Harvest Fests, Pumpkin Patches, and Hayrides Right Here in NYC

If you think you need to head out to the 'burbs for an authentic fall harvest experience, we've got good news: You can pick the perfect pumpkin, go on a hayride, meet farm animals, and even get lost in a massive corn maze right here in NYC.

So if you're looking to skip the car rental, hop onto the subway instead to head out to these fall harvest festivals and pumpkin patches, all located within the five boroughs. Looking for more fall fun? Check out our NYC Fall Fun Guide for the best of the season.

Indoor Obstacle Courses, Rock Walls, and Ninja Warrior Training for LI Kids

Are your kids using the couch as a jumping-off point for back flips? There are several spots in Nassau and Suffolk counties that offer obstacle training, where your little ninja can test his or her balance, vaulting, tumbling and more. Let the little daredevils try out these indoor courses while keeping your walls scuffmark-free.

In the meantime, check out our roundup of birthday party venues for active kids or open-play spaces for those seeking an adrenaline rush. For more indoor fun, especially for toddlers, see our list of the best indoor play spaces on Long Island.

Pumpkin Festivals and Jack-O-Lantern Displays for New England Families

New England is filled with plenty of fall festivals, but kids are particularly enamored with events celebrating the humble pumpkin: the symbol of Halloween. Whether you stick close to home or make a day or weekend trip out of it, going to a pumpkin festival or visiting a glowing Jack-O-Lantern display is a fun, family-friendly way to get into the spirit of the season. Here's a sampling of pumpkin fun in Massachusetts and beyond over the next month; get inspired for a trip to the pumpkin patch for your own family Jack-O-Lantern display!

Upper West Side with Kids: 30 Things to Do for NYC Families

The Upper West Side of Manhattan is one of the most famously family-friendly areas in NYC. I've lived on the UWS since I was just a tot and raised two children in the same apartment where I grew up, so we're all very passionate about the neighborhood. (That's part of why we've covered it so extensively in the past.)

Within the massive neighborhood bordered by Lincoln Center to the south, 106th Street to the north, and from Riverside Park to Central Park west to east, there are a slew of kid-centric hot spots and activities. It wasn't easy, but we've whittled down our list to 30 top picks for things to do with kids on Manhattan's Upper West Side. While you're sure to find the obvious ones (hello, American Museum of Natural History and Children's Museum of Manhattan), we also included some off-the-beaten-path ideas and activities for families in the Upper West.

Not Scary Halloween Fun in Fairfield County

There is a little something for everyone in Fairfield County this October.  From trick-o-treating on a farm, to getting up-close and personal with real life creepy crawlies, these family friendly activities will leave you with a little more treats than tricks. My three year old daughter loves almost everything about Halloween except that she is absolutely terrified of things that go bump in the night.  Now that the haunting season is upon us, check out the following activities around Fairfield County that are best suited for a younger crowd.

Ten of Connecticut's Best Corn Mazes Await

They are unique, creative, and challenging, and they will leave you both stomping with frustration and giggling with delight. Corn mazes! A beautiful symbol of autumn, mazes are a tradition for many determined to navigate clues and avoid getting lost among towering golden stalks. No matter what part of the state you live in, you likely have the opportunity for a corn-mazing adventure. Too corn-y? Perhaps, but this kind of fun only lasts a few weeks each year. Have a wonderful time and be sure to check out more suggestions for Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut, including Pick-Your-Own Orchards, Fall Fairs, and pumpkin patches

Along Came a Spider Pavilion: Big Spiders Are Back at the Natural History Museum

While some may ring in the Halloween season by smearing shrubs with 99-cent store fuzzy webbing and plastic spiders, the arachnid purists over at the Natural History Museum have a more organic approach. This weekend the screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes seasonal home to more free-range, eight-legged tenants than anyone in his right mind could want – in short, an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare and an eight-year-old boy’s version of heaven.

Best Brooklyn Storytimes for Kids and Babies

Neighborhood story hours for preschoolers and babies abound in Brooklyn, providing a fun, no-fuss outing, especially on cold or rainy days. Most storytimes are free (or cheap), and many venues offer additional kid activities before or after the reading, including plenty of book-browsing, so the fun can continue even when storytime ends.

Read on for our top picks for read-along sessions in Brooklyn at libraries, bookstores, and other tot spots, and find more story hours at these Manhattan spots.

Corn Mazes and Haunted Mazes for LA and Orange County Kids

As kids are mostly settled into the new school year, and local orchards are open for apple picking, the next sign of autumn is the corn maze.

Corn mazes are created by a tractor in a growing field of corn—usually following a fairly intricate design. For large mazes, GPS is often used to create a picture that can be seen from the air. A mature corn maze is a true adventure, with walls of corn that are taller than most adults; children (and adults) can for sure lose their way! Most operators recommend kids be at least 5-8 years old before going in alone; use your judgment, of course. Closed-toe shoes are recommended for comfort (sneakers are best), as corn mazes involve walking on uneven ground and broken cornstalks. And if you head into the maze at dusk, be sure to bring a flashlight!

A Dozen Amazing Birthday Cake Bakeries for LI Kids

When it comes to your kids' birthdays, we here at Mommy Poppins have you covered.

Whether it's your child's first birthday or 10th, the steps are always the same: Find a theme, a venue, guest list, and of course, a cake. No party is complete without the perfect dessert ending, and extravagant themed cakes are becoming more popular than ever. We've scoured the Island to find the best custom cake bakeries.

Bon apetit. 

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