New Jersey

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

September is a fresh start for New Jersey kids, with a new school year, a new season and a new list of September must-dos. From early fall fun to busy street fairs, we've hand-picked 18 of our favorite things to do this month. You can challenge yourselves to giant corn mazes, get in the Halloween spirit with theme park chills and thrills and hop aboard a pumpkin train.

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. 

Labor Day Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Festivals, Beaches, Corn Mazes

It's hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is upon us! 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. Or make it a carnival weekend at the Boonton Fire Department 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 swimming at the lake. Just get there early, as parking lots are likely to overflow on the holiday weekend! Ready for fall? Corn maze season kicks off early at Stony Hills Farms and Alstede Farms

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.

Best STEM Classes for New Jersey Kids

Is your child interested in exploring the "hows," "whys," and "what-ifs" of the world around them? STEM classes can be a wonderful way to foster their curiosity and help them think critically and creatively. We've rounded up 14 STEM enrichment programs in New Jersey that offer instruction in coding, robotics, architecture, engineering, chess, and more. 

For more kids' classes, be sure to check out our Guide to Classes and Enrichment Programs for NJ Kids.

65 School Lunch Ideas: Back-to-School Lunches Kids Will Actually Eat

Chances are you've had a healthy, well-packed school lunch delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the end of the school 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 on organic jelly and freshly ground peanut butter. And if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 65 answers to the question of what to pack in a successful school lunch.

50+ Free Things to Do with New Jersey Kids in September

Are you feeling the end-of-summer blues? Here's the perfect remedy: more than 50 FREE events and activities 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.

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, Great Swamp Fall Festival, and Westfield FestiFall. Get back to nature at the 17th Annual Insect Festival and New Jersey WILD Outdoor Expo.

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.

Best Fall Fairs and Festivals for NJ Families in September

As the carefree days of summer draw to a close, New Jersey families can look forward to plenty of fall fairs and festivals in the Garden State in September. 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. Plus, get a taste of fall at local fairs in Fanwood, Hopewell, Westfield, and Parsippany.

Check out the 30+ 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.

St. Augustine, Florida: 25 Best Things to Do with Kids

Florida has its “Emerald Coast,” its "Space Coast," its “Treasure Coast,” and even its “Forgotten Coast.” But unless you spend time in its northernmost section, you might be unaware of its “Historic Coast,” home of the haven of St. Augustine.

About an hour south of Jacksonville, whose sizable airport services most major carriers, sits America’s oldest city. St. Augustine, founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, is one of but a handful of American cities to have the flags of five nations fly above its buildings at one time or another. (Bonus points if you can name the countries: Answer below.)

To visit the city’s charming cobblestone streets and seemingly ancient architecture is to be reminded of Florida’s multicultural history. Of course, these days visitors are better welcomed than the 17th-century pirates who sailed in for plunder; these days, St. Augustine opens its doors to all types of boaters, pilots, campers, cyclists, and even the occasional camping and RV vacationers.

6 Ways to Ease the Preschool Transition for Kids — and Parents

The start of a new school year gets everyone's nerves jumping—including when it's time to make the transition to preschool.

Every child is, of course, different. Some love to dive into new adventures without so much as a look back. Others are more cautious, preferring to watch and get the lay of the land. But children and parents are bound to be apprehensive about a child's first day (or week, or month) in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new routines.

We asked veteran preschool teachers in the NYC metropolitan area for their no-fail tips to help make this transition a positive experience for all and came away with six top suggestions.

If you're still searching for the right preschool, check out our directory of NYC schools, as well as those in the surrounding suburbs, such as New JerseyWestchester, and Long Island.

Explore the Past and the Great Outdoors at Allaire State Park

Growing up in Monmouth County, I visited Allaire State Park frequently with my family as a child. Those day trips were filled with playground time, train rides, and old-fashioned candy purchased at the village’s general store. Now I take my own kids there, just like my parents took me.

Allaire is easily accessible from the Garden State Parkway, close to the Jersey Shore, and bursting with outdoor fun like family-friendly hikingbike riding, picnicking, and camping. But what sets this New Jersey state park apart from other bucolic green spaces are its historic village and working steam train.

With 3,000 acres of nature, a rich history, and lots of fun activities and seasonal events, Allaire continues to be a popular destination for NJ families. Read on for the highlights.

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