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 traditional fall fun like hayrides and harvest festivals to stage shows starring such kid faves as Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger, and The Cat in the Hat.
Less famous (but no less endearing) are the sea turtles at Adventure Aquarium—you can meet them this month at the aquarium's third annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend. Little princes and princesses can dance the night away at Garden State Discovery Museum's Fairy Ball, and dance lovers can watch their favorite performers from "So You Think You Can Dance" tear up the stage at Mayo Performing Arts Center.
And of course, there are Halloween happenings aplenty, geared toward everyone from older kids to the littlest trick-or-treaters. Head down the shore for Boo at the Boardwalk, enjoy not-too-spooky fun at Goblins in the Garden in Camden, and don your black hat for Witches' Day Out in Smithville. Throughout the month, you can take the family for a ride on a Halloween train, check out a cool pumpkin display, and attend one of NJ's many free Halloween events and parades.
Read on for more than 20 of the best events this October for NJ kids. For even more ideas, check out our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall, and find fun that's just right for little ones in our roundup of the Best Fall Events for NJ Preschoolers. And of course, check our Event Calendar often for new happenings added daily. Happy October!