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Here in New Jersey, sweater weather is upon us. The leaves are changing, the supermarkets are packed with pumpkin spice-flavored products, and Halloween decorations are everywhere. Fall is well underway and it’s time to really amp up the fun! The Garden State is full of fall activities and now more than ever, we need those to look forward to. And for me, being home this fall semester has allowed me to continue my seasonal traditions and find some new ones to share.

Hallowfest At Six Flags Great Adventure

Hallowfest features a haunted experience. Not only will you be screaming on the rides but at the scary monsters that lurk around throughout the park. During the day the park showcases a family friendly atmosphere, but once it hits dusk, zombies, clowns, chainsaw criminals, and many many more come out to play. As you make your way through the park you’ll hit multiple scare zones—I’ll let you find out where those are when you visit—shows, and mazes. Hallowfest is my and my friend’s favorite activity to do in the fall. Call us crazy, but we love being scared! The rides will get your adrenaline pumping and so will the things that pop out at you at every corner. Word of the wise: don’t look them in the eyes!

U-pick Sunflowers

Another favorite of mine that I actually haven’t been to yet this year is the Holland Ridge Farms for the u-pick sunflower season. The farm features white, red, bi-color, and your usual yellow sunflowers, according to its website, as well as gladiolas, lilies, and dahlias. Photography backdrops are also provided so you can take some artsy shots for your Instagram. Best of all you can even take the flowers home with you! All flowers are pick-your-own, $1 per stem. The farm offers a lot of other activities for you to enjoy. So be sure to stop by them all and have fun!

C. Casola Farms Haunted Attractions

Although this farm is infamously known for their Haunted Hayrides and other attractions, due to COVID-19, they are temporarily closed. However, as much as I loved fearing for my life on these rides, the farm offers many other options for visitors to enjoy. Visitors can go pumpkin picking, walk through corn mazes, see farm animals, and eat some yummy baked goods!

The Great Pumpkin Sail

The pumpkin sail is a great way to end October. The day after Halloween, at Echo Lake Park, you can take your leftover jack-o-lanterns and send them off in style. The event organizers provide candles and pumpkin floats for your orange friends. Once they’re in the lake, watch their crazy faces light up the night, while you sip on hot chocolate and eat marshmallows. Besides that, there is some great entertainment to listen to around the campfire. Relax and enjoy this fall night as the pumpkins illuminate Echo Lake.


I couldn’t forget Oktoberfest! The festival is celebrated in three different towns here in New Jersey. We love it so much, we needed three locations! Oktoberfest is a fall celebration of music, food, and community held in New Brunswick, Warren, and Demarest. You can enjoy a variety of foods, craft German beers, and vendors that will keep your interest. But don’t worry, if you’re not of age to drink that German beer there is still so much more to do. These festivals provide cornhole, kids corners, photo booths, and more! Party-goers are encouraged to get into the Oktoberfest spirit by wearing their best dirndl or lederhosen. Have fun and stay safe at this one!

New Jersey is a great place to be in the fall. After all, we are known as the Garden State. So, take this time, whether you’re a local or not, to see what it has to offer!

Loyola University Maryland '23
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