As we head into a full week of October and everything Fall, there’s plenty of autumn-themed things to do with the fam. Learn about creepy, crawly insects at Outdoor Adventures at Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair, admire over 40 decorated pumpkins from your car window at the Drive-Thru Pumpkin Carve in Titusville, or sample German foods and pick up some goodies The Craft Show at Oktoberfest in Demarest.
featured image via @h.m_noh
Outdoor Adventures at Van Vleck House & Gardens
October 6th, 10:30AM – 12PM, or 1PM – 2:30PM
Kids can learn about the fascinating world of spiders and snakes at these beautiful gardens. While you admire the fall foliage, kids will sneak in a science class (and you can count it for virtual learning—score). Your little explorers will have activity kits to guide them, as well as informational displays through the Van Vleck Gardens and an educator on hand.
$10 for families who are members, $15 for families who are non-members
Van Vleck House & Gardens
21 Van Vleck Street
Jurassic Quest Drive-Thru
Friday, October 6th-11th, 11AM-8PM
Littles who are dino-obsessed will be in awe of the towering 50 and 80 foot, lifelike (yes they move) dinosaurs in this drive-through experience. Snap photos as you listen to the online guided audio tour and follow along, pointing out these pre-historic predators. And you won’t leave home without a souvenir—a family photo with a dinosaur backdrop is included in the admission price.
$49 per car
Met Life Stadium
1 Met Life Drive
Virtual Planetarium from Home
October 7th, 10AM – 10:45AM
The nights are getting chilly for stargazing, but you can still see constellations from inside your home, with this virtual planetarium. During the 45 minute session, kids will learn about practically everything that makes up space. They’ll have fun participating in trivia questions and polls, and the museum astronomer will be ready to answer any questions.
$10 per child
The Newark Museum of Art
Empowered Origin Story by Seize the Show
October 7th and 8th at 7PM
Get ready to “seize the show”—all you need is a smartphone to be transported into a world where you have superpowers, but you decide whether they’re for good or evil. You can interact with other audience members and see their choices up on the screen, and your kids will be thrilled as they try to figure out how the story will end.
$10 per ticket
Seize the Show (under the Mayo Performing Arts Center)
Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s Drive-Thru Pumpkin Carve 2020
October 7 — October 11 hours vary by day; check the website for up-to-date info
Your kids will be in awe of this fantastic display that features over 40 giant jack-o-lanterns expertly carved by local artists. While this year’s exhibition is strictly drive-thru (sorry, no out of car photo-ops), the entire fam will still have a ball listening to live entertainment, admiring the lit-up pumpkin display, and purchasing snacks like cider and popcorn from your car.
$25-$40 per car depending on the number of people
221 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road
Haunted Trail Hike
October 9, rain date October 10th, 6PM – 7PM for younger children, 7PM – 8PM for older kids
Get spooked and in the Halloween spirit as you walk along this haunted trail, with two different hour-long hikes. The first, at 6PM, is less scary for littles, and the later one at 7PM, pulls out all the tricks and haunts with a few scary characters that pop up along the trail. After, enjoy free treats and cider.
suggested donation $5, face masks are required
Martin’s Brook Park
Butler Parkway by the Carter House
Demarest Farms Pumpkin Picking Movie Night
Friday, October 9 and 16, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Head to Demarest Farms for a fall-filled night of family fun picking pumpkins from their farm stand. Once everyone has picked their perfect pumpkin, settle in for a special show of the Spookley movie at the Demarest Farms Drive-In Theater.
$25 per car
244 Wiermus Rd,
Essex County Environmental Center Fall Maze and Pumpkin Pickup
October 9th and 10th, 2:30PM – 4:30PM
This family-friendly event will get your entire crew into the Halloween spirit, while also encouraging everyone to exercise. Kids can crawl through the hay bale maze before getting a pumpkin of their own to take home and decorate with the environmental center’s take-home craft kit. If the fall fun still isn’t over, there’s an optional 1/2 mile forest hike loop, where kids can see the beauty of fall take over the trees.
$10 per child
Essex County Environmental Center
621-B Eagle Rock Avenue
The Craft Show at Oktoberfest
October 10th, 10AM – 5PM
Get the family bundled up and browse 75 different craft vendors at this outdoor market with an Oktoberfest theme. Once you’re done looking at the woodcrafts, photography, jewelry, and hand-painted furniture, you can grab a bite of German food, listen to Oompa music, and then head out on one of Demarest Nature Center’s popular canoe rides.
Free (donations go to The Demarest Nature Center)
Demarest Nature Center
38 Park Street
LBI Fall Fireworks Spectacular
October 10th, 8PM – 8:30PM
After the thrills of a day at the amusement park, bring a blanket and relax, watching a fireworks display at Beach Haven. Fantasy Island Amusement Park is extending their opening to run through the end of Halloween, adding this festive fall display for the whole family to enjoy.
Fantasy Island Amusement Park
750 North Bay Avenue