Weekend Fun: Great Pumpkin Festival, Fall Zoo Sleepover, Shopkins Live!

Things to do with kids in New Jersey this weekend, September 16-17, 2017

It’s almost officially fall, and weekends are already full of autumn awesomeness. This weekend, you can embark on a Giant Corn Maze Adventure, take an Autumn Excursion train ride, or go all-in on fall fun at the Great Pumpkin Festival. Celebrate the season at one of the many fall fairs happening throughout the state this month, visit one of NJ's amazing family-friendly farms, or head to an apple orchard to pick your own fruit. 

Other weekend highlights include the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, held this year at Howell Living History Farm; the Fall Zoo Sleepover at Turtle Back Zoo; and Shopkins Live! at Mayo Performing Arts Center.

Find many more ideas for weekend fun in our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall and in our Fall Fun Guide. And look to our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

All Weekend

Great Pumpkin Festival – Vernon
The Great Pumpkin Festival kicks off this weekend at Heaven Hill Farm. Visitors can enjoy more than 30 family-friendly activities, including a hay maze, barnyard sports, hay crawl, dancing robot show, and much more. 

Family Fun Weekend – Princeton
Pick your own apples, paint a pumpkin, take a tractor ride, listen to live country music, and enjoy some farm-fresh food at the first of Terhune Orchards' Family Fun Weekends. Activities also include pony rides, a scavenger hunt, rubber duck races, and visits with barnyard animals.  

Fall Harvest Festival — Medford
Head to Johnson's Corner Farm for live music, food, a five-acre corn maze, pumpkin and apple picking, hayrides, animal farm and Discovery Barnyard, gem mining, and more.

Apple Festival – Robbinsville
Get a taste of fall fun at Oasis Family Farm, where you can munch on farm-fresh apples and sample sweet treats like pie, cobbler, and apple cider donuts. Kids' activities include wagon rides, sand art, crafts, an apple pie–eating contest, and more. No u-pick at this event.


Get lost in the 10-acre corn maze at Alstede Farms this weekend.

Giant Corn Maze Adventures – Chester
Alstede Farms' 2017 corn maze is all about the New Jersey Devils. This 10-acre maze features fun facts and features about NJ's pro ice hockey team and is a great way to get out and enjoy the fall on the farm. And of course, the farm will be host to many other autumnal activities, too.

Saturday, September 16

Annual NJ Storytelling Festival – Lambertville
The Howell Living History Farm is hosting the 25th annual Storytelling Festival this weekend. There will be more than 40 master storytellers throughout the park ready to tell you a story.

Fall Zoo Sleepover – West Orange
The Turtle Back Zoo invites you to sleep over and check out everything the zoo has to offer after the sun goes down. Participants will meet the educators and zookeepers and observe the animals in the dark. This event is for children ages 6 and up and their families.

Family Overnight Campfire Festival – Mount Laurel
Bring your own tent to the Paws Discovery Farm Campfire Festival, and event that includes campfires, s’mores, a midnight snack, and breakfast, too. 

All About Downtown Street Fair – Jersey City 
Enjoy live music, delicious food, and handmade items from more than 125 local vendors at downtown Jersey City’s annual Street Festival. There’s plenty of fun planned for the kiddos, too. FREE

Sunday, September 17

Shopkins Live! – Morristown
Catch Shopkins in a matinee performance at Mayo Performing Arts Center. Jessicake, Bubbleisha, Peppa-Mint, and the rest of the gang star in this brand-new live show featuring original pop songs and music.

Autumn Excursion Train Ride – Whippany
Hop aboard the Whippany Railway Museum’s Excursion Train for a 10-mile round-trip ride through Morris and Essex counties. Advance ticket purchase is suggested.

Touch-a-Truck and Dog Day – Bridgewater
Truck fantatics and dog lovers alike will love this event, which features live music, inflatables, food trucks, pet contests, face painting, and of course lots of trucks and vehicles to touch and enjoy. FREE

PlayDay South Orange — South Orange
PlayDay South Orange is the town's largest public event and features more than 10 play areas. From board games to basketball, radio controlled cars to rope jumping, it’s the most fun you’ve ever had between two curbs. The bouncy houses are always a big hit, but expect to wait for your turn, as well as for face painting. FREE but fees for several activities.


Make your way through Stony Hill Farms' corn maze, and learn all about sea turtles as you go!

Stony Hill Farms Corn Maze and Fun Park – Chester
Head to Stony Hill Farms for fun in the 10-acre corn maze with a “Sea Turtle Rescue” theme. While making your way through the maze you will learn all about sea turtles and how to protect them. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Sea Turtle Recovery. Advance ticket purchase is suggested.

Top photo: Enjoy games, mazes, shows, and more at Heaven Hill Farm's Great Pumpkin Festival. Photos courtesy of the farms.

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