6 East Coast Fall Family Road Trips That Will Make Kids Happy

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6 East Coast Fall Family Road Trips That Will Make Kids Happy

Fall the decorations, pumpkin treats and farm festival are finally here! If you want to make the most of the cozy season, have you thought about planning a road trip with your family? Road trips are the perfect, quick escape from the city where you can dive into family-friendly fall and winter festivals. Whether it’s apple picking or nature hikes, tractor rides or fudge tasting, your kids will have plenty of fun activities to do, while exploring the history of these quaint towns. We’ve rounded up some of the best road trip destinations for your family this year. Get your train tickets or GPS ready, because these are fall vacations you won’t want to miss!


Central Massachusetts

Antsy kiddos who can’t last hours in the car? Don’t worry– Central Massachusetts is a quick 30 minute flight away. In fact, there is 4 flights arrive daily from NYC, both from JFK and LGA, making it easier than ever to plan your vacation. When you arrive we recommend that you set up camp in a brand name or boutique hotel in Worcester, MA. You’ll be 30 minutes or less from a ton of family-friendly attractions, like Southwick’s Zoo, Botanic Garden of New England on Tower Hill, Old Sturbridge Village and the Ecotarium.

If you are looking for outdoor fun, we recommend that you go to a family walk to Lookout Rock or the summit of Wachusett Mountain. But in the region’s 22 state parks, you can choose hiking trails. Central Massachusetts also has many seasonal celebrations: you won’t want to miss KidsFest, AppleFest, BooFest, and Fall Food Truck Fest on Wachusett Mountain. The Annual Harvest Festival is also a family favorite for its beloved scarecrow contest. And we can’t forget The Festival of Illumination at Southwick Zoo, featuring stories of legendary creatures and fairytales through handmade Chinese lanterns. Add in all the usual fall classics – apple picking, cider donuts, and tractor rides – and Central Massachusetts is the place to be! Book your incredibly convenient flight today.


New Jersey

New Jersey is home to some of the Northeast’s most exciting family destinations – from the quaint shops of Cape May to the Park High Point State Park in Skylands. Families return year after year for cold weather experiences and adventurous ways to enjoy every last day of fall and winter.

Enjoy the great outdoors, as New Jersey’s 130 miles of coastline provide some of the most beautiful (and Instagrammable) views in the US Visit mural-filled Asbury Park. Travel the scenic trails for an impromptu leaf-peeping session. Hike peaceful nature trails. Go snow tubing in the winter at Mountain Creek Resort and skiing at American Dream All year long. Enjoy the East Coast’s famous national and state parks such as Liberty State Park, Delaware Water Gap and Paterson Great Falls.

New Jersey is rich in art, history, culture and so on. The New Jersey State Museum and The Newark Museum of Art famous family go-tos. Princeton’s Tony Award-winning McCarter Theater provides unforgettable live music, dance and theater performances including The Nutcracker in the American Repertory Ballet November 25–27 and A Christmas Carol December 7 – 24. Dive in and discover over 15,000 aquatic animals and the Northeast’s largest collection of sharks at The New Jersey State Aquarium on the Camden waterfront. Also along Delaware: Big Kahuna’s Indoor Water Park – always a big splash with the kids.

Looking for a quick 3 day family vacation? A road trip with stops at New Jersey’s top spots will do the trick. Choose the best trip for your crew including american revolution, Beautiful Byways, Anthony Bourdain Food Trail and Black Heritage itineraries. Spend time together, learn something new, and check out the best places to play, eat and stay.

Discover more at VisitNJ.org. Get your free Travel Guide and sign up for their informative e-newsletter.


Newport, RI

Just a few hours from NYC, Newport, Rhode Island takes fall festivities to the next level. Cider tasting and apple picking Places called Rocky Brook Orchard in the United Statesnamed one of the best apple orchards in New England, offers eighty varieties of apples to choose from.

Next on your fall bucket list is Pachet Brook Tree Farm for a family-friendly hayride that takes you to a pumpkin patch. Looking for more adventure, visit Escobar’s Highland Farm is a farmand out of their 8-acre corn maze.

Experience more outdoor fun on a pedal-powered rail bike with Railroad Finders. The tour includes different experiences such as an evening lantern or fireside tours.

Newport is not short on sport or history; your family can visit interactively Museum of Sailing, Audrain Automobile Museum and International Tennis Hall of Fame with just one ticket. Newport has family-friendly year-round events and activities, so be sure to check out the extensive calendar of seasonal events at DiscoverNewport.org.


Putnam County, NY

This New York gem is easily accessible, making it an ideal road trip. A must-first stop is Tilly Foster Farm. Only Putnam County, NY, has a farm that regularly attracts families from all over to come and visit during the fall season. What makes Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster, NY, special? There is something for everyone in your family to enjoy! From candle making to farm animals, sculptures to fishing, fresh vegetables to concerts, this farm is the talk of the season every year.

But onward Tilly Foster FarmPutnam County offers a spooky, kid-friendly musical, Hollow Hearts, which runs weekends through October 31. With 20 original songs, your kids are sure to be singing it all night long. And if you want to sneak in some apple picking on your trip, look no further than Boscobel Heritage Applefest in the Hudson Valley. Full of cider pressing, apple preserving, arts & crafts, and sweet cider sampling, it’s a must-visit.


Rockland County, NY

Just 30 miles north of NYC, Rockland County makes the perfect family road trip. Nestled among 32,000 acres of untouched parkland, you can expect plenty of outdoor fun: hiking trails, mountain views, and plenty of fall foliage. There are also beautiful waterfront villages along the Hudson River with world-class restaurants, art galleries, shopping, championship golf courses, historic sites, and more.

If you’re looking to get your fall fix, visit one of the many farms and farmers markets for fresh produce, pumpkin picking, and apple picking. We recommend Conklin’s Orchards, the oldest working farm in Rockland County. You can pick your own pumpkins and apples, escape the corn maze, and buy homemade pies, donuts, and cookies.

And with all the nature around you, it can be hard to choose just one hiking adventure. A family favorite Buttermilk Fallswith several trails leading to the waterfall and steam with views and picnic areas.

Take your time planning this trip, because Rockland County has natural, hidden gems that you’ll want to take a moment to explore!


Frederick, Maryland

Location, location, location! This rainy season trip includes National Scenic Byways and historic downtowns. When you arrive in Frederick, Maryland, you are a short drive from Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Gettysburg, making it the perfect vacation. There are actually a lot of family adventures you can start here! And the best part? You can take your time by staying a few days at one of the 20 branded hotels in Frederick County.

There is no shortage of fall festivals at Frederick County’s many farms and pumpkin patches, offers hayrides, apple cannons, corn mazes, arts & crafts, duck races, farm animals, and more. And if your kids are craving a sweet treat, Frederick has some of the best creameries with fresh ice cream. For a blast from the past, take a look Places called Walkersville Southern Railroad in the United States and Monocacy National Battlefield. Children also love to say hello to many animals Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, while older kids can enjoy a hike to the cascading waterfall at Cunningham Falls State Park. Last but not least, the food scene in Frederick is top-notch and super kid-friendly: don’t miss out. Pretzel and Pizza Creations, a restaurant where everything is made from delicious pretzel dough, including the pizza crust.

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