New Jersey

Ultimate Halloween Guide for NJ Kids: Parades, Pumpkins, Parties

It's that special time of year when all thoughts turn to candy, costumes, parties, and pumpkins. The weeks leading up to Halloween are filled with costume parades, harvest festivals, pumpkin displays, and plenty of FREE Halloween happenings.

Whether your kids want to visit a haunted house, take a Halloween train ride, pick some pumpkins, trick-or-treat at the zoo, or parade through downtown streets dressed as their favorite superheroes, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best ways to celebrate—plus a list of drive-worthy day trips that offer up even more frightening fun.

So get your ghosts and goblins ready, fuel up on candy corn, and don’t forget to brush! Look to our Halloween Guide for even more frightening fun, and check out our Fall Fun Guide for seasonal activities beyond October 31.

Step Back in Time at NJ's Living History Farms

The Garden State's many wonderful farms are perfect spots for a family-friendly outing any time of year. But a few special farmsteads offer visitors the unique opportunity to experience farm life just as it existed many years ago. These living history farms give visitors the chance to try their hand at chores like bottle-feeding lambs, gathering honey, and harvesting ice. If you're looking for a fun, educational experience for the entire family, hands-on historical farms are a great choice.

For even more outdoor family fun, check out these New Jersey farms and historic villages

Weekend Fun: Fall Festivals, Daniel Tiger, Boo at the Zoo

Fall and all of the activity that goes along with it are in full swing! From harvest festivals and farm fun to family-oriented frights, this weekend has it all. Get into the Halloween spirit at Boo at the Zoo at Space Farms in Sussex or at the Amazing Pumpkin Carve in Titusville. Celebrate everything autumn at the over-the-top South Jersey Pumpkin Show Festival in Woodstown, and ditch the tractor and take a pony ride to the pumpkin patch in Flemington.

In the mood for a performance? Kid faves Daniel Tiger, the Cat in the Hat, and more take the stage at various theaters in NJ.

Be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide for more excitement, and find a complete listing of happenings this weekend and beyond in our Event Calendar

Best Halloween Events for NJ Preschoolers

"Trick-or-treat!" Kids of all ages love reciting those magic words in exchange for bags filled with goodies. Walking through the streets and knocking on strangers’ doors late in the evening, however, may not be the best option for toddlers and preschoolers. Luckily, New Jersey offers plenty of opportunities for safe trick-or-treating in controlled environments. From pumpkin farms to amusement parks to community events, you can experience the fun of trick-or-treating without worry at these structured, family-friendly outings.

Read on for more than 20 fun ways to celebrate the holiday with little ones, and find even more Halloween happenings in our Event Calendar and Halloween Guide.

The Day I Moved Into Target

As a mom, I live at Target.

No, really—I moved in a few weeks ago. A lot of moms are doing it. It just makes so much more sense than living in our houses, which we were constantly having to leave in order to go to Target.

"Gotta make another Target run!" I'd say, and my husband would tell me to "enjoy my mommy vacation." It was so funny—every time.

25+ Free Events for New Jersey Kids in October

The best things in life really are free, especially when it comes to family activities. In this new monthly feature, Mommy Poppins NJ presents the best FREE events happening in the upcoming weeks. This month, you can look forward to plenty of free storytimes and festivals, and, of course, a ton of Halloween fun. And speaking of that haunting holiday, check out our list of 30 Free Halloween Events and Parades for NJ Kids for even more ways to celebrate without cracking open your wallet.

Read on for this month's picks, and don't forget to check out our Event Calendar and October GoList for more free and low-cost fall fun.

Turkey Takeout! 10 Places to Pre-Order your Thanksgiving Meal in New Jersey

It's Turkey Lurkey time! Well, almost. Thanksgiving may be a day to bond with your family and maybe watch some football, but let's face it: it's also a heck of a lot of cooking, cleaning, and organizing – with the kids running amok, of course. If the thought of playing host or hostess this holiday season stresses you out, why not call in some reinforcements and order a pre-made Thanksgiving meal that can be delivered or picked up? Sure, you could eat out – but if you'd rather stay home without the fuss of cooking, try ordering a homemade Thanksgiving meal from one of these local, or online, shops.

Mini Dickens Village Opens in Maplewood for Holidays

There’s something about miniature things that draws the eye of both kids and grown-ups. Perhaps that’s why parents, toddlers and preteens alike are found peering into the windows of the 10 mini houses that make up the annual Dickens Village hosted in downtown Maplewood, New Jersey each holiday season for more than 50 years.

Each of the 10 houses, measuring over 6-feet tall, are decorated with holiday scenes from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and are lit with pretty candles and bedecked in wreaths and other seasonal décor.

You’ll find faux fireplaces, a nutcracker, Santa, of course, and an entire house filled with vintage children’s toys. The windows are low enough for even my 1-year-old to look into. I was surprised by how enthralled he and his preschool sister were with the whole thing. Several preteens zipped through the village with us, oohing and ahhing over the scene: “My favorite is the candy cane one! You can fit a bed in here!”

30 Free Halloween Events and Parades for NJ Kids

No tricks here—just a list of 30 FREE Halloween events happening all around New Jersey. The weeks leading up to your kids' favorite holiday are full of festivals, parades, and plenty of opportunities for them to dress up and score some scary-good treats.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal fun. From pumpkin picking and corn mazes to harvest festivals and Halloween train rides, we've got you covered.

Happy Halloween, New Jersey!

Two Dozen Fun Things To Do with NJ Kids on Columbus Day

If you're scratching your head to come up with some fun ways to spend Columbus Day with kids who are home from school, look no further. We've pulled together a list of 20 fun family outings that NJ kids are bound to love, from picking pumpkins to visiting sea turtles. You can find many more options in our Fall Fun Guide, and if the weather's looking iffy, check out our Indoor Playspace Guide for a backup plan!

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