October GoList: The Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

The Top Family-Friendly Activities in New Jersey in October 2018: Halloween and Fall Fun

Halloween may be the star of the show this month, but there's plenty of other fun to be had in the days and weeks leading up to the big event. This month is jam-packed with fall fun, including harvest festivals and corn mazes, as well as live performances of kid favorites like The Rainbow Fish and The Wizard of Oz.  

Also this month, you can meet the hard-shelled residents of Adventure Aquarium during the fourth annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend; dance the night away at Garden State Discovery Museum's Fairy Ball; and watch kites soar over the ocean at the LBI Fly International Kite Festival.

There are Halloween happenings aplenty, geared toward everyone from older kids to the littlest trick-or-treaters. Head down the shore for Boo at the Boardwalk, enjoy not-too-spooky fun at Goblins in the Garden in Camden, and don your black hat for Witch's Day Out in Smithville. Throughout the month, you can take the family for a ride on a Halloween train, check out a cool pumpkin display, and enjoy kid-friendly Halloween and fall fun at amusement parks like Diggerland and Storybook Land

Read on for more than 20 of the best events this October for NJ kids. For even more ideas, check out our list of 40 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall, and find fun that's just right for little ones in our roundup of the Best Fall Events for NJ Preschoolers. Be sure to check our Event Calendar often for new happenings added daily. 

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Dinosaurs After Dark – Leonia 
Fridays and Saturdays in October 2018
Get into the Halloween spirit as you explore Field Station: Dinosaurs by lantern light and hunt in the darkened woods for an escaped T-Rex!

October Fun at Storybook Land – Egg Harbor Township
Thursday, October 4 – Sunday, October 28, 2018 
Climb aboard the Happy Hayride to pick a pumpkin, find your way through Elmer’s Hay-Mazin’ Maze, and ride the attractions. Trick or Treat Weekend is October 26–28.

LBI Fly International Kite Festival – Ship Bottom and Surf City
Friday, October 4 – Monday, October 8, 2018
This three-day fest held over Columbus Day weekend features professional kite shows, demos, kite making workshops, competitions, a kids' candy drop, and more. FREE

Asbury Park Zombie Walk – Asbury Park
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Dress in your scariest garb and head to the boardwalk for a zombie takeover. Throughout the walk, the downtown and boardwalk are loaded with spooky festivities, culminating in blood-red fireworks along the oceanfront. FREE

The Glow: A Jack O'Lantern Experience is a Halloween dreamscape. Photo courtesy of the event

The Glow: A Jack O'Lantern Experience – Philadelphia
Thursday, October 4 – Sunday, October 28, 2018
If you're in or around Philly this month, this amazing display is worth a visit. Walk a trail decorated with more than 5,000 glowing jack-o'-lanterns, each intricately carved and arranged to create stunning scenes from nature, under the sea, and even a winter wonderland. Staying local? Find more pumpkin displays and carving events in NJ.

Pumpkin PAWlooza – Cherry Hill and Mount Laurel
Saturday, October 6 – Sunday, October 7, 2018
Get a double-dose of fall fun at Pumpkin PAWlooza, a dual-location event at Garden State Discovery Museum and Paws Discovery Farms. Head to the museum for a moon bounce and crafts, then visit the farm for pony rides, hayrides, a petting zoo, pumpkin patch, and more.

Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend – Camden
Saturday, October 6 – Monday, October 8, 2018
Meet Adventure Aquarium's green and loggerhead sea turtles at the fourth annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend, an event that supports the Sea Turtle Conservancy. 

Diggerfest – West Berlin
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2018
Fall is the season for Diggerland's annual Diggerfest, running every Saturday and Sunday in October and November. A full-day admission ticket gets you access to all of the rides and attractions at Diggerland USA, plus additional fall and Halloween fun.

Sweet & Sassy Salon helps young guests get ready for the Fairy Ball. 

Fairy Ball – Cherry Hill
Friday, October 12, 2018
Join the Fairy Queen for a royal ball filled with dancing, crafts, sweet treats, and visits with your favorite princesses. Sweet & Sassy Salon and Spa will be on hand to help young guests get glammed up. 

The Great Pumpkin at Insectropolis – Toms River
Friday, October 12, 2018
The "Bug Museum" is hosting a Peanuts-themed event featuring two showings of the movie and Halloween fun including crafts and other activities. Explore the spooky museum as you walk a treat trail, and meet special guests along the way. Advance tickets are recommended.

South Jersey Pumpkin Show Festival – Woodstown
Friday, October 12 – Sunday, October 14, 2018
Jack Skellington would lose his head over this event. In addition to trick-or-treating, hayrides, and pumpkin tosses, the festival includes trees decorated in Halloween, autumn, and Thanksgiving themes (a tree lighting takes place on Friday). Other attractions include a Boo Barn, crafts, live music, a food court, costume contests, and the Little Miss & Mister Pumpkin Pageant. 

The Rainbow Fish consults with the wise octopus in Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia's adaptation of the beloved book. Photo courtesy of the company

The Rainbow Fish – Toms River
Saturday, October 13, 2018
The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia brings The Rainbow Fish to life with enchanting puppetry at the Jay & Linda Grunin Center for the Arts. The show features three Rainbow Fish stories. 

Boo at the Zoo – Cape May Court House
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Celebrate Halloween with the residents of the Cape May Zoo, and enjoy games, an inflatable obstacle course, candy, and more FREE fun. For more Halloween happenings at local zoos, check out Zoo Boo at Bergen County Zoo (October 26-27) and Safe Howl-O-Ween at Turtle Back Zoo (October 31).

Haunted Allaire – Farmingdale
Fridays and Saturdays, October 19–27, 2018
Allaire Village turns on the Halloween fun for two weekends this month. Check out haunted hayrides through 20 different scenes, including the Manager's House with Halloween scenes, Mr. Allaire's House with a Harry Potter theme and the Carriage House with legendary spirits.

Go pumpkin picking in the sand at Boo at the Boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach. Photo courtesy of the event

Boo at the Boardwalk – Point Pleasant Beach
Saturday and Sunday, October 20–21 & 27–28, 2018
Celebrate Halloween at the beach with two weekends of family fun, including underwater pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, a pumpkin derby, beach maze, games, crafts, and more.

Camden Children's Garden's Goblins in the Garden Family Festival is perfect for little ghosts and ghouls.

Goblins in the Garden Family Festival – Camden
Saturday, October 27 – Sunday, October 28, 2018
Dress up in your Halloween best and come to the Camden Children's Garden for some not-too-spooky fun, including a haunted train ride, trick-or-treating, and a costume parade.

The Origins of Halloween Night Hike – Pennington
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Learn how Halloween came to be in a night hike that's designed to be educational and enchanting rather than scary. Follow your guide on a trail of glowing jack-o'-lanterns, and stop along the way to meet characters in an Irish folktale that unfolds along the path. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. 

Witch's Day Out – Smithville 
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Dust off your black hat and broomstick, and head on over to Historic Smithville for the third annual Witch's Day Out. The fun will include contests with prizes and complimentary finger foods. FREE

The Wizard of Oz – Red Bank
Wednesday, October 31 – Thursday, November 1, 2018
Dorothy, Toto, and friends make a stop at the Count Basie Theatre in this national touring production, featuring cool special effects and classic songs. 

Halloween – Statewide
Through October 31, 2018
The handful of Halloween-related events included in this list is just a taste of the spooky fun that's happening throughout New Jersey this month. For a more complete look, check out our go-to guide to Halloween, where you can find FREE Halloween events and parades for kids, the best trick-or-treat options for preschoolers, and even what to do with all of that leftover candy (besides eat it yourself.). NOTE: we are busy updating these lists with the very latest information for 2018, so be sure to check back if you find one that's in progress. Happy Halloween!

Photo courtesy of the events/venues.