Farm Fun: 11 Hudson Valley Hayrides for Kids in the Fall

It's autumn, and that means time for visits to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, eating doughnuts, drinking apple cider, and going on hayrides. The Lower Hudson Valley is rife with farm fun in the fall, including hayrides—many of which are free or at least included with the admission price.

We've gathered up some of our favorite farms and orchards with hayrides. For more ideas for kid-friendly autumn activities, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will start turning colors, and you might have noticed there’s a crispness in the air, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to go pumpkin picking. Happily, no matter where you live on Long Island there are places to find the perfect family pumpkins this fall—whether you want to pick your own off the vine or have the picking already done for you.

All of these farms and pumpkin patches offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and more, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms are fun, but can get messy, so make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Look at individual websites for hours and costs since some activities are free while other attractions have added fees.

If you’re heading to one of the farms on the East End, why not stop at a kid-friendly winery or a pick-your-own apple farm? And, for more seasonal fun, check out our list of the best fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn (and early Halloween)!

40 Fun Things to Do This Fall in Connecticut

Once all of the back to school frenzy is behind us it's time to take a breath and savor CT's autumn glory. Making leaf piles to jump in, finding that perfect pumpkin, going on fall hikes, driving through "leaf showers", going apple picking, getting lost in corn mazes, going to Fall Festivals and carnivals, and let's not forget Halloween! So much Northeastern autumn fun can be  too much to handle sometimes! Here's a fall list based upon our ever popular 120 Things to Do with Kids in Connecticut Before They Grow Up. It's filled with great places to visit and fun things to do all over the state this fall. Enjoy every second of it before the trees go into dormancy and the snowy blankets return. 

Brooklyn's City Point and DeKalb Market: Best Kid Eats and Shops

The City Point complex, Brooklyn’s new shopping center downtown, has so much to offer families. Parents will appreciate the Target and Trader Joe’s, and the whole family will enjoy the sleek new movie theater and vast DeKalb Market Hall with delicious offerings from dozens of vendors. And this ain’t no ordinary food court—you won’t find stale bagels and bland Chinese food here. Instead, think fried chicken on a stick and make-your-own cake pops.

Find our favorite picks below and return often for updated offerings there and around the neighborhood. Before you know it, you'll be raising certified Brooklyn foodies.

Houston's Spookiest Haunted Houses and Attractions for Halloween

While Houston offers several Halloween-themed events and attractions safe for the littlest trick-or-treater, like the Zoo Boo or Scream on the Green, those of you with older children may want something a little stronger in the scare department. We've rounded up a list of Houston area haunted houses that are not for the faint of heart - most of these destinations have age requirements of 12 and up. If you're feeling daring, take a trip to one of these haunted horrors, and don't forget to scream at least a little softer than your pre-teen.

Spirit's Promise: A Horse Farm and Rescue on LI's East End

It's My Little Pony turned real life at Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, a facility for abused, neglected or unwanted farm animals. It offers animals a renewed lease on life while providing a rewarding and educational destination for visitors. 

Want to get up close and personal with other animals? Peruse our list of animal farms and petting zoos on Long Island. Looking for more East End fun? Check out our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork.

Cooking with Kids in and Around Boston: Classes, Camps, and Parties

Whether our kids are adventurous eaters or too timid to try anything beyond boxed mac ’n’ cheese, teaching them about food prep, healthy eating, and nutrition is one of the more important things we as parents can do for their well being. Cooking together at home is one way to do this, but there are also plenty of opportunities for “instructive” fun through kids’ cooking classes and workshops.

One of the appealing aspects of kids’ cooking instruction is that it quite often takes the form of a single-class workshop or two- to three-session program. So, even if your children have regular sports team commitments or semester-long dance or music classes, they can still satisfy their inner foodies without missing a goal or a beat. Plus, many kids’ cooking classes are offered during those long school vacations or summer breaks—just the thing to keep kids engaged and entertained. Cooking workshops also make fun birthday parties - kids learn something, have fun, and are well fed. And (maybe best of all!), no mess for the parents. (More cooking party ideas here.)

We’ve rounded up five places that offer kids’ cooking classes and workshops in and around Boston. Get ready for your kids to cook up something great!

Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical Is Perfect for Times Like These

You know how, as a parent, you can explain a concept dozens of times, but until a kid sees it for themselves, they don't really get it? When the topic of discrimination comes up (if it hasn't already), don't bother trying to define it. Just take your children to Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical.

The bright set, costumes, and hair/makeup (blue skin! purple skin! rainbow hair!), as well as the characters' electric personalities will draw kids in immediately, while the 55-minute performance takes a complicated topic and puts it through a kid-friendly lens—without dumbing it down or simplifying it too much.

Read on for our full review, or check out our NYC Theater Guide for more family shows playing now.

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