Painted Rocks Is the Newest Kid-friendly Scavenger Hunt & Hiking Craze Since Geocaching

The popular geocaching phenomenon has proven over the years to be a great way to channel your inner treasure hunting abilities as a family. Chances are someone in your family has also played at least one round of Pokemon Go. One positive impact these types of activities have is that they get kids up and moving, many times in parks or on local trails. Painted rocks is a trend that offers yet another way to get moving as a family and connect with the community, with a little crafting thrown in.

9 Easy Fall Family Hikes in NYC

It finally feels like fall in New York City, which means my family is headed to the hiking trail. At least once a quarter, usually coinciding with the change of seasons, someone in the family decides it's time to escape to the woods for a little urban relief. And really, there's no need to head upstate or to the 'burbs to get that outdoors fix.  

Did you know that our fair city is home to over 300 miles of hiking trails through 10,000 acres of unencumbered Mother Nature? We have sampled enough parks around NYC to confidently share this list of trails that vary in length, scenery, and difficulty (including those just right for little legs), and that reward hikers with views of water, bridges, and yes, that gorgeous fall foliage. Whatever borough you call home, my boy, who helped to compile this list, and I hope you will have a blast lacing up and hitting the trails. Note: He is too young to share mommy's byline. 

25 Scary Haunted Houses, Ghost Tours & Hayrides for Philly Teens and Tweens

This Halloween season, teens and tweens in the Philadelphia area have plenty of options for a spooky adventure. We’ve compiled a list of haunted houses, hotels and hospitals, ghost tours, zombie-filled amusement parks, horrifying hayrides, and creepy corn mazes. Older kids will encounter witches, werewolves, skeletons, bloody monsters, ghosts, and ghouls around every corner at many of these terrifying entertainment attractions. Most of these events are NOT recommended for children under the age of 12. Be sure to check each location's website for more info on dates and schedules. Enter if you dare!

Not-So-Scary Halloween Haunts on Long Island for Kids

Looking to get spooked this Halloween?

Long Island is home to many haunted houses up to the task, ranging from child-friendly to downright creepy. We've rounded up places offering fairly child-friendly haunted houses and events for your consideration. But keep in mind even the tamest of these can sometimes be too much for an imaginative child, so come prepared with a backup plan (or adult) if one child needs to leave quickly.

If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of Halloween-themed fun happenings on farms across the Island. For more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide and October GoList, and don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

Everyone loves a parade, but there's nothing quite like a neighborhood Halloween parade. While families with older kids may venture out to the iconic Village Halloween Parade on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, it can be pretty scary—it's always insanely crowded and loud, and many of the costumes are risque, gory, or in poor taste. If your children aren't up for that big Hallow-baloo, there are plenty of smaller, kid-friendly NYC neighborhood parades in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, including the Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge, the mega Jackson Heights parade, the famed Park Slope march, and a G-rated Village parade for little ones.

We've rounded up community-driven Halloween processions for families to watch or march in, most of which are FREE. If you don't live in a great trick-or-treating area, these parades are a wonderful way to hunt for candy in another neighborhood. Find even more seasonal happenings in our Halloween Fun Guide.

35 Free Halloween Events and Parades for NJ Kids

No tricks here—just a list of 35 FREE Halloween events happening all around New Jersey. The weeks leading up to your kids' favorite holiday are full of festivals, parades, and plenty of opportunities for them to dress up and score some scary-good treats.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal fun. From pumpkin picking and corn mazes to harvest festivals and Halloween train rides, we've got you covered.

Happy Halloween, New Jersey!

Free, Family-Friendly Halloween Parades and Events for Westchester Kids

If you think Halloween town and library programs are only about storytime and paper pumpkins, think again! Many towns in Westchester offer standout events that are frightfully fun—not to mention the parades, parties, and more free activities for families who love Halloween. 

Below we’ve listed two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are storytimes and crafts, but we do like those, too.) 

Read on for our top picks, and then continue on to our Event Calendar for many more fun October happenings.

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