Fall Activities In NJ: Everything To Do This Season


Colorful leaves, the crisp feeling in the air, and pumpkin spice can only mean one thing—fall activities in NJ are back and ready for you to jump into the season. Sure, there’s apple and pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and insta-worthy leaf-peeping, but this year, opt to try something different from your usual fall activities, like spending time at a fall-themed festival, raising a stein during Oktoberfest, and visiting spooky attractions at the farms and amusement parks. Ready to fill up your fall bucket list? Scroll down to make this fall season your best one yet. (featured photo credit: stylishlystella.com)
Jenkinsons Fall Activities

Photo Credit: Jenkinson’s

Boo on the Boardwalk

It’s that time of year for crafts, face painting, trick-or-treating, underwater pumpkin carving, plus some new entertainment in 2023. On October 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 12-4 PM each day, Jenkinson’s Boardwalk will host Halloween activities for the whole family. Your kiddos can enjoy limited kiddie rides in the ride park and with aquarium admission, have fun at activities like creepy crawlers and underwater pumpkin carving. And be on the lookout for entertainment like Howl-O-Ween Canines and Cocktails, Spooky Storytime, the Princess Pumpkin Patch, and the Witch Sisters Trio Show. This year, there are two packages to choose from—the Boo-Tastic package is $35 and includes aquarium admission, a round of mini golf, a $10 arcade card, a trick-or-treat bag, a light-up pumpkin necklace, and a treat from the Sweet Shop. The Spook-tacular package is available for $29.95, including unlimited rides for 2 hours, pizza, arcade credits, and mini golf admission.
Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

Fall Activities In NJ To Fill Your Bucket List This Season

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Spend a day picking apples at Alstede Farms. Photo Credit: @brittneygreaves

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. 

fall activities in NJ

Morey’s Piers is hosting Ooppah Delics for Oktoberfest on the boardwalk. Photo Credit: Morey’s Piers

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.

Fall activities

Photo Credit: Renault Winery and Resort

Renaultber Fest

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

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Find the best pumpkin in the patch at a local farm like Demarest Farms. Photo Credit: @laurendeckert

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).

fall activities in NJ corn maze New Jersey

Corn maze, sunflower maze, or haunted maze? Which one is your favorite? 

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).

fall activities in NJ

Spend a day at a local family-friendly farm like Johnson’s Corner Farm. Photo Credit: @tayr.captures

Spend the day at a family-friendly farm

Visiting one of the fall farms is a must for all the fall feels—from petting zoos and tractor rides to farms with pick-your-own fruits and veggies and even wine tastings (yes, you read that right). Stop by Happy Day Farm in Manalapan to take a pic in their pumpkin house or grab an apple cider slushie and donuts at Ort Farms in Long Valley. With over 30 farms in NJ, you can find a different family-friendly farm to visit every weekend of the season.

Take a peek at the fall foliage

What’s more fall than a fiery rush of red, orange, and yellow leaves in our views? New Jersey’s peak fall foliage happens in mid-October, so get your phones ready to snap the best spots to see the leaves in their full autumn glory. This time of year is also a great excuse to cross the Hudson, where the prime leaf-peeping areas make it the ideal daycation. Or try a scenic fall train ride where you can take your eyes off the road and on the leaves during a relaxing journey. But the leaves, like the season, are fleeting, so it’s best to head out when you see the first signs of color all around.


Fall activities Grounds For Sculpture

Photo Credit: DMH Photography for Grounds For Sculpture

Grounds For Sculpture

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

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Get into the fall spirit with fun treats like apple cider slushies and donuts at Ort Farms Fall Fest. Photo Credit: @beautyndenise

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.

fall activities in NJ

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.


Fall activities

Photo Credit: Diggerland USA

Diggerland USA

Drive REAL machines this fall for the ultimate family-fun experience at Diggerland USA in West Berlin, NJ, the ONLY construction theme park in the US. Enjoy over 40+ rides and attractions, a full-service arcade, a zip line, and a rockwall. New in 2023: Lumberjack Claw lets children and families operate a real log loader with a huge arcade claw. Check out the Hook & Ladder seasonal emergency vehicle display, and during daily touch times, sit in, touch, and get some photos in front of these awesome trucks. And get ready—Diggerfest Fall Festival starts on weekends, September 23, with nonstop fall-themed activities included in admission. Kids will love the petting zoo, hay maze, hayrides, firetruck rides, and pumpkin decorating, plus seasonal games and attractions like the pipe roll, fun maze, and hi-striker. If that is not enough, there is live music, balloon animals, bonfires, a parade of machines through the park, and a circus performance headlined by Circus Stella. Save 20% off with this NJMom exclusive $39.95 (reg. $49.95 at the gate) online-only tickets here.
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.

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Get into the spooky spirit by seeing over 6,000 pumpkins carved and set ablaze at the Jack O’Lantern Experience. Photo Credit: @skylandsstadium

Celebrate Halloween all month

Who says you only have to celebrate Halloween on October 31? Kids can get in on the trick-or-treat fun (costumes optional) by celebrating until the 31st  with Halloween events all over NJ. Head down to the shore for Boo on the Boardwalk at Jenkinsons, where kids get treats and watch Halloween entertainment during October. Or spend a night at the Skylands Stadium Jack O’Lantern Experience, where you can ogle thousands of blazing Jack O’Lanterns, hop on rides and enjoy cider and s’mores. Across the border in Goshen, NY, LEGOLAND® New York is hosting a family-friendly Halloween at their not-so-spooky Brick-or-Treat.

Take a hike in the autumn air

Getting the whole family outdoors on a hiking trail is a chance to be at one with nature and take a deep breath (as well as sneak in some fitness). We found plenty of great places around the Garden State to hike and admire the flaming leaves. Or, if you prefer to get around on two wheels, NJ bike paths like the Patriot’s Path in Morris Township or Cooper River Park in Camden will keep you moving while taking in all the fall feels.
fall activities in NJ Snyder's Farm New Jersey

Hit one of the farms for a day of classic fall activities in NJ. Photo Credit: @weekendfamgoals

Get frightened at a zombie night or haunted hayride

October means everything creepy is coming our way, and our state has no shortage of gruesome, haunted attractions. Get your zombie hair and makeup ready for the annual Zombie Walk in Asbury Park on October 7, and join others as they hobble down the boardwalk, looking absolutely terrifying. Or, if you’re up for even more scares, head to a haunted hayride or attraction, like the macabre Field of Terror in East Windsor or the gruesome Scare Farm in Hillsborough, where killer clowns, possessed scarecrows, and a haunted hayride all await to give you a nightmarish thrill—boo!


Fall activities Glassworks

Photo Credit: Glassworks


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. 

fall activities in NJ family photo shoots in nj high point state park new jersey

Visit the highest point in New Jersey at High Point State Park. Photo Credit: istock/Ultima_Gaina

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.

Fall activities

Photo Credit: Big Kahuna’s

Big Kahuna’s Water Park in West Berlin, New Jersey, is a staycation destination to dive into Fall savings for families with kids of all ages. This tropical water park offers weatherproof fun year-round, featuring 70,000 square feet of indoor aquatic activities, making it the perfect family getaway. You can experience the thrill of raft and tube slides and compete on mat racers or brave body slides, and younger ages will love the “Little Kahuna” aquatic area. Big Kahuna’s also has a café, an arcade, and free parking. And this fall, Family Fun Friday Nights are an absolute must. This limited-time offer includes discounted admission and a personal pizza, elevating your Friday pizza night to new heights. Looking for a weekend activity? Buy tickets at a 30% discount on weekends for affordable family fun at $34.99 per person. Groups are also in for a treat with exclusive discounted rates for advance bookings. Visit BigKahunas for discount deals, a calendar, and a sensory guide. Big Kahuna’s is a designated Certified Autism Center.
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.

fall activities in NJ Edel Haus New Jersey

Get up close and personal with these cuddly creatures at a local alpaca farm.

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.

British Swim School

Photo Credit: British Swim School

British Swim School

Do you put safety first? The one learnable skill that your child urgently needs to know is water safety. As you plan your fall activities, prioritize swimming to protect them from what the NY Times calls “The #1 Killer of Children”. British Swim School offers year-round classes in heated indoor pools, preparing children for emergencies. That’s what “Safety First” truly signifies – placing your child’s safety above everything else. Call 201-645-1300 or sign up online at britishswimschool.com. Water safety should always be a top priority, even in the fall.
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

There are tucked-away places in New Jersey that many people don’t know about, and when you discover them, you know you’ve found something special. What’s even better is when you explore those spots during the leaf-changing season—bike down the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park trail during peak foliage, stop by Lambertville to spend time in a charming antique village or walk on the swinging bridge over Stony Brook as the fiery colors put on their seasonal show.

Which fall activities in NJ are you adding to your bucket list?

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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.