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Pick your own pumpkins, apples, veggies…and hop a hayride!

September 25, 2011

There’s nothing more fun than picking your own apples, pumpkins and veggies in the fall. There’s something special about carving a pumpkin that you chose from the ground- not in a box at the supermarket.  And applesauce from the apples you picked? That’s divine. You don’t have to travel too far out of Brooklyn to do that: pumpkin picking and hayrides are as close as  Queens County Farm and the Randall’s Island (next week/end). If you want to take a road trip, or rail trip though,  there are plenty of options in New Jersey, Westchester and Long Island.  Some of the farms are hosting special events that are worth the trip. Others have such exciting weekend activities throughout October, that you’ll want to make a trek. Have you ever wanted to see how far you could launch an apple? Or test your geotracking in a 3 acre corn maze? There are plenty of haunted houses too that will prep your kids for Halloween! Enjoy! Please leave reviews and additional farms you like in the comments section.


Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, New York 11004-1129
(718) 347-3276
What to do: Starting Oct. 2- 31st you can pick your own pumpkin and take a hayride on Saturdays and Sundays. Oct. 3rd is also the Apple Festival. Through Nov. 7th enjoy the Maize Maze – a 3 acre interactive corn maze.
How to get there: By car the trip is around 1 hour. By public transportation: take the LIRR or the E or F train. Directions are here.
What was really cool about the 47-acre farm is that there is no admission fee to walk on the grounds. All of the extras like the hayride and corn maze are pay as you go. We didn’t end up going into the petting area because the lines were really long and my tot was really determined to get her pumpkin. Without having to pay the $3/per person fee to feed the animals we were able be right next to the baby pigs and goats – one goat even tried to take an apple out of my husband’s hand! There were also chickens, ponies and cows located throughout the space so even if you don’t pay to feed the animals you will see them. We didn’t do the hay maze because the clerk said that the maze generally takes an hour to complete – which in toddler world doesn’t really work. But I learned that the maze is open until November, 7th and costs $8/per adult, $5/per child ages 4-11 and children under 3 are free. In the three-acre maze, you and your children go through large stacks of corn and that involves an adventure where you have to find clues and solve puzzles to find your way out. There is also a package that includes the corn maze, pumpkin picking (softball size pumpkin only) hayride, and animal feed for $14.00 for kids over 12, $11.00 for kids11-4 and $ 7.00 for kids 3 and under. There is one food vendor at the farm that serves hotdogs, chicken and hamburgers. There are also apples to pick by the bushel or a single and cider for sale – both hot and cold – and a gift shop that sells coffee and doughnuts. If that isn’t going to cut it, I would suggest packing a lunch. Food is permitted on the grounds, so bringing your own actually makes this outing very economical. We didn’t have to chance to check this out but the farm also has a greenhouse complex, an orchard and herb garden as well as a working vineyard.

Randall’s Island
1 Randall’s Island
New York, NY 10035
(212) 427-5689
What to do: On October 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11th RI Golf and Sports Center will be hosting a Fall Festival complete with a pumpkin patch, pony rides, hay rides, haunted mini golf, batting cages, gaga, face painting, a pumpkin and craft station, Halloween characters, carnival games , Halloween puppet shows, plus much more. Each child will go home with a pumpkin. Admission price for the activities is $9 per person (teachers and paraprofessionals will receive free admission). Food concessions are additional. Free parking.
How to get there: By car it should take 45 minutes. By rail: Take the 4, 5, or 6 Lexington Ave. trains to 125th St., then transfer on the NW corner of 125th St. and Lexington Ave. for the M35 bus to Randall’s Island. For MTA bus travel info, call (718) 330-1234.


Alstede Farms
Mapquest address: 1 Chesterfield Drive
Chester, NJ 07930
What to do: hayrides, see the farm animals, bunny pen, climb the giant hay pyramid, hay tunnel, giant corn maze challenge, pick your own raspberries, vegetables, pumpkins, gourds, applies and sunflowers (check on seasonal availability). You can even cut your own flowers. On the weekends these additional activities are available: pony rides, corn kingdom, moonbounce, wagon train ride, food. There are also Harvest Moon Hayrides and night time corn maze evenings.
How to get there: 1 hour by car from NYC. They are in Morris County. By rail: take the NJ Transit to Gladstone Station and Chester Limousine offers shuttle service to Alstede Farms for $10. (908-879-6666)
In NJ Alstede or Whitman Farms are GREAT for families!
I second alstede! Great place, but get there early!
Alstede Farm is awesome. Chester, NJ
…our family had a great time and I’d highly recommend it. do check out our tips, as there are things we wish we’d done differently — but overall, big fun was had by all and we would definitely go again! (their tips are here.)

Demarest Farms
244 Werimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ
(201) 666-0472 or
What to do: Pick your own pumpkins, hay rides, face painting and Squiggles the Clown (on weekends), fresh cider and cider donuts. They have a deli, country bakery, ice cream shop, salad bar. >
How to get there: Trip should take about 50 minutes from Brooklyn in a car. By rail: take the NJ Transit Rail to Hillsdale (Montclair-Boonton Line). Take a taxi for about 5 minutes to the farm.
Demarest farms in Demarest, NJ is great for pumpkin picking.
We liked Demarest-  Close drive!

Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304
Congers, NJ
(845) 268-7020
What to do: Take a scenic trailer ride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick out a pumpkin. On weekends, take a trailer ride hayrides and pumpkin picking.
How to get there: Trip is approximately 1 hour by car. By rail: there doesn’t seem to be an option here- but call them to make sure I’m wrong.
we love Dr. Davies Farm in Rockland County for apple picking. It’s an annual tradition!

Horse Sleigh Farm
438 Route 57 West
Washington NJ 07882
GPS: Warren County Community College
Washington,  NJ 07882 (But go 1/2 mile East)
What to do: Pumpkin picking patch in NJ where you can actually twist off the vine from pumpkins, unlike most other farms. Most other places have the pumpkins pre-cut. Their giant corn maze is twelve acres and is split into a big maze and small maze for the children. In the maze includes 5 fun games. They are ranked #1 for corn mazes in NJ. Take a scenic hayride over to their pumpkin picking field. They also offer free hay mountain, pony rides, corn cannon, pumpkin blaster trebuchet, pony train, corn box, gem mining, pumpkin painting, bounce house, animal petting, photo opportunities, water buffalo sightings, horse drawn hay rides, horse drawn sleigh rides (winter), night time haunted attractions, country store and much much more. We also offer parties and field trips during the fall season.
How to get there: It should take about 1.5 hours to get there by car.
The best pumpkin picking in NJ hands down. Also the corn maze was a ton of a fun and very scenic hayride. Good farm in northern new jersey. My son’s friends raved about the haunted hayrides they have at night and other haunted stuff. Good place and good prices too.


Terhune Orchards
330 Cold Soil Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 924-2310
What to do: For the month of October enjoy weekends of Family Fun: head to the Adventure Barn, hear live music, try apple and pumpkin fare, pick your own apples and pumpkins, you can paint your pumpkin there, there are hay rides, pony rides, tractor drawn wagon rides, visit their barnyard, Corn Stalk Maze and explore the Farm Trail. There are special attractions too like the Alpaca show on special weekends. They also have a winery and tasting room.
How to get there:
It should take about 1.5 hours to get there by car. By rail: Take the NJ Transit Northeast Corridor- Direction: Trenton Transit Center.  Call to make sure that the correct stop is Princeton and then take a taxi to the orchard.

Not exactly next door, but Terhune Orchards in Princeton is fantastic!
We like Terhune’s Farm in Princeton, NJ
We went to terhune orchards in princeton. It was amazing. They have pumpkins and apples, corn maze, and fall festival on the weekends. We were there at 1pm on sunday and it was pretty empty.


Hurds Family Farm
2187 Route 32
Modena, NY 12548
What to do: apple and pumpkin picking, hayrides, bonfires, cornfield maze, feed farm pets, kid’s corral, ride the cow train, shoot the apple launcher, wander the eco-discovery trail, visit the fish pond, giant slide on Sand Mouontain, pedal tricycles down the Tots Trike Trail, visit 18th century dutch threshing barn for refreshments and gifts.  They have  hot apple cider, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, fresh apple cake and more.
How to get there: By car, it’s about a 2 hour drive.

Masker’s Farm
45 Ball Road
Warwick, NY 10990
What to do:
Pick apples, and on weekends: pony rides, apple maze, face painting, haunted house, live music, clown, horse drawn wagon rides.
How to get there: By car the trip is about 1.5 hours. By bus: 3 hours.
It was totally packed by 1 pm. Go early, early, early! It was fun, but the cider donuts weren’t very good. Found Soons Orchards donuts at the Farmer’s Markert in town. They were much better and cheaper.

Outhouse Orchards
130 Hardscrabble Rd
North Salem, NY 10560
(914) 277-3188
How to get there: Travel time by car is about 1 hour.
Just over an hour from the city lies the ultimate apple picking experience.  Outhouse Orchards is family-operated and happens to be open all year.  We purchased a half bushel bag for $25.  Then we started heading up the hill of the orchard.  It was about a 10-15 minute walk.  Ahead of us were higher apple trees than we’d seen before, so we were grateful when someone offered us their apple-picking pole to help maneuver the apples from the trees.   Then we got right to it. Across from the entrance is the food area, where they have vendors of all kinds that make their own scrumptious food including pumpkin cheesecake (out of this world!), turkey legs, pie, funnel cake (a hit in my family), BBQ, pizza, curly fries, ice cream and some kind of donuts that a zillion people were standing in line to buy. At the market, you can also buy home made jams, jellies, fudge and cider or pick up fresh flowers  direct from their farm.  They also have a store that was selling Halloween items.  It will turn into a Christmas store in early November. After we filled up on goodies, we headed toward the rest of festivities and found ourselves in an enormous pumpkin patch.There was also an animal farm, a bouncy pumpkin ($3 each), a duck pond, a playground and hayrides.


Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Road
Newburgh, NY 12550
What to do: pick your own pumpkin, play in the kids’ play houses, hayrides.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 40 minutes. By rail: no info available. Please let me know if you have info on it.
it feels very country and noncommercial.

The Milk Pail Farm & Orchard
Woodside Nursery and Garden Center
134 E Woodside Avenue
N. Patchogue, NY 11772
What to do: Pick your own pumpkin, haunted house, balloon bounce, haunted tunnel, gold mining, straw bales, make your own scarecrow. On weekends: face painting and roasted corn.
How to get there: By car, trip is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I recommend Milk Pail on LI


Masker Orchards
45 Ball Road
Warwick, NY 10990
What to do: Take a pony ride, visit the haunted house, take a horsedrawn wagon ride, see Fuddy the Clown, hear live music with Val and Ken, pick from the 14 varieties of apples. After your picking, go the their country store for apple butter, fresh jam and honey.  You will also find kitchenware, baskets, candles and more.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Yes, the road is muddy, the parking can be confusing, and there is A LOT of people and cars. We went the first time just yesterday, Saturday on the Columbus weekend. It was very confusing in terms of where should we park.
Our leisurely walk through the orchard started with numerous cars trying to pass by us as we walk through the path between the trees. The place was mobbed. The view from the top of the hill however was awesome. We spent about a half hour picking apples and then decided to make our way down the hill to the stores and entertainment.My advice: If you are set on going do it during the week.  If you’re going to go on the weekend, leave very early (6-7am). The place gets mobbed and the whole experience here defeated the entire purpose of having a nice relaxing day in the country.

Scheuermann Farms and Greenhouse
73 Little Warwick Road
Warwick, NY 10990
What to do: 7,000 pots of perennials and a wide variety of flower & vegetable bedding plants, hanging baskets, patio pots, and “proven winners” of nursery stock. Farm fresh produce picked daily from our famous Black Dirt farm. | We are pleased that each year the Scheuermann Farm is the featured outdoor performance venue for the Warwick Summer Arts Festival and also the venue for the Black Dirt Feast. They are well-known for their superfreak pumpkins.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Apple Ridge Orchards
101 Jessup Road
Warwick, NY
What to do: Formerly known as Jessup Road Orchard, this orchard has more than 15 varieties of pick-your-own apples. You can go on a hay ride, visit their pumpkin patch and enjoy apple cider and donuts.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
One of the most intimate experiences in picking apples, without the masses at larger orchards.

Wright Family Farm
329 Kings Highway
Warwick, NY 10990
What to do: During the fall, they offer pick-your-own pumpkins, free hay rides, and a corn maze. The farm stand features seasonal produce, fresh baked breads, and cookies, as well as hot dogs and snacks. Their Christmas tree season begins Thanksgiving weekend.  Wreaths, roping and other seasonal décor are available as well. This farm has been managed by several generations of the Wright family since 1912!
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.


Solebury Orchards
3325 Creamery Road
New Hope, PA 18938
What to do: They grow peaches, apples, blueberries, raspberries and other fruits.  In the Fall, you can pick applies and in September and October you can take a wagon ride to do your apple picking.  In the cutting garden you can make a bouquet from the tons of flowers there. At their market, select delicious apples or fresh pressed cider and Cider Donuts.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Hellerick’s Family Farm
5500 North Easton Road (Route 611)
Plumsteadville (Doylestown), PA 18902
What to do: You can walk or drive the 10 acre field of pumpkins or select from the thousands they haul in from their field to their market.  At the market you will find fall decorations, scarecrows and more.  Visit their 5 acre corn maze, try out a potato sling shot, do some rubber duck races or take a hayride.  Their old-fashioned fun area has a corn tunnel, straw maze, sand box, peddle tractors and tricycles, corn box, peddle cars, bean bag toss, pumpkin relay, potato sack race and jungle trail maze.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

If I am missing any that you like, please add them to the comments section and I will put them on the big list for next year!