Fall Bucket List for Kids: 45 Things To Do in New Jersey this Fall

Visit Von Thun Farms during Fall Festival Weekends for apple picking,  pumpkin picking, games, and more. Photo by the author
Visit Von Thun Farms during Fall Festival Weekends for apple picking, pumpkin picking, games, and more. Photo by the author

If you're looking for fall bucket list fun in New Jersey, you've come to the right place. What's not to love about the season in the Garden State? There's the crisp, cool air, brilliantly colored leaves, apples ripe for the picking, pumpkins, Halloween celebrations aplenty...the list goes on. To celebrate the changing seasons, we've crafted this fall bucket list with 45 things to do in New Jersey with kids. 

Be sure to 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 Great Train Set, one of the most elaborate and detailed model railroads ever built.

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.

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 6.

13. Dunellen HarvestFest

Get in the autumn spirit at a harvest festival, such as the Dunellen HarvestFest on Sunday, October 9.

14. Visit Legoland

Legoland is open just across the border in Goshen, New York. Spend a day, or book a weekend away at the Legoland Hotel. Weekends in October mean you can participate in its Brick-or-Treat festivities, too. 

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.

NJ Fall bucket list Ghosts of Cape May Trolley Tour
Take a 30-minute trolley tour through darkened streets of Cape May beneath flickering gas lamps and discover the history of the Cape May 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 Friday, September 23 through Monday, October 31.

19. Ride the Corn Maze Train

Ride the rails to a farm on the Corn Maze Train, which runs through Sunday, October 30.

20. Enjoy a State Park

Take a day trip to New Jersey's state parks and forests.

RELATED: 20+ 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 16 through Monday, October 31. 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.

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, October 1.

RELATED: Best Things To Do in New Jersey in September 2022 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 in October.

26. See Outdoor Art

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

RELATED: 25 Fun-Filled Fall Day Trips for New Jersey Families

NJ Fall bucket list Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nights
Drive through the Pumpkin Path to view the many different displays meant to delight old and young at Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nights. Photo courtesy of the farm

27. Check Out Amazing Jack-o'-Lanterns

Drive through displays of creative and kooky hand-carved pumpkins at Wagner Farm Arboretum Brite Nights from Thursday, October 13 through Saturday, October 30.

28. Food Trucks

Indulge in food and live music at the Sussex County Food Truck Festival on Saturday, October 8.

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 8, 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! 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 the recently renovated 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.

RELATED: The Best NJ Zoos and Aquariums for Animal Encounters with Kids

NJ Fall bucket list Johnson's Corner Farm.
Pick a pumpkin off the vine at Johnson's Corner Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm

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 to take in the stunning Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Westchester's Van Cortlandt Manor.

RELATED: See 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.

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 8.

44. Celebrate Fall

Celebrate fall every weekend in September and October (starting Saturday, September 17) 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).

Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting 2022
Rockefeller Center - 7:00 PM Pick
There & Back: The Journey to Vietnam and Home
New Jersey Vietnam Veteran Memorial Foundation - 10:00 AM
Festival of Trees
Morven Museum & Garden - 10:00 AM
Howell Family Storytime
Monmouth County Library, Howell Branch - 11:15 AM
Playtime at the Library
Ramsey Free Public Library - 11:00 AM
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides