While falling leaves jazz up parks, rivers, and winding roads, the graceful winds of autumn embrace each new day. Even though COVID-19 lingers on, it definitely hasn’t discouraged NJ from celebrating one of the most special times of the year. At most, there have been several Halloween events that have been cancelled, for those familiar with Hoboken’s Halloween Parade, there will be no parade this year (1). Many events that will be taking place have taken a creative route to ensure attending families will be safe while joining in on October festivities. No matter how one celebrates, families can count on enjoying time together as the cooler days approach.
Although the Rahway Halloween Parade and Monster Mash is also cancelled, the town will be holding a Halloween Spooktacular where registered families and friends will have between 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. to pick up trick-or-treat bags at the Rahway Recreational Center (2). There will also be a virtual costume contest and some scary surprises so be ready to email your costume selfie at email@example.com (2). To register please visit- cityofrahway.org/Halloween
Next door town Cranford is known for their Spooktacular spirit during October now holding their 13th Annual Scarecrow Stroll! Starting from October 14th to November 1st, scarecrow displays will be set up and ready to humor you with innovation (3). A great way to spend an early evening- after your scarecrow town walk dine out at one of Cranford’s restaurants and end the evening with a treat at Delice Macarons, a small French pastry shop offering authentic French masterpieces and pastries to die for (closed at 5 p.m.)!
Grand Meridia residents may join nearby town Westfield and celebrate this spooky time of year by scheduling these family-friendly, socially distanced events. Westfield presents AddamsFest in light of Charles Addams, premier cartoonist and creator of “The Addams Family” inspired by Westfield’s surroundings (4). AddamsFest will hold several events throughout October so be sure to check out:
- Haunt your House Decorating Contest: drive or walk by and enjoy what these brilliant homeowners do to their homes in spirit of the season. Transformed homes begins October 8th to Halloween.
- Tamaques Haunted Trail: Bring your bravest passengers to this haunted drive-by experience at Tamaques Park (5). Find Trick or Trail during the day for a family-friendly, age-appropriate experience and find Trail of Terror by night for more mature attendees and a frightful experience (5)!
- Mystical Mindowaskin: From October 23rd to 31st, take a self-guided stroll at Mystical Mindowaskin park where starting on October 23rd the park will feature the Painted Pumpkin Path, children along with parents can hunt down “hidden portals on various trees”, enjoy the “Enchanted Forest”, and many photo stops along the way (5)!
For more information on more events, please visit: https://www.addamsfest.com/2020-events
Pumpkin Patches to Catch this Season
Grand Meridia residents looking for more activities to do prior to Halloween might enjoy some of these perfect pumpkin patches near-by and little ways away:
- Williams Nursery in Westfield: the nursery has a small pumpkin patch decorated in a charming way for those picture-perfect memories (6). The nursery closes at 5 p.m. and has a lot to offer from gorgeous flowers to incredible plants for your home.
- Norz Hill Farm: Closing date is November 7th so enjoy going more than once before they close up! Aside from their large pumpkin patch, this farm offers a large corn maze, kid’s corner, farmer market, pony rides, and a scare farm. Visit norzhillfarm.com for more information and visitation regulations (7).
- Snyder’s Farm: Located in Somerset this farm is opened weekends until October 25th and are currently offering tickets for their Fall Festival at $15.00 per person. Activities include: pony hops, rubber duck race, bowling, climbing, corn cribs, and tunnels to name a few! http://snyders-farm.com/fall-festival/ (8)
- Wightman Farm: A little ways away in Morristown but well known for various mazes and different activities such as hay bale tunnel, hay bale pyramid, rock labyrinth, giant corn maze, hay bale maze, rope maze and paver maze. This farm also has apple picking, scenic hayrides, and picnic areas. https://wightmanfarms.com/events.html (9)
- Terhune Orchards: Local in Princeton, this farm has a barnyard with many animals, hay bale maze, pony rides, pumpkin painting, pedal tractors, live music, sunflower trails, and a wine orchard with red, white and fruity blends- https://www.terhuneorchards.com/festivals/ (10).
Halloween Activities for All in the Family
Activities for rainy day at home or sunny days at the park, these activities are an excellent way to spend time laughing with the family and friends. With children spending more time at home and many logging into virtual classes, this might give the family a good break from daily demands:
- Pumpkin bowling- use either small and large pumpkins to roll in this fun game for all (11)
- Mummy wrap- create teams of two or three where one teammate gets wrapped up in toilet paper. Whoever wraps the fastest wins (11)
- Pumpkin ring toss- Use glow-in-the-dark necklaces to toss at pumpkins for a fun game after dark (11)
- Pumpkin painting or craving for adults- Get creative with the family and paint pumpkins together in this traditional family activity (11)
For more activities, visit: https://mommypoppins.com/kids/25-fun-halloween-games-for-kids
No matter how Grand Meridia and Rahway residents decide to celebrate this Halloween gathering together or decorating, carving, and painting pumpkins, the moon will be shining brightly known as a rare blue moon on Halloween (12). Halloween full moons occur every 19 years, however, blue moons on Halloween occur three to four times a century (12), so find some cozy gear at the end of your day and enjoy a well-lit night sky on the evening of Halloween.
A Word to Our Residents at Grand Meridia
Get out and go vote! With election day inching closer each day, we urge residents to register to vote or be prepared for election day- Know your local voting station, last day to mail in your ballots, and if you are registered. To register, please visit: https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voter-registration.shtml or to find out if you are already registered to vote, please check out: https://www.usa.gov/confirm-voter-registration
In preparation for fall and before the end of daylight savings, here are some safety tips as provided by patch.com- make sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, get the flu shot ahead of time, continue preventing the spread of COVID-19 by practicing the CDC’s social distancing recommendations, carry hand sanitizer everywhere you can, plan to get reflective gear when taking those after dinner evening strolls with the family (pets too), and ensure any handy flashlights are stored with batteries in your home and in your vehicles (13).
A Happy (and Safe) Halloween to All!
-The Team at Grand Meridia
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