By Ann Piccirillo
This weekend not only ushered in Fall, but also the official pumpkin
picking season. So, grab the kids (and the Advil) and get ready to roam
the pumpkin patches to find the perfect pumpkin. Here are some of tried
and true favorite places in New Jersey and over the border in Rockland
County, N.Y. If you have one that's not on the list please share it with
BERGEN COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Abma's Farm: 700 Lawlins Rd. Wyckoff
right here in Bergen County, Abma's Farm offers hayrides on the
weekends and a petting zoo. It also has a great country store where you
can buy fresh-grown produce, fresh eggs, fresh baked cakes, pies and
cookies and specialty items. If you're looking for a fun place to take
the family for lunch or dinner, tryThe Barn located at 359 Sicomac Ave, Wyckoff. It's a great casual place for burgers with a kids' menu and a fully stocked bar.
Demarest Farms: 244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale
great farm located right here in Bergen County, Demarest Farms has been
my family's go-to place for apples, pumpkins and summer barbecues.
Owned and operated by the same family since 1886, Demarest Farms is a
staple for the local community. The pumpkin patch is only a hayride away
and will take you through all of the orchards. Don't forget your
camera. After picking your pumpkins, take the kids back to the market
where they can roam the corn maze, and marvel at all of the Halloween
decorations. It's a great day out!
Depiero's Farm: 300 West Grand Ave, Montvale
Farm is also located in Bergen County, and it's farm consists of over
250 acres that span into New Paltz, N.Y. Depiero's really goes out of
their way to make pumpkin picking a special event for the kids. Not only
do they offer hayrides to the pumpkin patch, but they have inflatables
that the kids can play on when they've chosen their pumpkin. There's
also an amazing farm market that offers fresh fruit and produce, flowers
and plants, a fresh bakery, specialty items and so much more!
Afterwards take the family to Nanuet Pizza for the best thin-crust pizza over the Rockland County border!
Secor Farms: 168 Airmont Ave, Mahwah
farm with a long-standing history in Bergen County, Secor Farms, offers
hayrides into the pumpkin patch where the kids can choose their perfect
pumpkin. There is a hay maze and an animal farm. Also, Secor Farms has a
great selection of fall flowers to choose from.
ESSEX COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Fairfield Farms: 177 Big Piece Road, Fairfield
far from Bergen County is Fairfield Farms. Fairfield offers hayrides
into the pumpkin patch as well as a corn/hay maze, an obstacle course,
and other outdoor fall family games. Fairfield also offers a light menu
of hot dogs, hamburgers, cider and more! They also have an extensive
selection of fall flowers, corn stalks and hay that you can purchase to
decorate your yard for fall.
MORRIS COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Alstede Farms: 84 Rt. 513, Chester
family hayrides, pumpkin picking, a corn maze and lots of family fun at
Alstede farms. Alstede goes all out to make pumpkin picking a great
family experience. They offer pony rides, moon bounce, corn kingdom and a
wagon train ride. It's a great day out!
Riamede Farm: 122 Oakdale Road, Chester
your own cutting shears if you're going to pick your pumpkin at Riamede
Farms. Give the kids an experience they'll never forget! Let the
hayride take you into the patch, but get ready to cut your own! The
market offers fresh-baked donuts and cider.
Stony Hill Farm: 15 North Road 8, Route 24, Chester
Hill Farms grows gigantic pumpkins in their pumpkin patch. Take a
hayride to the patch, and pick the perfect jack o' lantern! After you're
done picking, there are a variety of mazes for the kids to explore--a
corn maze, rope maze, tile maze and more! There's a garden center and a
fresh farm market to enjoy some fresh-baked goods.
Parks Farms: 525 State Route 24, Chester
a ride out into the pumpkin patch and get to work picking your
pumpkins! Parks Farms is a great farm that offers a variety of fresh
Brookhollow Farms: 301 Rockaway Valley Road, Boonton Township
only does Brookhollow Farms have a great pumpkin patch, but it is also
home to many Alpacas and an amazing barnyard where children are invited
to pet and visit the animals. Small children will enjoy driving their
own toy tractors, pretending to be excavators with toy front loaders in
the sandbox or taking an old-fashioned wagon ride pulled by a vintage
blue tractor. The petting farm includes goats, sheep, cows, donkeys,
mini-horses, llamas, alpacas, pigs, ducks and chickens. To continue with
the farm theme, Brookhollow offers hands-on lessons about each animal.
The great train mountain where kids can watch a G scale train wind
through a miniature village is yet another attraction not to be missed.
Hacklebarney Farm Cider Mill: 104 State Park Road, Chester
Located in beautiful Chester Township, right in the midst of beautiful Hackleberry State Park, Hacklebarney Farm is a popular destination for all ages. There is a beautiful pumpkin patch where the kids can wander the rows in search of the best pumpkin. The farm offers wood-pressed apple cider and homemade baked goods made daily in their bakery located on the farm. There are corn mazes for the kids to play in and cider-making demonstrations.
Hamilton Farms: 130 Old Denville Road, Boonton Township
Farms has Hayrides, farm Animals, and the best-of-the-season farm fresh
fruits and vegetables. Mouth watering pies and apple cider donuts! Jump
on the hay wagon and venture out to the pumpkin patch to choose your
pumpkin! Then be sure to let your family enjoy the Halloween displays
and hay maze that await you upon your return. Stop in and visit with
Wilbur, Cupcake and the gang in their petting zoo. Hardy garden mums and
fresh, fall produce are available.
Middle Valley Farms: Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham
Valley Farms gives hay rides to their "pick-your-own pumpkin" patch and
a challenging, five-acre corn maze. But if you are not up to these
adventures, relax on a hay bale with a cup of cider and a hand-dipped
candy apple, breathe in the clean fresh air, and enjoy the rolling
countryside while the vibrant hues of autumn surround you.
Ort Farms: 25 Bartley Road, Long Valley
addition to picking your own pumpkins, Ort Farms offers corn maze,
train rides, Clysdale horses rides, a petting zoo, and so much more.
They also offer cornstalks, hay, and flowers for purchase so you can
decorate your own yard for the holidays!
Sun High Orchards: 19 Cranfield Ave, Randolph
whole family will enjoy visiting the friendly animals. Their alpaca
"Jersey Gold" and mini donkey "Jessica" are always looking to make new
friends. In the market, you can play a game of checkers or Candyland in
front of their reconsturcted historic bee hive oven and fireplace. The
pumpkin patch opens the last weekend in September with continuous
hayrides on the weekends. There's a market that offers fresh produce,
freshly baked bakery goods, and so much more!
SOMERSET COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Doyles Farm: 771 Mill Lane, Hillsbourgh
patch-pick in the field, pumpkin patch- already gathered from the
field, corn maze, corn cannon, tractor-pulled hay rides, prepicked
produce, snacks and refreshment stand, restrooms, picnic area, face
painting, pony rides, farm animals, and so much more!
Norz Hill Farm: 116 South Branch Road, Hillsborough
a ride into the pumpkin patch to pick your own pumpkin and when you're
done you can take a wagon tour of the farm where your guide will explain
farm practices to the children and you'll get to see all of the farm
animals. Some of the animals you will find are calves, miniature donkeys
(yep, they have donkey like Dominick the donkey!), horses, llamas,
sheep, chickens, goats, bunnies, a zonkey and even a water buffalo.
HUNTERDON COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Grochowicz Farms: 2401 Route 31 South, Glen Gardner
offers Fall Family Fun. In addition to their pumpkin patch, fun
hayrides where you get to see the farm's cows grazing, junior corn maze,
huge hay maze, visit the farm animals, ball pit, corn pit, and more
Schaefer Farms: 1051 Flemington/Whitehouse Road, (County Rte 523) Flemington, NJ
your family on a scenic hayride to our 40+ acres of home grown
pumpkins, free with the purchase of a pumpkin. Visit the friendly farm
animals and tour the educational barn. Bounce in Daisybelle the cow,
lose yourself in the corn maze and enjoy good food. Fun for the
whole family. The farm stand is filled with fall harvest. You will find
Country Treasures and fall decorations. Buy Schaefer's own Indian corn,
gourds, kale, corn stalks and a wide variety of colorful mums take home
some local apple cider and fresh baked pies.
SUSSEX COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Pochuck Valley Farms: 962 McAfee Glenwood Rd, Glenwood, NJ
Great family destination for pumpkin picking! Great hayrides into the pumpkin patch and a great country store where you can buy fresh produce and baked goods. Great family day out!
Heaven Hill Farm: 451 Route 94, Vernon
Heaven Hill Farms offers their Fall Pumpkinland Festival--picture it as a country-style carnival that the whole family can enjoy! The hayride will take you to the pumpkin patch that is bursting with pumpkins. This is a GREAT family day out!
Lentini Farm: 251 Rt 94, Newton; Take a hayride to pick your own pumpkin and then get lost in the corn maze! There are farm animals, pumpkin painting, picnic area, food and so much more!
Sussex County Strawberry Farm: Highway 206, Andover
Yes, you can pick your own pumpkin at the Strawberry farm! After pumpkin picking the kids can enjoy pony rides. There's also hayrides, horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh produce and cider, and so much more!
ROCKLAND COUNTY, NEW YORK
Orchards of Concklin, 2 South Mountain Rd., Pomona
So close to home, but seemingly miles away, Orchards of Concklin is a great day out for the entire family. After you pick your perfect pumpkin, stop by the farm store where you can buy fresh produce and baked goods while the kids play outside on the Kids Haunted House & Bounce, and the slide & Jurassic Adventure.
Dr. Davies Farm, 306 Route 304, Congers
Here's a little trivia: the Birthday Song was composed at Dr. Davies Farm. Take a scenic hayride into the pumpkin patch and let the kids run wild as they try to find the perfect pumpkin. There's no other way to say it, but roaming the patch with the leaves changing all around at Davies is like walking in paradise.