Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Fall Activities In NJ To Fill Your Bucket List This Season
Have your pick of apples
It’s that time of year when you can gather all your favorite McIntosh, Gala, Golden Delicious, and more varieties and snap selfies during apple picking with the fam. From Demarest Farms in Hillsdale to Stiles Farm and Nursery in Cape May, farms with apples for the picking are all over the Garden State. Bring home your haul and use them to make apple pies, apple ciders, applesauce, or enjoy them fresh and crisp from a bowl.
Raise a stein at Oktoberfest
Food, biergartens, live music, and prost—it’s time for Oktoberfest in NJ. Kids will want to sink their teeth into soft Bavarian pretzels and listen to the lively oompah bands while you try some frothy brews and bratwurst. Get into the German spirit at local family-friendly Oktoberfest events like Morey’s Piers Oktoberfest in Wildwood. And to celebrate all season, take a tour at one of the breweries in NJ where you can raise a glass. Oktoberfest is just one of those fall activities in NJ that you won’t want to miss.
Renaultberfest at Renault Winery promises an unforgettable weekend of family-friendly festivities on October 14 and 15. On Saturday, from 10 AM to 6 PM, PARC Renault will come alive with a cornucopia of delights. Take in the breathtaking vineyard scenery with scenic tractor rides, or step back in time with traditional grape stomping, where you can crush grapes with your own feet. Kids can engage in playful competition with a vine sack race relay or unleash their artistic flair at the Paint a Pumpkin Workshop. For a dash of humor, there’s the Donuts on a String Contest and a Pie Eating Contest, both offering chances to win ice skating tickets and gift cards. Test your endurance in the Stein Holding Contest and vie for the ultimate prize – a beer and the coveted Stein. Sunday, October 15, brings the Renaultberfest 5K & Grape Stomp. The 1-Mile Kids Fun Run (ages 14 and under) kicks off at 9:30 AM, followed by the 5K Run at 10 AM. Live music and endless fun ensure a memorable experience, rain or shine.
72 North Bremen Avenue, Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
Picking with your little pumpkin
Taking a hayride to find the perfect orange pumpkin on a vine is not to be missed (nor are the insta moments). And many places offer more than just a PYO experience—with mazes, harvest festivals, hay bale slides, and hayrides, it’s a family-friendly activity to put at the top of your fall bucket list. Plus, you’ll have plenty of pumpkins to carve and decorate (not to mention those toasted pumpkin seeds—yum).
Test your skills in a life-sized maze
Put those problem-solving skills to work as you and your kiddos get lost in a maze. Yup, fall is officially the season of the farm maze, where the whole family can get moving and have a ton of fun. Check out the massive corn mazes often mowed into themes that boggle the mind or have easier, kid-friendly versions your kids can do on their own. Or try a prettier version with a sunflower maze, like the Sussex County Sunflower Maze in Sandystown, where you can get lost in a labyrinth of over 1 million flowers (just make sure you catch it before the sunflowers are done).
Spend the day at a family-friendly farm
Take a peek at the fall foliage
Art making is always more fun with family! This fall, join us for Family Open Studios, held the first Saturday of each month from 11 AM-3 PM. Activities include designing stained glass-style murals, exploring marble painting techniques to create swirly planets, and building simple bird feeders for our feathered friends. These drop-in sessions are free with Grounds For Sculpture admission.
Grounds For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, NJ 08619
Fall into a festival or fair
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the fun at an outdoor festival or fair has to end—the season is firing up with over 70 festivals and fairs. From the Jersey City Harvest Fest in Hudson County to the Holland Ridge Farms Fall Flower Festival in Cream Ridge or the Chatsworth Cranberry Festival in Burlington County, there’s a way for your family to celebrate the season (right up until the holidays).
Take a fall weekend road trip
With school and busy weeks ahead, a weekend road trip can be the break you need this fall. Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly resorts in and around NJ for all ages and budgets. Whether you want to experience the shore at Congress Hall in Cape May or stay overnight with flaming leaves at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, a little getaway is always a great way to recharge. Or visit the newest and largest Great Wolf Lodge Resort in Perryville, Maryland (two hours from Central NJ) for family fun.
Diggerland is a screaming good time in the fall. Photo Credit: Diggerland USA
Find fall fun and thrill rides
Just because summer is done, the thrills and spills on a rollercoaster don’t have to stop. Plenty of amusement parks in New Jersey offer everything from harvest-themed entertainment to spooky scares. At Six Flags Great Adventure, Boo Fest and Fright Fest are the events of the season—during the day with Boo Fest, it’s all kid-friendly Halloween themes, and after dark, Fright Fest turns up the scare factor with the park turning into a ghoulish and creepy scene. For a tamer time, head to Diggerland USA for Diggerfest Fall Festival, where there is a lot of digging action with everything from pumpkin decorating to hayrides.
100 Pineedge Drive, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Fall among the grapes at a local vineyard
Sitting among the vines drinking some pinot, what could be better? Exploring the vineyards and tasting wines is one of our favorite fall activities in NJ. In fact, South Jersey’s Outer Coastal Plain has the same climate and soil as the Bordeaux region in France – which makes for world-class wines close to home. From the bucolic scenery at Four Sister’s Winery in Belvidere to the luxe experience at the Renault Winery in Little Egg Harbor to the laid-back vibe at the Cape May Winery and Vineyard in Cape May, you can raise a glass to stellar local wine options all over the Garden State.
Fall in love with NJ attractions
New Jersey is full of unique attractions, from Lucy the Elephant to Storybook Land, and visiting during the cooler months means the crowds are less (especially if you go during the week). There are also places in NJ where you don’t have to buy a ticket or pay an entry fee —from the Cape May County Park & Zoo to tours of the governor’s mansion at Drumthwacket—there are a bunch of free attractions worth checking out this fall.
Celebrate Halloween all month
Take a hike in the autumn air
Get frightened at a zombie night or haunted hayride
Think of Glassworks whenever you want an arts & crafts activity for your children after school, on weekends, holidays, rainy days, or anytime your kids want creative indoor fun. At Glassworks, kids make fused glass art for display, gift-giving, and everyday use. They start with a clear glass base and then add colored glass to make their design. The activity is appropriate for everyone ages 4 and up, with no experience required. We offer dozens of project choices, starting at just $25. Popular projects for kids include 4×6-inch picture frames, pencil cups, and pre-cut kits that need assembly only. We host children’s birthday parties for kids ages 6-11. Packages start at $400 for 10 kids and include a dedicated party host/instructor, all craft materials, paper goods, party favors, and 90 minutes of creative fun. Glassworks also accommodates large groups of children for school field trips, camps, and scouts.
151 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
Watch the leaves change at a botanical garden
Visiting an NJ botanical garden this time of year is a real autumn treat—you can watch fall unfold with each visit to the grounds and walk along the trails. Some top spots include the New Jersey Botanical Gardens and Skylands Manor in Ringwood, the NJ Audubon Nature Center of Cape May, and Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown. Or, if you want fountains and fall foliage, Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, is worth the drive.
Take an Insta-worthy fall family photo
It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, and a fall family photoshoot will take advantage of a gorgeous setting as you document your family’s growth. And with locations as diverse as the city and the shore, you can find a spot outside that’s far from ordinary. The cliffside Fort Lee Historical Park has stunning views from the Hudson to the George Washington Bridge, or snap a shot at Paterson Great Falls, which looks as breathtaking as Niagara. Want a more nautical beach shot? Barnegat Light State Park fits the bill with a lighthouse and natural setting that looks even better during sunset.
Take a fresh fall look at the zoo
With fall leaves as the backdrop and fun animals in the forefront, visiting zoos in NJ this season can be a beautiful way to spend the day. And the best part is that many zoos celebrate the autumn season—Cape May County Park & Zoo is hosting Boo at the Zoo with kids’ entertainment and costumes encouraged. Whatever animals your kids are into these days, there’s no shortage of exotic species, wildlife education, and friendly farm petting zoos in the state.
535 NJ-73, West Berlin, NJ 08091
Pitch a tent for s’more fall fun
A cool October night, a warm campfire, and some ooey-gooey marshmallows with chocolate and graham crackers— yes, please. Pitching a tent in the fall is a treat with the changing weather (plus, no mosquitos). And with a bunch of campsites offering activities beyond hanging in the woods, it’s a family getaway that’s affordable and fun. Check out the Great Divide in Newton, with RV and tent campsites combined with cabins full of modern amenities, or the Ocean View Resort Campground in Ocean View, with over 1,000 campsites, a splash park, and a steel drum band.
Play with the alpacas
Nothing says cozy like some fuzzy alpacas on the farm, and it’s one of the top fall activities in NJ. These adorable creatures live between 18 and 24 years of age and come in 22 different natural colors. Your littles will love getting to know these gentle souls, and you’ll love snapping photos of them at alpaca farms like Jersey Shore Alpacas in Cape May and Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack. Plus, since their fur is used to make alpaca wool products, you can buy cozy socks, blankets, and sweaters on-site.
Bring your imagination to life at an NJ museum
Activate your child’s imagination this fall with a trip to a museum in New Jersey. Witness art coming to life indoors and outdoors in the fall weather at the unique Grounds For Sculpture. Or visit the dino dig at the Liberty Science Center, where kids can dig for fossils. For history buffs, head to Battleship New Jersey to learn about military history and what it was like to live on a real ship. If you are looking for more historical sites, then Allaire State Park, Historic Smithville, and Historic Speedwell may be the fall trip for you.
Many locations in New Jersey
Spend fall days under the sea
The temps may be too cold for a shore day, but there is plenty of sea life to see inside. Go under the sea on those chilly days at one of the aquariums in New Jersey, where everyone can observe and discover the world underwater. Check out sloths and sea creatures at Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach, watch fish and sharks swimming around a backdrop of NYC at the NJ SEA LIFE Aquarium in East Rutherford, or see hippos and blue penguins at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden.
Scoop up some fresh produce at a fall Farmers’ Market
Want to take advantage of fall’s bounty without visiting a farm? Stop by one of the farmers’ markets, where you can shop locally for fresh fruits, vegetables, and so much more. Also, pick up yummy treats of the season, like fresh apple pies, pumpkin bread, cider, and even non-edible ones, like soft alpaca throws and scarves. Our state is full of fresh finds, from the Summit Farmers Market to the Collingswood Farmers Market.
Discover a new hidden gem in NJ
Which fall activities in NJ are you adding to your bucket list?
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