Things To Do in Connecticut this Weekend: Spooktacular Science, Autumn Festival, Fall Hikes

We have reached mid-October, and the fall weather has turned crisp as a Braeburn apple. The rustle and crunch of fallen leaves makes the perfect background noise for all the fall fun Connecticut has to offer. The Ansonia Nature Center is hosting its annual Autumn Festival, featuring horse-drawn wagon rides and a chance to meet spiders, bats, and other creepy crawlies. In Mystic, get active with a self-guided spooky nature hike. And for sweets and science combined, stop by the Connecticut Science Center for its Spooktacular Science Weekend.

If the spooky spirit hasn't quite struck you yet, there is the annual Tower Toot festival and foliage hike in Simsbury. But if your kids can get enough of Halloween, you're sure to find some activities involving pumpkins, costumes, candy, and more in our Connecticut Halloween Guide.

Things To Do in NYC this Weekend: Open House, Pumpkin Point, Halloween

It's Open House New York weekend, and there's so much to see! NYC's landmarks open their doors for (mostly) FREE tours, and we've hand-picked a few of the best options for families in all five boroughs, including the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage in the Bronx, the Little Red Lighthouse in Manhattan, the Noguchi Museum and Gallop Sunrise Stables in Queens, Historic Richmond Town and the National Lighthouse Museum in Staten Island, and the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club in Brooklyn.

Meanwhile, we're running full speed toward Halloween in New York City, costumes flapping behind us, with Pumpkins and Potions on the Upper West Side and Pumpkin Point on Governors Island. Pet lovers can trot to Carl Schurz's Halloween Howl or Washington Square Park's Dog Day Halloween Costume Party and Parade, or pitch in at the Sean Casey Animal Howl-o-ween Bark Block Party. Museo del Barrio has you covered for Dia de los Muertos face painting and performances.

There are family-friendly fall festivals all over town this weekend, too: Saturday, head to the Harvest Festival in Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Red Hook Harvest Fest, Staten Island's 6th Annual fest at Clay Pit Ponds, Juniper Valley Park's Halloween Fest, Cooper Hewitt's Design Fest, or Atlantic Terminal Plaza's HarvestFest—complete with pony rides! On Sunday, it's Old Home Day in Historic Richmond Town, Harvest Homecoming (formerly Ghouls & Gourds) at Brooklyn Botanic, and Astoria's 4th annual Batty over Halloween bash.

Need a break from Halloween? Taste of the Seaport beckons on Saturday, with kid-friendly activities, live music, and food. The Little Orchestra Society kicks off its season this weekend with music from The Magic Flute. You can get a special sneak peek of R.J. Palacio's new graphic novel, White Bird, at Symphony Space.

As always, our October GoList features the month's best picks, and our Fall Fun Guide has the lowdown on seasonal must-dos. If you want to start planning for Thanksgiving or even December holiday events, dig into our Event Calendar.

Things To Do with Kids in Orlando this Weekend: Zoo Boo Bash, Artoberfest, and Fall Festivals

Orlando is a-buzz with things to do with kids this weekend, from spooky Halloween activities to pumpkin parties and more.

Some of our top picks for places to take the kids this weekend include The Central Florida Zoo's Zoo Boo Bash and the free Spooky Star Party at the Seminole State College Planetarium.

Looking for a break from Halloween and Pumpkin related activities? Be sure to check out the free ARToberFEST at Winter Springs.

Things To Do in Westchester this Weekend: Fall Fests, Halloween Train Show, Hastings Spooktacular

Halloween fun is on the rise in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend with the addition of the Hastings Spooktacular Weekend, plus the continuation of all the other big Halloween events throughout the month. Adding to the holiday hullaballoo is the return of the annual Lasdon Park Halloween Train Show, featuring added Halloween attractions including a pumpkin maze.

Numerous alternatives to the Halloween craze are also on tap. Among the fall festivals taking place this weekend, the standout is the two-day New York Sheep and Wool Festival, which features exciting workshops and live entertainment specifically for kids, as well as such eccentricities as llama acts. Or experience the cultural arts with a performance by the Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia. A couple of STEM programs take place on Sunday, including Westchester Children's Museum's Chem-Palooza.

Read on for our top weekend picks, but know that there are many more options to choose from on our Event Calendar (it was hard to pick only a handful to showcase!). Our October GoList is another great resource to plan the rest of the month.

Montclair Art Museum Is Perfect for a Kid-Size Culture Fix

The Montclair Art Museum is a great place to introduce kids to the visual arts. My 6-year-old daughter and I moved to Montclair last year, and when a Sunday afternoon opened up on our calendar recently, we finally got a chance to visit. Even my very active daughter, whose idea of culture is cheese (as in Chuck E.), was eager to go inside the big building she sees on our frequent trips to the Whole Foods right across the street.

To be honest, art museums plus kids doesn't always equal a successful day of art appreciation. For me, it's more about exposing my daughter to art and culture, even in small (or local) doses. That being said, the Montclair Art Museum absolutely did not disappoint! Plus, a visit to MAM makes a great post-brunch stop during a family-friendly day in Montclair.

Read on for our day—well, 90 minutes—at this awesome Northern NJ museum.

Socrates Sculpture Park: A Hidden (and Free) Gem in Queens

It’s a total cliché to say something is a hidden gem, but in the case of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens, it’s hard to find a description that’s more apt. For years, I drove right past the park, which is somewhat concealed behind a tall fence on Vernon Boulevard and Broadway, on the way to my daughter's school. Finally, my family decided to investigate.

We weren’t expecting to find a five-acre, open-air art park with amazing views of the East River and Manhattan. The artwork on display changes regularly, and visitors can easily spend a day here wandering among the sculptures, sunbathing, reading, or strolling the gardens.

Best of all, Socrates Sculpture Park is totally FREE, and is open year-round for amazing waterfront views, public art, and cool family-friendly programs and events. Read on for even more reasons why you should go. 

Things to Do in Philly this Weekend: Witches & Wizards, Boo at the Zoo, Archaeology Day October 19-20

Philly families are sure to notice the spooky and mysterious activities that are creeping into the Delaware Valley and onto the pages of our event calendar. But, don't be afraid. Mommy Poppins Philadelphia has rounded up some great ways to spend this October weekend.

If your crew is into all things Harry Potter, take a trip to Chestnut Hill for its Wizard & Witches Weekend which features a new wizarding run, quidditch tournament, escape room, potion-making station, and circus aerialists. Families who enjoy watching animals can head to The Philadelphia Zoo, The Brandywine Zoo, or The Elmwood Park Zoo for some Halloween fun during boo at the zoo events. Kids who are mesmerized by aerial and tight rope tricks are in for a treat as the Philadelphia School of Circus Act appears at the Kimmel Center's free PNC Grow Up Great session. Children who don't mind getting a little dirty and have a sense of discover can celebrate International Archaeology Day at Newlin Grist Mill while nature lovers can take a hike to investigate trees and their leaves at Peace Valley Nature Center.

Now, read the rest of our top picks and make plans to experience some them during the weekend ahead.

Things To Do in Chicago This Weekend with Kids: Open House, Arts in the Dark, Halloween Parties

It's a big weekend for Halloween parties around Chicagoland, as little ghouls and ghosts prepare for the big night of trick or treating. Join the free neighborhood Halloween party fun at Bloomingdale or Roselle, dress up for Monster Madness in Lisle, do the monster mash at the Mr. Dave Baby Rave, or dive in to a Halloween pool party. York Center in Lombard transforms into Hogwarts for a Potter-themed Halloween party, and Bolingbrook rolls out its annual free trunk or treat event. There's even a deliciously scary Halloween event for bigger kids only in Naperville

There's still time to pick your future jack-o-lantern at pumpkin patches around Chicago, plus a few in the city this weekend at Sheridan Park and Humboldt Park. And kids will love watching glowing gourds take to the water at the free Pumpkin Flotilla Fest in Glen Ellyn.

On Saturday, bring the kids to Maggie Daley Park for the big fall festival, followed by the eerie enchantment of the moonlit Arts in the Dark parade. Fall harvest festivals are cropping up (see what we did there?) in Naperville and at Jesse White Park this weekend, too. 

And this is the weekend Chicago's landmarks and famed buildings open their doors for free exploration as part of Open House Chicago—note that some locations require free advance registration to visit. The Open House Chicago Family Festival at Pritzker Pavilion makes a helpful home base for exploration.

For more ideas, see our weekend event roundup below, and our ever-growing event calendar

Things to Do in DC this Weekend: Harvest, Festivals October 19-20, 2019

There’s much to do on this fine fall weekend. Pick a pumpkin, sip some apple cider, enjoy a fall festival, or check out some fun jack o’ lanterns. Families can also enjoy some arts and crafts, live music, and guided walks out in nature. Whatever you choose, we here at Mommy Poppins Washington, DC wish you a great weekend with your family!

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Things To Do on Long Island this Weekend with Kids: Halloween Crafting, Pet Parade, Long Island Oyster Festival

Rock Hall welcomes visitors for a weekend of country fun. Enjoy the harvest market, pumpkin patch, children's craft area, farm animals and more! The Long Island Oyster Festival, a huge waterfront celebration offers a mix of new activities and old favorites.

Get crafty at the Long Island Puppet Theater, making monster puppets and more. Bring Fido along for the Halloween party and pet parade at Sands Point Preserve. 

Peep our nature walk guide for the best places to spot the changing leaf colors. 

See our Fall Family Fun Guide for the best in seasonal entertainment, including day trip ideas, fall festivals, corn mazes,  and plenty of FREE events and activities. As always, our Event Calendar and October GoList are loaded with fun, daily happenings for Long Island kids.

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