July and August bring bumper crops of berries to area farms, and heading out to pick your own blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and more is a great way to spend a summer afternoon. We’ve rounded up a list of local farms less than a two-hour drive from New York City where you can do just that, and along with produce ready to pick, many of them offer picnic areas, petting zoos, play areas and other kid-friendly features on-site. (Note: it’s always good to call ahead to get the latest on crop conditions.) Read on to find out where to pick your own berries with the kids this summer!
For Berries with a Side of Blooms: Patty’s Berries & Bunches
This 40-acre Long Island farm is filled with over 24 different types of berries throughout the summer and early fall. For $5, pickers gain entry to the berry patch and a container to fill; you can also buy pre-picked berries at the farm stand. Patty's "bunches" are flowers, which are sold pre-picked and include blossoms such as sunflowers, dahlias and zinnias. The farm also features an "Ice Cream Patch", where visitors can buy scoops of seasonal flavors like "sugar snap pea" and "blackberry sage", which are made with fresh ingredients grown on site. (For more kid-friendly fun, head across the road to Harbes Family Farm, where you'll find tons of attractions at it's Barn Yard Adventure. Think petting zoos, a hedge maze, pig races, singing hayrides, a spots zone, and more!)
Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 40 mins
410 Sound Ave.
Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
photo: via Tina C. on Yelp
For Blueberries, Pygmy Goats & Koi
July and August are prime for blueberry picking at this Hudson Valley farm. you'll also find a daily farmers market, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring the best the Hudson Valley has to offer, from produce to meat to fish and dairy. (Located at 227 Pitcher Lane.) When you've got enough blueberries, stop by and feed the pygmy goats and koi fish at a nearby pond.
Distance from NYC: 2 hours
263 Pitcher Ln.
Red Hook, NY
Daily, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
photo: via Greig Farm Facebook page
For All Kinds and Colors of Berries: Ochs Orchard
In July and August, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are available for picking at this Warwick, New York farm, and you can also pick veggies, peaches and tomatoes. A petting zoo is home to ducks, miniature goats and miniature donkey, while Ochs makes homemade ice cream from fruit grown on site for a post-pick treat.
Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 30 mins
4 Ochs Ln.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Picking days can change week to week, so call ahead)
photo: via Ochs Orchard Facebook page
For Pesticide-Free Berries: Fishkill Farms
Devoted to the practice of ecological farming, Fishkill says its berries are "beyond organic", which means as much as possible, they try to grow berries "spray-free." In addition to blueberries and raspberries, the farm also offers a selection of great summer herbs and vegetables. Admission to the farm is $5, you pay for what you pick, and buckets are provided. On Tuesdays admission is free. When you’re all picked out, your kids can show some love to the rabbits and chickens that also call the farm home. Check the farm's Facebook page for the latest news on prime picking.
Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 30 mins.
9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, Ny
Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
photo: Matt Jiggins via Flickr
For Berries and Lots More Fresh Produce: Lewin Farms
A family-run farm for four generations, Lewin Farms was the first U-pick farm on Long Island. Spanning 1,100 acres, this Suffolk County farm grows pretty much everything (including Christmas trees later in the year) but from late June through August is when its got blueberries, raspberries and blackberries for the picking. Beyond lots of fruit, you'll also find a concession stand on weekends for a post-pick snack. Call the farm to get a pre-recorded message with picking conditions that's updated daily.
Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 50 mins
812 Sound Ave.
Daily, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
photo via Greig Farm Facebook page
For Berries, Veggies, a Giant Garden Gnome, and Jumping Pillow
You can pick almost anything you want here, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and vegetables from asparagus to zucchini. They've been around 180 years, and also grow apples and pumpkins for all your autumnal needs. Additional attractions include a mini-golf course with an edible landscape (players are encouraged to snack) and "Chomsky", the world's largest garden gnome. (For real, he's in the Guinness Book.) Kids can also check out a petting zoo, watch bees make honey and get the wiggles out on a trampoline-like "jumping pillow." Hours and days open vary according to conditions; call for information on U-pick days and times.
Distance from NYC: 2 hours
5755 Route 209
photo: via Kelder's Farm Facebook page
For Organic Blueberries: Emery’s Berry Farm
Twenty acres of this 60-acre farm contain eight varieties of certified-organic blueberries that you can pick by the pint or the flat. In addition to berry-picking you'll find more than 20 varieties of pies and bunches of sunflowers for sale. Stop by the barnyard where kids can feed a miniature donkey, sheep, goats, and chickens.
Distance from NYC: 1 hour, 30 minutes
346 Long Swamp Rd.
New Egypt, Ny
Daily, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
photo: Ed K. via Yelp
For Berries, Flowers and Wine: Terhune Orchards
U-pick blueberries and fresh flowers aren’t the only attraction here at Terhune Orchards! In addition to the great fruit, animals on site, and a fresh farm store, Terhune also has its own winery for adults to enjoy. Head there over the weekend (Friday- Sunday, 12-5 p.m.) and enjoy a wine tasting of their award-winning wines crafted on site after you finish up berry picking with the kids.
Distance from NYC: 1 hour
330 Cold Soil Rd.
Farm: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily; Picking Orchard, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., daily
photo: via Nick on Flickr
Do you have a favorite spot to pick berries with the kids? Tell us in the comments!
main image: Lewin Farm Twitter