the perfect eatery for families: there's a food option for everyone, minimal wait times, multiple bathrooms, and no one notices if your kid tantrums or drops half their meal on the floor.

Because we're always on the lookout for great kid-­friendly outings, especially during the colder months, we've rounded up, and sampled, 12 outstanding food halls that offer top-notch eats, spacious seating, and lots to do in the surrounding neighborhood, including Battery Park, Chelsea, the Theater District, and Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Check out our NYC Restaurant Guide for even more family dining options in just about every neighborhood—and every finicky palate. 

Fall Festivities for the Whole Family at Froberg's Farm

Situated on the outskirts of Southeast Houston in Alvin, Froberg's Farm is home to locally grown produce, homemade baked goods, and good old-fashioned fun! Known primarily for springtime strawberry picking, Froberg's is also home to one of the area's best fall festivals. Each weekend from October to early November, families can participate in Froberg's fall activities including a corn maze, hayrides, flower picking, plenty of traditional festival games, and a few brand new favorites. And in 2017, they added even more fall fun.

Two Dozen Fun Things To Do with NJ Kids on Columbus Day

If you're scratching your head to come up with some fun ways to spend Columbus Day with kids who are home from school, look no further. We've pulled together a list of 20 fun family outings that NJ kids are bound to love, from picking pumpkins to visiting sea turtles. You can find many more options in our Fall Fun Guide, and if the weather's looking iffy, check out our Indoor Playspace Guide for a backup plan!

Register for Free Swimming Lessons for NYC Kids

The New York City Parks Department offers FREE aquatic programs for children under 18 all year round, as well as adults, but you have to apply through an online lottery for each session. Fall swimming lessons are on the horizon; the lottery for the first two-week session opened on Monday, October 2 at noon and runs through Monday, October 9 at 11:59pm.

Fall swim lessons will take place Monday, October 16, 2017 through Saturday, December 30, 2017. The mandatory water test for older kids will take place Saturday, October 14.

Read on for the details on where to swim for free, or check our directory of paid kid swim classesmommy-and-me swim lessons for babies and toddlers, including those specifically in Brooklyn and in Queens.

Frightfully Fun Flashlight Corn Mazes to Check Out

If you have never been inside a corn maze, imagine entering a twisting, winding dirt-paved series of paths cutting through a giant field of corn stalks. Should you go left, right, or straight ahead? Remember, only the right decision will get you out of the maze. Now, try navigating through the maze at night time amid sounds of rustling cornstalks and shadows along the path. Spooky, right? Check out our roundup of flashlight corn mazes throughout the state for some spooktacular fun. And, for more autumnal adventures, check out our Fall and Halloween guides. 

Zombies and Wizards Teach "Sneaky STEM" at Guard Up in Boston Area

Celebrate a birthday by battling the undead in a zombie apocalypse. Spend the school break brewing potions in the Mages' Guild. Cap the school day with an epic afternoon NERF battle. These fantastic adventures are 100% reality at Guard Up, a local spot in Burlington and Waltham, Massachusetts, offering weekly classes, summer camps, birthday parties, and school holiday camps for ages 4 and up.

As magical as Guard Up may seem, the real wizardry is that the carefully developed programs actually teach creative problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, and yes, even STEM, all through gamified adventures kids will love. And that's just the tip of the iceberg; the more you hear about Guard Up the cooler it sounds.

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Ghosts, Pumpkins, Trains, and Mark in the Park

So it's October, and every body knows it. We're fairly cool with saying it's the month of thrills and chills and princess costumes, and yet... All Halloween all the time?  Could it be a tad... dare we say. premature? No one wants to be a party pooper, (and no one wants to tell a 3 year old in a tiara no), so we try to have it both ways. That pumpkin patch?  It's for the harvest. The costume exchange? Same thing.  And the haunted house, too. (Just go with it.)

We can look at the moon, too,  because it's an astronomical phenomenon and a cultural tradition, and not at all associated with seasonal spooks.  And who doesn't go to the movies, year round, regardless of the season?  Sometimes movies are just scary.  And we go to the zoo, and ride trains, and it's all just every day, so-what-if-there's-a-pumpkin kind of stuff.

In fact, there are several honest-to-goodness, could happen any time but just happens to be now,  "oh, is it October? Who knew?" events this weekend, some really good ones too. Some are even about the harvest....or are they?

Run, don't walk, to see what spookalicious treats we have in store for you for this weekend...

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids: Happy Columbus Day Weekend, Oct 7-Oct 9

Who's ready for a nice long weekend? The season of fall festivals continues with not-to-be-missed events in Milton, South Boston, and the mother of all festivals, HONK! (plus an awesome-sounding HONK! workshop on Sunday). Gustafer Yellowgold returns for a special new CD release show, budding archeologists are invited to a dig, and the final Red Sox Showcase of the season is at Faneuil Hall. Enjoy the Monday holiday and visit the Fenway area for a huge (free!) art and community event

We at Mommy Poppins wish all Boston families a happy and fun Columbus Day Weekend!

Also on Mommy Poppins this week:

  • Bringing the kids to PJ Masks? Check out our review of the show before you go.
  • Save your money for trick-or-treat goodies and hit these 20 free—or nearly free—Halloween events.

Need more family fun ideas? Check out our full events calendar.

Columbus Day Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Truck and Tractor Day, October 7-9

Many Philly families have an extra day off for the Columbus Day holiday. Spend this long October weekend by enjoying some of the many seasonal and entertaining activities that can be found in our event calendar.

Get in an autumnal mood with a visit to Longwood Garden's Pumpkin Playground as it opens for the season. Walk through Morris Arboretum to view the scarecrows or get lost in a corn maze at Freddy's Fallfest. Or, be entertained by seeing Snow White on stage at The Media Theatre. Looking for free fun? Activities that offer free admission include David Pincus Extra Fun Day at Smith, Newlin Grist Mill's Fall Harvest Festival, and Bensalem Fall Festival which features a car show, concert, and fireworks at the Bensalem Municipal Complex.

Make the most of the weekend by browsing through our calendar using the location, ages, and tags filters. For now, read about our top picks and savor that extra day of family fun.

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