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Free Things to Do in October in NJ with Kids

Want to get the kids out of the house without spending a ton (or any) money? It’s your lucky month. We've found affordable fun your kid will love.


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With fall and back-to-school season in full swing and Halloween around the corner, we understand that you may not have a lot of extra cash lying around for family activities this month. Not to worry! We’ve found 25 totally free things to do in Jersey in October.

Monday-Friday, September 10-October 19

Speak Your Peace

Where: William Paterson University Galleries, Wayne
Time: 10 am-5 pm
Deets: Teach the kids about social justice while artists give a voice to underrepresented and marginalized communities and use art to inspire civic engagement.

Friday-Sunday, September 28-October 7

Robin Hood! An Original Retelling of a Legendary Classic!

Where: The Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick
Time: Varies
Deets: Bring the whole fam to this play and event rolled into one. There’ll be storytelling, folk music, food, drinks and games.

Saturday, October 6

Annual Bloomfield Harvestfest

Where: Broad St., Bloomfield
Time: 11 am-7 pm
Deets: Head over for drinks, bop around to live music, fill up at food trucks, hop on amusement and pony rides and check out the petting zoo.

Allendale Festival Day and Car Show

Where: Guardian Angel Church/Crestwood Lake, Allendale​
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Listen to music all day, roam around the car show, tease your appetite at the pie-baking contest and check out furry friends at the pet parade.

Sunday, October 7

Saddle Brook Street Fair

Where: Market St., Saddle Brook
Time: 10 am-5 pm
Deets: Pile the fam into the car and let the kids loose on kiddie rides and pony rides. There’ll be craft vendors, music and tons of fair food to indulge in.

Oktoberfest Crafts and Drafts Craft Market at Lone Eagle Brewing

Where: Lone Eagle Brewing, Flemington​
Time: 11 am-6 pm
Deets: Nosh on authentic German cuisine while mingling with artisans of handcrafted greeting cards, home décor and more.

Dunellen HarvestFest

Where: Washington Park, Dunellen​
Time: 11 am-4 pm
Deets: Hop on a carriage ride around town, test your skills at the apple pie baking contest and decorate pumpkins with the fam.

Monday, October 8

Daffodil Bulb Party

Where: Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Time: 1-2:30 pm
Deets: Bring the kids to peruse the gardens and join the fall planting party where you can hear stories and make crafts. Registration required.

Friday, October 12

Young Magicians Guild

Where: Morley’s Magic Shop, Butler
Time: 7 pm
Deets: Bring the kids to meet Morley the Magician and watch as he performs some of his favorite magic tricks. Here, kids can learn some new tricks of their own, meet other rising magicians and perform their magic tricks for one another.

Saturday, October 13

The Peck School–Goldilocks and the Three Bears Design Challenge

Where: The Peck School, Morristown
Time: 10-11:30 am
Deets: Bring the girls and nurture their creativity during a reading of Goldilocks, then design a new bed for Baby Bear.

Just Jersey Festival

Where: Rockaway Boro Firemans Field, Rockaway
Time: 11 am-7 pm
Deets: Bring the fam and dogs for a day of beer, wine and music (all for a good cause!). Don’t forget to donate canned and boxed food.

Open House ATV Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory

Where: Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Calling all science lovers! Kids can tour the lab and participate in demos, then learn about climate change and new scientific discoveries from world-renowned researchers. Suggested donation of $5.

Fall Fair

Where: Green Meadow Waldorf School, Chestnut Ridge, NY
Time: 10 am-4 pm
Deets: Make a day out of face painting, pumpkin carving, candle dipping, zip lining, obstacle courses and more. Peruse wares from vendors with handmade jewelry, handcrafted wooden toys and raw honey.

Saturday-Sunday, October 13-14

Chester 35th Annual Harvest Celebration

Where: 28 Main St., Chester
Time: 11 am-4 pm
Deets: Hit the streets for music, food, pumpkin painting and carving and even pet costume contests.

Sunday, October 14

Cranford Street Fair & Craft Show

Where: Downtown, Cranford​
Time: 11 am-5 pm
Deets: There’ll be food, live music, rides, artists, crafters, vendors and more (aka exactly the kind of weekend your kids love).

Wednesday, October 17

America’s Grow-a-Row

Where: America’s Grow-a-Row, Pittstown​
Time: 4:30-6:30 pm
Deets: Bring the whole fam out to plant or harvest crops for those in need. Fruits and veggies will be given to food banks, soup kitchens and food pantries.

Saturday, October 20

Tenafly Street Fair and Craft Show

Where: Downtown, Tenafly​
Time: 11 am-5 pm
Deets: Peruse more than 200 artists, crafters and vendors. Grab a bite to eat while the kids expel all that extra energy, participating in various activities.

Hoboken Harvest Festival

Where: Pier A Park, Hoboken
Time: 11 am-3 pm
Deets: They can get their faces painted, grab balloon art, paint a pumpkin and make their own crafts. Groove along to music and check out the gymnastics, dance and soccer demos. The kids can hop on a hayride or a pony, stroll through the hay maze and petting zoo.

Bordentown Riverfest 2018

Where: Bordentown Beach, Bordentown​
Time: Noon-10 pm
Deets: Spend the day at this four-acre beer garden. Check out the magicians, face painters and bounce attractions while sipping on beer, wine and sangria. Enjoy a sit-down dinner at one of the on-site restaurants before you head out.

Sunday, October 21

YMCA Fall Harvest

Where: Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, Scotch Plains
Time: Noon-3 pm
Deets: Stop by with the fam to pick pumpkins, hop on a pony and grab a snack. There’ll be arts and crafts, raffles and more.

Friday, October 26

Gardens Aglow

Where: Presby Memorial Iris Gardens
Time: 6-9 pm
Deets: Join the community lighting of jack-o-lanterns, have a drink and get in on entertainment and kids activities.

Sunday, October 28

New Providence’s Annual Fall Festival Street Fair

Where: Springfield Ave., New Providence
Time: 10 am-5 pm
Deets: Pile the kids into the car and pack your day with kiddie rides, face painting, wall climbing and sand art. Check out the petting zoo, dancers, karate demonstrations, too.


Portraits of People We Love Art Exhibit

Where: Gallery Aferro, Newark
Time: 10 am-6 pm
Deets: Celebrate the beauty of love at this exhibit filled with portraits honoring all of its artists’ loved-ones. Ends November 17.

Ramsey Farmers’ Market

Where: 2 W. Main St., Ramsey
Time: 9 am-2 pm
Deets: Explore wares from more than 50 local farmers offering seasonal and organic fruits, veggies, bread, cheese, spices and more. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or an organic eater, this market is the foodie destination for you. Ends November 25.

Selections From Women’s Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-Based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination

Where: William Paterson University Galleries, Wayne
Time: 10 am-5 pm
Deets: Teach the kids about women’s empowerment while viewing advocacy posters created by men and women to promote women’s rights.


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