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62 Things To Do This Weekend, October 20-22

Don’t stay home this weekend—embrace the fall season at these NJ area events.


Photo courtesy of The great pumpkin ride


Don’t miss out on these local Oktoberfest, pumpkin picking, apple picking and trunk-or-treat events in NJ. For a spookier weekend, try low-scare Halloween attractions, medium- to high-scare Halloween attractions, Halloween houses or jack-o’-lantern events for more seasonal fun.

Thursday, October 19

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Prepare to be spooked at the Bridgewater Library. The Bright Star Touring Theater will perform the chilling legend of Sleepy Hollow. Registration required.

Thursday-Sunday, October 19-22

All A Boo DiDonato’s Trick-or-Treat Train

Calling all little goblins! Climb aboard this outdoor train in Hammonton for an exciting ride on the Rolling Railway. After, find your way through a hay maze and pick a pumpkin to be painted by a professional.

Kids’ Hand-Led Pony Ride to Pumpkin Patch & Candy Hunt

Your kids can climb on a costumed pony for a 20 minute ride through the forest at Acres Away in Flemington. Look out for hidden bags of candy! The horse will be led to the pumpkin patch where your little one can pick the perfect pumpkin. Rides run every day of the week, reservations required.

Friday, October 20

Family Astronomy Night at the Intrepid Museum

Ever spend a night stargazing on the flight deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum? Before you look up, jump into the history of Apollo 17’s exploration of the moon and the solar system. Don’t forget to register for the Intrepid’s out-of-this-world event.

Gardens Aglow Jack-O-Lantern Lighting

Check out this free elaborate display of carved botanical, floral and Halloween-themed pumpkins created by students. Light up the night at the Essex County Presbyterian Memorial Iris Gardens in Upper Montclair.

Halloween Karaoke & Pizza

Join the Warren County Library in Hackettstown for a free night of karaoke and pizza. Sing along to Halloween favorites and snack on pizza (including candy pizza!). Registration is required.

Seton Village Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival

Head to Seton Village in South Orange and visit over 20 food trucks, a craft beer garden, live music and more. Free admission and only for those 21 and older.

Friday-Saturday, October 20-21

Liberty Science Center's Spooky Sleepover

Ever wanted to combine science and sleepovers? Check out special exhibits like “The Better to Smell You With, My Dear,” where the kids can measure animal skulls, “Zombie Foodie,” where kids learn about anatomy, “The Spider Maze,” where they’ll discover facts about six fascinating arachnids, and Wizard Workshop, where mini-witches and warlocks will learn new potion recipes. Slumber partiers ages 13 and over can visit the Doom Zoo, full of a mad scientist’s abandoned animal experiments.

Cranford PTA Family-Friendly Haunted House

The Livingston Avenue School will be transformed into the “Hotel Cransylvania,” which is a perfect theme for your little ones. $3/person.

PAWS Happily Haunted Halloween

Head to PAWS Discovery Farm for spook-tastic stories, games, music, dancing, costume contests, animals and so much more. Your kids can craft, play and roll in the hay.

Glen Rock Central School Haunted House

This year’s “Fright Fair of Ghoul Rock” features fifth graders who are prepared to scare. For your younger crew, the Fright Fair will host lights on tour from 6-6:30 pm.

Shark in the Dark Overnight

The Adventure Aquarium in Camden is hosting an awesome overnight experience filled with sea turtles, stingrays and a variety of fish. Spend the night sleeping up close to the aquatic animals. In the morning, you can visit African penguins and hippos, too.

Harvest Moon Hayrides and Nighttime Corn Maze

Venture to Alstede Farms in Chester for a variety of fall activities, like a nighttime hayride and fun in the corn maze. Pick your own pumpkins, enjoy live entertainment or sip freshly-pressed cider.

Junie B. Jones The Musical, Jr.

Odds are, your kids are fans of Junie B. Jones, which means you definitely want to grab your tickets to UCPAC’s hour-long show. It’s Junie B.’s first day of first grade and there’s a lot of excitement!

Friday-Sunday, October 20-22

The Haunted Woods of Oldbridge Food Drive

This 3-acre haunt has been run by Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts for 16 years, and it’s free with a food donation. Walk a wooded path and keep a lookout for the spooks that come out at night.

Disney’s High School Musical

Take your kids to meet the real-life Wildcats of East High at UCPAC in Rahway. The whole family can sing along with Troy and Gabriella.

Boo at the Bronx Zoo

Spend the weekend dressed in your Halloween best. Check out the haunted forest, grab seasonal fare at Bootoberfest, take a ride on the halloween hayride, venture into Nature Trek and check out the Very Hungry Caterpillar show. There’s so many activities (magic shows, costume parades, pumpkin carving), your family won’t have the chance to be bored.

Saturday, October 21

Barktoberfest 2017

Bring your four-legged friends to this fall event at the Pampered Put Luxury Pet Resort in Millville. Bring both your pets and kids in costume for a chance at a prize, and definitely try the pumpkin painting and bounce house.

Lizzie Borden Took an Ax...Or Did She?

Fans of the paranormal, this one’s for you. Journey back to 1892 at the Bridgewater Library, where a double homicide still haunts the Lizzie Borden House. Paranormal Investigator Al Rauber will share recordings and other evidence sure to spook your socks off.

Brooklyn & Bailey Let Their Stars Shine

Brooklyn and Bailey McKnight, YouTubers and social media entertainers, are identical twins with a passion for music. Bring your kids and dance the night away at iPlay America in Freehold.

Picture Book Palooza

Your little bookworms can read and create crafts at the Cranford Community Center with picture book authors Ariel Bernstein, Diana Murray, Annie Silvestro and others. This is an amazing opportunity for young readers to meet the creators of their favorite stories.

The Little Read

Show your children that reading can be fun at the Montclair Art Museum’s read-aloud. Montclair’s writers, local heroes and neighbors will read to kiddos in preschool up to grade 5.

Hoboken Harvest Festival

What’s better than free activities for the family? Get creative with pumpkin painting, hop on a pony, visit the petting zoo, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, enjoy face painting, inflatables and so much more at this all-you-can-imagine festival at Pier A Park in Hoboken.

Sleeping Beauty at SOPAC

This classic fairy tale at SOPAC will delight and enrapture your little ones! Take them to a show they’ll never forget—they’ll believe that true love and happiness will conquer all.

Bound Brook Food Truck Festival

It’s not all about the food trucks.This Bound Brook festival is an opportunity to give back. Make a non-perishable food donation before you head over to the DJ booth. Have a good time, but remember to support those in need.

Small Explorers Series

If your kiddos are 6 months-5 years old, bring them to this themed event at the New Jersey State Museum. Explore stories, craft and play with other little tots. Registration encouraged.

Saturday Tours at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum

Every Saturday this month, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit offers free guided tours on a first-come, first-serve basis for families who want to learn more about the current season. Anyone under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and tours last approximately 30-45 minutes.

Art for Families: Mask and Masquerade

Drop by the Princeton University Art Museum for engaging gallery activities and a related art project. Channel your creativity into making a unique mask and learn about different African cultures.

DIY Halloween Masks Tween Craft

Mosey over to the Warren County Library in Hackettstown with your 8-17 year olds where they can create chilling masks while eating spooky snacks and watching Halloweentown. Registration is required.

Halloween Magic Show With Magician Steve Woyce

Join Magician Steve Woyce for a free Halloween magic show at the Goddard School in Old Bridge.

Harvest Festival & Haunted House

Head to Evolution Training Center in Bridgewater for pumpkin picking, tractor rides, a bonfire, arts and crafts, games and more. The Haunted House may not be suitable for children, but you can visit during the kid friendly hours of 4:30-6 pm.

Haunted Village Happy Haunts

Celebrating its 27th year, the Haunted Village at the Red Mill Museum Village in Clinton invites you to join them for a kid-friendly happy haunt held on Saturday afternoons. Come for hayrides, face painting and more with your little ones.

Saturday-Sunday, October 21-22

Pumpkin Painting

Take a scenic ride to the pumpkin patch at Stony Hill Farm in Chester where you can find “the one.” Paint a design on your pumpkin and while it dries, check out the 10-acre corn maze.

The Great Pumpkin Train Ride

Climb aboard the Great Pumpkin Train and head to the pumpkin patch with your little ones. Try the corn maze or visit the Ol’ Susquehanna Mine. Head to Phillipsburg with your brood and catch a ride you’ll remember.

Sunday, October 22

Young Eagles Flight Rally & Aviation Day

The Lakewood Airport is offering free plane rides to kids ages 8-17. You heard us right, free plane rides! The New Jersey Aviation Education Council will be around for those curious about the aviation displays and learning stations.

Trick or Treat Street and Howl-O-Ween

Enjoy pumpkin decorating, a kids’ costume parade, pumpkin chunkin’ competition, dog parade and more at this free trick-or-treat event on the Seaside Heights boardwalk.

New Providence’s Annual Fall Festival Street Fair

Join the New Providence community for a day of family fun, delicious food and live entertainment. There’s plenty of attractions for the kids from rides to a climbing wall to pony rides to a petting zoo.

Festival of South African Dance

Introduce your little ones to the wonders of dance at MPAC in Morristown. This South African tale of rural African men searching for greener pastures speaks to the country’s complicated issues. Explore South African culture through traditional dance.

Guess How Much I Love You & I Love My Little Storybook

The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s puppetry, music and narration weaves two different tales of adoration and love. Kids won’t forget the lessons they learn about love and the joys of reading at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.

Halloween Haunted House Decorating Workshop

Get creative at the Summit YMCA and decorate a haunted house with your kiddos. Channel your inner monster and go crazy with the icing and candy. Registration is required.


Ridgewood Halloween Maze

Check out this backyard Halloween maze open to the public at 124 Sheridan Terrace in Ridgewood.  If you come at night, keep a sharp eye out for the creatures that crawl around after dark.

Tropical Butterflies Alive in the Winter

Head to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC and visit over 500 iridescent butterflies. The 80-degree conservatory house’s lush green vegetation and blooming tropical flowers will wow your kids.

Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Van Cortlandt Manor’s Blaze event in Croton-on-Hudson, NY is an annual tradition. Walk through a historic 18th-century riverside landscape with huge jack o’lantern displays. These pumpkins are carved into everything from The Statue of Liberty to a 20-foot pumpkin carousel to a giant sea serpent. You’ll never look at pumpkin carving the same way and neither will your kiddos, so make sure to grab tickets before they sell out.

Sesame Place Halloween Spooktacular

Throughout October, this family-friendly Spooktacular in Langhorne, PA has three different Halloween-themed shows, four Count von Count-themed mechanical rides and a Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade featuring 10 floats. Bring your kids in their costumes for the Jack-O-Lantern Jump and check out the Halloween-themed lights at nighttime.

Thomas and Friends—Explore the Rails

Hit the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and visit with your tot's favorite tank engine! This program introduces children to science, technology, engineering and math through fun activities and play. Kids can climb into Thomas’ cab and take the controls, make repairs to Percy in the Sodor Steamworks shop, dress up like a conductor, play at the Tot Spot and so much more.

Fall Fun

Bring your brood to Lupardi’s Nursery in Closter for hayrides, a corn maze, haunted greenhouse, feeding zoo and massive 30-foot inflatable slide. Your kids won’t be bored for a second.

Early Morning Bird Walks in Central Park

Hit the American Museum of Natural History in NYC to observe the migration of birds in Central Park. Ornithologists will be at the ready to teach and answer any questions amateur birdwatchers have.

American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding at the Constitution Center

Immerse your children in the rich history of America. This presentation explains our nation’s founding era through priceless drafts of the U.S. Constitution. Even better, you’ll be in our nation’s birthplace: Philadelphia!

Giamarese Fall Harvest Weekends

Hop on a hayride and take a tour of Giamarese Farm in East Brunswick. Take your kids into the corn maze, encourage them to try pony rides, pick your own apples or pumpkins and more!

Farm Fun at Alstede Farms

Do you think your kids will love climbing a giant hay pyramid? Feeding farm animals? Taking a ride on a pony? If yes, travel to Chester for Alstede’s many family-friendly activities.

Corn Maze at the Farm

It’s never too early to get lost in a corn maze. Grab the kiddos and get a head start on the seasonal festivities in Harmony this weekend. This seven-acre military-themed corn maze offers discounts for veterans and is the perfect place to jumpstart your Halloween.

Ladder 11

This firefighter-themed exhibit has tons of hands-on exploration opportunities. The old-school pole, gear and bell just skim the top of what the Staten Island Children’s Museum has to offer.

The Learned Ladies

Philamente plays matchmaker for her youngest daughter while supporting a women’s intellectual movement. If you like quirky characters and sarcastic servants, pencil this show at Centenary Stage Company in Hackettstown into your date night.

The Evolution of Military Fashion at the Morris Museum

Your little history buffs will love to check out the evolution of American military uniforms. From 1776 to the Revolutionary War to World War II, there’s a lot more to military fashion than meets the eye.

The American Museum of Natural History Presents: Earthflight

Head to the big city for a totally immersive experience narrated by Cate Blanchett. Follow the migration of birds across four continents and eleven countries from the POV of their wings. Whether you check it out in 2-D or 3-D, this event is sure to fascinate and educate your little ones.

10 Acre Sea Turtle Corn Maze

This recently-opened 10-acre corn maze in Chester at Stony Hill Farm has a great theme: sea turtles! Kids can learn all about these sea creatures and how to help them. After the maze, jump on a hayride or pick some pumpkins and apples.

The Honeymooners

The Paper Mill Playhouse’s new musical comedy follows two buddies who win a high-profile jingle contest and find themselves struggling in the cutthroat world of Madison Avenue advertising. Conquering the American Dream could cost them their friendship.

Zombie Hayrides at Brookhollow’s Barnyard

Spice up the Halloween season with zombie paintball. Hop on a hayride at Brookhollow Barnyard in Boonton and shoot at fixed targets, skeletons and pop-up zombies. The ride is around 15 minutes and costs $12 for 200 paintballs. Come early to take a selfie with a zombie.

Dorney Park Halloween Haunt

Your smaller crew will love hanging out with Peanuts characters, watching not-so-scary Halloween shows, playing with the Monster Foam machine, pedaling the mini-tractor and other activities. There’s plenty for kids of all ages, including a haunted maze and scare zones for your older kids.

A. Casola Farm’s Fallfest

Climb aboard a haunted hayride, get lost in a corn maze or spend a few hours at the petting zoo in Holmdel. Bring your kids for face painting, watch a wild west show or try Amish baked goods. There’s plenty of fun to be had every weekend this fall.

Ancients to Astronauts: How We Communicate at Monmouth Museum

This interactive exhibition explains the revolutionary discoveries of space and rocket science. Blast off in a Friendship 7 capsule and travel back to Ancient Egypt in a time machine; either way, your kids will want to be astronauts before you leave.

Pumpkin Picking

Spend your weekend at DePiero’s Farm Stand and Greenhouses in Montvale and hit the pumpkin patch for a fun fall experience for all ages. There’s face painting, a bounce house, hayrides, a hay maze and more to entertain the young crew. Don’t forget to taste some apple cider donuts and freshly-pressed apple cider to complete the experience.

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