Oh my gourd—it’s time to start thinking about where your family will pick a pumpkin or two, and there are plenty of places near NYC to do so. The spots below offer experiences of all kinds, from harvest bonanzas with fall fun and games, to chill spots offering fall foliage, baked goods, and maybe even a tractor ride. (Many also serve as a place to pick apples if you’re looking to double up.) Need more ideas for fall 2019 fun? Check out our list of to-dos here!
New York City
Queens County Farm Museum
You won’t believe how close you are to home at the Queens County Farm Museum. Dating back to 1697, the site is New York City’s largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. Every weekend in October the farm’s fields are filled with pumpkins to pick and buy (according to circumference), and The Amazing Maize Maze returns for those wishing to get lost. Hayrides are offered on the weekends as well. Events at the farm include 37th Annual Queens County Fair on September 21, a Haunted Farmhouse on October 26, and the Children's Halloween Festival on October 27.
Hours: Weekends & Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Pumpkin patch and Harvest weekends: Oct. 5 - 26, 11 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free, except on Oct. 27, when the farm will host the Children’s Halloween Festival and admission will be $20. The Amazing Maize Maze: $15/adults ($10 in advance); $8/children ($5 in advance) ages 12 and; free for children three and under.
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy
Staten Island's Decker Farm dates to the early-1800s, and admission includes guided tours from historical reenactors. Weekends in October brings fall fun with pumpkin picking, pumpkin chucking, a hay maze, a fire pit with s'mores, and kid's activities.
Hours: Sat. & Sun. in October, Noon-5 p.m.
Cost: $8/adults; $6/seniors and students 12-17, $5/kids
435 Richmond Hill Rd.
Schmitt’s Family Farm
What does Schmitt’s Family Farm have for pumpkin-seekers? Really, what doesn’t it have? Head to the farm on weekend from September 28 through October 27 to enjoy Schmitt's annual Fall Festival. In addition to the usual suspects such as a pumpkin patch, fee hayrides and a seven-acre corn maze (this year featuring a "mad scientist" design), you’ll also find Long Island’s largest straw pyramid (for climbing), slides and inflatables, farm animals and pony rides, and even the opportunity to walk through the haunted house in the daytime — a semi-scary experience more appropriate for little ones than the evening’s full-on fright fest.
Hours: Weekends, 10 a.m. – 5p.m.; weekdays, Noon-4:30 p.m. (pumpkin picking and hayrides available throughout the week, other activities only on the weekends).
Cost: Entrance and hayrides are free; corn maze $8/person, haunted mansion $8/person.
26 Pinelawn Rd.
Elwood Pumpkin Farm
For purists, it’s not pumpkin picking unless you are the one to cut the vine. Sure, pumpkins acquired this way tend to be encrusted with dirt, and you have to edit the selection yourself, but that’s part of the authentic experience fun, right? Visitors will also find a corn maze and hayrides here. (Like what you see? Come back in December to cut your own Christmas tree here.) Elwood opens for the Season September 21.
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 3p.m.-5p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (open September 30 and Columbus Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. as well.)
Cost: Free admission for pumpkin picking; pumpkins are priced by size.
1500 East Jericho Tpke.
At Soons Orchard, take a wagon ride up to the pumpkin patch for the full pumpkin picking experience. (There's a fee to hop the wagon for those 6 years old and up, and pumpkins are priced individually. Note: it's cash only for u-pick, and if it rains, the wagons don't go out.) This orchard has been operating since 1910, and is home to more than 50 varieties of apples and 20 of peaches and nectarines. After you hit the pumpkin patch, take an adult break and check out their tasting room featuring top-rated New York State wine, beer and hard cider.
Hours: Weekends, 11 am-4 p.m.
Cost: pumpkins are 55 cents a pound, wagon rides $3/ages six and up.
23 Soons Cir.
New Hampton, NY
What began as a dairy farm in the 1800s is now is a family owned and operated apple farm in the Hudson Valley. “Home of the Happy Apple,” Outhouse Orchards invites you to pick both pumpkins and apples, offers hayrides through its orchards and a corn maze with educational clues (the topic: apples, of course). If you have a fall baby, the farm offers birthday parties as well! Note: there's a parking fee of $10.
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.–5p.m.
139 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, NY
If you’re looking for a lower-key, more ecologically conscious pumpkin picking experience, check out Fishkill Farms in the Hudson Valley. Owned by the same family for more than 100 years, the picturesque 200-acre farm utilizes sustainable farming practices whenever possible, avoids synthetic pesticides and even grows a portion of its apple acreage organically. You can pick your own pumpkins and apples here, and on weekends through the end of October, the farm will be hosting “Fall Harvest Festivals,” featuring barbecue, a corn maze for charity, face painting, live music, cider donuts, a hard cider garden and free hayrides. (Admission price gets you a hayride and a taste of the hard cider for those 21 and over.) You can also grab some grub from the Fishkill Farm Grill, serving up fresh and tasty eats, or Farmers and Chefs food trucks, on site on select weekends.
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Pick-your-own hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily)
Cost: $5 per person, (kids 12 & under free)
9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, NY
Also on our list of places to pick apples, the Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is good for pumpkins, too, although they're not on the vine. (But they do have lots of varieties.) The Harvest Moon Farm Fall Festival (weekends in September and October) is a big to-do, and you should expect traffic as you approach. Beyond apple and pumpkins, you’ll find hayrides, a bouncy castle, pony rides, face painting, ‘apple cannons’, live music and more. (Bring cash—it’s pay as you go for each activity, with most costing $5-$10.) A country store sells lots of locally-produced goods, like honey, dairy and cheese products, maple syrup and all types of freshly-made baked treats. FYI: Aside from service dogs, dogs are no longer allowed on the property.
Hours: Daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April through December. Fall Festival: Saturdays and Sundays in September and October), as well as fall holidays, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Price: $5/person entrance fee, and $30 for a large bag (you must use the orchard’s bag for picking).
130 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, NY
Not far across the border is Secor Farms, a smaller, kid-centered farm. There are plenty of photo opportunities, including a “How Tall This Fall” sign for you to mark your kid’s growth each year. The farm sells their homemade pies and apple cider doughnuts all week long and on weekends they have hamburgers and hot dogs you can eat at one of the picnic tables on the property. Hayrides take visitors to the pumpkin patch and corn maze where you and the little ones can pick your favorite jack-o-lantern. (Pumpkins are 65 cents a pound.) Before you get back in the car, make sure to check out their huge selection of mums, kale plants, and Halloween decorations to bring a little bit of the farm back home.
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 3 p.m. – 5 p.m, Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Cost: From September 21 to October 31, hayrides to the pumpkin patch are $5/ticket (every passenger needs a ticket —lap infants and crawlers don’t count).
85 Airmont Ave.
This quiet, not crowded farm is the real deal, and pumpkin picking begins in October here, where you hop a tractor up to the pumpkin patch. This family-owned farm has been around for almost 150 years and doesn’t disappoint- check out their farm market on your way out for fresh produce and festive gifts.
Cost: No admission fee; tractor ride is $5 per person
223 Meyersville Rd.
For the full-on fall experience with all the bells and whistles, head to Alstede Farms on a weekend. Aside from pick-your-own pumpkins, you’ll also find pony rides, a moon bounce, a wagon train, hay rides, a hay pyramid (for climbing), live music, a bunny run and more. (Not only can you pick your own pumpkins here, you can also head out into the flower fields and cut some fresh blossoms to take home.) You’ll find not one, but two corn mazes here, one for smaller kids, another larger labyrinth for older ones .
Hours: Activities happen Noon- 4 p.m., Mon-Fri.; 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekends and holidays
Price: Pick-your own admission and prices for farm activities vary by day. Click here to see prices and buy tickets. Note: We strongly suggest you buy tickets in advance to make your life easier; it gets very crowded here.
1 Alstede Farms Ln.
Ort Farms is another northern New Jersey grower that really brings it in the fall. A family farm that’s been around for a century, Ort offers pumpkin picking (off the vine if you like), hay rides, pony rides, farm animals, a mini tractor play set, apple canons, a hay pyramid and even Monster Truck rides! (Monster truck rides begin September 29, pony rides begin September 28.) You’ll also find a corn maze, here; this year's design is "Hope", and is inspired by the Lauren's Hope Foundation, dedicated to helping families of children with brain injuries. Bonus: no admission fee, no parking fee!
Hours: Noon-6 p.m., Mon-Fri.; 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., weekends
Cost: Free admission; pumpkins are 65 cents a pound, and other activities are priced individually (the corn maze, at $6, is the priciest and you can also buy a combo wristband for $12.95.)
25 Bartley Rd.
Long Valley, NJ
Harris Hill Farm
It’s a bit of a drive (about two hours from NYC) and it's only open to the public on October weekends, but Connecticut’s Harris Hill Farm, located in the hills of Litchfield County is worth the trip. Pick pumpkins in a thoroughly bucolic setting (weathered red barn, adorable farm animals and all), enjoy a hayride, and let the little ones tumble through the kiddie hay maze. Or, try your hand at corn trivia! They’ve got picnic tables on site for a fresh air picnic, and the view of the rolling hills in all their autumnal glory will make you feel you’re doing fall right this year.
Hours: Weekends in October, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Cost: Admission, hayrides, kiddie maze all free of charge
106 Ridge Rd.
New Milford, CT
— Ilyssa Smith