Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Pumpkins, Harvest Hayride, Oktoberfest

October is the heart of pumpkin season, and you can get your fill at the many great events happening around the state this weekend. If farm-fresh air, corn mazes, and animals are on your agenda, be sure to check out Terhune Orchards' Fall Festival Weekends or the Great Pumpkin Festival at Heaven Hill Farm, where the games include pig racing and a spiderweb crawl. Oktoberfest at Historic Smithville is another classic family event of fun, food, and games. Ever tried pumpkin picking by moonlight? If not, be sure to hop on a Harvest Moon Hayride at Alstede Farms. And if you need a break from all the pumpkins, the Drop-in Studio workshop at the Montclair Art Museum offers the perfect respite. Even better, five of our events are FREE this weekend! 

For more fun ideas, take a look at our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids. And don't forget that it's fall picking season at New Jersey farms, so be sure to peruse our Farm Guide for apple and pumpkin picking spots, plus more hayrides and harvest festivals.

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Skill Mill NYC Opens Maker Spot on UWS with Laser Cutter

It seems maker spaces are popping up all over New York City this fall. We just profiled a new spot on the Upper East Side, and now there's a new STEM center the Upper West Side. The just opened Skill Mill NYC, though, expects to appeal to a slightly older demographic and more advanced set of makers—middle school kids, teens, and adults—in part because of its heavy-duty and very cool tools. Remember how Tim Allen on Home Improvement always asked for “More power?” At Skill Mill NYC, you're gonna get more power. A massive laser cutter will let students handle wood, leather, cardboard, and other significant materials for big projects, plus there's a 3D printer and other sophisticated design options and tools.

Read on for the scoop on NYC's latest state-of-the-art maker space, and for more high-tech fun, be sure to check out our STEM Guide.

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Kids Eat Free Restaurants in the Philadelphia Area

Not only does the Philly area have a plethora of fun adventures for families, it's also a haven for food freebies and discounts for kids. Whether you're visiting the city or the suburbs, you will find chain restaurants and local spots that offer a break on the bill for kiddos. Want to plan an itinerary for the day or weekend? Check out our events calendar, choose a restaurant near your activity, and you're on your way! Don't forget to confirm these deals with the restaurants before you head out.

13 Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Deer Park

Perhaps best known for the Deer Park outlets and the Deer Park theater, there is an exceedingly great number​ of kid-friendly things to do in the northeast corner of Babylon. While the deer the town was named for no longer roam Deer Park Avenue, there is still plenty for children to explore and do.

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10 Places to Cool Off with Frozen Desserts in Houston

Summer may be over, but the heat and humidity are here for at least another month or two. The silver lining? Frozen desserts. Whether it's an after-school treat or an after-dinner outing while savoring those last rays of sunlight, these 10 spots are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. 

Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free In Houston

Eating out with your children can be tricky. Whether they nitpick their food or they are picky eaters in general, it can be a crapshoot whether they eat at all. However, there are some Houston restaurants that at least make things easier for your wallet. Here's a roundup of what restaurants offer free kids' meals with the purchase of an adult entree sorted by the days of the week the deals are offered. Happy eating!

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7 Easy Fall Family Hikes in NYC

It finally feels like fall in New York City, which means my family is headed to the hiking trail. At least once a quarter, usually coinciding with the change of seasons, someone in the family decides it's time to escape to the woods for a little urban relief. And really, there's no need to head upstate or to the 'burbs to get that outdoors fix.  

Did you know that our fair city is home to over 300 miles of hiking trails through 10,000 acres of unencumbered Mother Nature? We have sampled enough to confidently share this list of trails that vary in length, difficulty, and scenery, including those just right for little legs and spots with water, bridges, and yes, that gorgeous fall foliage. Whatever borough you call home, my boy, who helped to compile this list, and I hope you will have a blast lacing up and hitting the trails. Note: He is too young to share mommy's byline. 

Rosh Hashanah: 6 Activities to Celebrate Jewish New Year with LA Kids

Whether you're Jewish, half Jewish, or just trying to figure out why your kids have a random day off school, you may want some suggestions for celebrating the Jewish New Year next week. Most LA area schools have a day off for Rosh Hashanah and/or Yom Kippur the following week (known, apparently, in biblical times as "Admissions Day"). We have some suggestions for family activities to ring in the year 5777; or, if the High Holidays are throwing a wrench in your week, we can suggest some camps that have your back on school holidays.

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