Fall Fairs and Festivals on Long Island 2016

From pumpkin picking to folk music, Long Island is ripe with fall fairs and festivals. Some offer carnival rides and games, while others have craft vendors and kiddie corners. But they all offer a fun day out for the entire family. Take a peek at our round up for ideas on how to spend your weekends in autumn. And for more seasonal fun, check out our Long Island Halloween Guide, as well as sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Pumpkin Patches Near NYC Where Kids Can Pick Their Own

We can't deny it any longer: The Halloween season is upon us! And what's All Hallows' Eve without the perfect pumpkin? Sure you can grab one from the local farmers' market, grocery store, or one of the few pumpkin patches right here in New York City in a pinch. But for a more immersive experience, head to the country to pick your own pumpkin this fall. Many of these farms and orchards offer additional activities for kids, including hayrides, bouncy houses, corn mazes, and apple picking, so you can extend your hunt into a family day trip.

Like our recent profile of nearby pick-your-own-apple orchards, these 10 pumpkin patches are all about an hour from Midtown Manhattan by car. We even found a few reachable via public transportation.

All A-Boo! Halloween and Fall Train Rides for New Jersey Kids

Halloween and hayrides go hand in hand, but have your kids ever heard of a "Halloween train"? If you have a junior train conductor in your family, don't miss out on one of these four seasonal NJ railway adventures. Take a seat in a vintage caboose, travel through gorgeous fall foliage, pick pumpkins to bring home, and even trick-or-treat onboard. After the ride, round out the day with autumn activities, from corn mazes to crafts to spooky scarecrows.

Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal family fun around the state, and find more cool fall train rides just over the border in Pennsylvania, from a haunted ride to preschooler-friendly Day Out with Thomas.

25 Splash Pads Around Houston

There's no denying that when the first heat wave of summer hits Houston, it hits hard. And as every Houstonian knows, once it comes it's here for the long haul - sometimes well into "fall." This means it becomes crucial to find fun ways to keep the kids cool without locking them indoors. Luckily, there is no shortage of splash pads here, and we rounded up 25 splash pads and spray parks that span all of Houston and its surrounding communities.

Where to Go Pumpkin Picking in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Autumn is in full swing and it's a beautiful time of year to be outdoors! We've told you all about the wonderful fall festivals and where to go apple picking. Now we're turning our attention to the great pumpkins.  

We've rounded up our favorite places to go pumpkin picking in the 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!

Looking for more fall activities? Consult our Fall Fun Guide and follow us on Facebook

Weekday Picks: Pirates, Doughnuts, Lobsters, and Pumpkins, Sept. 19-23

This week's activities offer a chance to bid adieu to summer and embrace fall, all at once. Kids can begin a lifelong obsession with the taste of lobster at the Redondo Beach Lobster Festival, beginning Friday evening. Oh sure, there will be bands, and carnival games, and stand-up paddle board lessons, but let’s face it: the tasty crustaceans are the stars of this show.

And while the weather is still nice enough for such coastal festivals, the changing of the seasons also brings out a bumper crop of fall activities, with pumpkin patches leading the way. The Pumpkin Patch at Irvine Park Railroad is among the first to open, while others get underway in the next week or two.

Our 10 picks for the week follow. For more activities, go to our Event Calendar and our monthly GoList. And stay in the know by signing up for our free weekly newsletter.

Exploring the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

The first time I went to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center was to attend a wedding when I was almost nine months pregnant. I couldn't believe that this fairytale forest setting existed within the concrete jungle of Houston. The 155-acre nature sanctuary is on Memorial Park's west side, and it is a nonprofit facility that features five miles of walking trails as well as interactive exhibits and habitats.

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