Kids Free October in San Diego: Deals at the Zoo, Legoland, Seaworld, and More

The lazy days of summer may be over, but that's no reason to trade adventurous family outings for a never-ending cycle of school drop-offs, pick-ups, and algebra homework. Instead, pack up and head for San Diego during San Diego Tourism Authority's annual Kids Free promotion.

The citywide campaign kicks off October 1, enticing families to visit San Diego's big-ticket attractions like Legoland, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wildlife Park, and Seaworld. Children can eat, stay, and play for free at more than 100 participating hotels, restaurants, museums, and parks until October 31.

We've selected 10 offers that we think are particularly good deals; put two or three together, and you've definitely got savings worth traveling for. Scroll down for a link to all 100+ free opportunities for kids in October.

Campgrounds Near Houston to Make Your Family Fall in Love With Nature

My family is a camping family. We also are a family that loves to book our weekends full of things to do, whether that's taking advantage of activities around Houston or traveling elsewhere. Camping started as something fun and cheap (emphasis on the cheap) to do in college with my then-boyfriend and current husband, and it slowly morphed into our preferred way to get out of town and see various parts of the city as the years passed. As our family has grown, we've gone from tent camping to trailer camping and tried out everything else possible in between.

Best Petting Zoos around LA Where Kids Can Get Their Animal Fix

Kids of all ages love animals, from babies barely aware that the cow goes "moo" to older kids who can somehow spit out the full Latin name of a rare South American pig most adults don't know exists. So it's very special when children get the opportunity to go beyond the classic zoo to meet critters in closer quarters, and even get their hands on them (gently, of course). 

Pumpkin Patches in the Hartford Area

The farm fields are brimming with bright orange pumpkins just waiting to be picked and painted, carved, or baked into scrumptious desserts. Pumpkin picking is one of the most beloved fall activities and there is no shortage of patches in the greater Hartford area. Head out on a crisp autumn day and find just the right pumpkin to decorate with your child. Don't forget to roast and enjoy the seeds! For even more fall fun, check out our CT Fall Fun and Halloween Guide.

Pumpkin Patches Near NYC Where Kids Can Pick Their Own

We can't fight it anymore: The Halloween season is upon us! And what's Halloween without the perfect pumpkin? Sure, you can grab one from the local farmers' market, grocery store, or one of the few pumpkin patches right here in New York City. But for a more immersive experience, head to the country to pick your own pumpkin this fall. Many of these farms and orchards offer additional activities for kids, including hayrides, bouncy houses, corn mazes, and apple picking, so you can expand your hunt into a family day trip.

Like our recent profile of nearby pick-your-own-apple orchards, these 12 pumpkin patches are all about an hour from Midtown Manhattan by car. We even found a few reachable via public transportation.

Top Pumpkin Patches and Picking for New Jersey Families

Nothing says fall (or Halloween) quite like a pumpkin. When these festive gourds start appearing on front stoops and in windows across New Jersey, you know autumn really has arrived. This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and take a day trip to one of NJ's excellent pumpkin patches, where you're sure to run into more fall fun, including barnyard animals, hay and corn mazes, and even the season's other favorite fruit: apples

Red on for more than a dozen spots where you'll be sure to find the perfect pumpkin.

Closer to the New York border? Check out these Westchester and Hudson Valley pumpkin patches. If you're in south Jersey or headed for a Bucks County getaway this fall, our Philadelphia site has the scoop on Pennsylvania pumpkin patches.

The Best Family Shows of Off-Broadway's New Victory Theater 2018-2019 Season

For the past 23 years, the award-winning New Victory Theater in the heart of Times Square has been the premier destination to catch entertaining and affordable productions for all ages. But the beloved New Vic is much more than just a place to "go catch a show." Through hands-on workshops, interactive pre- and post-show activities, and performances tailored for children with special needs, the nonprofit organization is raising the bar for what children's theater can be. As a parent who has been taking my daughter to the New Vic for over a decade, I'm pleased to share a preview of its 2018-2019 season, including the best shows for different ages and how to save on tickets.

The Best Fall Pumpkin Picking for Families in the Philly Area

There's no better way to celebrate harvest season than with a special adventure to a pumpkin patch. Urban families can find pumpkins as close as Franklin Square in Philadelphia, or take a beautiful drive to a suburban farm. Looking for more than just pumpkins? Not to worry; every pumpkin patch offers additional family fun, such as festivals, hayrides, corn mazes, playgrounds, and apple cider tastings— all while searching for the perfect pumpkin.

Hayrides and Fall Farm Fun for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

It's autumn—time for visiting pumpkin patches and apple orchards, enjoying apple cider and doughnuts, and going on hayrides. Westchester and the Hudson Valley are rife with farm fun in the fall, including hayrides—many of which are free or at least included with the admission price.

We've gathered up some of our favorite farms and orchards with hayrides and other fall fun. For more ideas for kid-friendly autumn activities, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will turn colors, and you might have noticed there’s a crispness in the air, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to go pumpkin picking. 

Happily, no matter where you live on Long Island there are places to find the perfect family pumpkins this fall—whether you want to pick your own off the vine or have the picking done for you.

All of these farms and pumpkin patches offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and more, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms are fun, but can get messy, so make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Look at individual websites for hours and costs since some activities are free while other attractions have added fees.

If you’re heading to one of the farms on the East End, why not stop at a kid-friendly winery or a pick-your-own apple farm? And, for more seasonal fun, check out our list of the best fall fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn (and early Halloween)!

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