Fall Bucket List for Kids: 47 Things To Do in New Jersey this Fall

The largest fall festival in northern New Jersey, The Great Pumpkin Festival, is at Heaven Hill Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
The largest fall festival in northern New Jersey, The Great Pumpkin Festival, is at Heaven Hill Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
9/10/23 - By Margaret Hargrove

If you're looking for the absolute best things to do this fall in New Jersey, you've come to the right place. To celebrate the changing seasons, we've crafted this fall activities bucket list with dozens of things to do in New Jersey with kids. 

In autumn, New Jersey pulls out all the stops with crisp air, brilliantly colored leaves, apples ripe for the picking, pumpkins, and Halloween celebrations aplenty.

Be sure to also check out our Activity Calendar, which is bursting with fun picks, as well as our Guide to Fall Fun in New Jersey.


Subscribe to our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

1. Go Apple Picking

Apple picking is one of our favorite fall activities, and family-friendly farms across New Jersey are ready to welcome guests.

2. Enjoy the Fall Colors

Relish the Garden State's beautiful fall foliage at a scenic park or playground.

3. Spend a Day at LSC

No matter how many times you visit, the Liberty Science Center never gets old. This fall, be sure to check out The Building 2023, which seems to challenge the laws of physics with a model of a building on the ground.

RELATEDOutdoor Activities Guide for New Jersey Kids

NJ Fall bucket list Hemlock Falls
Take a family-friendly hike to Hemlock Falls. Photo courtesy of NJ State Parks

4. Take a Hike

Breathe in the crisp autumn air on a family hike to one of New Jersey's beautiful waterfalls.

5. Head Down the Shore

Go ahead and enjoy one last ice cream on the boardwalk at sunset. Or maybe visit an off-the-beaten-path beach you've never tried before.

6. Play Arcade Games

Get your game on at an indoor arcade.

7. Wander Through a Sunflower Maze

Get lost in the most picturesque of locations: a sunflower maze. U-pick sunflowers are still in still in season at some farms.

8. Visits Farm Animals

Cozy up with farm animals at these New Jersey petting zoos.

RELATED: Best Apple Picking Orchards and Farms in New Jersey With Kids

Fall bucket list Six Flags Great Adventure Safari
Take a wildlife tour at Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Drive-Thru. Photo courtesy Six Flags Great Adventure

9. See Wild Animals

See exotic animals from your car at the Six Flags Great Adventure Safari Drive-Thru.

NJ fall fun Addamsfest
Westfield hosts a month-long Addmsfest. Photo courtesy of the festival

10. Check out Addamsfest

Explore the town of Westfield—the hometown of Charles Addams—which hosts the October-long Addamsfest with a haunted trail, movies, and more fall activities.

11. Have a Picnic

It's not too late to dine al fresco, throw a Frisbee around, or take in the sights at one of NJ's top picnic spots.

12. Great Pumpkin Festival

Get a taste of everything fall, including a pumpkin patch and corn maze, at the Heaven Hill Farm's Great Pumpkin Festival through Sunday, November 5, 2023.

13. Dunellen HarvestFest

Get in the autumn spirit at a harvest festival, such as the Dunellen HarvestFest on Sunday, October 8, 2023.

14. Visit Legoland

Legoland is family fun just across the border in Goshen, New York. Spend a day, or book a weekend away at the Legoland Hotel

15. American Dream

Spend at least a day at the American Dream entertainment complex, with Big Snow indoor ski resortNickelodeon Universe amusement park, DreamWorks water park, Angry Birds Mini Golf, the Sealife Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center, and more.

16. Set Sail!

Go for a boat ride on a paddle boat, canoe, or kayak.

RELATEDHalloween Guide for New Jersey Kids

NJ Fall bucket list Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour
Take a trolley tour to discover the history of Cape May's ghosts. Photo courtesy of Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour 

17. Take the Cape May Ghost Trolley Tour

Get goosebumps on Cape May's ghost trolley tour. The family-friendly Shore town is known as one of the most haunted towns in America!

18. Get Spooked

Have a haunting evening at the 13th Hour Haunted House on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from Saturday, September 23 through Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

19. Ride the Corn Maze Train

Ride the rails to a farm on the Corn Maze Train, which runs through Sunday, October 29, 2023.

20. Enjoy a State Park

Take a day trip to one of New Jersey's state parks or forests.

RELATED20+ Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC

NJ Fall bucket list Fright Fest Six Flags Great Adventure
Take in the spooky fun at Six Flags Hallowfest. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

21. Get Goosebumps at Fright Fest

Take a Halloween trip to Six Flags for Fright Fest from Friday, September 8 through Tuesday, October 31, 2023. Attend during the day for a more kid-friendly experience.

22. Go Pumpkin Picking

Pick your very own pumpkin at one of New Jersey's fun-filled pumpkin farms.

23. Take a Hay Ride

While you're at a farm, take the family on a hayride and get lost in a corn maze.

NJ Fall Bucket List The Great Pumpkin Train
The Great Pumpkin Train takes visitors for a ride along the Delaware River and past a huge corn maze. Photo courtesy of the railroad 

24. Get Tickets for the Great Pumpkin Train

Hop aboard the Great Pumpkin Train for a boo-tiful choo-choo ride along the Delaware River starting on Saturday, September 30, 2023.

RELATEDBest Things To Do in New Jersey in September with Kids

NJ Fall bucket list Storybook Land
Little ones love the hay maze at Storybook Land. Photo courtesy of Storybook Land

25. Visit Storybook Land in Costume

Storybook Land hosts Trick-or-Treat Weekends on October 21, 22, 28, and 29, 2023.

26. See Outdoor Art

Spend a day exploring outdoor art destinations nearby. Bonus: The fall foliage makes a picture-perfect backdrop.

27. Check Out Amazing Jack-o'-Lanterns

Walk through displays of 6,000 creative, scary, and kooky hand-carved pumpkins at the Jack O'Lantern Experience and Fall Festivals at Skylands Stadium. Open select evenings September 22-November 5, 2023.

28. Food Trucks

Indulge in food and live music at the Sussex County Food Truck Festival on Saturday, October 7, 2023.

29. Visit a Winery

Sip some of the best wine around—with your kids in tow—at one of New Jersey's family-friendly vineyards and wineries. Cheers!

30. Camp Out

Sleep under the stars at one of NJ's best family campgrounds, or camp out at Diggerland on Saturday, October 7, and enjoy rides, arcade games, and s'mores over a bonfire.

31. Hit a Fall Fair

We've found 30+ fall fairs and festivals in September alone. Whether you want to touch-a-truck, get a jump on Oktoberfest, set a lantern afloat on the Hudson, or enjoy other fall activities, we've got a family-friendly fest for you.

32. Imagine That!

Imagine That! in Florham Park is the perfect spot for a day of playing pretend.

33. Try a New Playground

If your kids have grown bored with your neighborhood park, find a new playground that's worth the drive, like Nomahegan Park in Cranford.

34. Get Outta Town

These family-friendly fall day trips provide a change of scenery to recharge your batteries for the busy back-to-school season ahead.

35. Hear a Live Band

Hear live bands every Saturday at Somerville Summer Stage through Saturday, October 8, 2023.

36. Visit Johnson's Corner Farm

This family-friendly slice of New Jersey farmland offers plenty of fall fun and stunning views.

37. Visit Fosterfields

Get a glimpse of farm life in the past at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm.

38. See Carved Pumpkin Displays

Book tickets and plan to take a little drive for the stunning Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Westchester's Van Cortlandt Manor.

RELATEDSee Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms

NJ Fall bucket list scarecrow stroll cranford
Gawk at more than 100 wild and crazy scarecrows on display throughout downtown Cranford. 

39. Take a Scarecrow Stroll

Take a scary stroll through downtown Cranford, and check out the unique scarecrows in the annual Scarecrow Stroll.

40. Check out AC

Hit Atlantic City with the kids and explore some unique arcades, restaurants, mini golf, and rides at the pier.

41. Tell Spooky Ghost Stories

Make an indoor flashlight campfire and tell kid-friendly spooky stories.

42. Watch Scary Movies

Whip up a bowl of popcorn and put on a Halloween movie.

RELATEDThe Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

Princeton Children's Book Fair.
Discover new authors and books at the Princeton Children's Book Fair. Photo courtesy of the fair

43. Get Reading

Meet more than 80 of your child's favorite authors and illustrators at the annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival on Saturday, October 7, 2023.

44. Celebrate Fall

Celebrate fall every weekend in September and October (starting mid-September) at A. Casola Farms with pumpkin picking, pony rides, corn mazes, and a petting zoo, plus daytime hayrides and a haunted house on weekends. 

45. Go to a Costume Parade

Throw on your costume and enjoy the festivities at a Halloween parade. We love Boo at the Boardwalk on Jenkinson's Boardwalk (October 22-23, 29-30, 2023).

46. Celebrate Oktoberfest at Morey's Pier

Enjoy the annual autumn festival at Morey's Pier with family-friendly activities and games weekends of September 15 through October 8, 2023. ​ Little ones can decorate pumpkins while parents enjoy live music and authentic eats like pretzels, sausages, and, of course, German beer.

47. See Zombies

Take a stroll with the dead at one of New Jersey's Zombie Walks. One of our favorites is the Asbury Park Zombie Walk, which is held on Saturday, October 6, 2023.

Places featured in this article: