Fall Activities

Best Apple Picking Orchards near Washington, DC for Kids

As the leaves turn so too do the thoughts of DC families towards apple picking. This favorite fall tradition is a must for kids and grown-ups alike and often go far beyond just plucking ripe apples from the tree. Many of these orchards host autumnal activities of all kinds, from corn mazes to music festivals and everything in between. 

There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms within easy driving distance of the nation's capital. But remember: Farm conditions and apple availability change through the season, so be sure and call or check the website before your visit to any of the spots listed below.

Best Apple Picking Orchards Near Philadelphia for Kids

We know it must be fall when we feel that chill in the air, the leaves start to change color, harvest festivals abound and apple picking season begins. Pennsylvania is one of the country's top apple producing states, so we are fortunate to have a number of orchards in the area where we can enjoy this favorite Fall tradition. Many of the orchards host activities to extend the fun beyond apple picking - everything from tractor rides and corn mazes to moon bounces and music festivals.

There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms listed below, all within an hour's drive of Philadelphia. Because farm conditions and apple selection can vary throughout the season, it is recommended to call or check the website before visiting.

Best Orchards for Apple Picking with Kids Near Chicago

The Chicago school year has hardly begun, but fall harvest season is already in full swing at several orchards throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. Families willing to take a one- or two-hour drive can get away to enjoy country life for a day, with hay rides, petting zoos, corn mazes, and apple picking. Some orchards even offer pumpkin picking and other fruits throughout the season.

We’ve picked out a baker’s dozen of the best apple orchards within a two-hour drive of Chicago for your picking (and, perhaps, pie-baking) enjoyment. Kids can play farmer for a day without breaking the bank at these 13 orchards.

Go Fish: Where to Go Fishing with NYC Kids for Free (Even If You Don't Have Gear)

Fishing is a classic family activity, but it can only be done outside of NYC, right? Wrong. My husband and I have been fishing with our 9-year-old son in the five boroughs since he was a preschooler. It's relaxing and a great way to bond, plus it teaches patience (you definitely need it for this sport).

Not only does NYC offer different kinds of fishing experiences (freshwater, salt water, catch-and-release), there are organizations that even supply the rod, reel, tackle and bait so all you need to bring is a good attitude. Our rivers, lakes, ponds and beaches are truly teeming with fish, and we've got the scoop on where you and your kids can catch them.

Best Apple Picking Orchards for Kids on Long Island

Long Island's pick-your-own apple farms are scattered throughout the East End, making apple picking the perfect family activity to kick off the fall season. From small farm stands to orchards with dwarf trees sized just right for little hands, to other family-friendly venues, there are plenty of places to pick apples around the island, and we've rounded them up for you.

Apple picking season can begin as early as the end of August and continue through October. Be sure to check each apple farm’s website for hours and bounty updates. 

Find more pick-your-own fun in our Long Island Farm Guide, including where to pick peaches or pumpkins, or feed the goats and sheep at area petting zoos and barnyards.

25 Things We Are Excited To Do with Philly Kids This Fall

Summer is over, there’s a chill in the air, and the kids have settled into the school year. Before we know it, we’ll be talking holiday shopping and snow days! Until then, there’s plenty of time to take the children to some of the coolest playgrounds, check out the latest museum exhibits, and enjoy everything Philly has to offer.

We've rounded up the top 25 things we're most excited to do with the family this fall. With so many fun activities to squeeze in before the holidays, the days of crisp, autumn air will fly by in a flash!

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze Rises in the Hudson Valley Again

There are some experiences every family should try once. Then there are annual events that, after you try them, you vow to do every year forevermore. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson,  a Hudson Valley Halloween staple with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, falls firmly in the latter category.

The downside of the Blaze is that tickets start selling out way in advance... like early September. The 2019 shows begin Friday, September 20, and run through Saturday, November 30—thus extending the Halloween season straight through Thanksgiving. Our NYC readers should know that the Blaze is definitely worth splurging on, even if you need to rent a Zipcar. It's also accessible via public transportation.

Read on for what you need to know about this Halloween spectacle, including details about this year's installations, including several new features. Looking for more fall fun? Be sure to sign up for our newsletters!

Family Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New England that Welcome Kids

When thinking of New England, most people conjure up the tastes of apples, cranberries, and maple syrup, but local vineyards prove we can produce some tasty grapes, too. Stretching from Connecticut’s "wine trail" all the way up to New Hampshire's White Mountains, many of these vineyards aren't just great places to sip wine with your grown-up friends, but also to hang out with kids (yes, you heard that right!). Much like the local beer gardens that keep popping up in Boston and Connecticut, these wineries welcome families with beautiful, spacious grounds, and in some cases, apple picking, live music, wagon rides, and other activities.

Here are our favorite family-friendly vineyards and wineries in New England—from coast to mountaintop!

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