5 Patches to Pick Pumpkins Near Boston, Plus a Recipe

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!

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10 Things To Know Before Hiring Your Houston Nanny

Being a mom is a challenging job. And if you are like me, finding someone to take care of my child when I went back to work was even more challenging. While daycare is a popular option, many moms look at hiring a nanny to stay home with their kids. Finding a nanny in a big city like Houston is not a simple task, and there are many things to consider when looking for the right candidate who will work so closely with your family. For the second year in a row, we surveyed 240 local moms to find out what to ask and what to consider when hiring a nanny. Below are some tips and facts based on the 2016 survey results.

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Applefest 2016: A Hudson Valley Fall Festival Extravaganza

Looking to get the most bang for you buck when it comes to celebrating fall? Consider Warwick's Applefest—one of the Hudson Valley's biggest annual festivals. With arts and crafts, food, live music and a full-tilt carnival, you can truly "do fall" all in one day. 

Now in its 28th year, Applefest draws in around 35,000 people each year from all over the tri-state area and beyond. Warwick is located about an hour and a half from Midtown Manhattan by car and an hour from central Westchester, and is ideal for an autumn family day trip. Read on for everything you need to know about this Hudson Valley extravaganza, including what to see and do, tips for navigating the crowds, and how to get there.

Looking for more fall fun? Check our Fall Activity Guide and follow us on Facebook! 

Halloween Adventures at PA and South Jersey Amusement Parks

Summertime visits to an amusement park often mean dealing with long lines and hot weather. Fortunately, many parks around the Philadelphia area are extending the season 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.  

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Kids Free October in San Diego: Zoo, Legoland, Seaworld, and More

The lazy days of summer may be over, but that's no reason to trade adventurous family outings for a never ending cycle of school drop-offs, pick-ups, and algebra homework. Instead, pack up the car and head south during San Diego Tourism Authority's annual Kids Free promotion.

The citywide campaign kicks off October 1, enticing families to visit San Diego's big-ticket attractions like Legoland, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wildlife Park, and Seaworld. Children can eat, stay, and play for free at more than 100 participating hotels, restaurants, museums, and parks until October 31.

We've selected 10 offers that we think are particularly good deals; put two or three together, and you've definitely got savings worth traveling for. Scroll down for a link to all 100+ free opportunities for kids in October.

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10 Places Where Long Island Kids Can Learn to Cook & Bake

It’s never too early to teach kids the importance of eating healthy, and what better way to do that then also showing them how to cook nutritious meals. Not only will they master some important kitchen skills, but it can also improve their fine motor skills, boost math comprehension (thanks to all that measuring), and encourage them to try new foods. We’ve rounded up 10 places that offer cooking and baking classes on Long Island, so go ahead and encourage your future Emeril or Giada to get cooking! And for more enrichment programs, check out our Classes Guide.

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Corn Mazes Near Boston With Fun Extras Like Zip Lines, Pumpkin Patches, and Hay Rides

Larger-than-life corn mazes offer families the challenge of finding their way through winding paths to solve a mystery, claim a prize, or just make it to the other side – a perfect fall activity that gets kids and parents working together. Choose a farm with a corn maze to take your apple picking and pumpkin patch excursions up a level, plan an unforgettable birthday bash for your child, or just have a blast as a family. Here are some of the Boston area's best corn mazes for an outdoor autumn adventure. 

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Petting Zoos Near NYC Where Kids Can See Farm Animals

I thank my lucky stars for the incredible cultural opportunities living in New York City offers my kids. But sometimes I fret over the disconnect from the natural world, especially since my mom was a certified country girl.

I want my three kids to be as comfortable in the country as they are in the urban jungle. So we're always looking for ways to get out of NYC and explore the expansive farmland that borders the city. While you can meet some furry friends at the city's wonderful zoos, and even feed them at places like Prospect Park Zoo, there's something special about getting a bit closer, or enjoying that farm setting. We've rounded up nine petting zoos or animal havens to get some serious face time with furry friends—whether you're petting a donkey, bottle-feeding a baby goat, hand-feeding a giraffe, or letting a lorikeet land on your shoulder.

Here are our favorite spots for an up-close animal encounter, all within two hours of NYC.

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