Laurie R

Laurie R

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15 Stores That Offer Free and Cheap Classes for NJ Kids

Extracurricular activities create enriching experiences for kids, but they can also take a toll on your wallet. While kids are encouraged to explore their passions, the price tag on sports teams, dance classes, and art lessons can be overwhelming.

The good news is that stores throughout the state offer free—and nearly free—classes that allow you to save money while developing your family’s interests. These low- or no-cost classes, crafts, storytimes, and other activities are great ways to fill in schedule gaps without busting your budget.

Many stores have various locations, so be sure to check the websites for local schedules.

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.

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.

Weekday Fun: Dinosaurs After Dark, Shopkins Live, Oktoberfest

It’s the first full week of fall, and there are lots of reasons to celebrate! Get in the pre-Halloween spirit at Field Station Dinosaurs’ Dinosaurs After Dark, or party German-style at Morey’s Piers' Oktoberfest 2017. The new season brings new museum excitement with Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails Exhibit at Liberty Science Center and The Museum of Early Trades & Crafts' After School experience. Plus, relish the fall weather (if it ever comes!) at great festivals, pumpkin farms, and corn mazes

Read on for our best children's events the week of September 25–29, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and September GoList for even more early-fall fun.

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.

Weekday Fun: Corn Mazes, Carnival, Fall Crafts, Creative Stories

While it’s technically still summer, there’s a whiff of fall in the air this mid-September week. Corn maze season is here at The Farm in Harmony and Alstede Farms, among others. Marlboro Library offers a Fantastic Fall Craft, and there’s fall festival fun to be had at St. Benedict Parish Carnival. Plus, stop by free events such as the Free Music Together Class in Randolph, Uptown Storytime in Hoboken, and Creative Stories on Thursdays in Gillette.

Read on for our best children's events the week of September 11–15, and don’t forget to check out our Event Calendar and September GoList for even more pre-fall adventures.

Amazing Corn Mazes at New Jersey Farms

Get ready… get set… get lost in an amazing New Jersey corn maze! The Garden State is home to oodles of spectacular corn mazes, ranging from massive 10-acre labyrinths to simpler, child-friendly courses, including hay bale mazes just right for toddlers and preschoolers. Games, clues, and even techie bonuses enhance many of the more elaborate maze experiences. Got a tween or teen? Check out courses that are open after hours for a nighttime and sometimes spooky adventure.

Many of these 16 corn mazes we've rounded up are day trip–worthy on their own, but you'll also likely find apple and pumpkin picking options, hayrides, and even fall festivals, plus petting zoos in some instances. So get out your fall to-do list, and navigate your way through one of these great New Jersey corn mazes. Check out our Fall Fun Guide for NJ Kids to find even more ways to enjoy the crisp autumn days.

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