The temperature is dropping, the leaves are turning, and there’s a growing excitement about Halloween, spiced lattes and cuddling around a warm fire.
Enjoy autumn and take advantage of the nice weather by getting outdoors and exploring local, family-owned farms near NYC, for apple and pumpkin picking.
Even if you’re not into picking your own produce, you can sample staples like cider, doughnuts (and cider doughnuts), and pies, or check out family-friendly activities like hayrides, haunted houses and corn maizes.
Here is the NYCOTC list of the top ten. Check the website links for days, hours and directions.
Queens County Farm Museum – This 47-acre plot is the longest continually farmed land in New York State, where visitors can explore historic buildings and scope out seasonal crops in addition to picking out their pumpkins. The annual Amazing Maize Maze, a huge labyrinth made of corn, is open Sept 27 to Oct. 27, and this year there are two Moonlight Tours (bring your own flashlights).
- 7350 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park, (718) 347-3276.
Dr. Davies Farm Stand – More than 4,000 trees spread across 35 acres mean there’s typically plenty of apples ready to pick whenever you go. Pumpkins tend to be limited to the small sugar varieties—not exactly carve-able, but way easier to tote home.
- Doctor Davies Road, Congers, NY
Stuart’s Fruit Farm – Family-run since the early 1800s, this low-key Westchester locale offers 14 types of juicy apples and homemade cinnamon-sugar dusted cider doughnuts, baked on-site daily.
- 62 Granite Springs Rd, Granite Springs, NY
Fishkill Farms – Spring freezes took a toll on this eco-friendly farm’s bounty, but you’ll still find Golden Delicious and Rome apples and pumpkins in every size, and more are available just picked, in the farm store. Don’t skip out without nabbing one of the flaky, butter-crust pies.
- 9 Fishkill Farm Rd, Hopewell Junction, NY
Weed Orchards and Winery – Through the end of October, this 40-acre family farm offers the chance to pluck 11 different apple cultivars, along with other Hudson Valley crops (eggplants, zucchini, pumpkins, and butternut squash). Stroll over to the adjacent winery to kick back with one of five varietals (Chardonnay, rosé, Dry Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon) or the house-made cider. Note that dogs are not permitted.
- 43 Mt Zion Rd, Marlboro, NY
DuBois Farms – A pair of first-generation farmers purchased this 54-acre plot in 2002 to prevent the land from being developed. Harvest your own Concord grapes and Bosc pears along with six varieties of apples and hefty pumpkins perfect for carving. When you’ve gathered your stash, stick around for a weekend barbecue, fresh apple dumplings, and an apple slushy.
- 209 Perkinsville Rd, Highland, NY
Masker Orchards – Fourteen types of apples hang from the trees here, but this month is all about baking varieties: Ida Reds, Romes, Mutsus, and three versions of Golden Delicious. The other limited-time specialty? A truly creepy haunted house.
- 45 Ball Rd, Warwick, NY
Apple Dave’s Orchards – Before heading into perusing the pumpkin patch and collecting your fair share of Macintoshes and Cortlands, take an hour to wander the grounds (cider doughnut in hand). You can stroll through herb garden and past ponds to the neighboring winery, where you can sip hard cider, apple vodka, and limited-edition wines.
- 82 Four Corners Rd, Warwick, NY
Alstede Farm – This easily accessible Jersey farm runs a free shuttle from the Gladstone New Jersey Transit station. Unlike many pick-your-own locales, it busts out the special flourishes (like corn maze and hayrides) on a daily basis, so it might be worth taking a sick day to head there Monday through Friday. After all, a thinner crowd means a better selection of the sizeable pumpkins and 15 apple varieties.
- 84 Route 513, Chester, NJ, (908) 879-7189
Riamede Farm –2018 is the 45th season of pick-your-own. Choose among 34 types of apples at this no-frills New Jersey farm, including several heirloom varieties such as King David’s. And plenty of pumpkins here are still clinging to the vine. And hayrides.
- 122 Oakdale Rd, Chester, NJ
This NYCOTC list of 10 best spots for apple and pumpkin picking near NYC was first published in 2016 and updated for 2018.