Because nothing quite says “get me out of the house, NOW” like the endless looping pop songs on your tween’s playlist, we present to you our newest compilation of Fall’s Greatest Hits. Number 1: Have fun. Number 2: Take the kids! Number 3: Read on for 10 Essential things to do in Bergen County NJ and beyond this season.
Take A Hike. With fall foliage everywhere, there’s nothing better on a crisp day than a fun family hike in New Jersey. These three best hiking trails in Bergen County will let you take advantage of the cooler temps and commit to a longer hike, or just get yourselves out for some fresh air and to work up an appetite.
Go Ape. The biggest thing to hit Broadway this season is…well, really big. King Kong stomps onto the scene starting on October 5th featuring a 20-foot high, 2,000 pound animatronic puppet in the title role. The story follows an actor and a filmmaker as they travel to an exotic island to capture a great, mysterious wonder. Tickets are on sale now.
Pick. Yeah, we know. It’s sort of a pain to pack the whole team up to go apple picking. But head to one of these Best Spots for Apple Picking and do it anyway. Your littles will be much more likely to enjoy eating their food if they’ve had a hand in growing it, picking it or preparing it. Plus, after you pick your fill, you get to head to the farm store. Because, apple cider. And apple cider donuts. Need we say more?
Roll. Hop aboard the 90-minute Great Pumpkin Train and ride the rails to visit the Ol’ Susquehanna Mine and pick out a pumpkin on the way home. Or take a ride on the Pumpkinliner at the official Whippany Railway Museum and enjoy the museum, seasonal arts and crafts and, of course, a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Pop In To A Pop Up. There’s nothing like a deadline to motivate a person. These pop ups are only around for a short time, so get your tix and go enjoy! The Color Factory, an interactive art installation celebrating the colors found in and around the city is running now through October 14th. Or, for something truly surreal, head to Wonder World and experience the flower tunnel and bubble pool then soar to the moon. But do it fast Wonder World closes November 4th. Can’t wait and need to pre-game Halloween? Candytopia, the insta-worthy pop up that is seriously sweet closes November 15th. And if Mickey Mouse is your jam, “Mickey: The True Original Exhibition,” an interactive art exhibit, will open in New York in November in commemoration of the 90thanniversary of Mickey Mouse (he looks good for his age, right?)
Camp Out. Or Camp In. Aw come on. The weather isn’t bad yet. In fact, camping out might be fun. And if you want to camp out somewhere where there’s lots for your kids to do, head to Diggerland on October 20 for their Family Camp Out and Dig In. Admission includes attractions, a zipline, dinner, a bonfire and s’mores, breakfast and more. Bring your own tent or RV (welcomed on a first come, first served basis) and enjoy one more night under the stars before the snow comes. Or, if you really don’t like nature that much, head to Liberty Science Center for one of their beloved Camp Ins. The next co-ed camp in is scheduled for October 27thand boasts a Halloween theme. Explore Liberty Science Center at night, then stay and sleep under your favorite exhibit. Enjoy exclusive film screenings, live presentations, and interactive activities.
Big Apple Circus. Home life not enough of a circus? Need to have a few more clowns in your life? Good news! The Big Apple Circus big top rises again in Lincoln Center on October 20th and runs through January 27th. The wonder awaits with acrobats, illusionists, daredevils and aerialists. Which probably sounds like an especially lively playdate at your house, but in this case, they’re professionals and you don’t have to worry about calling their moms if something goes awry.
Head to a Harvest Fest. It’s official. Summer is over. It’s fall. So get into the spirit of the season at one of these local fall festivals – take a hayride, pick a pumpkin, let your kids enjoy some games and inflatables and the petting zoo. Fall Fun is up and running now through October 31st in Closter, enjoy Oktoberfest in Leonia, the Harvest Fest in Paramus, Autumn Lights in West Milford, a Food Truck Fest in Little Falls or the Hoboken Harvest Fest.
See It to Believe It. The brand new Museum of Illusions has opened in Chelsea and you’ve got to see it to believe it. Explore the collection of holograms and optical illusions that will teach visitors about vision, perception and the human brain. But save plenty of time to visit the playroom and challenge your brain with the hands-on educational games and puzzles. And don’t be surprised if your kids smoke you at some of them!
Get Lost. Harvest time means corn mazes, and if there’s anything we here in the Garden State like, it’s a corn maze. Lose your way in Heaven Hill Farm’s Pirate Treasure maze, the largest corn maze in Northern NJ, located in Vernon, NJ. It will take all the swashbuckling you can muster to get yourself out. Or make a day of it and visit Stony Hill Farm Maze Fun Park in Chester to try your hand at the 10-acre, Age of Edison corn maze and see the light. Then stick around for the fence maze, the tile maze, the rope maze and more. Or, pick a package and get access to the bee-themed corn maze, Mazeland mazes and much more at Wightman Farms in Morristown.