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Gather your little ghouls and goblins for some scary (or not-so scary) fun! The Jersey Shore area is filled with fall festivities and Halloween haunts. Look no further than the Colts Neck/Marlboro area. The stretch along Route 34, affectionately referred to as "Pumpkin Alley" is filled with hayrides, pumpkin patches, and apple orchards.

If a haunted hayride will get your adrenaline flowing, then head to C. Casola Farms in Marlboro. Casola Farms has been putting the fear in Jersey Shore residents for years. The Haunted Hayride of Terror includes a 1/2 hour ride into the dark (and I mean DARK) woods, a walk through a wooded trail, a visit to a haunted barn filled with frightening creatures and images, and a walk through the all-new Living Maze. The Haunted Hayride of Terror operates only at night, and I wouldn't recommend it for small children.

Don't fret! If you've got wee ones like I do and are looking for Halloween adventure of the not-so-scary variety, C. Casola Farms has you covered in this area too. Casola offers a daytime hayride tour of the farm which includes fun Halloween characters, great scenery, and the "Witches Brew" refreshments, including hot apple cider, hot chocolate, freshly baked pies, cookies, hot caramel apples, and more! After the hayride, hit the pumpkin patch and corn maze for even more fun.

For specific information about the above attractions including pricing and times, visit C. Casola Farms.

One of my family's favorite fall activities is apple picking. We head to Eastmont Orchards in Colts Neck every fall to hand pick our own apples. Eastmont has an abundant crop of apples in many different varieties. Plus, there is a pumpkin patch, and they sell gourds and a small selection of fresh produce too.

Eastmont is enormous. There are rows after rows of apple trees. It is easily navigable, and there are maps available to assist you. Eastmont also provides wheelbarrows and plastic bags. My daughters look forward to our trip to Eastmont each fall, and it's a great opportunity to teach children the importance of healthy eating and local farming.

Before making a trip to Eastmont, I recommend that you check the web site for operating hours. The hours are often dependent upon the weather and the crop. Click here to visit Eastmont online.

You'll work up an appetite picking pounds and pounds of apples! Delicious Orchards bakes up some of the finest baked goods around. My personal favorites include cider donuts and mini pumpkin tarts. Wash it down with some hot or cold apple cider. Delicious Orchards also has a fantastic selection of big, beautiful mums to add curb appeal to your home.

Grab your little ghosts and have a hauntingly fun time!


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Comment by Chrissy Fleming on October 19, 2012 at 9:33am

Fabulouss article, Sheila!  Such great seasonal suggestions for us to do with our kids!


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