20 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend

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Cooler temps and falling leaves mean fall is on its way out, but the seasonal family fun is just getting started. Get into the festive spirit with a ride on DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express in Hammontown, listen to live music and taste apple pies at the 55th Annual Apple Festival in Old Bridge, or sample sweet temptations and watch magic shows at The Chocolate Expo in Edison. And before the season disappears, check out our guide to fall activities in NJ. (featured photo credit: Chuck Fishman Photography with Baum Image Group)

(Note: It’s always best to check ahead for in-person events)

DiDonato’s Magical Holiday Express
Now-December 23
Have your crew go all aboard for a Christmas light display ending with a meet and greet with Santa and his elves. Don’t miss the Holiday Movie tent and take a photo with your favorite snowman, Toy Market, and Walkthrough Holiday Village.
Cost: $12.95-$24.95
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
(609) 561-3040

Let It Glow
November 10- January 15
It’s a holiday spectacular with amazing, larger-than-life lantern displays of animals and nature that are awe-inspiring. Walk through the exhibits up close, then take a train ride through the zoo.  
Cost: $9 and up
Bergen County Zoo, 216 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ 07652

Santa is Coming to the Deptford Mall
Starting November 10
Santa is coming to town, and you can either schedule or show up to see the big guy starting November 10. If you pre-book, you can get a free personalized call from Santa powered by the Portable North Pole.
Cost: Seeing Santa is free, but there are photos available for purchase
Court Center near Macy’s, Deptford Mall, 1750 Deptford Center Road, Deptford Township, NJ 08096

Fall Saltwater Fly Fishing
November 12 in Long Branch and November 20 in Manasquan
Learn from a Park System Naturalist how to target striped bass during their fall migration and everything you need to know to fly fish. The demonstration and discussion will address gear, line and leader set-ups, flies, reading water, and creating a plan of attack. This event is open to ages 12 and up with an adult.
Seven Presidents Ocean Front Park, 221 Ocean Ave. N., Long Branch, NJ 07740
Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, 383 3rd Ave., Manasquan, NJ 08736

Winterfest By the Sea
November 12 at 9 AM
Where can you see Santa and the Grinch in the same place? Kick off the season with a Holiday Shopping Extravaganza, where the big guy will visit with kids while mom and dad shop for gifts.
Ocean City Civic Center, 500 Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226

Christmas at the Farm Holiday Market
November 12 at 11 AM
It’s never too early to do holiday shopping, so get a start with local vendors, a food truck, a pie tasting, and plenty of holiday cheer. Support local businesses while sipping on warm cider, and Riamede will also be hosting a pie-tasting station where attendees can sample and preorder their Thanksgiving pies.
Cost: Free
122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ 07930

Princess and Pirate Day at the Zoo
November 12 at 11 AM
It’s Cape May County Park and Zoo’s annual “Princess and Pirate Day.” Everyone is encouraged to wear their best dress-up apparel to this fun family event, which includes activities for the kids, a craft station, games, entertainment, animals, and an inflatable pirate ship.
707 US 9, Middle Township, NJ 08210

Santa Arrives at Bridgewater Commons
November 12 at 11 AM
Santa is making his grand arrival with a special appearance by Mrs. Claus too. Don’t miss the holiday performance by the New Jersey Youth Chorus, Regal Trumpeters signaling Santa’s Arrival, and The Village Carolers strolling the center.
Cost: Free
Center Court on the Lower Level, Bridgewater Commons 400 Commons Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807

55th Annual Apple Festival
November 12 at 12 PM
The Madison-Old Bridge Township Historical Society is bringing in lots of fun for kids and families with over a half-century of tradition. Taste delicious apple pies and treats, and don’t miss the historical re-enactments, live music, and vendors. 
Cost: Donate a new unwrapped toy to Toys For Tots
Old Bridge Civic Center 1 Old Bridge Plz, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

New Jersey Vegan Food Festival
November 12-13
It’s a two-day celebration that features yummy vegan and plant-based meals from local chefs, vegan products, plant-based fashion, and live music.
Cost: $20-$30; children 13 and under are free.
Meadowlands Exposition Center 355 Plaza Drive Secaucus, NJ 07094

The Chocolate Expo 2022 Fall Edition
November 13 at 10 AM
Taste, celebrate and indulge in all things chocolate, including candies, baked goods, and even crazy savory and sweet combinations (chocolate bacon, anyone?). Kids will have a ball meeting characters and spending time in the Fun Zone with face painting, crafts, and balloon art. There will also be live music, and magic shows during the day.
Cost: $10-$40
NJ Expo Center 97 Sunfield Ave., Edison, NJ 08837

Vernon Annual Craft & Vendor Fair
November 13 at 10 AM
The Vernon Twp. Fire Dept. Co. #1 is hosting its Seventh Annual Fall Craft and Vendor Fair with 30+ local artisans and vendors, showcasing jewelry, art, sewn creations, and many other handmade and unique items.
Vernon Township Fire Department Company #1, 537 County Route 515, Vernon, NJ 07462

Cider Making Howell Living History Farm
November 13 at 12 PM
Help the farm staff press this year’s apple harvest into cider. Sample some fresh cider and talk about other uses for cider on the farm.
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733

A 19th Century Holiday Celebration at Allaire with History Kids Club
November 13 at 1 PM
Step back into the 1830s with traditional holiday activities, from mumming (or caroling) to making garlands and playing games. 
Cost: Tickets cost $10 per child and are non-refundable
The Historic Village at Allaire Chapel, 4263 Atlantic Avenue, Wall Township, NJ 07727 

Story Time and Movie with Santa
November 13 at 1:30 PM
A professional storyteller will tell the story of “Holiday Adventure…this ain’t no OZ,” a book about kindness, bullying, bravery, stranger danger, and holiday spirit. After, watch a holiday movie and visit Santa. All children will receive crayons & coloring pages of characters in the book.
Cost: $39
Bernardsville Cinema 5 Minebrook Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924 

Ongoing Events

Scarecrows of the Sea at Adventure Aquarium
Now-November 13
Turn autumn aquatic with the new Scarecrows of the Sea at Adventure Aquarium. A crew of colorful scarecrows will be cropping up across the aquarium for a limited time. Look out for pirates, penguins, mermaids, and more posing alongside our 15,000 amazing animals.
Cost: Included with admission; buy tickets or make a Member reservation in advance.
1 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103

The Mainland – Harvest Fest Weekends
Every weekend until November 20
It’s Harvest Fest at The Mainland. Try different fall food and drink specials, a corn maze, family fun events, an adventure-packed arcade, and live music.
Cost: Costs vary
151 Route 72, Manahawkin, NJ 08050

RWJBarnabas Health Events

Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen
November 8, 15, and 22 at 4:30 PM
Come in person or join virtually for this hands-on cooking for ages 8-12. Your child will learn how to cook with nutritious ingredients, how to read a recipe, kitchen safety tips, measuring techniques, and learn knife skills.
Cost: Free
Online or Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Christian Community Health and Wellness Center at Newark Beth Israel
Medical Center, 208 Lyons Ave., Newark, NJ 07112

My First Cooking Class in Hannah’s Kitchen
November 12 at 9:30 AM
Visit in-person or virtually for this hands-on cooking class for ages 4-7 with a parent or guardian present. Even the pickiest of eaters will learn to love their veggies in this fun and interactive class.
Cost: Free
Virtual or Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Christian Community Health and Wellness Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical
Center, 208 Lyons Ave., Newark, NJ 07112

Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen
November 12 at 11 AM
Join in-person or virtually for this mommy and me style healthy cooking class for ages 2-4 with a
parent, grandparent, or loved one.
Cost: Free
Virtual or Rev. Dr. Ronald B. Christian Community Health and Wellness Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical
Center, 208 Lyons Ave., Newark, NJ 07112

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.

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