39 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend

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It’s the first weekend of October, and there’s no shortage of fall family fun to kick off a month of festivals, spooky events, and everything pumpkin. See over 6,000 lit pumpkins and Halloween displays on the opening weekend of the Outdoor Fall Festival at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, watch live dance and listen to the bands at the Harvest Festival in Jersey City, or walk through millions of sunflowers at the Sunflower Festival at Holland Ridge Farms in Cream Ridge. And if you are looking for more to do this season, take a peek at our Fall Activities in New Jersey Guide.

Featured Photo Credit: Skylands Stadium 

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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

Avalon Oktoberfest
September 30 from 3 PM-8 PM
It’s time to lift your stein for the Avalon Oktoberfest at ICONA resort. There will be live entertainment, drinks, food, and dancing in the sand. Early birds receive a sand-safe 1/2 L acrylic stein. 
Cost: $5-$19.99
The Sandbar Village, 125 79th Street, Avalon, NJ 08202
(609) 796-2900

An Olde Time Italian Festival
October 1-2

It’s the 15th anniversary of the Olde Time Italian Festival with delicious food, vendors, games, and live entertainment. And sign up for the spaghetti eating contest while you are there.
Cost: Free
Fox Park, Ocean Ave., Wildwood, NJ 08260
(609) 729-7499

Outdoor Fall Festival at Skylands Stadium
October 1-November 7

Over 6,000 pumpkins fill this spectacular Halloween Walk-Through (expect it to take 45 minutes to see it all).  While you are there, roast a s’more on the fire pit and sip hot apple cider. Or ride the Ferris wheel and carousel and decorate at the pumpkin pick-and-paint. And when you need an adult beverage, there’s a beer garden too.
Cost: Walk-Thru $19-$24, VIP access $34
Skylands Stadium – 94 Championship Place, Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 383-7644

Oktoberfest at Morey’s Piers
October 1-3, and 8-10
Get ready for four consecutive weekends of German-themed goodness with “Oktober das Oktopus,” live entertainment, kids “Rootbier Garten” activity area, and more at the lively Oktoberfest on Morey’s Piers. On September 17 at 5:45 PM, the festivities kick-off with a ceremonial keg tapping of Warsteiner beer and the Morey family clad in lederhosen—prost!
Cost: Prices starting at $29
3501 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260

(609) 729-3700

Elmer Harvest Day Festival
October 2, 5K registration begins at 7:30 AM, Festival 10 AM-4 PM
What’s better than a car show and an annual 5K walk? Elmer will be hosting their Harvest Day, and local businesses will be participating along with local restaurants. There will be live entertainment, children’s activities, and there will even be a fire truck ride through town.
Cost: Free to enter
Various locations in Elmer, NJ 08318

(856) 358-6171

Deep Cut Gardens Fairy Day Fest
October 2 from 10 AM-2 PM
Kids will love building a fairy house perfect for the garden fairies to live in this winter. All ages are welcome to join in this day of fun and explore the gardens too.
Cost: Free
Deep Cut Gardens – 152 Red Hill Road, Middletown, NJ 07748
(732) 671-6050

Jersey City Harvest Festival 2021
October 2 from 10 AM-2 PM

Bring the family to see dance performances, arts and crafts, food, and more at this fall festival. The festival will be combined with the 7th annual Cultural Diversity Festival, highlighting various performing arts studios.
Cost: Free
City Hall Plaza – 280 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 547-4900

New Jersey Botanical Garden Harvest Fest
October 2 from 10 AM-5 PM
Visit the beautiful New Jersey Botanical Garden for hayrides, pumpkin painting, games, face painting, and plenty of kid-friendly fun. Dance to live music, pick up a hearty mum at the autumn plant sale, try applesauce making, and check out the foliage on a garden tour. Rain date October 3.
Cost: Free, parking $5
New Jersey Botanical Garden – Morris Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456
(973) 962-9534

Cookstove Demonstration at Historic Longstreet Farm
October 2 from 11 AM-3 PM

What’s cooking? Staff in traditional costume will fire up the woodstove at Historic Longstreet Farm in Holmdel. Discover how recipes, cooking techniques, and kitchens have changed since the 1890s.
Cost: Free
44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel 07733
(732) 946-3758 

Asbury Park PorchFest
October 2 from 11 AM-5 PM
It’s the 5th annual PorchFest in Asbury Park. This family-friendly event features musicians and performers on porches in town. Stroll from porch to porch and enjoy local talent.
Cost: Free
Springwood Park Kickoff, 126 Atkins Ave., Asbury Park, NJ 07712

4th Annual Rock for Awareness Festival
October 2 from 11:30 AM-6 PM
Head to Point Pleasant to check out the crafts, vendors, and good music from artists like The Nerds and The Surge. There will be kid-friendly activities and food trucks too. The festival benefits the Nicholas Hudanish Foundation, which raises awareness about addiction.
Cost: Free
Community Park, 2255 Bridge Ave., Point Pleasant, NJ 08742
info@nicholashudanishfoundation.org

2nd Annual Kindle Oktoberfest
October 2 from 12 PM-6 PM
Grab a beer from local breweries at this craft, food, and drink festival supporting the Cape May County Chamber Education Fund. You can peruse the socially distant vendor tents with jewelry, soaps, and handmade crafts, while the rest of the fam feasts on shrimp, donuts, and soft pretzels—all while listening to the sounds of two live bands playing throughout the day.
Cost: Free
525 Stone Harbor Blvd.,
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
(609) 465-5000

Keg & Kitchen Oktoberfest
October 2 from 12 PM-10 PM
The Haddon Square Beer Garden is complete with an authentic fare of brats, wursts, potato salad, and pretzels. Order authentic Oktoberfest beers as well as sip specialty fall cocktails as you toast to friends and family.
Cost: Free
51 Haddon Avenue,
Haddon Township, NJ 08108
(856) 833-9800

Surf City Hotel Oktoberfest
October 2
What’s better than an Oktoberfest by the shore? Dress the whole fam up in your most authentic lederhosen and dirndls while you enjoy authentic food, drink, and music under a tent. The festivities include a stein-holding contest.
Cost: Free
800 N. Long Beach Blvd.,
Surf City, NJ 08008
(609) 494-7281

Bayfront Festival & ChowderMonth Closing Ceremonies
October 2-3
Vendors, brews, live music, and the ChowderMonth champion will be named in Beach Haven. To participate, purchase chowder from at least three of the 13 restaurants on the Taster Trail, and vote online through GPS check-in by midnight on October 2.
Cost: Free
Taylor Avenue Bayfront, Beach Haven, NJ 08008
(609) 494-7211

1st Annual Dreamland Oktoberfest and Vintage German Auto Show
October 2-3
The admission to this lively German-themed event includes a keepsake stein and traditional food. There will be live polka and Eastern European bands and vintage autos too.
Cost: $15-$30
American Spirits Roadhouse, 1090 NJ 173, Asbury, NJ 08802

(908) 735-0101

Deutscher Club of Clark Oktoberfest
October 2-3
Kick back in their spacious pavilion and enjoy the live music on both days under the outdoor seating tent. You’ll sample authentic German fare like brats, spaetzle, and schnitzel, as well as enjoy the beers and sounds of traditional bands at this German club, which is one of the largest in North America.
Cost: Members $5, Others $10
787 Featherbed Ln.,
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 574-8600

Historic Smithville Oktoberfest
October 2-3
Get the whole family ready for a family-friendly Oktoberfest with over 100 juried crafters, an International food court, live music, kids’ activities, non-Profit organizations, and more. The Villages 60 Shoppes, train and carousel rides, paddle boats, 7 Eateries, and antique arcades will also be open.
Cost: Free
Route 9 and Moss Mill Road, Smithville Road, NJ 08205

(609) 652-7777

Annual Wheaton Arts Festival of Fine Craft
October 2-3 from 10 AM-5 PM
It’s the 22nd annual Festival of Fine Craft with art and shopping for the whole family. Over 125 artists and crafters, hands-on family activities, a Glass pumpkin fundraiser, live music, and more.
Cost: $12, $11 seniors (62+0, and $7 for students
Wheaton Arts, 1000 Village Drive, Millville, NJ 08332
(856) 825-6800

31st Annual Cranberry Fest Bordentown
October 2-3 from 11 AM-5 PM

Artists, crafters, vendors, and over 40,000 visitors a year come to the Cranberry Fest in Bordentown. There will also be free parking and shuttle buses.
Cost: Free
Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown, NJ 08505
btowncranfest@gmail.com

DiDonato’s Trick-or-Treat Train
October 2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 23, and 24
Take a train ride through a friendly Halloween town with tricks, treats, and surprises. But that’s not all—explore a hay maze, visit the pumpkin patch, race down a giant slide, and more.
Cost: $11.95 per person if purchased before September 25, then $12.95 and up
1151 South White Horse Pike, Hammonton, NJ 08037
(609) 561-3040

Laurita Oktoberfests with Food Trucks & Fire Pits
October 2, 3, 16, 23
Oktoberfest is happening more than once at Laurita Winery! Free parking, free firewood for the firepits, and Saturday fireworks. Don’t miss the playgrounds, and make sure you bring your blankets and chairs to sit on the lawn.
Cost: $12 per person online 21+, $14 at the door, 20 and under free
85 Archertown Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533
1-800-LAURITA

Caldwell Street Fair
October 3 from 12 PM – 5 PM

Hit up the largest annual family event in Essex County, the Caldwell Street Fair. With vendors, the streets and sidewalks will be buzzing with good times and lots of new merchandise. With designated kid-friendly vendors and rides, the littles will have plenty to do while you sample local fare and stop to peruse jewelry, art, and crafts.
Cost: Free
370 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ 07006
(973) 618-0660

Celebration of Pets Verona
October 3 from 1 PM-4 PM
Holy Spirit Verona is hosting their 5th annual Celebration of Pets in the Verona Town Hall Square with pet-orientated activities, rescue organizations, vendors, crafts-people, pet blessings, and more. There will be activities for kids, DJ music, food vendors, and a Pet Parade at 2:30 PM with prizes in several categories.
Cost: Free
36 Gould Street, Verona, NJ 07044
(973) 239-2850

Hoboken Arts & Music Festival
October 3

What can be better than an all-day party boasting children’s activities, handmade crafts for sale, and a fantastic street food lineup? Your littles will enjoy face painting, sand art, balloons, and more. This is one of those fun fall festivals in NJ that you don’t miss.
Cost: Free
Washington St. between Observer Hwy & 7th St., Hoboken, NJ 07030 

Late Night at the Museum – Rutgers Geology Museum
October 6 from 6 PM-7:30 PM
Celebrate Earth Science Week and National Fossil Day by joining the Rutgers Geology Museum to discover the different types of dinosaurs and other creatures that inhabited Earth during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic Eras. This virtual event will include at-home arts and crafts, a trivia game, and a guest presentation. Check out their Late Night webpage for the schedule of activities, and you can tune into the Late Night Event here.
Cost: Free
Virtual

(848) 932-7243

Zeppelin Hall Oktoberfest
Now-October 24
During this almost-a-full-month-long celebration, they’re serving Oktoberfest beer, Bavarian dishes, and pretzels – with kid-friendly options like burgers and mac and cheese too. On weekdays, they have “Happy Hour” from 4 PM to 7 PM. And on weekends, your whole family can relax and enjoy the live German bands that play from 3 PM to 7 PM (on both days) on stage.
Cost: Cost of meal
88 Liberty View Dr.,
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 721-8888

Sunflower Festival at Holland Ridge Farms
Now-October 31
See what inspired Vincent Van Gogh’s famous sunflower painting at these fields where millions of sunflowers are in bloom. Pick over eight varieties of sunflowers, including yellow, red, and white. Online tickets only.
Cost: $12.80 for ages 3 and up
86 Rues Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514
(609) 448-7483

Diggerfest 
Now-November 7 from 11 AM-6 PM
Do you love diggers and the fall? Then, head out to Diggerland this weekend for the start of Diggerfest. The whole family can spend the day operating all the fantastic machines while enjoying live music, special fall foods, hayrides, and fun and games. Of course, you’ll get to celebrate all things fall, too, with pumpkin decorating, fall parades, and even a petting zoo on select days.
Cost: $44.95 per ticket
Diggerland – 100 Pinedge Drive, West Berlin, NJ 08091
(856) 768-1110

Great Pumpkin Festival
Now-November 7

Self-proclaimed as the “Largest Fall Festival in Northern New Jersey,” it has over 40 different activities each day, including a hay crawl, vortex tunnel, pedal cart track, and more. Heaven Hill Farm also offers on-site wine tastings, a farmer’s market, and more.
Cost: prices starting at $14.99 during the week and $19.99 on weekdays
451 State Route 94, 
Vernon, NJ 07462
(973) 764-5144

Fall Festival Weekends at VonThun Farms
Weekends now through October 31 from 10 AM – 5 PM
This family-friendly farm (with 2 locations) has a packed seasonal schedule with over 20 different farm activities and attractions like hayrides, a 5+ acre corn maze, barnyard basketball, lil’ rocking horses, pedal karts, and more. While admission includes most of the attractions, there are additional fees for corn cannons and pony rides.
Cost: $14.99 General admission and up
VonThun’s Country Farm Market – 438 Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882
(732) 986-6816
VonThun’s Country Farm Market – 519 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
(732) 329-8656

Family Fun Fall Weekends at Terhune Orchards
Weekends from now-October 31 from 10 AM-5 PM
At Terhune Orchards in Princeton, you and the littles can celebrate fall in NJ with live music, picking pumpkins, and a corn maze or hay bale maze. Don’t miss the hippy hop corral, pumpkin painting, and duckie races too. You can also visit the barnyard, play area, and adventure barn. Take a stroll on the pollinator trail and indulge in apple cider, donuts, and wines made from grapes on the farm.
Cost: $11 online, $14 at the gate
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 924-2310

Evening on the Farm at Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm
Friday and Saturday evenings in September from 6 PM-9 PM
Enjoy a family night out on the farm at this fall festival in South Jersey with live music, food trucks, and delicious food. Take an evening walk around the grounds, play some lawn games, stop by their late farm market or ice cream window for a treat, or take a hayride to the sunflower field. And don’t miss out on the Tomasello Wine available for purchase. Reservations are required, so be sure to book ahead of time on their website.
Cost: $9.95 per ticket
2691 Monmouth Rd., Jobstown, NJ 08041
(609) 353-9000

Argos Farm Fall Festival
Opening Day: September 18, and the hours vary per month
With a ton of different fall-themed activities, your kiddos will have a blast getting into the spirit of the season with a corn maze, wagon rides, a double hay slide, corn hole, pick-your-own pumpkins, the new gauntlet obstacle course, plus so much more. After, indulge in yummy fall treats from their Farm Market. Make sure to purchase your tickets online before you go.
Cost: $12 on weekdays and $15 on weekends and holidays
1250 Lacey Rd., 
Forked River, NJ 08731
(609) 693-3513

Fright Fest at Six Flag Great Adventure
Now-October 31

Rides, shows, entertainment, haunted attractions, scare zones, and more at the annual Fright Fest event in Jackson, NJ. Don’t worry if your littles don’t want to be frightened—there are family-friendly events throughout the day, but Six Flags transforms into a scarier Fright Fest once night falls.
Cost: Admission starts at around $30.99
Six Flags Great Adventure – 1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527
(732) 928-2000

Happy Day Farm Fall Harvest Festival
Open Saturdays and Sundays (Plus Fridays in October) from 10 AM-5 PM, last entry at 4 PM
Now through October 31

Begin your fall adventure at Happy Day Farm’s Fall Harvest Festival, jam-packed with activities all day long like pumpkin bowling, tractor rides, a corn maze, hay mountain, pig races, fun slide, horse lasso, tug-o-war, and so much more. Oh, and did we mention that their pumpkin patch and photo ops at Pumpkinville is open seven days a week with no admission, pay for what you pick? Don’t miss the fun add-ons like the jumping pillow, corn cannon, and sunflowers for an extra fee. Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time.
Cost: $20
106 Iron Ore Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726
(732) 977-3607

Ort Farms Fall Fest
Now-October 31
Known as “the most spacious farm in Morris County,” Ort Farms offers its visitors so much in the way of fall family fun. Enjoy a monster truck ride with your family and friends, head to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin, get lost in the corn maze, or take a cow train ride. After you’ve had your fill, be sure to check out the farm store to try out Ort Farms’ delicious fresh apples, apple cider, donuts, pumpkin rolls, local ice cream, homegrown produce, and more.
Cost: $8
25 Bartley Road, Long Valley, NJ 07853
(908) 876-3351

Somerville Summer Stage
Every Saturday until October 2 from 6 PM-9 PM

Bring chairs to this concert series, with a new performance every Saturday.
Cost: Free
Division Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

(908) 524-0104

RWJBarnabas Health: Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen, a Mommy and Me style class for 2-4-year-olds.
Cost: Free
RWJBarnabas, Virtual
(973) 926-7371

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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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