Weekend Fun: Maker Faire, Atlantic Antic, Jim Henson Puppet Fest, September 26-27

Look out: It's another NYC weekend packed with great kid and family events. With Brooklyn's largest street fair Atlantic Antic, the Morningside Lights illuminated parade, Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Chile Pepper Festival and Maker Faire in Queens all taking place this weekend, be prepared to make some tough choices! Plus, the Children's Museum of Manhattan debuts its new NYC-themed installation, the Museum of the Moving Image celebrates Jim Henson, and many cultural institutions are offering FREE admission thanks to Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day.

Read on for all of our best bets, and check out the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide for more things to do.

Pumpkin Picking Places for Boston Families

Signs of Halloween are cropping up everywhere, and it’s time to start thinking about finding your perfect pumpkin. While local farm stands, farmers' markets and even grocery stores typically have a good selection, it can be a lot more fun to pick your own straight from the field. Many pumpkin patches offer additional activities for families, like hay rides, bouncy houses and corn mazes, so you can turn your hunt into a fall pumpkin patch day trip.

Read to the end, where you'll find my family's favorite pumpkin bread recipe. Yum!

Laser Tag Parties in the Hartford Area and New Haven County

Recently my eight-year old daughter was invited to a laser tag party. I was admittedly apprehensive at first -- my little girl, battling with lasers? But she wanted to try it and I’m glad we gave it a shot. If you aren’t aware of how it works, the kids wear packs on their bodies that track if they are struck by a laser beam shot by another kid. Most places have obstacles to hide behind as well as for sneaking up on opponents. Kids work in teams so that they are not alone. Different places have varying themes and special effects. If your child likes high adventure and is looking for a thrill, check out the following places in the Hartford and New Haven areas for his or her next birthday party. For more birthday party ideas, check out our Connecticut Kids' Birthday Party Guide

Pumpkin Patches: Where to Go Pumpkin Picking in Westchester & Hudson Valley

Autumn is in full swing and it's a beautiful time of year to be outdoors! This month we've mentioned wonderful fall festivals and where to go apple picking in Westchester and Rockland as well as Dutchess and Orange

Now with the Halloween season upon us, we've rounded up the best places to go pumpkin picking in lower Hudson Valley. Sure you can buy your pumpkins from the supermarket or your local farmer's market. But if you're looking for a more authentic experience, head to a nearby pumpkin patch!

Pumpkin picking is a great family outing and kids have loads of fun scouring the fields to find the perfect gourd. As we mentioned with apple picking, be sure to call ahead to confirm hours, crop availability and attractions. 

 

Along Came a Spider Pavilion: Creepy Fun for LA Kids

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. Each autumn a screened pavilion on the museum’s South Lawn becomes 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.

Pumpkin Picking Farms & Corn Mazes On Long Island

Plenty of pumpkins, nestled alongside mysterious corn mazes and the occasional haunted house, await Long Island residents this fall. Some pumpkins are pre-picked and neatly arranged in a pumpkin patch, while others are available for picking right off the vine. All of the farms listed here provide either carts or wheelbarrows to transport the pumpkins. Read on for our pumpkin picking tips, as well as a list of farms throughout Long Island. For more pumpkin picking destinations in the tri-state area check out Pick Your Own Guide: Where to Pick Your Own Fruits and Vegetables in New York, New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut.

And for more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide, as well as sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Great Pumpkin Festival, Nature Quest, Sept 26-27

Fall is officially here and you can savor the first weekend of the season with some awesome fresh-air activities: get a head start picking out an orange beauty during Heaven Hill Farm’s Great Pumpkin Festival, sample local eats and let the kids get their faces painted at Hoboken’s annual Fall Arts & Music Festival or test your outdoor knowledge during The Great Nature Quest at Echo Hill Park. And if you need a few more ways to keep the kiddos entertained, check out Open Cockpit Weekend at the Aviation Museum, Insect Insanity at Cora Hartshorn Arboretum or Batman Day Storytime at Watchung Booksellers. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, we hope you enjoy it with family and friends. For even more activity options, check out our Event Calendar .

The 10 Best Pancake Spots for NYC Kids

We've sleuthed out the most scrumptious spots serving up pancakes—that very essential kid food—in NYC.

Sure you can find pancakes on nearly every brunch menu across the city, or you could whip up a batch (pour mix into bowl, add water) when your kid asks for them AGAIN! this week, but not every flapjack is created equal. Why not let NYC's pros handle this one? Besides, New York is one of the best places to take kids out to try new foods, and pancakes are no exception. We've found the best classic blueberry pancakes, red velvet pancakes, gluten- and dairy-free varieties, cheap and fancy ones, and crepes, too!

Read on for your next family brunch outing.

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