This article has links to products and services we love, which we may make commission from.
Looking for fun things to do in New Jersey this autumn?
With crisp air hikes, cozy cider sipping, corn maze confusion, and colorful foliage, the Garden State is a lesser-known October destination packed with attractions and festivals.
In this guide, we’ll spill the spiced latte beans on all the fantastic New Jersey fall activities throughout its state parks, historic locations, and coastal towns – aimed at families, friends, and couples.
North Jersey Fall Activities
The following list covers activities and attractions in the northern part of New Jersey in the fall.
Most of them are found in the Skylands Region offering plenty of opportunities to see fall foliage.
High Point State Park
While there are an array of destinations to enjoy fall foliage in New Jersey, experience one of the state’s prime spots for leaf peeping at High Point State Park (1480 NJ-23, Sussex), NJ’s highest point at 1,803 feet above sea level.
The park also has more than 50 miles of trails, including around 18 miles of the Appalachian Trail, big lakes, and winding creeks, along with campgrounds (ending 31 October) and picnic spots to enjoy New Jersey’s fall beauty.
Shepherd Lake Recreation Area – Ringwood
The Shepherd Lake Recreation Area (Shepherd Lake Rd) is a 74-acre lake with many recreational activities in the fall.
There are trails equipped for biking and hiking.
The most popular trail is a difficult loop hike through creeks and steep hills known as Stonetown Circular Trail.
If the weather is warm enough earlier in the fall, rent a canoe and go out into the water for a day of fishing or casual boating.
Ringwood Manor – Ringwood
Are you into history and searching for fall activities in NJ?
If you have the time, you should also stop at Ringwood Manor (1304 Sloatsburg Rd), a 51-room Victorian mansion originally built in the early 1800s that provides guided tours until the end of October.
In mid-October, there is an event called Native American Artifact Identification Day, in which a local archaeologist will review native artifacts and help discover the stories and backgrounds around each item.
There is also the History Show & Tell, in which guests are encouraged to come with their own stories and share in a large communal experience near mid-November.
Different guided tours are scheduled throughout October and November in the manor, including themed tours related to the children of the original family, the history of farming and gardening on the property, and an evening tour of the grounds with a haunted edge.
New Jersey Botanical Gardens – Ringwood
The New Jersey Botanical Gardens (2 Morris Rd) hosts many fabulous fall-themed events, perfectly equipped with hayrides, corn mazes, and all other autumn activities.
In mid-October, guests can enjoy Harvest Fest, one of the classic fall attractions in the area featuring face painting, applesauce-making, games, mazes, pumpkin decorating, and other great activities that the kids will enjoy to no end.
Also in mid-October, visitors can join in a family woodland hike, journeying through the different nature trails around the estate, across creeks, and through patches of forests that will make for a great day for children of any age.
Local tip: there is also a guided weekly tour of the Skylands Manor, a local mansion designed in the mid-1920s by American architect John Russell Pope.
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Walpack Township
With a mix of scenic hills, wooded trails, and a winding river, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offers a little of everything during the fall.
One of the most popular activities is kayaking along the Delaware River through organizations such as Edge of the Woods Outfitters.
These trips are great for kids and adults alike, taking guests along the Delaware River through the Kittatinny Mountain Range.
The Kittatinny Mountains provide stunning high cliffs with picturesque New Jersey fall colors this time of year, making for a beautiful kayaking experience.
Waterloo Village – Stanhope
Immerse yourself in history at Waterloo Village (Waterloo Rd), a restored 19th-century canal town.
There are plenty of interactive historic exhibits that will place you in a different time, including the Highlands Boat Exhibit and the Gristmill, a restored stone mill along the water.
Explore the village’s museums and structures while surrounded by autumn’s vibrant colors, and keep an eye on the event calendar for exhibits while you’re here.
With historic experiences and an awe-inspiring view of fall foliage, Waterloo Village is one of the more unique and memorable fall activities in New Jersey.
Jockey Hollow – Morristown
Jockey Hollow (110 South St) is a pristine estate built in 1918 in the center of Morristown, highlighted by a luxury dining experience called the Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen.
In the fall, there are many outdoor activities on the large property, such as the Jockey Hollow Morris County Hike, which starts at the Jockey Hollow Visitor Center.
Touring through the different wooded trails that wind through the Morristown area, this hike is a great chance to soak in the fall atmosphere, as well as learn some history about Morristown along the way.
Alstede Farms – Chester
Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Ln) is another popular destination, offering apple picking, pumpkin picking, scenic hayrides, and a corn maze.
The farm prides itself on its seasonal events and encourages locals and visitors to support agriculture.
With so much to offer this time of year, Alstede Farms is one of the most popular North Jersey fall festivals for locals and tourists alike.
Local tip: It is advised to reserve tickets in advance.
Hacklebarney Farm – Chester Township
Hacklebarney State Park (119 Hacklebarney Rd) offers a vibrant setting with a meandering river and cascading waterfalls, making for one of the best places to see fall foliage in New Jersey.
Hacklebarney Farms Cider Mill (104 State Park Rd, Chester Township) is a local farm and produce store that features many exciting fall activities, including a corn maze, apple and pumpkin picking, and a tour of the farm.
There is also a live demonstration of cider pressing, in which the local apples are pressed into apple cider.
While you are here, make sure you try a cider float, a popular apple cider slush drink with an apple cider donut on top.
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge – Basking Ridge
The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (32 Pleasant Plains Rd) has many great fall activities to offer, from hiking through the natural beauty to birdwatching events.
A quick drive from New York City, the Great Swamp is a common outing for NYC residents looking for large natural spaces filled with activities.
At only 12 square miles, this refuge acts as a welcome resting point for many migratory birds, and thus there are bird watching activities throughout the fall season.
Keep a close eye on the calendar for different nature walks and outdoor activities, including The Big Sit, an all-day bird-watching event that will occur right in the middle of the heaviest part of the bird migration season.
Central Jersey Fall Activities
Check out the following fall activities in the central part of North Jersey primarily encompassing areas around the Raritan Valley region.
Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park – Princeton
The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park is a fantastic spot to visit in Princeton, NJ during the fall season.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by colorful trees along the canal, making it perfect for biking, hiking, or leisurely walks.
Enjoy a tranquil stroll along the towpath, pack a picnic for a peaceful outdoor meal, and keep an eye out for wildlife as you soak in the beauty of the season.
You may also check out other things to do in Princeton.
Battleview Orchards – Freehold
Battleview Orchards (91 Wemrock Rd) is a small family-owned farm in Freehold, boasting fruits such as strawberries, peaches, pumpkins, apples, and sour cherries.
In early fall, the Pick Your Own Apples event is the biggest hit, but in October the theme changes to Pick Your Own Pumpkins, lasting until the end of October.
There are pumpkin recipes provided to guests when they leave with their pumpkins, and as an additional fun activity to mix in with kids, a hayride can take you around the grounds once you’re done picking, making it one of the best places to visit in NJ during fall.
South Jersey Fall Activities
Let’s now head down to South Jersey.
We feature charming towns and coastal communities offering their own unique fall experiences.
Wharton State Forest – Hammonton
Tucked directly inland of Long Beach Island, Wharton State Forest is an expansive forest featuring countless miles of hiking trails and scenic landmarks.
One of the most popular hiking trails in Wharton State is Batsto Lake Trail, a 4-mile hiking trail that winds around Batsto Lake, across beautiful old bridges and dirt trails through the pine trails.
With only hiking gear and a map needed, Wharton State Forest is a great free fall adventure in New Jersey.
Batsto Village – Hammonton
Batsto Village (Batsto Village, 31 Batsto Rd) offers a glimpse into the state’s industrial history, as well as archaeological history dating back thousands of years, and can be an excellent afternoon tour while you are exploring the forest.
A popular fall event at Batsto Village is the Civil War Living History Encampment.
This guided tour takes guests through the village as it has been perfectly recreated to feel like a day in the midst of the Civil War.
Museum of NJ Maritime History – Beach Haven
The Museum of NJ Maritime History (528 Dock Rd) offers a vast selection of aquatic memorabilia and artifacts of an older sea-faring time in New Jersey.
In addition to a fascinating collection of artifacts that tell a rich story, there are also monthly author speakers who speak through one of their historical writings.
Learn more about the ships of World War 1 or the riverboats along the Delaware River through this educational event that occurs roughly once per month.
Historic Cold Spring Village – Cape May
Historic Cold Spring Village (735 Seashore Rd) is a town that has been redeveloped and preserved so that it looks and functions just like a traditional community from the 1700s.
Guests can tour local mills, blacksmith quarters, and fully-preserved historical buildings, learning about the history firsthand from trained actors.
One popular autumn event is the Ghost Walk, an interactive 45-minute night walk under lantern light throughout the village, guided by a host that provides stories on the different ghosts from historic moments in Cape May’s history through time.
Cape May also features in our guide to the best beach towns in New Jersey.
Emlen Physick Estate – Cape May
The Emlen Physick Estate (1048 Washington St) hosts Halloween-themed events throughout October, including the Halloween Decoration display and the Scarecrow Alley haunted tour.
Other major events hosted by the Emlen Physick Estate are the Cape May Harvest Brew Fest and Outdoor Crafts and Collectibles Show, an all-day event featuring local vendors and artists around the beautiful estate.
Rea’s Farm Market – Cape May
Rea’s Farm Market (400 Stevens St) is a 100-acre farm that has been in the Cape May community for over 100 years, providing fresh produce along with farm and garden activities for kids of all ages.
In mid-October, Rea’s hosts a festival known as Hot Rods & Hayrides, featuring vehicles like cars, trucks, and tractors that small children and car enthusiasts could spend all day gazing at in awe.
There are also corn mazes, live music, craft vendors, pumpkin designing, and other activities that will be perfect for kids as young as two and as old as teenagers.
Cape May Point State Park – Cape May
Looking for some of the best places to visit in New Jersey in fall for bird watching?
Autumn is a special time of year in terms of bird migration, and Cape May serves as one of the most vibrant and diverse points along the migration pattern of many birds.
In late October, the E-Z Birding event takes visitors on a 2-hour morning hike around the state park, traveling through forest, open fields, ponds, and even the beach to detect all of the exotic bird species that call Cape May home during their long journey south.
Any bird-watching enthusiast should circle this event on their calendar, and even those not especially interested in birds may find this hike refreshing and informative all the same.
For more things to do in Cape May, check this guide.
New Jersey Fall Events
New Jersey offers a lineup of fantastic fall events and festivals.
Explore a few of them below!
Holland Ridge Farms Fall Flower Festival – Cream Ridge
The Holland Ridge Farm Fall Flower Festival (108 Rues Road) which usually runs from September to October, offers the chance to tour the beautiful grounds and pick your own bouquet of flowers to bring home.
There is a diverse range of flowers available to guests, including Marigold, Dianthus, Snapdragon, and Zinnias.
In addition to picking flowers, there are also food trucks, live music, and a farmers market on the weekends.
There are also many activities for children at Holland Ridge, from tractor rides, to hay mazes and a playground.
Beers on the Boards – Point Pleasant
Spend the day sampling some drinks and strolling the Point Pleasant Boardwalk at Beers on the Boards.
Beers on the Boards is a popular South Jersey fall festival, held around early November.
This is an all-day craft beer festival that is set up right on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant, featuring local vendors alongside food trucks and live entertainment from midday to the evening.
Take your time strolling the boards, learning about the local vendors, and sampling their hard ciders and craft beers, and when you need a break you can sit and listen to local bands or stop at one of the restaurants or food trucks set up on the boardwalk.
The event is centered around Martell’s Tiki Bar, where the live music will occur as well as dining and drink options.
You may also like our guide to the fun things to do in Point Pleasant.
Boo at the Boardwalk at Jenkinson’s Boardwalk – Point Pleasant
In the last week of October, Boo at the Boardwalk takes over Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant.
This kid-centric event features arts and crafts, face-painting, pumpkin carving, and a beach maze.
Guests are encouraged to dress up in their Halloween costumes, as there is a trick-or-treat activity on the boardwalk in which kids can collect candy as if they were strolling their own block on Halloween night.
Diggerland Diggerfest Fall Festival – West Berlin
Diggerland (100 Pinedge Dr) is an absolute paradise for any young child who likes to play with trucks.
An amusement park featuring construction trucks that kids can operate, Diggerland is a fantastic way to spend the day, ensuring your kids will have huge smiles on their faces all day long.
Diggerfest is a special fall festival that occurs in late October, featuring many children’s activities in addition to riding the rides around the park.
The park offers hay rides as well as fire truck rides in which kids can ride in a real fire truck.
Renaultberfest 5K & Grape Stomp – Egg Harbor City
Located at the beautiful Renault Winery (72 North Bremen Avenue
Egg Harbor City), Renaultberfest is a 5K race and grape-stomping event that the whole family can enjoy.
Kids may enjoy the 1-mile fun run before the real race begins and will love the live music before and after the race.
The actual 5K tours through town past Egg Harbor City Lake and back around to Renault Winery at the close.
Spend your day running along scenic routes through Egg Harbor, ultimately returning to the winery so you can sit back, enjoy the live music, and get a tasting from the winery.
Oktoberfest at Morey’s Piers – Wildwood
Celebrate all things German at the Oktoberfest at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood.
This beachfront festival features German costumes, German food and drinks, and Oktoberfest-themed crafts and games for the kids.
There is also music throughout the day on the main stages in Morey’s Pier, featuring jazz, big band and rock.
Check out these things to do in Wildwood during your visit.
Or discover our best pick of the best Jersey Shore towns.
Stairway to the Stars at Cape May Lighthouse – Cape May
The Cape May Lighthouse is a 199-step lighthouse that was originally built and put into operation in 1859 and is now restored as a museum.
Though it takes place every month during the New Moon, the Stairway to the Stars at Cape May Lighthouse is a unique event you can enjoy during the fall if you happen to be in the area.
Due to the darkness of the new moon, guests are tasked with climbing the lighthouse with a pure dark sky, and once they make it to the top they are treated to the best view of the stars in the Cape May area.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the fall activities in New Jersey!
If you explored these cool autumn experiences or have additional recommendations, we’d love to hear them in the comments below.
Will you be in NJ for winter? Check out our guide to snow tubing locations for thrill-seeking adventure sports!
New Jersey Travel Guides
- Jersey Shore Towns
- New Jersey Beaches
- NJ State Parks
- New Jersey Fall Activities
- All New Jersey Guides