New Jersey

40 Fun Things To Do in Hoboken with Kids

Home sweet Hoboken. The small-town city where strollers, school kids, dogs and twenty-somethings come together is more vibrant than ever. With family-friendly parks, cafes, markets, and play spaces packed into this walkable city, it's no wonder so many young families love it. From kid-friendly entertainment and restaurants to festivals and museums, what's not to love about the Mile Square City? For small towns in New Jersey, Hoboken is tops. Read on for 40 of our favorite, mostly FREE, things to do in Hoboken. 

Shopkins Live Review: The Shoppies Shop It Up Onstage

The Shopkins gang took to the stage this September in their very first live show, Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Based on Moose Toys' popular line of tiny, collectible grocery store items—and the animated series on YouTube—the show features life-size versions of characters like Lippy Lips (a tube of lipstick) and Kooky Cookie (a chocolate chip cookie).

The show, which I caught in New Jersey with two preschool-age kids (and a theater full of mostly girls ages 4-8, decked out in Shopkins gear), was a full assault of rainbow colors, upbeat singing, and coordinated dance moves. It’s campy, silly, and pure fun for little fans of the figurines.

Read on for our full review of this children’s theater show, which continues its North American tour into 2018, hitting more than 75 cities and metro areas, including Tarrytown, New York (September 26), two more New Jersey theaters (September 27-28), Westbury, New York (October 1), Houston (October 20), and Hollywood, California (November 18).

Weekend Fun: Thomas & Friends, Giant Pumpkin Carve, BrickFair 2017

Autumn is officially in full swing, and there's tons of fall fun to be had throughout the Garden State. This weekend, head to one of NJ's top family-friendly farms for events like the Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm or the Fall Harvest Festival at Johnson's Corner Farm. Experience old-fashioned fun at Historic Longstreet Farm's Harvest Home Festival, or take a Harvest Moon Hayride at Alstede Farms.  

There's plenty of indoor action, too: everyone's favorite tank engine rolls into Liberty Science Center on Saturday in a STEM-focused exhibit called Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails, and it's all about LEGO this weekend at BrickFair 2017 in Edison. Plus, more than 20 NJ museums will offer free admission on Saturday as part of Smithsonian Museum Day Live.

Find many more ideas for weekend fun in our Fall Fun Guide, which is packed with fall fairsamazing corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and the best spots to go apple picking. And look to our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Harvest Festivals, Hayrides, and Fall Fair Fun in New Jersey

The air is crisp, the apples are ripe, and fall fair and harvest festival season is about to get underway! We've rounded up two dozen great harvest fests in New Jersey, all packed with signature autumn activities like hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin decorating (and picking), pie contests, scarecrow making, live animals, live music, and more. Some even incorporate a little early Halloween fun.

Read on to find an event near you, including the Great Pumpkin Festival, the Fall Festival at Spruce Street Harbor Park, the Blackwood Pumpkin Festival, and more.

For more seasonal activities around the Garden State, be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide and our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall

Weekday Fun: Kindermusik Playdate, Harvest Moon Hayride, Fright Fest

As summer transitions into fall, what better way to spend the week than autumnal festivities and lots of freebies? Celebrate the new season at events like Ort Farms’ Apple Cider Kindermusik Playdate and Alstede Farms’ Harvest Moon Hayride and Night Time Corn Maze. Plus, have fun without spending a dime at Holmdel Library’s Magic Show, Long Hill Library’s Food Fun, Barnes & Noble's Storytime, and a Story Hour at Historic Cold Springs Village.

And if your schools are closed on Thursday and Friday for Rosh Hashanah, it's the perfect time to explore everything fall with activities such as corn mazes, pumpkin farms, day trips and more seasonal fun

Read on for our best children's events the week of September 18–22, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and September GoList for even more fall happenings.

Top Pumpkin Picking Farms for New Jersey Families

Nothing says fall (or Halloween) quite like a pumpkin. When these festive gourds start appearing on front stoops and in windows across New Jersey, you know autumn really has arrived. This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and take a day trip to one of NJ's excellent pumpkin patches, where you're sure to run into more fall fun, including barnyard animals, hay and corn mazes, and even the season's other favorite fruit: apples

Red on for more than a dozen spots where you'll be sure to find the perfect pumpkin.

Closer to the New York border? Check out these Westchester and Hudson Valley pumpkin patches. If you're in south Jersey or headed for a Bucks County getaway this fall, our Philadelphia site has the scoop on Pennsylvania pumpkin patches.

Rad Women and Civil Rights Heroes: Children's Books for Right Now

By Gwen Glazer, recommendations librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

Fred Rogers’ famous advice to "always look for the helpers" has never seemed more important. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville and beyond, parents may be looking for ways to engage their children with the social justice efforts—and also to talk about positive examples of activism and leadership.

We put together a list of 13 books for a wide range of children, from picture books for toddlers to nonfiction series for middle schoolers. These books address some of the most familiar human- and civil-rights leaders, like Malala and Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known activists who deserve more attention. All of them inspired others to create change in the world around them.

Historic NJ Villages That Are Fun for Kids & Families

With all of our modern technology and conveniences, today's kids (and grown-ups!) have a hard time imagining what life was like in the U.S. in the 18th and 19th centuries. Luckily, NJ kids don't have to learn about this long-ago time only from books—they can experience it firsthand at one of the state's many historic villages.

From working farms to blacksmith shops, general stores to cottages, these villages offer plenty to see for day-tripping families. Whether you are looking for an authentic old-school outing or an afternoon of quaint shopping, we've got you covered. This fall, unplug the family and step back in time at one of these historic New Jersey villages that are fun for kids and adults alike.

For more historical day trip inspiration, check out our list of Revolutionary War Sites To Visit with Kids

Weekend Fun: Great Pumpkin Festival, Fall Zoo Sleepover, Shopkins Live!

It’s almost officially fall, and weekends are already full of autumn awesomeness. This weekend, you can embark on a Giant Corn Maze Adventure, take an Autumn Excursion train ride, or go all-in on fall fun at the Great Pumpkin Festival. Celebrate the season at one of the many fall fairs happening throughout the state this month, visit one of NJ's amazing family-friendly farms, or head to an apple orchard to pick your own fruit. 

Other weekend highlights include the New Jersey Storytelling Festival, held this year at Howell Living History Farm; the Fall Zoo Sleepover at Turtle Back Zoo; and Shopkins Live! at Mayo Performing Arts Center.

Find many more ideas for weekend fun in our list of 35 Things We Can't Wait To Do with NJ Kids This Fall and in our Fall Fun Guide. And look to our Event Calendar for a full listing of happenings this weekend and beyond.

Cream of the Crop: 10 Best Farms for Family Fun and Entertainment in NJ

The pools and beaches may be closed, but there's still plenty of outdoor fun to be had. Fall is the perfect time to visit one of New Jersey’s top family farms, which offer year-round activities that blend agriculture with entertainment. Whether your kids want to meet baby barnyard animals, pick their own fruit, or take a hayride, each of these 10 "agritainment" centers guarantees enough fresh air and playtime to tucker out your mini farmer by the end of the day. So get out your fall-to-do list and plan a fall day trip for an ideal farm outing. New Jersey isn’t known as the Garden State for nothing! 

Find even more apple orchards, pumpkin farms, and corn mazes in our Fall Fun Guide

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