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Family Things to Do on Chol HaMoed

By Larry Bernstein

It’s October 12, 2014, the fourth day of Sukkot and the second day of Chol Hamoed.

There are four days till another Yom Tov and the children are off from school. Let me speculate on what’s going through your mind.

We have plenty of opportunity for some family time. This is a chance to get back to the way we felt on vacation. We can relax and enjoy each other’s company without feeling rushed. What should we do?

Or, how am I going to entertain my children for four straight days? You know they aren’t happy to be at home, and there are only so many playdates I can make. What should we do?

Whichever example fits your way of thinking–probably a little of both–below is a list of some of the activities in and around the area. With some research your family can find something that works for you. Don’t forget to call ahead for pricing, hours of operation, and to confirm availability. Good luck and have fun!

Are Speed and Thrills Your Cup of Tea?

Hershey Park: On Monday 10/13 there is a private park opening from 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. The night before, there is a concert at 8 p.m. For more information: www.LancasterSukkot.com or http://centralpaskoshermart.com/sukkot.php

Six Flags Great Adventure

On October 12th and 13th, NCSY is providing two great days of kosher food, Jewish music, and great rides in support of their vital work. For more information: http://www.ncsygreatadventure.com/


Bowcraft is a family amusement park with an emphasis on kiddie and family rides. They are having a Sukkot Spectacular from October 12–14. There is kosher food available and a Sukkah on site. For more information: http://www.bowcraft.com/

Is Your Family the Cerebral Type?

Check out these museums and learn something:

Liberty Science Center

Current Exhibits at the center include: Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World, Lightning Show, Beyond Rubik’s Cube, and da Vinci Surgical Robot. Note LSC is closed on Monday. For more information: http://lsc.org/

Montclair Art Museum

The Montclair Art Museum features a collection of American and Native American art, exhibitions, and educational programs that link art to contemporary life in a global context. The collection consists of more than 12,000 works. The museum features 19th-century American painter George Inness, who lived in Montclair from 1885 to 1894 and painted in the area. It’s open on Sunday and Wednesday. For more information: https://montclairartmuseum.org/

Battleship New Jersey

Take an interactive tour of a World War I era battleship. See how the offices and crew of the USS New Jersey lived. Location: Camden For more information: http://www.battleshipnewjersey.org/

It’s Fall and that Means Pumpkins, Apple Picking, and Corn Mazes.

There are many options. Here are a few:

A Casola Farms

This farm has Fall Fest and Halloween activities and guarantees fun for all ages. Activities include pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn maze, petting zoo, corn walk of terror and a haunted house. Location: Holmdel For more information: www.ACasolaFarms.com

Alstede Farms

This farm features pony rides, moon bounce, wagon train rides, giant “Home of the Brave” Corn Maze, scenic farm hayrides, and more. Location: Chester For more information: http://alstedefarms.com/family-fun-nj/farm-family-fun/

Donaldson Farms

Activities at this farm include pick-your-own pumpkins & Indian corn, hay rides, pony rides, corn maze, corn cannon, and duck races. Location: Hackettstown For more information: http://donaldsonfarms.net/

Have the Holidays Been Rough on Your Waistline?

Is your family the outdoorsy type? Check out these hikes:

Apshawa Preserve

This hike that includes scenic views over the Jersey Highlands and Butler reservoir, plus waterfalls, a dam, ruins and a glimpse of the New York skyline. Location West Milford, NJ, For more information: http://www.njhiking.com/best-hikes-in-nj-apshawa-preserve/

Stairway to Heaven: Pochuck Valley to Pinwheel Vista

This hike features a gorgeous and diverse section of the Appalachian Trail. Along this trail, you will come across a suspension bridge, hardwood forest, fields of wildflowers, train tracks, a cow pasture, a boulder field… before steeply climbing the “Stairway to Heaven” to one of the best viewpoints in NJ. Vernon, NJ For more information: http://www.njhiking.com/best-hikes-in-nj-stairway-to-heaven-appalachian-trail/

Buttermilk Falls, Crater Lake, Hemlock Pond

This route starts at NJ’s highest waterfall, Buttermilk Falls, which is 200’ high. Then hike the Appalachian Trail to Crater Lake and Hemlock Pond. Location: Delaware Water Gap For more information: http://www.njhiking.com/best-hikes-in-nj-buttermilk-falls/

Miscellaneous Events

8th Day and Benny Friedman Concert: Sway to the music at the Roemer shul on Monday 10/13. For more information: http://jewishmusicreport.com/2014/09/29/suki-ding-present-benny-friedman-yehuda-green-8th-day-and-nachas-live-in-concert/

Wandering Que

In case you need more to eat, on Sunday October 12th, Rinat is featuring a Kosher pop-up smokehouse BBQ with Wandering Que’s large Texas-style wood-burning BBQ rig. For more information: http://www.rinat.org/event/wandering-que.html

Larry Bernstein is a freelance writer and tutor. He, his wife, and two sons are Bergen County residents.

Family Things to Do on Chol HaMoed

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