New Jersey

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!

Columbus Day Weekend Fun for New Jersey Kids

Looking for some ideas to help keep the kids entertained during the long weekend? We've got you covered. Go all-in on fall fun with a ride on a pumpkin train or a visit to a family-friendly farm for pumpkin picking, amazing corn mazes, harvest festivals, and more. Get into the Halloween spirit at Dinosaurs After Dark and the Asbury Park Zombie Walk, or have some scare-free fun at Pumpkin PAWlooza and Delicious Orchards' Pumpkin Fest.  

It's also a great weekend to see a show—Peppa Pig takes the stage at BergenPAC in a brand-new live show on Monday (tickets are going fast!), and the popular kids' book Freckleface Strawberry comes to life in a new musical in Edison. Stop by Adventure Aquarium for the third annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend, or take a Columbus Day Hayride at Abma's Farm. And for even more ways to spend the holiday, check out our list of 20 Things To Do with NJ Kids on Columbus Day

Find even more ideas in our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids, and be sure to check our Event Calendar to find new happenings added daily.

20+ Fun-Filled Fall Day Trips for New Jersey Families

Leaves are crunching underfoot, a chill is in the air, and the smell of pumpkin spice is everywhere, so it must be autumn in New Jersey—a perfect time for family day trips. We've got the lowdown on the best corn mazes, foliage tours, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own farms in the state. So grab a sweater and a mug of hot cider and head out with the family for an amazing fall day trip. And don't miss our Fall Fun Guide for even more family outings. 

Weekday Fun: Great Pumpkin Festival, Read & Pick, Storytimes

October kicks off with lots of pumpkin-centric fun. Head over to a ginormous celebration at Heaven Hill Farm’s Great Pumpkin Festival; read all about pumpkins and then grab your own at Terhune Orchards’ Read & Pick; and explore the mazes and pumpkin patch at Stony Hill Farms' Corn Maze and Fun Park. Plus, enjoy some storytime freebies this week, including Monday Morning Playtime, Children’s Story Hour, Kids! Fire Truck Visit, and First Friday Storytime.

Read on for our best children's events the week of October 2–6, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and October GoList for even more fall happenings.

October GoList: The Best Things To Do with NJ Kids This Month

Halloween may be the star of the show this month, but there's plenty of other fun to be had in the days and weeks leading up to the big event. This month is jam-packed with awesome activities, from traditional fall fun like hayrides and harvest festivals to stage shows starring such kid faves as Peppa PigDaniel Tiger, and The Cat in the Hat.

Less famous (but no less endearing) are the sea turtles at Adventure Aquarium—you can meet them this month at the aquarium's third annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend. Little princes and princesses can dance the night away at Garden State Discovery Museum's Fairy Ball, and dance lovers can watch their favorite performers from "So You Think You Can Dance" tear up the stage at Mayo Performing Arts Center.

And of course, there are Halloween happenings aplenty, geared toward everyone from older kids to the littlest trick-or-treaters. Head down the shore for Boo at the Boardwalk, enjoy not-too-spooky fun at Goblins in the Garden in Camden, and don your black hat for Witches' Day Out in Smithville. Throughout the month, you can take the family for a ride on a Halloween train, check out a cool pumpkin display, and attend one of NJ's many free Halloween events and parades

Read on for more than 20 of the best events this October for NJ kids. For even more ideas, check out our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall, and find fun that's just right for little ones in our roundup of the Best Fall Events for NJ Preschoolers. And of course, check our Event Calendar often for new happenings added daily. Happy October!

Great Swamp: Year-Round Nature Trails for New Jersey Kids

There’s something magical about stepping onto a wooded trail with your kids, with a soundtrack of chattering birds and the sunlight peeking through the canopy. While New Jersey has no shortage of parks, reservations, or nature centers, one of my family’s go-to spots for this type of get-back-to-nature excursion is the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

It spans several towns in Morris County and nearly 8,000 acres. Formed by melting glaciers 25,000 years ago and protected as a registered National Natural Landmark in 1966, the area is now managed and maintained by national, state, and local groups.

There are myriad hiking trails with boardwalks above the swamp, drop-in family programs, nature centers, and plenty of chances for fall foliage and wildlife sightings. Read on for our favorite exploration spots for NJ kids at this beautiful nature refuge.

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.

Cool Pumpkin Displays, Festivals, and Decorating Events in NJ

Are your kids already preparing for Halloween, with visions of candy, costumes, and pumpkins dancing in their heads? Kick off the festive fall season at one of the many wonderful pumpkin-themed events happening around NJ, from elaborate pumpkin exhibits and carving competitions to good old-fashioned pumpkin picking and decorating fun.

Read on for our top picks, plus a bonus event that’s worth a drive across the state line. You can find even more even seasonal events in our Fall Fun Guide

5 Fall Foliage Trips with Extra Fun for Families in New England

Other regions around the country might be a bit superior for, say, soaking up the rays or skiing through powder. But when it comes to leaf peeping, I don't think it's biased to say that New England might be tops. With rolling hills, a high density of deciduous, mature trees, and, probably most importantly, relatively crisp late September and early October temps, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, as well as Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, kick off the fall foliage season with early, vibrant, and lasting color.

Sure, kids might not thrill to the wonders of changing foliage quite the way grown-ups do. But most enjoy trips to pretty destinations, with fun stops to hike, eat, and play along the way. While choices are plentiful in these parts, we're highlighting a few especially lovely fall locales that combine great fall color with fun family activities. Now all you have to do is convince the kids to put down their devices and appreciate the scenery. For more autumn hotspots around the country, check out our complete fall leaves and foliage guide.


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