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Finding fun New Jersey Halloween activities for kids can feel a bit overwhelming, but finding the right activity shouldn’t be hard. Here’s our favorites!
by Kimberly Pangaro
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There’s no shortage of fun Halloween activities for kids in New Jersey. Whether it’s apple picking or hay rides, there’s something for every age group here. All you need to know is where to look!
That’s why we’ve put together this list of fun and exciting Halloween activities that every kid in New Jersey can truly get a spooktacular feeling out of! Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
#1 Halloween Themed Event
There are many Halloween themed events to find, if you know where to look. Our favorite place to find outdoor events is on Facebook. Just use the search box and type “Halloween events” and your search will pull up a bunch of them near your location. Events like shows, festivals, and fairs will pop up. Pick the one that fits the age group of your kids, like Haunt O’ Ween, and then make sure you get tickets early enough so you can enjoy a great family experience!
#2 Drive-in Movie Theatre
Halloween wouldn’t be as fun without horror movies! That’s why heading to see a scary flick is a great idea. But instead of watching it in a regular ol’ movie theater, why not try seeing it in a classic drive-in theatre where many horror movies derived their inspiration!
To find a location close to or in New Jersey, open up Google and do a quick search for drive-ins near you. Go to their websites and check to see which one is hosting horror movies. Some may have children’s Halloween movies, while others will have the gruesome flicks. Be sure to pick the best movie for your family– little ones don’t do well around scary horror. Our favorite location, the Delsea Drive-In Theatre— it’s the perfect setting for a horror-infused night your kids will likely never forget!
#3 Fall Street Fair
Every kid, no matter their age, loves to shop for goodies! Even parents enjoy going to street fairs because they have something for everyone. You’ll often find beer gardens, bounce houses, book clubs, coffee samplings, and even informational businesses that you’ll really enjoy.
There’s literally something for everyone at these events. Our favorites happen to occur in Rutherford, Hoboken, and Cape May- all of which are in New Jersey. And for those city lovers, you can also check out Manhattan for some epic street fairs!
#4 Haunted Hayride
Halloween hayrides are a great ton of fun, especially when they’re under the stars. Picking the right hayride can be a bit tricky though, because not every Halloween themed hayride is meant for the little ones.
Some of these are only geared towards teens and adults. So when you attempt to pick a hayride, whether in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, or Connecticut, do your research. Call a few and ask if they’d recommend it for children under 10. Our favorite is Corrado’s Haunted Hayride— they have a haunted house (perfect for teens), a haunted hay ride (great for tweens and kids who love a good scare), and a haunted corn maze (which is full of distractions, not just scary stuff, so perfect for kids under ten).
#5 A Dinosaur Adventure
Most people don’t think of Halloween and immediately say, “Dinosaurs!”. But, when you think about it, what’s scarier then 20ft tall, life-like dinosaurs that move around, growling at you, as you walk by? Not much else! So when you’re considering what to do for the kiddos during the month of October, take them to the Jurassic era by visiting Field Station: Dinosaur in Leonia, New Jersey. This little adventure is better suited for kids under 12, and will still give parents a good time.
#6 Night Time Horseback Riding
Imagine you and your teens hopping on a horse, in the pitch black night sky, and wandering off into the woods for a little gallop? Your eyes will not be able to see much of anything, you’ll only be able to hear the forest around you come alive. And that, my friends, is pretty creepy in itself.
Now, picture yourself feeling the horse between your legs shake and wobble, as it climbs up and down a rocky path. Is your heart racing yet, because ours did when we tested this adventure! Best place to do this is at Echo Lake Stables — they offer a great night ride and it’s totally worth it! Be sure to call them a few days or weeks in advance, as they get booked very fast.
#7 Eastern State Penitentiary
Okay, so this one isn’t technically a Halloween adventure in New Jersey, but it is just over the border and for that reason, we’re including it. If you’re really looking to give your older kids a good scare and some haunted fun, then visiting Eastern State Penitentiary– Pennsylvania’s most haunted prison– at night, will surely do the trick! They have a ton of haunted houses, redesigned in 2022, to truly give you a fright! They also have a beer garden, live music, ghost story telling, night time guided flashlight-led tour of the hospital block, and a great deal more! So, don’t miss out on bonding with your older kids over a few great screams!
#8 Ghost Tour Of A Real Haunted Place
What better way to celebrate Halloween than by taking a ghost tour at one of New Jerseys’ most notorious haunted houses! We’re not talking about the highly commercialized haunted houses that are filled with scary characters that you can touch and everyone can see. We’re talking about the kind of haunted house where you see things flying across the room, apparitions appearing out thin air and then disappearing right before your eyes, and hearing the terrible noises that come from spirits.
New Jersey is full of these kind of homes, many of which are truly haunted by spirits who can’t or won’t rest. Some of these haunted houses have had so many ghostly experiences that employees of the grounds are petrified of them. Houses like Shippen Manor, Emlen Physick Estate, and White Hill Mansion. So grab your running shoes to head to one of these, because you’ll be needing them!
#9 Escape Room
Being stuck in a room with no way out other than your wits and clue-finding skills, is an intensely scary experience in our opinion! That’s why visiting an escape room made it on our list of top Halloween activities.
Beware though, finding the right theme for an escape room experience requires some homework, especially if you’re hunting for one during the Halloween season. Be sure to call around a bit and ask if their themes match what you’re looking for. And be sure to ask if they’re age appropriate for everyone in your group. Our favorite haunted themed escape room– Brighton Asylum! It has just the right amount of spookiness to deliver a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Halloween in New Jersey is an unbelievably fun and spooky adventure! We love our haunted houses, our corn mazes, our eerily quiet streets, and all the old ghosts that still haunt our homes. So come take a visit to one of these super-fun New Jersey based Halloween activities… You won’t regret it!