Halloween and Fall Fun in New Jersey

New Jersey is the place to be this Halloween with lots of spooky fun for families and adults from haunted hayrides at New Jersey farms to ghoulish storytellers to spooktacular Halloween parties.

Kiddie Halloween Fun
There will be some Halloween Hocus Pocus at the Miller Cory House in Westfield from 1:30 pm to 4 pm on October 23. I’ve taken my kids to this very fun event, which encourages visitors to come in costume for some Halloween stories, crafts and goodies. A highlight of the event is the chance for children to decorate their own Halloween cupcake and, of course, eat it. There is no advance registration required but check the website for admission information.

Several museums are hosting Halloween events, including the Too Cute to Spook Halloween Pizza Party at the New Jersey Children’s Museum in Paramus on October 28. Kids can come in costume and meet their favorite princess or super hero. There will be a costume contest, trick-or-treating, pumpkin decorating, games and DJ entertainment. Sessions start at 5:30, 6, 6:30 & 7 pm. Tickets are $17.99 plus tax per person and can be purchased online.

Those in the southern part of the state should check out the Monster Mash Bash at the Garden State Discovery Museum in Cherry Hill. From 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on October 29, kids can come in costume and trick or treat around the haunted exhibits. There also will be ghostly games and other activities. The event is free with museum admission.

The Morris Museum in Morristown will be hosting a Halloween Family Festival from 11 am to 4 pm on October 29. Activities include face painting, pumpkin painting, pumpkin carving demonstrations, spooky storytelling, trick-or-treating throughout the museum and lots more. My family hasn’t been to this particular event but we have attended other family events and they have been worth the trip. The museum itself is also interesting for all ages.

Spooktakular Storytelling and Songs
The Atlantic County Library System is hosting several fun Halloween events in October including Scary Stories and Urban Legends at 6:30 pm on October 17 for kids 5 & older at the Hammonton Library. Children can bring their flashlights and enjoy the spooky storytelling around a faux campfire – outside if weather permits.

Big Jeff’s Halloween Routine, featuring Big Jeff and the Bouncy People, will delight kids and adults on October 29 at the State Theatre in New Brunswick as part of the theatre’s free performance series called “Milk and Cookies” for kids ages 3 to 8 years old. There will be two performances, 10 am and 12 pm. The event is free but participants need to pre-register by contacting Jennifer Cunha at 732-246-7469, ext. 545 or [email protected] We have been to previous Milk & Cookies events and they are very entertaining.

Haunted Halloween Hayrides at the Historic Village at Allaire in Farmingdale include ghostly stories. From 6:30 pm to 9 pm, the hayrides will be October 14 and 15 and October 21 and 22. Visitors will ride through the eerie woods and at the bonfire in front of the Carriage House, they will meet the Allaire Witches while a story teller weaves spooky tales of events from long ago. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12 and ticket sales limited to 1000 persons per night.

The Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge will be hosting its first annual Spooky Stories and Art from 2 pm to 4 pm on October 30. The event is geared for visitors 3 years and older and coming in costume is encouraged. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids under 5. Pre-registration is encouraged as space is limited. Call 347-927-8748 to get a registration form and for more information.

Celebrate Halloween a little early at East Jersey Olde Towne Village in Piscataway with Storytelling

Crafts for Young People. At 7 pm on October 21, children ages 5 to 9 years old are invited for special Halloween craft making: a Halloween mask and a bat clothespin. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Also at 7 pm and 8 pm on October 21 and 22, visitors can hear different storytellers. Jim Albertson, known throughout the state for his music and storytelling, will offer Spirits, Spooks and Strangers; a host of things that go bump in the night. Master Storyteller, Gerry Fierst, will weave Spooky Tales that capture the magic of Halloween. Dave Emerson, another popular storyteller, will present Folk Tales from Ireland and New Jersey that warm, tickle, and chill the heart. Refreshments are available for this free event and costumes are encouraged.

On October 23 at 2 pm, East Jersey Olde Towne Village will host Robert Mouland, who will portray historical figure Michael Keane, an Irish harper and storyteller who came to the American colonies in 1754. Mouland will focus on Halloween and its Celtic roots. He uses period and original instruments including a wirestrung Irish harp, baroque violin, baroque flute, English guitar, flageolette (small flute) and a reproduction hurdy-gurdy.

People must register for one storyteller per session by contacting the Village at 732-745-3030.

Fall and Halloween Fun on the Farm
Farms throughout the Garden State are hosting fall festivals, hayrides, pumpkin picking and other family events. Every Saturday and Sunday in October is Fall Family Fun at Terhune Orchards in Princeton. Pony rides, pumpkin painting, a corn stalk maze and wagon rides are available from 10 am to 5 pm. There also is the Adventure Barn and animals to see and pumpkins and apples to pick.

Lots of farms offer more ghoulish Halloween fun at night for older kids and adults including haunted hayrides, spooky corn mazes and creepy attractions.

Nighttime Jaunts and Ghostly Walks
Take a spirited walk through history in Woodbridge on October 15 (rain date is October 16). Tours run between 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm (6 tours every hour) and are conducted by costumed guides who will share stories of New Jersey’s settlers and the town’s ghostly residents. The 55-minute walks held in the early evening are appropriate for children although the tours starting after 8:50 pm are restricted to kids 16 and up. Admission is $5 per person although stroller children are free; all walkers will be treated to free cookies and hot chocolate. The event is first-come, first serve but groups of 10 or more should make a reservation by calling 732-738-6022.

There will be Brite Nites at the Wagner Arboretum in Warren the last two weekends in October for families. A path lit with 1,000 carved pumpkins and pumpkin displays will delight all ages while older kids should enjoy the spooktacular Haunted House Showcase. Tours will be available from 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm from October 21 to 23 and October 28 to 30. Tickets are $7 per child ages 4 to 14, $7 for seniors, and $10 for adults. Children age 3 and under are free. The event is rain or shine. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate if not sold out.

To learn about more Halloween and Fall events in New Jersey, check here. Also check your local library for special Halloween story times and seminars for children and adults for some free and spooky entertainment.

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