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Best NJ Places to Take Preschoolers in October

Give your 5-and-unders a day they’ll remember.


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courtesy of angel madison

The season’s may be changing, but the fun doesn’t have to stop. We’ve found some things for you to do in NJ this month with your 2-to-5 crew. Don’t miss these great picks for places to take your preschoolers. There’s plenty to do this month since Halloween is right around the corner. Check out these fall festivals, corn mazes, low-scare attractions, spooktacular Halloween houses, trunk or treats, ghost tours, seasonal trains, Halloween parades and more fun.

Tuesday, October 2

Terhune Orchards Read and Pick: Pumpkins

Where: Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Price: $8
Deets: Ages 2-8 can join this seasonal storytime about gourds and pumpkins, then pick out their own to decorate.​

Saturday, October 6

Annual Bloomfield HarvestFest

Where: Broad St., Bloomfield
Price: Free admission
Deets: Shop along with mile-long marketplace, filled with food vendors, amusements and a KidZone with games and activities for the lil’ ones.

Saturday-Sunday, October 6-7

Open Cockpit Weekend

Where: Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of NJ, Teterboro​
Price: Adults/$12, kids/$9
Deets: Slide into the cockpit of antique and rare planes like the Lockheed bush plane, Bell-47 helicopter and last remaining Martin 202 airliner, plus sit in the cab of an airport fire truck. Admission includes entrance to the museum, which holds a host of interactive exhibits, artifacts and more aircrafts.​

Sunday, October 7

Saddle Brook Street Fair

Where: 215 Market St., Saddle Brook
Price: Free
Deets: Indulge your stomach in fair foods like empanadas, zeppoles and shish kabobs, then the kids with entertainment like clowns and kiddie and pony rides. Don’t forget to hit the karaoke booth, either.  

Dunellen HarvestFest

Where: Washington Park, Dunellen​
Price: Free admission
Deets: Come for the kids’ activities, food, music and dancing, but stay for the crafters, baking contest and pumpkin decorating competition. Plus, take a carriage ride around the historic town before hitting the road.

My Fairytale Party's Princess Ball

Where: The Legacy Castle, Pompton Plains
Price: $99/person
Deets: Hand your keys to the valet and relax at this ball, tailored to you and your lil’ royal (ages 2-8). While you dig into dinner, characters like the Ice Queen, Mermaid Princess and Beast Prince will perform, sing and dance. Grab photos with characters and don’t worry about turning into a pumpkin.

Monday, October 8

Cool School Holiday

Where: Staten Island Children's Museum, Staten Island, NY
Price: Free admission
Deets: This Columbus Day, kids up to age 9 can join events like the Autism Awareness Workshop, where kids can create their own puzzle in support of those on the spectrum.​

Thursday-Friday, October 11-12

Kids Halloween Paint Party

Where: Rutherfurd Hall, Allamuchy​
Price: $20
Deets: Imagination’s the limit at this Halloween paint night. The kiddos can paint the spooky and the ghoulish onto a canvas and dig into a Philly Pretzel platter.​

Saturday, October 13

Sussex County Harvest, Honey and Garlic Festival

Where: Sussex County Fairgrounds, Augusta
Price: Free admission
Deets: Come for the farmers’ market, honey and garlic products and stay for the pumpkin painting, hay rides, face painting and crafts for the kiddos.​

West Milford Autumn Lights Festival

Where: West Milford Town Center, West Milford
Price: Free
Deets: Peruse vendors, listen to live music, hit the kids’ amusements, play activities and more when you stroll down the street at this annual fest.

Sunday, October 14

Rutgers Gardens Fall Fest

Where: Rutgers Gardens, New Brunswick
Price: $5
Deets: Follow the clues of a scavenger hunt, visit animals, paint pumpkins, play games and make crafts using organic materials from the garden. ​

Mermaid Tea Party

Where: Jenkinson's Aquarium, Point Pleasant Beach
Price: $30/adult and kid pair, $15/additional kid, $20/additional adult
Deets: Break out your fins! Ages 4-10 are invited to come dressed in your mermaid best to this sea-themed tea party. Eat snacks, sip out of saucers, make craft and more.​

Tutus and Tiaras

Where: Canal Studio Theater, Lambertville​
Price: $15-20
Deets: The youngin’s can learn about ballet during storytime, then watch pro dancers rehearse, touch costumes and pointe shoes, plus take a souvenir home.  

Saturday, October 20

Bordentown Riverfest 2018

Where: Bordentown Beach, Bordentown​
Price: Free
Deets: This four acre beer garden features beer, wine and sangria, plus 15 restaurants, a kids’ area with bounce attractions, magicians, face painters and more.​

Friday, October 26

Gardens Aglow

Where: Essex County Presby Memorial Iris Gardens, Montclair
Price: Free
Deets: The kids can light jack-o-lanterns within the garden, play activities and watch the garden glow as the community celebrates harvest season.​

Sunday, October 28

Halloween Spooktacular

Where: New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Price: Free
Deets: Your lil’ angels can participate in the museum’s annual costume contest, play Halloween-themed activities and check out the live stage show for ghoulish entertainment.

New Providence's Annual Fall Festival Street Fair

Where: Springfield Ave., New Providence
Price: Free admission
Deets: Bring the fam out for fun in many forms: a climbing wall, clown, petting zoo, face painting, sand art, plus pony and kiddie rides. Dig into savory foods like zeppoles, shish kabobs, sausage and peppers and cheesesteaks.​

HalloWheaton

Where: Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Millville
Price: Free
Deets: This scare-free afternoon features a trick-or-treat and interactive performances. Kiddos can come in costume, then meet and grab photos with tradition Halloween characters (mummies, witches, scarecrows) and finally, watch a collection of Halloween skits.​

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show

Where: MPAC, Morristown
Price: $20-30
Deets: Fans of Eric Carle can see puppet shows of the author’s best known stories: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, The Very Lonely Firefly and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

 

Ongoing

Big Apple Circus

Where: Lincoln Center Damrosch Park, NYC
Price: Varies
Deets: Step right up, step right up to the circus, known for its incredible juggles, acrobatics, trapezists and other thrills and tricks. Runs October 20-January 27.​

Fall Fun

Where: The Market at DelVal, Doylestown, PA
Price: $10, free/ages 2 and under
Deets: Hop on a wagon for a ride through the pumpkin patch, then the kids can exert some energy in the corn maze, on the inflatables and participating in activities in the kids’ play area. Parents can visit the greenhouse and sample local craft beers and wines. Ends October 28.​

Great Pumpkin Festival

Where: Heaven Hill Farm, Vernon
Price: $12, free/ages 2 and under
Deets: Wander through the largest corn maze in North Jersey, then hop on a hayride. The kids can have their faces painted, take a pony ride and delve into some gem mining. Every Saturday-Thursday, September 15-November 4.

Fall Fun Fest

Where: Maple Leaf Farms, Manalapan​​
Price: $20
Deets: Starting September 22, let the kids run wild at the corn tunnel, pillow jump, tire mountain and hay climbing. Check out the tiny truck track, BackHoe play yard, rubber duck races, rodeo and more. Ends October 28.

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