New Jersey

5 Fall Foliage Trips with Extra Fun for Families in New England

Other regions around the country might be a bit superior for, say, soaking up the rays or skiing through powder. But when it comes to leaf peeping, I don't think it's biased to say that New England might be tops. With rolling hills, a high density of deciduous, mature trees, and, probably most importantly, relatively crisp late September and early October temps, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, as well as Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, kick off the fall foliage season with early, vibrant, and lasting color.

Sure, kids might not thrill to the wonders of changing foliage quite the way grown-ups do. But most enjoy trips to pretty destinations, with fun stops to hike, eat, and play along the way. While choices are plentiful in these parts, we're highlighting a few especially lovely fall locales that combine great fall color with fun family activities. Now all you have to do is convince the kids to put down their devices and appreciate the scenery. 

Cool Pumpkin Displays, Celebrations, and Decorating Events in NJ

Are your kids already preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes, and pumpkins dancing in their heads? Kick off the festive fall season at one of the many wonderful pumpkin-themed events happening around NJ, from elaborate pumpkin exhibits and carving competitions to good old-fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating fun.

Read on for our top picks, plus a bonus event that’s worth a drive across the state line. You can find even more even seasonal events in our Fall Fun Guide

Weekday Fun: Dinosaurs After Dark, Shopkins Live, Oktoberfest

It’s the first full week of fall, and there are lots of reasons to celebrate! Get in the pre-Halloween spirit at Field Station Dinosaurs’ Dinosaurs After Dark, or party German-style at Morey’s Piers' Oktoberfest 2017. The new season brings new museum excitement with Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails Exhibit at Liberty Science Center and The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts' After School experience. Plus, relish the fall weather (if it ever comes!) at great festivals, pumpkin farms, and corn mazes

Read on for our best children's events the week of September 25–29, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and September GoList for even more early-fall fun.

Halloween and Fall Foliage Train Rides for New Jersey Kids

Halloween and hayrides go hand in hand, but if you really want to up your game this year, take a trip on a Halloween train! If you have a junior conductor in your family, don't miss out on one of these four seasonal NJ railway adventures. From spooky to scenic, these rides offer a unique bit of fall fun for the whole family: passengers can take a seat in a vintage caboose, travel through gorgeous fall foliage, visit a pumpkin patch, and even trick-or-treat onboard. After the ride, round out the day with autumn activities like corn mazes, crafts, and a costume party.

Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal family fun around the state.

40 Fun Things To Do in Hoboken with Kids

Home sweet Hoboken. The small-town city where strollers, school kids, dogs and twenty-somethings come together is more vibrant than ever. With family-friendly parks, cafes, markets, and play spaces packed into this walkable city, it's no wonder so many young families love it. From kid-friendly entertainment and restaurants to festivals and museums, what's not to love about the Mile Square City? For small towns in New Jersey, Hoboken is tops. Read on for 40 of our favorite, mostly FREE, things to do in Hoboken. 

Shopkins Live Review: The Shoppies Shop It Up Onstage

The Shopkins gang took to the stage this September in their very first live show, Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Based on Moose Toys' popular line of tiny, collectible grocery store items—and the animated series on YouTube—the show features life-size versions of characters like Lippy Lips (a tube of lipstick) and Kooky Cookie (a chocolate chip cookie).

The show, which I caught in New Jersey with two preschool-age kids (and a theater full of mostly girls ages 4-8, decked out in Shopkins gear), was a full assault of rainbow colors, upbeat singing, and coordinated dance moves. It’s campy, silly, and pure fun for little fans of the figurines.

Read on for our full review of this children’s theater show, which continues its North American tour into 2018, hitting more than 75 cities and metro areas, including Tarrytown, New York (September 26), two more New Jersey theaters (September 27-28), Westbury, New York (October 1), Houston (October 20), and Hollywood, California (November 18).

Weekend Fun: Thomas & Friends, Giant Pumpkin Carve, BrickFair 2017

Autumn is officially in full swing, and there's tons of fall fun to be had throughout the Garden State. This weekend, head to one of NJ's top family-friendly farms for events like the Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm or the Fall Harvest Festival at Johnson's Corner Farm. Experience old-fashioned fun at Historic Longstreet Farm's Harvest Home Festival, or take a Harvest Moon Hayride at Alstede Farms.  

There's plenty of indoor action, too: everyone's favorite tank engine rolls into Liberty Science Center on Saturday in a STEM-focused exhibit called Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails, and it's all about LEGO this weekend at BrickFair 2017 in Edison. Plus, more than 20 NJ museums will offer free admission on Saturday as part of Smithsonian Museum Day Live.

Find many more ideas for weekend fun in our Fall Fun Guide, which is packed with fall fairsamazing corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and the best spots to go apple picking. And look to our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

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

Weekday Fun: Kindermusik Playdate, Harvest Moon Hayride, Fright Fest

As summer transitions into fall, what better way to spend the week than autumnal festivities and lots of freebies? Celebrate the new season at events like Ort Farms’ Apple Cider Kindermusik Playdate and Alstede Farms’ Harvest Moon Hayride and Night Time Corn Maze. Plus, have fun without spending a dime at Holmdel Library’s Magic Show, Long Hill Library’s Food Fun, Barnes & Noble's Storytime, and a Story Hour at Historic Cold Springs Village.

And if your schools are closed on Thursday and Friday for Rosh Hashanah, it's the perfect time to explore everything fall with activities such as corn mazes, pumpkin farms, day trips and more seasonal fun

Read on for our best children's events the week of September 18–22, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and September GoList for even more fall happenings.

Top Pumpkin Picking Farms for New Jersey Families

Nothing says fall (or Halloween) quite like a pumpkin. When these festive gourds start appearing on front stoops and in windows across New Jersey, you know autumn really has arrived. This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and take a day trip to one of NJ's excellent pumpkin patches, where you're sure to run into more fall fun, including barnyard animals, hay and corn mazes, and even the season's other favorite fruit: apples

Red on for more than a dozen spots where you'll be sure to find the perfect pumpkin.

Closer to the New York border? Check out these Westchester and Hudson Valley pumpkin patches. If you're in south Jersey or headed for a Bucks County getaway this fall, our Philadelphia site has the scoop on Pennsylvania pumpkin patches.

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