Autumn is a beautiful time of year to travel. The days are the ideal weather for spending time outdoors. The evenings are getting crisp and call for comfortable sweaters and time to snuggle. There is so much to do in and near Burlington, NJ, anytime of year but fall is one of our favorites because of these four activities.
Grounds For Sculpture
Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ, is lovely to visit in every season yet fall can be especially lovely as nature fills the landscape with her last hurrah of the year. The museum, sculpture garden, and arboretum sit on 42 picturesque acres. Nature and art appear to play together as 270 sculptures sit among exotic plants and trees. Sculpture gardens are notably fun because you never know when you are going to come across another work of art. Or when one may be hiding right in plain sight. Some sculptures blend into the scenery as if they grew there. Some stand out in stark contrast to the landscape around them. If you happen to plan a visit on a day that is a bit chilly for your liking, there are six rotating indoor exhibits to tickle your fancy. Current indoor exhibits include That Worth Celebrating: The Life and Work of the Johnson Family (through December 31, 2022) and Robert Lugo: The Village Potter and Fragile: Early (both through January 8, 2023). Grounds for Sculpture is open 10am-5pm every day Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesdays). A Picnic in the Park is available Spring through Fall; reserve in advance to create a unique day date.
The Pine Barrens
Covering 22% of the land in the state of New Jersey, the Pine Barrens an enormous space with abandoned towns and wooded trails. The options for outdoor enthusiasts are endless because the 1.1 million acres are filled with sandy roads, cedar swamps, and waterways. Savor the quiet as you hike along numerous trails in pine-filled forests. There are many birding and wildlife trails conveniently located in Burlington County. If you are really adventurous, the Batona Trail runs 49.5 miles through three state forests. Animals are sometimes easier to spot as the trees start to lose their leaves. If history is more your style, the restored Batsto Village boasts a 32-room mansion at its heart. Fourteen of the rooms are open to the public for tours. The village grew because of Batsto Iron Works in the mid-1700s. The state took over the land in the mid-1950s and allowed residents to stay while it made plans for the historic site. The last house was vacated in 1989. Mansion tours area available Saturdays and Sundays.
Walk with the Ghosts
A history of the area is overlayed with spooky stories during this annual event. The walking tour may bring you by the Rebel House, the oldest house in the entire county. You might be lucky enough to see the ghost of Benjamin Franklin as he makes his yearly visit to a city he held dear while he was alive. Graveyards are always teeming with supernatural activity. Burlington holds two where many famous Americans have been buried. Of course, we do not want to give away all of the stories here. Venture out on the tour to hear unforgettable tales. Of course, Halloween is the perfect time for a ghost tour as it is the date when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. The tours start at 6:30pm on both Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29. Catch a sneak peak of the tour from this 2020 YouTube video.
Venture 10 miles to Bordentown City for the “Maker Fest on Farnsworth.” The annual event is celebrating its 32nd year on October 1 and 2, 2022 from 11am until 5pm each day. The festival started with only 12 vendors in 1989 and has grown to be one of the biggest craft shows in New Jersey. The Cranberry Fest now features more than 100 crafters, artists, and vendors. Tents fill the streets as artisans share their unique, handmade wares. Wander through to find gifts for friends, family, and maybe yourself. Sip beer in the craft beer garden. Sample savory and sweet treats from vendors in the food court. Bring your dancing shoes for when the live music draws you to your feet. Cranberry Fest is free to attend and shuttle buses will be available from many convenient locations with free parking.