Pick Your Own Apples, Pumpkins, Veggies…and Hop a Hayride! - A Child Grows

Pick Your Own Apples, Pumpkins, Veggies…and Hop a Hayride!

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Apple picking at Apple Ridge Orchards in the Hudson Valley. ©Apple Ridge Orchards

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. 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.

NEW YORK CITY

Queens County Farm Museum
http://www.queensfarm.org/
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, New York 11004-1129
718) 347-3276
What to do:
This weekend the 3 acre interactive corn maze opens. The adventure begins with a stalk talk to prepare you for the challenge of finding clues, solving puzzles and making your way out of the maze. On Saturdays and Sunday you can take a free guided tours of the historic farmhouse, and hop on a  hayride at $2 per person (weather permitting from April through October). General admission is free except on special-event days. Next weekend- September 22 and 23- is the 30th Annual Queens County Fair, a traditional county fair with blue ribbon competitions in livestock, produce, home crafts, arts and crafts, and more.  Starting Oct. 6th- 28th you can pick your own pumpkin. Oct. 7th is also the Apple Festival: a  large variety of apples, apple products, and freshly pressed cider will be available. The nation’s largest apple cobbler will be baked on site.
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.
Reviews:
-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.
-perfect quick trip away and great for a toddler.

Randall’s Island
http://www.randallsislandgolfcenter.com/
1 Randall’s Island
New York, NY 10035
(212) 427-5689
What to do:
On October 6th and 7th, RI Golf and Sports Center will be hosting a Fall Festival complete with a pumpkin patch, pony rides from 1-4 pm, hay rides, haunted mini golf, unlimited batting cages, unlimited miniature golf, cornhole, a beer garden, ping pong and more. Each child will go home with a pumpkin. Admission price for the weekend is $15 per person. Food concessions are additional. Free parking. Free Shuttle service from 3rd Ave. for all (see shuttle schedule)
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.

NEW JERSEY

Mapquest address: 1 Chesterfield Drive
Chester, NJ 07930
What to do: On Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-4 pm and Saturdays and Sundays and holidays from  11-5 pm: pick your own pumpkins includes free hayrides, pony rides, wagon train rides, see the farm animals, bunny run, moon bounce, climb the giant hay pyramid, hay tunnel, giant 10 acre corn maze challenge, pick your own raspberries, vegetables, pumpkins, gourds, applies and sunflowers (check on seasonal availability). You can even cut your own flowers.  There are also Harvest Moon Hayrides. They sell homemade ice cream, produce and even groceries- and of course, pie.  Admission information is here.
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)
Reviews:
-In NJ Alstede or Whitman Farms are GREAT for families!
-I second alstede! Great place, but get there early!
-Alstede Farm is awesome.-
-…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.)
-
I HIGHLY recommend Alstede Farms. A lot of different crops and tons of activities for the kids. We took the girls last year and had a fabulous time. Lots of great photo ops. Don’t leave without picking up a pie to take home (but don’t wait until the end of the day, they sell out fast. We ended up waiting an extra 20 min for a freshly baked apple pie.) If it’s rained the day of or the day before your visit, be sure to take rain boots for the kids. They’ll get sloppy out in the orchards.

Demarest Farms
demarestfarms.com
244 Werimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ
07642
(201) 666-0472 or
What to do: Pick your own apples has begun but you have to wait for pick your own pumpkins until the 4th weekend of September. On the weekends, take a hay ride with no reservation, but you must make a reservation for a weekday. They have a deli, country bakery, ice cream shop, salad bar, cider and donuts. In the past, they have had face painting and Squiggles the Clown (on weekends)- call to see if they are still doing that. Admission is $5 and includes a hay ride.
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.
Reviews:
-Demarest farms in Demarest, NJ is great for pumpkin picking.
-We liked Demarest-  Close drive!

Horse Sleigh Farm
http://www.HorseSleighFarm.com
438 Route 57 West
Washington NJ 07882
GPS: Warren County Community College
Washington,  NJ 07882 (But go 1/2 mile East)
908-246-3044
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 are 5 fun games for kids. 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, horse drawn wagon rides, pick your own vegetables, 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, pedal cart racing, 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.
Reviews:
-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
http://terhuneorchards.com/
330 Cold Soil Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 924-2310
What to do:
This weekend is Apple Day (Sept, 16, 17)  – wagon rides, pony rides, face painting, pumpkin painting, make your own scarecrow and more. Fall Family Weekend start on Sept. 22nd and end Oct. 28th.  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.
Reviews:

-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.

CONNECTICUT

Silverman’s Farm
http://www.silvermansfarm.com/
451 Sport Hill Road
Easton, CT
203-261-3306
What to do: Pick apples and peaches this fall. In late September, head to their decorated pumpkin patch with scarecrows, cornstalks and straw bales.  , pumpkins. Their farm market offers preserves, jams, apples, peaches, cider, pies and other various fruits and baked goods.  See, pet and feed all sorts of unusual animals, including buffalo, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, fallow deer, emus, long-horn cattle,and exotic birds. Picnic tables are available in the park area. There is a small admission fee for the animal farm. There is face painting some weekends. Live music on some fall weekends, check the schedule here.
How to get there: It’s about a 1.5 hour drive.

WESTCHESTER

Hurds Family Farm
http://hurdsfamilyfarm.com/
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 Mountain, 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.

Outhouse Orchards
http://www.outhouseorchards.info/
130 Hardscrabble Rd
North Salem, NY 10560
(914) 277-3188
What to do: Pick apples and take a tractor ride around the farm. For this first time this year, they are opening a corn maze.
How to get there: Travel time by car is about 1 hour.
Reviews:
-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
http://www.lawrencefarmsorchards.com/
39 Colandrea Road
Newburgh, NY 12550
845.562.4268
What to do: pick your own vegetables, apples, pumpkins, play in the kids’ play houses, horse and carriage rides on the weekends and visit the farm animals.  They have very basic food (hot dogs, pizza, coffee) in their bakery.
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.
Reviews:
-it feels very country and noncommercial.


LONG ISLAND

The Milk Pail Farm & Orchard
www.woodsidenurseryandgarden.com
Woodside Nursery and Garden Center
134 E Woodside Avenue
N. Patchogue, NY 11772
631-758-1491
What to do: Pick your own pumpkin, haunted house, balloon bounce, 3,000 square foot haunted tunnel, gold mining, straw bales, make your own scarecrow. On weekends: face painting and roasted corn. Pumpkin picking begins the 3rd week in September and goes all through October.
How to get there: By car, trip is around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Reviews:
-I recommend Milk Pail on LI

HUDSON VALLEY

Masker Orchards
http://www.maskers.com
45 Ball Road
Warwick, NY 10990
845-986-1058
What to do:
Pick apples, and on weekends: pony rides, apple maze, face painting, haunted house, live music, clown, horse drawn wagon rides.  Fuddy the Clown will be visiting the orchard on the weekends of October 6, 7, 8 and October 13th and 14th. Be sure to look for Fuddy for balloon animals, yo- yo tricks, lots of laughs and much more! Live music with Val and Ken each weekend beginning September 9th – October 21st. Show times at 2:00pm and 4:00 pm on the wagon stage.
How to get there: By car the trip is about 1.5 hours. By bus: 3 hours.
Reviews:
-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 Market in town. They were much better and cheaper.
-
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
http://www.warwickinfo.net/scheuermann/#
73 Little Warwick Road
Warwick, NY 10990
845-258-4221
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 their 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.

Dr. Davies Farm
drdaviesfarm.com.
306 Route 304
Congers, NY
(845) 268-7020
What to do: Find your apples in their 4,000 tree orchard. Take a scenic trailer ride to the pumpkin patch where you can pick out a pumpkin. Weekends you don’t need an appointment. Prices are $5 per person and $3 to pick your own pumpkin.
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.
Reviews:
-we love Dr. Davies Farm in Rockland County for apple picking. It’s an annual tradition!

Apple Ridge Orchards
http://www.appleridgeorchards.com/l-nyapplepicking.html
101 Jessup Road
Warwick, NY
845-987-7717
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. They do have a pumpkin patch as well. Visit the farm animals and watch their honeybees at work. Their farm store has fresh-pressed apple cider, cider donuts, apples and peaches.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Reviews:
-One of the most intimate experiences in picking apples, without the masses at larger orchards.

Wright Family Farm
http://www.wrightfamilyfarm.com/
329 Kings Highway
Warwick, NY 10990
845-986-1345
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.

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery
http://wvwinery.com/home/
114 Little York Road
Warwick, New York 10990
What to do: The orchard is open for apple and pear picking and the season continues through early November. They grow Bosc and Bartlett pears and over twenty varieties of apples. This is a winery, so you can finish your picking off with a visit to their Tasting Room for some wines, ciders, brandies and liqueurs. Renovated from an old apple packing house and overlooking a goose pond and the orchards, it has a lovely woodsy vibe. Every weekend (except on days when they have music festivals which require tickets for all visitors to the winery) from 2 to 5 they have, weather permitting, free performances outside on our patio, or inside on Doc’s Cider House stage. There is a cafe on the premises ,Pane Cafe, where you can get fresh bread every weekend morning. Fresh bread, pizzas, sandwiches and salads from Pané Café’s Bistro menu are served Friday – Sunday, 12-5.
How to get there: by car the trip is 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Reviews:
-Pick your own apples and pears, and they distill and make wine and hard cider. Something for everyone.

BUCKS COUNTY, PA

Solebury Orchards
http://www.soleburyorchards.com/
3325 Creamery Road
New Hope, PA 18938
215-297-8079
What to do: They grow peaches, apples, blueberries, raspberries and other fruits.  In the Fall, 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
http://www.hellericksfarm.com/
5500 North Easton Road (Route 611)
Plumsteadville (Doylestown), PA 18902
215-766-8388
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.  Pick your own flowers as well.  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, pumpkin rolling or take a hayride.  Their old-fashioned fun area has a corn tunnel, giant tube slide, junior farmer fun area, animals, 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!

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8 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the correction Megan!

  2. Just so you know, Dr. Davies is in Congers, NY, not Congers, NJ. Part of Rockland county, which would go under Hudson Valley.

  3. Apple picking is a great family event in the fall! Different apple varieties ripen at different times so if you have a favorite be sure to check with the farm beforehand to find out if it’s available.

  4. Other recommendations from people close to Brooklyn: will get more info on them tonight!

    http://www.silvermansfarm.com/

    Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery! Pick your own apples and
    pears, and they distill and make wine and hard cider. Something for
    everyone. Warwick, NY.

    http://wvwinery.com/picking/

  5. ahh– thanks Meadow- got bleary eyed finishing it last night and got that wrong- thanks for the correction.

  6. thanks for the list! just a little note: lawrence farms is not on long island, it’s upstate.

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