Grab a Pumpkin Spice Coffee and Check out These Fall Fairs in Connecticut

Fall is an amazing time to be in Connecticut, with wonderful fairs and festivals nearly every weekend, celebrating the many aspects of Nutmeg life, from apples to pumpkins and beyond. Most of these have free admission, but charge small fees so you'll want to check that before heading out.  Check out our complete Fall Fun Guide too for more ideas on how to enjoy the season!

Where to Find Hayrides Around Houston

Your family's list of must-do activities for fall wouldn't be complete without an old-fashioned hayride. Check out these area farms and ranches for hayrides around the property, which often include pumpkin patches and fun activities for the whole family.

15 Long Island State Parks Worth a Visit

No matter what the season, and no matter where you live on Long Island, there’s a state park just waiting for you and your family.

From hiking in the fall to snow shoeing in the winter…from bird watching in the spring to camping in the summer, these gorgeous state parks have something special to offer Long Island families all year round.

To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of parks we believe are worth a visit. An Empire Pass gives you access to any New York state park for the year, but be sure to look at each park’s website for additional vehicle and/or entry fees and restrictions. Of course, Jones Beach and Robert Moses state parks are prime oceanside getaways in the summer; these parks offer year-round entertainment.

For more family fun, see our September GoList, explore our suggestions for a fun weekend getaway, or check out our Long Island Events Calendar.

30 Awesome Things to Do with Westchester Preschoolers this Fall

Not only is autumn ushered in with the start of school and the uncorking of champagne (just us?), but it also marks the chance to take part in such annual traditions as apple picking, pumpkin picking and Halloween celebrations. It also gives Westchester families one last opportunity to visit many outdoor activities before they close up shop for the winter.

We’ve gathered up our favorite things to do with preschoolers this fall in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and you can find even more options on our Event Calendar. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Laser Tag and Paintball in New Jersey with Kids

Looking for a high-energy activity to keep older kids moving? Try laser tag or paintball, two amped-up versions of manhunt featuring running, hiding, and shooting at your opponents. Race through rough outdoor terrain to avoid the harsh splat of incoming paint pellets, or dart from cover to cover in a darkened arena trying to dodge laser beams. Either way, teens, tweens, and older kids will feel the rush of competition as their teams try to stay alive in the game. Both are great for older kids' birthday parties or family outings.

Most paintball venues allow players age 10 and up, while laser tag is appropriate for children as young as 5 or 6. Check websites for age limits, drop-in hours, party packages, equipment rentals, and reservations. 

6 New Playgrounds in NYC You Gotta See This Fall

Summer may be coming to an end, but the crisp weather of fall is a great time to get out and explore your local park in New York City. Even better, check out a new playground—and with the recent influx of capital dollars, all five boroughs are boasting freshly renovated play spots begging to be explored during your next outdoor adventure.

We've rounded up six completely revamped playgrounds that reopened during the past six months, plus another handful to be revealed before we ring in the new year. So grab those sneakers and get ready to explore one of these shiny new play spots. You can always find more of our favorite playgrounds in our NYC guide.

Freakshakes - More Than a Milkshake

In my house, we like to mark big occasions with a special little treat.  Last day of school? Let’s get a donut! First day of school? How about a milkshake? But, sometimes not just any old milkshake will do. Sometimes you need to go big. Sometimes it’s a REALLY big occasion that needs  you to go so big that your milkshake needs its own zip code. Connecticut has a rich variety of ice cream parlors (check out our favorites in New Haven, Fairfield, New London, and Hartford) and over-the-top food experiences from Insane Ice Cream to a Chocolate Trail.  The latest wave of Frankenfoods to sweep the Nutmeg State seems to be Freakshakes. 
 

6 Sweet and Spooky Boston Area Hayrides

Hayrides are an autumn ritual for many families. Depending on the age of your child, you might be in search of a gentle meander through fields or a spine-chilling adventure that sparks Halloween excitement. Dozens of Boston-area farms offer hayrides, and we’ve rounded up them up for you here. The best part? Most of these farms also offer other activities to entertain your family, like farm animals, corn mazes, or delicious cider donuts. Happy—or spooky—trails!

This Weekend's Fun for LA Kids: Pirates, Lobsters, and Muppets

This season of Not Summer is in full swing, and so far it seems to be working for us. We still have lots of weekend fun with "festival" in the title (lobster, pirate, chalk); we still have movies under the stars, and we can still listen to concerts in the fresh air. And it's not 100° too much, so there's that.

I will warn you that this weekend marks the end of a few summer highlights. No fewer than four kid-friendly exhibits are coming to a close (though we do have a new museum opening up). The Levitt series in MacArthur Park is melting in the rain, and it's time to put out the free campfires in the park. It's all leaving me a little sad/happy. (If only I had the right emoji for that!)

Once again, our thoughts turn to our East Coast brethren. Our hopes are with all those in the hurricanes' paths. (For those recovering from Harvey's onslaught, our Houston site has information on resources available). Stay safe, dear friends!

Keep reading for the best picks for this Not Summer™ weekend...

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