The beautiful fall foliage is almost at its peak, Halloween is just around the corner and New Jersey is brimming with fall fun this weekend! There’s an autumn adventure to be had in every corner of our great state: head to Liberty Hall Museum’s Pumpkin Patch Day if you still haven’t gotten your huge orange beauty, take the Great Pumpkin Train to a corn maze and pumpkin patch as you ride the Delaware River Railroad or dress your little ones up in costume for some pre-Halloween trick-or-treating in quaint downtown Westfield. And for some night time fun, check out the always popular Harvest Moon Hayrides at Alstede Farms or brave a Nature of the Night Halloween Hike at Stony Brook-Millstone Reserve. And remember, you can check out the full list of weekend activities in our Event Calendar.
These spooky and simple ideas for turning everyday snacks like hot dogs and brownies into some spine-tingling treats for Halloween will have you and your kids dancing the Monster Mash. Easy enough for a kids' party activity, or parents can whip a batch up for a fun twist on the pre-trick-or-treating dinner. Either way, you won't even need to dress up to be a hero this Halloween.
Don't be scared to get creative this Halloween; one of the best things about Halloween is the opportunity to be creative and replace store-bought with homemade. While your kids may demand that store-bought character costume, you can skip the plastic treat bucket or the old pillowcase this year and do something homemade without any sewing skills. An old costume might even make the basis for the perfect treat tote. Or pick a black or orange colored tee. Another alternative: let them decorate the tote with spooky drawings, or glue plastic spiders and other Halloween elements. Let your imaginations take this easy project in your own unique direction.
It seems to happen overnight. One day your kid is thrilled when you take her to open bounce time at your local bouncy house, and the next day she looks at you as if you're crazy for even suggesting it. When kids hit those tween years it can be tough to think of fun things to do with them. Fortunately for parents, your tween's sophisticated new attitude also means that they are mature enough to do things that you can really enjoy with them. Check out our list below for some great tween friendly activities. If your kids are on the younger side, be sure to check out our list of 25 Things to do with Preschoolers before they turn 5. And for some excellent Halloween fun for kids of all ages, be sure to check out our New Jersey Halloween Guide.
New Jersey schools are closed November 6th and 7th for the annual New Jersey Education Association convention. Still have to work and wondering what to do with the kids for the day? Or just hoping to keep them occupied? We’ve got the skinny on ten fabulous camps and programs for NJ kids, whether they’re artsy, outdoorsy or athletic. And if you're planning to take the day off too, visit our NJ Staycation post to find lots of fun ideas for local adventures.
If you’re looking to get your fill of all things Halloween (and pumpkin!), Jersey doesn’t disappoint this weekend! Take the kiddos down the shore in costume to Jenkinson’s Boo at the Boardwalk, roll up your sleeves for a Halloween Monster Craft at Appel Farm Arts & Music Center or brave a Haunted Halloween Hayride at Allaire Village. And for classic fall fun in northern Jersey, head to Heaven Hill Farm’s Great Pumpkin Festival or if you’re down south, check out the annual Pumpkin Festival at the Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May. And remember, you can check out the full list of weekend activities in our Event Calendar.
The Halloween season is filled with family-friendly fun all over the tri-state area, and a favorite fall destination is our sponsor, the New York Botanical Garden. NYBG is famous for its art installations throughout the grounds, and its annual Halloween exhibit of pumpkins and gourds in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is particularly awesome. In addition to tons of kids' activities to enjoy, you can check out unbelievable pumpkin carving creations the weekend of October 18 and 19, followed by a display of North America's largest pumpkins on October 25 and 26.
My son and I are frequent visitors to the New York Botanical Garden, and we decided to mark the changing season by checking out the Haunted Pumpkin Garden on its opening day back in 2011. He kept squealing, "Hey Mom, look over here!" and "Dad, you have to see this!" as he came across caterpillar, black widow and giant scorpion pumpkin statues, and grinning gourds perched on fence posts and the Discovery Center's roof. He loved it so much that visiting the Haunted Pumpkin Garden has now become an annual fall family tradition.
In addition to the display, which is on view now through Friday, October 31, NYBG has scheduled a slew of related programing, like a special pumpkin carving weekend (October 18 and 19) when visitors can watch Master Carver Ray Villafane create intricate pumpkin sculptures. You can even learn how to make your own pumpkin masterpieces during a one-day workshop with Villafane on Thursday, October 16, where participants learn his signature carving techniques. Then on the weekend of October 25 and 26, the largest pumpkins in North America will once again call NYBG home (pose your little ones next to these giant pumpkins for great photos).
Much like a squirrel, my toddler loves to wander outdoors and collect twigs, acorns, chestnuts, and anything else that has landed on the forest floor. Since the weather is still nice, we decided to go on a nature walk and collect leaves of all shapes, sizes, and colors. In the eyes of a toddler, autumn is nothing short of spectacular.
These leaf crowns can be the beginning of all kinds of imaginative play for boys and girls. Feel free to glam them up, or keep them as au naturale as you wish. Where will your imaginations take you?
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