Fall Fun for All: From the Sweet to the Spooky
Autumn is a time filled with drastic change in multiple facets of life, whether that be through tangible and visual developments such as dropping temperatures and coloring leaves or through events such as the start of a new school year and the unfortunate end of the summer. Regardless of what it might signify, fall brings about classic, joyous traditions that continue to excite even the most stubborn autumn-haters with pumpkin carving, apple picking, and the celebration of Halloween and Thanksgiving often being a highlight of many people’s holiday season. Luckily, I have composed a list of the best and closest fall-fun activities and events for members of the Clifton community to enjoy all season long!
1. Clifton’s Annual Harvest Fest and Halloween Parade - Clifton, NJ
Starting off the list will be an event in our very own town, Clifton’s annual Harvest Fest! The festival will be held at City Hall on October 29th from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will feature a wide variety of activities, starting with the annual Halloween parade and costume contest and including hayrides, bouncy houses, carnival rides and games, arts and crafts tables, and food concessions- all of which require tokens that must be purchased on-site with cash only. In addition, no pre-registration is required for the costume contest, anyone is welcome to participate as long as they arrive at their designated category spots between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Click here to view the categories and other important details.
2. The Brighton Asylum - Passaic, NJ (about 10 minutes from Clifton)
If you’re looking for something a tad scarier (to say the least) this Halloween, be sure to check out the place once called the “Scariest Place on Earth” by the Today Show. Often known as one of New Jersey’s top haunted house attractions, Brighton Asylum offers highly interactive and terrifying experiences with its various haunted houses, escape rooms, and ghost tours. If that doesn’t scare you enough, the warehouses that you will occupy during your time actually used to house the mentally ill in the 1940s until the facility was shut down due to what the Brighton Asylum website describes as “harsh living conditions, grotesque medical experiments, staff disappearances, and screams spilling into the residential areas during the night.” Be sure to check it out…if you dare.
3. Wightman Farms - Morristown, NJ (about 30 minutes from Clifton)
Open seven days a week Wightman Farms offers the full fall experience with an amazing all-inclusive price of $25 for unlimited hayrides (with one pumpkin given for each ticket bought), entry into the seven types of mazes they offer, entry to the apple orchard (all apples picked must be paid for), free parking, and access to the picnic area which has games and educational activities available. Tickets can be purchased at the front parking lot and children under three are free.
4. Clifton Recreaton’s Peddler’s Village Apple Festival - (Will meet at City Hall’s senior center.)
If you don't want to drive such a long way, don’t worry; Clifton Recreation is offering to drive you! This year on November 4th, Clifton Recreation is welcoming people to join them on a trip to Peddler Village for their annual Apple Festival. Buses will transport you to and from the event for only $20 per person, leaving from the City Hall senior center at 8:15 a.m. and returning around 7 p.m. Peddler’s Village is in Lahaska, Pennsylvania and the festival will feature fall activities, food vendors (be sure to bring cash), entertainment, and of course, many, many apples! Please note that anybody under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and that you must register before October 27th on Clifton Rec’s website.
5. Howl-o-ween at the Turtle Back Zoo - West Orange, NJ (about 20 minutes from Clifton)
In a much-needed change of pace, the next event is the Turtle Back Zoo’s annual Howl-O-Ween Trick or Treating extravaganza! It will take place on October 31st from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. where visitors are invited to arrive in a Halloween costume and travel to each of the numerous candy stations placed throughout the zoo for children to collect candy while also enjoying entertainment through magic and science shows, stilt walkers, and of course, the animals! Tickets can be bought either online or in person on the day of with general admission tickets being $5 dollars with the exception of children two and under who will be admitted for free.
6. City Green’s Harvest Festival - Eastside Park, Paterson (about 10 minutes from Clifton)
City Greens, a local Clifton farm, will be holding its annual Harvest Festival on October 21 at Eastside Park in Paterson from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Here you can pick up pumpkins, participate in fall-themed arts and crafts, learn about sustainable agriculture through fun activities, purchase seasonal vegetables grown at the City Green farms, and more all for free. Be sure to RSVP here so they can prepare for the amount of people attending.
7. Pumpkin World- Pomona, NY (about 35 minutes from Clifton)
Pumpkin World is an immersive “pumpkin extravaganza” held at the Clover Stadium featuring nearly five thousand intricately designed and hand-carved pumpkins spanning a trail of nearly half a mile within the stadium. In addition to the breathtaking sight, live music, food, drinks, and several activities such as live carving competitions and scavenger hunts will also be available to all visitors. The event lasts until October 31st and tickets range anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on age and the package you choose. For more details, visit their ticket website here.
Have an amazing fall season, Clifton!