The temperature is beginning to drop 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, corn maizes, hayrides and more family fun.
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 apple and pumpkin picking, pumpkin patches, corn maizes and hayrides in Queens and also nearby in the Tri-State area.
Some pick-your-own farms began the fun over Labor Day weekend.
Check website links for days, hours and directions.
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 through the end of October, and this year there are two Moonlight Tours (bring your own flashlights).
Queens County Farm Museum also offers a Haunted Farmhouse tour, and there is a special annual Children’s Festival in October.
- 7350 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park, (718) 347-3276.
The rest are in alphabetical order, since that’s the only fair way.
This easily accessible Jersey farm runs a free shuttle from the Gladstone New Jersey Transit station, making it a top pick (pardon the pun) for New Yorkers with no car.
There also are kid-pleasing special flourishes (like corn maze and hayrides 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.
Depending on the week, you can also pick-your-own corn, tomatoes and peppers.
- 84 Route 513, Chester, NJ, (908) 879-7189
Before heading into 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.
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.
Note: Cash and checks only, no credit cards accepted, but there is an ATM on premises for cash.
- Doctor Davies Road, Congers, NY
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.
Open weekends through November 10.
- 209 Perkinsville Rd, Highland, NY
This eco-friendly farm offers pick-your-own 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
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.
Pick-your-own is daily through November.
- 45 Ball Rd, Warwick, 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
2019 is the 46th season of pick-your-own at this family-owned farm.
Choose among 34 types of apples at this no-frills New Jersey farm, including several heirloom varieties such as Jonathan, Freedom and tart Macouns. And there are plenty of pumpkins are still clinging to the vine. The farm also offers hayrides.
- 122 Oakdale Rd, Chester, NJ
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
This NYCOTC list of 10 best spots for apple and pumpkin picking in and near NYC was first published in 2016 and updated annually, including for 2020.
If you have a favorite place we missed, let us know. Add your comment below.