Weekend Fun: Pumpkin Trains, Halloween at iPlay, Autumn Arts Afternoon

October is almost here, and pumpkins are popping up all over NJ. This weekend you can celebrate the season at a pumpkin festival, go for a ride on a pumpkin train, and of course, take a trip to the pumpkin patch.

Amusement parks including Diggerland and Storybook Land kick off their fall-fun weekends on Saturday, and iPlay America starts its month-long celebration of Halloween. Field Station: Dinosaurs gets in the spirit of the season with Dinosaurs After Dark, and the Historic Village at Allaire hosts a 19th century–style harvest celebration with its Fall Festival and Allaire Community Heritage Day.

Read on for more of this weekend's most fall-tastic events, and find many more ideas for weekend fun in our Fall Fun Guide, packed with harvest festivals and fall fairsamazing corn mazes, top spots for apple picking, and more. And be sure to check our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

All Weekend

Pumpkin Trains – Flemington and Phillipsburg
Take a scenic ride to a pumpkin patch this weekend on Black River & Western Railroad's Pumpkin Trains or on Delaware River Railroad Excursions' Great Pumpkin Train. Passengers 

Halloween at iPlay America – Freehold
Starting this weekend, iPlay hosts a month of Halloween fun including magic shows, dance parties, trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, spooky photo ops, and more. 


Experience fall fun at the construction site at DiggerFest. 

DiggerFest – West Berlin
It's time for DiggerFest! Every weekend through the end of October, your general admission ticket to Diggerland includes access to the park's fall festival. The fun includes hayrides, pumpkin picking and decorating, corn mazes, pumpkin launching, and plenty of games. 

Saturday, September 30


Try your hand at the cider press at the Historic Village at Allaire.

Fall Festival and Allaire Community Heritage Day – Farmingdale
Enjoy a 19th-century harvest celebration at the Historic Village at Allaire, where you can join residents in period dress for cider pressing, dancing, games, and more. The day will also include horse and wagon rides, blacksmith and hearth cooking demonstrations, and house tours. 

Family Fun Day at Readington River Buffalo Farm – Flemington
​Visit a working buffalo farm for a day full of fun that includes hayrides and pony rides, Wild West demonstrations, farm tours, crafts, pumpkin picking, and face painting. Food trucks, live music, and more than 100 vendors will also be on hand at the event, which benefits the Whitehouse Rescue Squad. 

​​Dinosaurs After Dark – Leonia
​Get a jump start on Halloween, prehistoric-style, at Field Station Dinosaurs, where you can explore the park after dark with a guided tour by lantern light. The tours take place Friday and Saturday nights through October.

Storytime LIVE! with Curious George – North Brunswick
Everyone's favorite little monkey will be at Kiddie Academy of North Brunswick for stories, pumpkin painting, music, and more. This event is open to the public, and registration is required. FREE

See all Saturday events

Sunday, October 1

17th Annual Pumpkin Festival – Whippany
Take in the sights and sounds of fall aboard the “Pumpkinliner” for a fun family afternoon at the Whippany Railway Museum. Kids can pose for a picture in front of the Haunted House, frolic among the grinning scarecrows, and stroll through the pumpkin marketplace, where local merchants will be selling their handmade goods. Get your train tickets now, as this event is sure to sell out fast.

​Blackwood Pumpkin Festival – Blackwood
Thousands of local families flock to this festival every year to celebrate fall's arrival with pumpkin painting, hayrides, scarecrow making, and face painting. The festival features four stages of live entertainment, plus bounce houses, hayrides, delicious food, and competitions including pumpkin carving, a costume contest, and youth talent show. FREE


Storybook Land is decked out for Halloween and harvest fun through October. 

October Fun at Storybook Land – Egg Harbor Township
Storybook Land kicks off its October Fun days today. In addition to the park's regular rides and attractions, visitors can ride the Happy Hayride, pick and decorate a pumpkin, wander through Elmer's Hay-Mazin' Maze, and enjoy the festive decorations.

Autumn Arts Afternoon – Princeton
Enjoy some alfresco arts and crafts in Nassau Park Pavilion, where West Windsor Arts Center hosts its annual Autumn Arts Afternoon. Activities will include a STEAM project, drop and draw with Jerry's Artarama, a costume photo booth, DJ dance party, face painting, and more. FREE

See all Sunday events.  

Top image: Pumpkin Train. All photos courtesy of venues.