Fall Activities In NJ To Fill Your Bucket List This Season
Back to school with Yumble
We know you’re busy—between work, errands, and kids’ activities, it can feel like there’s no time to cook a healthy meal for yourself, let alone your little ones. And if you have any kids who are picky eaters, it can seem downright impossible to get them to try anything new. That’s why we created Yumble: a one-of-a-kind meal delivery service designed specifically for growing kids. It’s the first and only meal subscription service that empowers kids to plan and pick their own meals and get rewarded for eating healthy. Using sustainable, nutritious ingredients, Yumble creates fun, balanced recipes developed specifically for kids, delivered fresh to your door. Founded by a mom for moms, we take the guesswork out of mealtime so that you can focus on what matters most—being there for your family.
Dig into fall delights at Diggerland USA
Diggerland USA in West Berlin, NJ, is the ONLY construction theme and water park in the US and has plenty of fall fun this season. Kids and adults can drive, ride and operate real construction machines engineered to be safe, clean, and most of all—FUN! Enjoy over 40+ rides and attractions, a full-service arcade, zip line, rock wall, and more. And this season, Diggerfest Fall Festival is back and bigger than ever, with nonstop fall themed activities among the construction attractions. Kids will love the petting zoo, the autumn hay maze, climb aboard a firetruck ride, decorate pumpkins, and play seasonal games. You won’t want to miss the pipe roll, fun maze, live music, balloon animals, show horse, hole-n-face boards for photo ops, and delicious fall food options. Diggerfest Fall Festival also features the Parade of Machines, where Diggerland USA mascots, fire trucks, tractors, and more are on display. When you’re ready for a break, heat up by the bonfire (you can purchase s’mores), and on October 8-9 and 15-16, there will be carnival performances each day. The fun continues until November and is included in the price of admission (a few of the activities are an additional cost).
Throw on your flannels and get your baskets ready—the picking season is heating up with everything fall. Walking through a field of late-summer sunflowers with your phone in hand to snap those Insta-worthy sunflower shots is what the fall is all about. From Sunset Flower Farm in Belleplain to Three Silos Farm in Newton, there’s nothing finer than a day in the flower fields.
Take a peek at the fall foliage
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, apple picking farms are all over the Garden State. Bring home your haul and use them to make apple pies, apple ciders, applesauce, and so much more.
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 or a Bavarian-style feast at Oktoberfest at Mountain Creek in Vernon. And to celebrate all season, take a tour 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.
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, making it a family-friendly activity to put at the top of your fall bucket list. Plus, you’ll have plenty of pumpkins on hand 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. Likewise, a sunflower maze is pretty and skillful, 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
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 Hoboken Fall Arts and Music Festival to the Home Harvest Festival at Longstreet Farm in Holmdel or the South Jersey Pumpkin Show Fall Festival in Woodstown, there’s a way for your family to celebrate all autumn long.
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 all around at Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg, a little getaway is always a great way to recharge.
Diggerland is a screaming good time in the fall. Photo Credit: Diggerland USA
Find fall fun and thrill rides
Just because summer is done, it doesn’t mean that the thrills and spills on a rollercoaster have to stop. Plenty of amusement parks in New Jersey offer everything from harvest fall fun to spooky scares. At Six Flags Great Adventure, Fright Fest is the event of the season with creepy thrills and hair-raising scares (daytime is geared towards non-scary Halloween fun). 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.
Hit the pavement with a 5K this fall
Gather your crew in this crisp weather to get out and support a good cause with a charitable walk or 5K. Check out the 15th annual Walk N’Roll event on October 9 to support Children’s Specialized Hospital, an RWJBarnabas Health Facility. Or try the 2022 Steeplechase Distance Run on September 25 in Hillsborough or the Running with the Devils 5K and Wellness Walk on October 30 around the South Mountain Recreation Complex. At this run, meet NJ Devils and mascots, and walk, stroll or run for helping the community—100% of proceeds will go to supporting RWJBarnabas health care workers in their efforts to protect and build healthier communities.
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
Watch the leaves change at a botanical garden
Visiting an NJ botanical garden this time of year is the perfect 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.
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 beach shot that’s more nautical? Barnegat Light State Park is the perfect spot for a sunset shot with a lighthouse and a natural setting in the background.
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.
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—sleeping out in a tent in the fall can feel better than during a hot, humid summer (plus, no mosquitos). And with a bunch of campsites where you can do more than just hang 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 even a steel drum concert event.
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. And did you know that their fur is used to make lots of products yearly (all 100% safe and animal-friendly)? 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 Edel Haus Farm in Wall, Jersey Shore Alpacas in Cape May, and Bluebird Farm Alpacas in Peapack.
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 themselves. Or head to the historic Battleship New Jersey to learn about military history and what it was like to live on a real ship.
Spend fall days under the sea
The temps may be dropping outside, but inside there is plenty of sea life to see. Aquariums are a great place to check out on those extra chilly days. Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant Beach, the NJ SEA LIFE Aquarium in East Rutherford, and Adventure Aquarium in Camden are just a few of the many aquariums in New Jersey that are perfect for your little sea explorer.
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.
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 Hudson Farmers Market in Jersey City to the Collingswood Farmers Market in Collingswood.
Discover a new hidden gem in NJ
Which fall activities in NJ will you be doing this season?
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