May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Family Fun for Chol Hamoed

With  Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur behind us, Chol HaMoed is a great opportunity to relax with your family and enjoy our region’s beautiful autumn weather. Whether you’re looking to travel a few hours or looking for entertainment close to home, there are plenty of options for family outings to enjoy this Sukkot.

Silverman’s Farm
silvermansfarm.com

Located in Easton, CT, Silverman’s Farm features apple picking, a pumpkin patch and a rustic animal farm. Visitors can pet and feed a variety of animals, including buffalo, llamas, alpacas, sheep and goats. There is also a greenhouse and a market where visitors can purchase a variety of plants and gifts.

Ringwood State Park
(973) 962-7031 ext. 0

One of the state’s best places to enjoy the fall foliage is at Ringwood State Park. Conveniently located in Passaic County, the park has a network of trails for hiking and biking surrounding Shepherd Lake. It also features Ringwood Manor, which was home to a number of well-known ironmasters from the 1740s to the late 1800s. The manor is open Wednesday through Sunday, with guided tours starting every hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the exception of the noon hour. Please call the park office to confirm the daily tour schedule prior to visiting.

Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Recreation Complex

turtlebackzoo.com

With over 100 different species of animals from five continents, there is a reason that West Orange’s Turtle Back Zoo is New Jersey’s #1 zoo. With a carousel, pony rides and a miniature train ride that takes passengers on a 15-minute ride along the beautiful Orange Reservoir, the zoo is a destination in and of itself. But it would be a mistake to ignore the rest of the activities also available at the South Mountain Recreation Complex. For thrill seekers ages six and up, the Treetop Adventure Course has aerial obstacle courses for both children and adults, as well as a zipline. Reservations for the adventure course must be made online at least one day in advance. Visitors can also enjoy a round of miniature golf at the Essex County Safari Mini Golf. Conveniently located next door to the Zoo and Treetop Adventure Course, it can complete a full day of family activities. It is open seasonally, with hours from 10-8 Monday through Thursday and 10-9 Friday through Sunday. Over the past few years, the waterfront at the South Mountain Recreation Complex has also become its own destination with 2- and 4-passenger swan-shaped paddleboats available for rent, and the recent addition of the Regatta Children’s Playground.

Adventure Aquarium

Adventureaquarium.com

If your child dreams of becoming a marine biologist, it is worth the drive to Camden to visit Adventure Aquarium, the nation’s fifth-largest aquarium. The 200,000 square foot indoor and outdoor facility houses over 8,000 animals, from sharks and eels to crocodiles and hippopotamuses. The aquarium offers a number of daily opportunities to watch staff members feed animals, including penguins, stingrays and sea turtles.

Cherry Crest Adventure Farm

cherrycrestfarm.com

For those looking for more of a road trip, Cherry Crest Adventure Farm in Lancaster, PA, offers a full day of entertainment for children of all ages. The 15-acre adventure farm offers over 50 activities, including a hay chute slide, pedal karts, farm tour wagon ride, pig races, a discovery barn and an obstacle course. Those looking to explore the farm’s famous corn maze can choose from three levels of difficulty, ranging from the easy challenge (a 20-minute guided trip through the maze) to difficult (a search for map pieces and all of the Kernels of Knowledge, which can take up to two hours or more). The farm’s operating hours vary, so please check online for current calendar information.

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