By Jessica Allen
You can find the ideal gourd without lifting a figure, sure, but there’s something to be said for getting your hands dirty as you wrestle the perfect pumpkin out of the ground. The farms listed below offer so many other activities to get you into the fall spirit too, from hay rides to corn mazes to apple-picking.
Decker Farm at Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10306
Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town preserves and re-creates life as it was way, way back in the 1600s. The museum and farm complex focuses on individuals and artifacts (some 130,000 objects in all), telling the stories of America through the ages. While picking your pumpkin, you can learn more about Decker Farm, which dates to the 1800s, as well as take a hayride, wander through a corn maze and get your little one’s (or your) face painted. Weekends through Sunday, October 29, 11 to 4 pm, $6, tickets required.
244 Wierimus Road
Hillsdale, NJ 07642
Demarest Farm in New Jersey offers you the complete farm experience. Among the fun to be had here is a petting zoo, garden center and farm store, complete with freshly baked pies and cider. This family run farm offers both pumpkin and apple picking. On select fall Fridays, the farm puts on a special nighttime event, tailor-made for families: a ticket gets you any pumpkin you want, a seat at a screening of the animated Spookley, a trip through a crooked house village, and more. Weekends through Sunday, November 5, see schedule for details and ticket info.
Halloween Harvest at Luna Park
1000 Surf Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11224
Coney Island’s amusement park transforms into Halloween Headquarters each fall, thanks to the annual Halloween Harvest. A wristband gets your family all the rides they can ride, along with face-painting, arts and crafts, magic shows, story time, costume parades (including one for four-legged friends [advance sign-up required]), on-site artistic pumpkin carving, pony rides, and, of course, your chance to select a pumpkin that’s just right for your abode. Weekends through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details, $42–69, wristband required.
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard
130 Hardscrabble Road
North Salem, NY 10560
Come check out the highlights of the autumn harvest at Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard. This family run farm in Westchester County grows many different type of fruits and vegetables; raises organic livestock; and sells free-range eggs, honey, cheese and other dairy products, apple cider donuts, and lots more, made on site or nearby. The Fall Festival includes a bouncy castle, live music and all the delicious apples and pumpkins you can pick. Weekends and select weekdays through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details and pricing info.
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, NY 11004
When someone says “Queens,” no doubt you think of the Mets, the borough’s tremendous diversity, or the great eats to be had in neighborhoods like Jackson Heights and Flushing. But did you know that Queens also boasts the city’s oldest, continuously worked farm? It’s true! The Queens County Farm has been in operation for going on more than 300 years. October is Pumpkin Month, so head on over (you can even take the subway!) and see what’s available to pick, carve, and eat. Weekends through Sunday, October 29, see schedule for details and ticket info.