APPLE/PUMPKIN PICKING

Though some farm fall festivals are cancelled this year, there are still apples and pumpkins to be picked and cider doughnuts to devour, plus corn mazes, hay rides and other fall fun.

General tips:

* Capacity is limited. Advance reservations required at most farms and time slots sell out in advance.

* Be prepared for lots of walking in uneven, possibly muddy terrain. Think boots, layers and baby carriers instead of strollers.

* Bring cash, lots of it. Most farms don't take credit cards and all the food and activities add up quickly. If you're just there for the apples, make sure your kids know that in advance.

* Call or check the farm's website to confirm apples (sometimes they are picked out) and activities are available.

* Find more country fun including farms, zoos & outdoor museums in our beyond NYC guide plus great podcasts for the drive.

Westchster/Hudson Valley

Hurds Family Farm

Modena

Choose from tons of apple  varieties at a 120-acre family farm with lots of agritainment.

* Extensive outdoor activities for kids include a hayride, a giant corn maze, big slide, kids corral playground, and nature trails. Pony rides on Sundays.

* Try a Ninja Warrior inspired Wild Apple Obstacle Course made from repurposed farm equipment. Jump on the Big Apple Bounce air pillow with a beautiful view of the Mohonk Mountains. Ride a cow trainfeed farm animals and fish in a pond ($3). Prospect at Gem Mining ($7) located near the Rubber Duck Derby and nature trails entrances.

* Fresh, farm-to-table food available including housemade butternut squash soup. Shop a large selection of gifts and farm to table treats.

* On weekends & holidays, reserve a spot at 8 am the day you plan to visit with a $10+ pre-order of apple bags, pumpkins, etc. Choose the 10 am-1 pm or 1-4 pm time slots for activities. Extra space and sanitation are among the many covid precautions.

* Dogs welcome.

* Pumpkins available in late September

* Timed reservations required. All-day and two hour time slots availble with a range of prices for different activities.

Approx 1.5 hours from Mid-Manhattan

Fishkill Farms

Hopewell JCT

Pick sustainably-grown apples, including some organic varieties straight from the trees, enjoy hay rides throughout the large orchard (weekends only, limited capacity) and choose a pumpkin on a spacious farm.  Also pick-your-own flowers and herbs, sweet & hot peppers and tomatoes depending on availability.

Food for purchase includes fresh-pressed cider, cinnamon-sugar donuts, cheese plates, homemade pies, traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken, grass-fed burgers, seasonal farm-fresh veggie meals and homemade mac & cheese. Picnicking of any kind currently prohibited.

Timed reservations required.

Approx. 1 hour 20 minute drive/1 hour 25 minutes train ride from midtown Manhattan. 15 minute drive from the Beacon Train Station on the Metro-North Hudson Line

Stuart’s Fruit Farm

Granite Springs

Pick a variety of apples and pumpkins among pretty farm foliage at this friendly, family-run farm with a great view. Hay rides available on weekends.

* Visit the farm stand for gourds, Indian corn and corn stalks plus produce and freshly baked farm-made pies and doughnuts.

* Lots of walking and can get quite muddy so wear the right footwear.

* No reservations required. Apples get picked out so go early (in the day and season).

Approx. 1 hour drive from midtown Manhattan.

 

Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

Yorktown Heights

Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins at this peaceful farm. Pick up bags, baskets, and picking poles then walk to this week’s picking orchard.

* Take a wagon ride to and from the orchard on select weekends in early September  – on other days, be prepared for a trek.

*Also get a pumpkin from the patch and explore a corn maze.

* Shop a market, bakery & country shop with pressed apple cider, freshly baked pies, apple cider donuts, holiday decor and gift items.

* Fewer activities than other farms but usually less crowded and less $$.

Approx. 1 hour drive or train ride from mid-Manhattan. 15 minute taxi ride from the Metro-North (Hudson Line) Croton-Harmon or Peekskill stations.

Muscoot Farm

Katonoah

Experience farm animals, agriculture, wildlife, and history in at a former working dairy farm. Today it is a Westchester County park open to the public 362 days of the year.

Visit our 50+ animals, including cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigs, by walking up to their pens or inside their barns.  View historic buildings such as the milk house, the ice house, the brooder house, and the carriage house. Hike 6+ miles of scenic trails to observe local wildlife

Visitors may bring in food as well as visit seasonal concession stands.

Harvest Moon

North Salem

Pick apples on a beautiful hillside orchard with panoramic views of the beautiful Hudson Valley.

* The activity-packed festival is still on hiatus, but all can enjoy live country music, hay rides, sweet and hard cider at three bars and food options including BBQ lunch, farm-raised burger and fresh apple cider donut.

* Apple picking bags start at $15 for 3 lbs (cash only).

* Shop for local produce, farm fresh eggs, pastured meats, local farm products such as honey, maple syrup, and jams/jellies, baked goods, ice cream, and donuts at the Farm Store

* Pumpkin Patch opens September 18th.

* Across the road from Outhouse Orchards, which has a fun corn maze.

* Advance timed reservations required.

Approx. 1 hour drive or 1 hour 20 minute train ride from mid-Manhattan.  Two mile taxi ride from the Metro North Harlem Line Croton Falls stop.

Outhouse Orchards

North Salem

This family owned and operated orchard in northern Westchester has lots of apples to pick, gorgeous views, a hay ride and more.

* Use the map to find the hidden clues among the stalks in the fun corn maze to solve a puzzle and learn facts about apples (tip: use the bathroom before you enter the maze).

* Pick from a wide selection of pumpkins and gourds in the (vine-free) pumpkin patch and pose by fun Halloween decorations and sunflower patches.

* Shop for daily fresh picked produce, local honey, artisanal goods including oils & vinegars, jams, jellies, & preserves, decoration, warm apple donut, fresh apple cider, homemade pies and more from the farm store.

* Reservations required on weekends & holidays. Across the road from Harvest Moon (which has more food and hard cider options).

Approx. 1 hour drive/1 hour 20 minute train ride from mid-Manhattan. Two mile taxi ride from the Metro North Harlem Line Croton Falls stop.

Pennings Farm Apple Picking

Warwick

50 acres of pristine farmland in the historic Hudson Valley town of Warwick offers pick-your-own apples.

* Reservations required for drive-in apple picking. Pumpkin picking also available.

* Get craft ciders, beers, excellent seasonal food and amazing cider doughnuts at The Cidery, Beer Garden, Ice Cream Stand and Farm Market plus food trucks and face painting.

*Stop by nearby lovely Lake Wawayanda for nature walks/hikes.

Approx 1 hour drive from mid-Manhattan.

New Jersey

Happy Day Farm Fall Harvest

Manalapan

Celebrate fall with over 35 games, activities and attractions including a pumpkin house, 10-acre corn maze, giant fun slide, pig racing, feeding zoo, lots of fun photo ops and much more (all included with admission). Additional fees for the pumpkin blaster, corn cannon and pumpkins.

* Find fields of sunflowers to pick and pose for a limited time. No apples to pick but plenty else to keep kids busy.

* Pizza, cheese steaks, fries, hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken tenders, gyros, zeppoles, fried oreos, apple fritters, funnel cakes, fresh squeezed lemonade & more available for purchase.

* Tickets must be purchased in advance online for Saturday & Sunday. Pumpkin picking only Monday-Thursday. Purchases within the farm are cash only.

* Nursing stations, wash stations and porta-potties available throughout the farm.

* The parking field is huge; make sure you head to the main fair area for admission before walking (or riding a tractor) to Pumpkinville on the other side.

* All the activities mean denser crowds and lines; social distancing and mask wearing are encouraged but not enforced so not for the most COVID-cautious.

Approximately 1.5 hrs drive from Manhattan.

QUEENS/LONG ISLAND

Waterdrinker Farm Fall Festival

Manorville

Pick pumpkins and sunflowers ($2/stem) in spacious fields.

* Activities include mini golf, a jumbo jump pad, barnyard animals, roasted corn, tractor pedal cars for tots and barnyard animals.

* Open daily, train and hay rides only on weekends & holidays.

* No advance reservations; pay at the gate. Capacity is limited to come early.

Approx 1.5 hour drive  from mid-Manhattan.

The Amazing Maize Maze

Floral Park

Explore NYC’s only corn maze, a 3-acre challenge of finding clues and solving puzzles on your way to Victory Bridge for a full vista of Andy Warhol’s Cow.

Local produce available at the seasonal farm stand. On Saturday & Sunday, take free hayrides on the hour 11am – 4pm

Pumpkin patch opens on October 1.

Also explore 47-acres of the longest continuously farmed site in New York State (since 1697). See historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex,  farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard and herb garden and livestock including cattle, sheep, chickens and llamas and visit colorful floral pop-up The Fall Escape (separate timed ticket required).

White Post Farms

Melville

Pick pumpkins at this unique farm and garden center perfect for animal lovers.

* Feed giraffes, become a perch for parakeets, pet farm animals, watch primates play and ride ponies.

* Live entertainment includes performances by the Dominguez Poodles, dog stunts by the Canine Stars and an animal-themed magic show.

* Take a sing-along hayride and paint pumpkins.

* Great food options include tacos, gourmet hot dogs, roasted corn apple cider doughnuts and award winning pies and breads.

* More stroller friendly than most farms with many paved and graveled walkways.

* Online advance reservations required on weekends and holidays.

* Approx. 45 minute drive from mid-Manhattan