New Jersey

50+ Fall Events for New Jersey Preschoolers

If your preschoolers are bursting with energy in the fall, we present you with 50+ ways to keep them busy with oodles of seasonal fun. The new season brings with it some awesome outdoor festivals, corn mazes, train rides, touch-a-trucks, and more for the 5-and-under set! 

Catch big names at preschool-friendly performances of Peppa Pig, Sesame Street Live, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Disney On Ice, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. Or head outside with your little ones to enjoy the beautiful weather and colors at events like the Great Pumpkin Train Ride, Giant Corn Maze AdventuresGreat Pumpkin Festival, and Hefty Harvest & Scary Scarecrows.

Plus, get in the Halloween spirit at non-spooky events such as Boo at the Boardwalk and Trick-or-Treat Weekend at Storybook Land.

Read on for the full list of fun fall events for little ones in New Jersey. And don't forget to check out our Fall Fun Guide and Event Calendar to find even more great things to do this season!

Amazing Corn Mazes at Family-Friendly New Jersey Farms

Get ready… get set… get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues, and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out courses that are open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.

Many of these 16 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip–worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides, and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids to find even more ways to enjoy the crisp autumn days.

Weekend Fun: WILD Outdoor Expo, Hefty Harvest, FunFest

What's on this weekend's menu? How about Greek delights, delicious seafood, and tons of pre-fall fun. Greek food is in abundance at both St. Demetrios Greek Festival and Flemington Opa! Greek Festival, while aquatic fare is on tap at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival. With fall just around the corner, enjoy some outdoor time at the New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo and the 16th Annual Insect Festival, plus seasonal favorite Hefty Harvest & Scary Scarecrows.

Grandma and Grandpa are the big stars on Sunday, which is Grandparents' Day. Treat them to an Excursion Train Ride, a celebration at Warinanco Park, or a stroll through a fair in downtown Red Bank or the Princeton Airport.

Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids for more options for family fun, including 40 Things We Can't Wait to Do with NJ Kids This Fall. And look to our September GoList and event calendar for a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

52 School Lunch Ideas for Lunches Kids Will Actually Eat

Chances are that by now you've had some healthy, well-packed lunches delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the school end of the day. There should be a special name for the heartbreak one endures at the words "I told you I hate peanut-butter and jelly," when not only is this the first you're hearing of it, but you spent extra money on organic jelly and freshly ground peanut butter. And if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 52 answers to that question!

40 Things We Can't Wait to Do with NJ Kids This Fall

 What’s not to love about fall? The cool autumn air, brilliantly colored leaves, apples, pumpkins, Halloween... the list goes on and on. Once fall begins, I always find that my calendar is bursting with activities, from pumpkin picking to harvest festivals and everything Halloween. Get outside and take advantage of all of the seasonal fun our Garden State has to offer. Here are 40 fantastic fall activities to enjoy with your family.

Looking for more? Check out our NJ Fall Fun Guide, which we'll continue to update throughout the season.

September GoList: The Best Things To Do With NJ Kids This Month

Help the kids ease their back-to-school blues with some excellent events happening throughout NJ in September. From early fall fun to awesome animal encounters, we've hand-picked more than 20 of our favorite things to do this month. You can visit  African penguins or hang with friendly alpacas, sing along with princesses, ride a pumpkin train, have a sleepover on a farm, and so much more. 

For even more September fun, look to our roundup of September Fairs and Festivals and the best places to pick your own apples, and find a great selection of after-school activities in our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for NJ Kids. Don't forget to check out our Event Calendar for a complete listing of happenings this month and beyond. 

40 Free Things To Do with New Jersey Kids in September

Are you feeling the end-of-summer blues? We'll turn that frown upside down with a roster full of free events taking place this month in New Jersey! September is off to a promising start with Labor Day freebies, like Riverdale's Annual Labor Day Street Fair, St. Bartholomew Italian Festival, and Rutherford Labor Day Street Fair. Street fairs continue throughout the month in Red Bank, North Haledon, Fanwood, and Jersey City

Back-to-school time is the perfect time to indulge in literature at the Annual New Jersey Storytelling Festival and Princeton Children's Book Festival. 

As summer transitions to fall, get in the autumn spirit at admission-free seasonal events, including Hopewell Harvest Fair, Edison Fall Family Spectacular, Bergen County Fall Harvest Festival, and Westfield FestiFall. Get back to nature at  the26th Annual Insect Festival, New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo, and Kids' Story Hour at Rutgers Landscape & Nursery

Read on for this month's picks! For more free and low-cost fun, check out our Event Calendar, as well as the Best Fall Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families in September. 

Labor Day Weekend Events for New Jersey Kids

The hustle and bustle of September is just around the corner! Before diving into school and busy schedules, make the most of this unofficial last weekend of the summer. Choose from a variety of fairs and festivals, including St. Bart's Italian Festival in Scotch Plains and the Scandinavian Festival in Budd Lake. Make it a carnival weekend at the Boonton Fire Department Labor Day Carnival and the Mendham Annual Labor Day Carnival.

For a last blast of summer fun, squeeze in a trip to the Jersey Shore before the beaches officially close after Labor Day, cool off at one of the state's awesome family water parks, or spend a day at the lake. Just get there early, as parking lots are likely to overflow on the holiday weekend! Of course, the many Jersey theme parks, including those best for our youngest kids remain open this holiday weekend, too. 

If you're after an early taste of fall, head to the apple orchard: NJ's trees are already brimming with apples, and many farms like the popular Alstede and Stony Hill farms kick off fall fun this weekend with corn mazes, hayrides, and other family entertainment. 

For even more options, take a look at our full Event Calendar and Summer Fun Guide. In a back-to-school state of mind? Check out our NJ Classes Guide to find something new to do this fall.

How to Pick a Daycare That You Actually Love

Whether it's your first child or your third, finding the best daycare option for your family comes with its share of challenges. Most parents are looking at factors like cost, hours, location, safety, and child-teacher ratio, but of course, another major requirement is an environment that's warm, inviting, and family-friendly. While trying to find the perfect daycare can make any parent anxious, the relationships and beautiful memories you'll create as a family will make all the effort worthwhile.

To help guide your search for the right daycare, we reached out to childcare program directors, Mommy Poppins editors, teachers, and professional moms to collect their stories and consolidate their advice. These daycare veterans have had time to reflect on their choices, and are ready to share their wisdom and lessons learned, which, together with your area's Daycare Listings, can help you pick a daycare that you actually love.

Best Fall Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families in September

As the carefree days of summer draw to a close, NJ families can look forward to plenty of fun in the Garden State this fall. Explore nature at the NJ Wild Outdoor Expo, chow down on delicious seafood at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival, or listen to some exciting tales at the NJ Storytelling Festival.

Check out the 13 awesome festivals below, and visit our Events Calendar for more fabulous fall ideas! And sign up for our FREE newsletters to get the best local events and reviews delivered right to your inbox.

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