Harvest Festivals, Hayrides, and Fall Fair Fun in New Jersey

The air is crisp, the apples are ripe, and fall fair and harvest festival season is about to get underway! We've rounded up two dozen great harvest fests in New Jersey, all packed with signature autumn activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin decorating (and picking), pie contests, scarecrow making, live animals, live music, and more. Some even incorporate a little early Halloween fun.

Read on to find an event near you, including the Great Pumpkin Festival, the Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival, and more.

For more seasonal activities around the Garden State, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide and our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall

American Girl Gets a Makeover with a Brand-New NYC Store

If your daughter's a fan of Samantha, Kit, MaryEllen, or Melody, or it's a major announcement in your house when the annual Girl of the Year is revealed, we've got news for you: American Girl is relocating and revamping its flagship Midtown store just in time for the holiday rush.

Those familiar with its current location just east of Rockefeller Plaza won't have to reroute themselves too far to find signature dolls' new home.

Theme Park Haunts and Halloween Fun Near Philly

Summertime visits to an amusement park often mean dealing with long lines and sweating through your sunscreen. Fortunately, many parks around the Philadelphia area extend their seasons into the cooler fall months with Halloween-themed attractions. This can be a fantastic off-peak day trip for thrill-seeking families looking to enjoy a Halloween experience beyond the local parades and festivals. Several of the theme parks have kid-friendly attractions during the day, then transform into frightening tween-and-above entertainment zones at night. There are often trick-or-treat opportunities and costume contests, so children (and even some adults) can gather candy goodies and show off their Halloween disguises. If your family is seeking some over-the-top Halloween fun ranging anywhere from silly to downright scary, check our list of amusement parks sure to provide excitement.  

Looking for more Halloween fun? Don't forget to check out our Halloween Guide.

New LICM4All App Helps Families Enjoy The Long Island Children's Museum Even More

The Long Island Children's Museum gets it: under the best circumstances, it takes planning to pull off a great outing with kids; if your child has special needs, even more so. That's why we think their new smartphone app isn't just smart, it's brilliant.

Designed specifically to support children with neurodiversities and physical challenges, the free LICM4all app aims to take the guesswork out of planning a visit to the museum. Before the trip, families can download the app from either the App Store or Google Play and create a totally customized schedule based on their interests, as well as their needs. Short videos offer a sneak peek into current exhibitions, while also showing kids what to expect — like that they may get a little messy at the Bubbles exhibit, or that they might have to wait their turn at the TotSpot. Meanwhile, the color-coded, sensory-friendly museum map identifies galleries that are quieter or louder, and a list of tips provides parents with helpful details on accessible parking, restrooms, service animals, and more.

6 Boston-Area Bars and Pubs That Are Fun for Family Dinner

In Britain and Ireland, finding a pub is like shooting fish in a barrel. Over here, these cozy, community-oriented bars that combine good food and drinks are fewer, and finding one where you can bring your kids is even trickier, still. And yet, Boston is the proud home of some truly great family-friendly pubs where you can take your kids to eat in a lively atmosphere, and everyone will go home happy. We've covered some Irish-inspired stalwarts that are the places to be on St. Patty's Day...here, we're running through some of our fave options for grabbing some kid-friendly food, a proper pint for the grown-ups, and some fun family bonding anytime—all in an atmosphere that's suitable for babies through teens.

Free Perks That Come with Your Westchester Library Card

If your library card hasn’t left your wallet in a while, it may be time to pry it from its confines and put it to use.

More than a means to borrow books, your Westchester library card is your ticket to a host of privileges that you might not even know about. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, so take this opportunity to get one for each member of your family if you haven’t already. Read on to see what you might be missing—and it’s a lot more than just reading!

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Indulge at the Southington Apple Harvest Festival

If you’re looking for a small-town fair big on entertainment, mouth-watering foods, and scrumptious desserts, the Southington Apple Harvest Festival, celebrating its 49th year and mentioned in our 30 Fun Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut is sure to deliver. Nestled around the charming Southington Town Green, this family-oriented event attracts about 100,000 visitors annually. Add free admission and free parking to the fact that purchases benefit local community organizations and businesses, and you have an all-around feel good experience. 

Weekday Picks: Mickey's Halloween Party, Spiders, Lobsters, & a Pumpkin Train

We don't scare easily, until we look up from our busy lives and realize Halloween is just around the corner! All the signs are there, including a few annual events that kick off this week—like Mickey's Halloween Party at Disneyland. Disney's special event evenings, when kids can trick-or-treat throughout the park, continue through Halloween, but tickets are very limited (so the park does not get overcrowded). Our insider tip: Hit up the treat stations early in the evening, then rent a locker to stow goodies, so you aren't hauling them around the park and onto attractions. We learned this lesson while climbing Tarzan's Treehouse with a treasure trove of treats in our backpacks!

Irvine Park Railroad Pumpkin Patch is also up and running for the season. The annual Halloween event features plenty of family-friendly fun, including the Pumpkin Train, haunted house, a hay ride and hay maze, panning for gold, and carnival games. The creepy crawlies are back downtown, too, with the return of the the Natural History Museum's Spider Pavilion. Visitors walk among orb weavers and their intricate webs, which might freak out some folks out, but rest assured the spiders aren't dangerous and prefer to keep to themselves. To know what to expect, read our review.

All that, plus Tuesday is Talk Like a Pirate Day—and Santa Monica Aquarium knows how to celebrate, putting parrots on landlubbers shoulders as they learn how to make rope and get those little ships in little bottles.

Besides these activities, there are plenty more ideas to be found on the Mommy Poppins Event Calendar; and be sure to check out our picks for the month in the September GoList.

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