Hooray! It’s almost time for fall and that means hay rides, apple picking, and pumpkin scouting are just a short drive or train ride away. Here are four family-friendly farms (and one festival) that are dedicated to making sure you have a great time and a full basket of fruit on your way out. By Carly Petrone.

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(credit: Apple Dave's)

(credit: Apple Dave’s)

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Applewood Orchards is now Apple Dave’s Orchards! Head up to Warwick Valley and see the place that Dave “Apple” Hull’s parents started more than 60 years ago. There’s plenty of things for the whole family to enjoy, from wagon rides and face painting to live music and of course, apple picking. Fresh Macintosh trees are busting with apples all the way down to the ground. But there are plenty of other varieties to choose from like Cortland, Empire, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Gala, Golden Delicious, Macoun, Red Delicious, and Rome. All you have to do is buy a picking bag and pay only for the apples that you pick. Take advantage of the rest of the property by picking pumpkins (in October), strolling through the herb and rose garden, or having a picnic by the pond. There are no admission fees. Farm is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. through October.

(credit: Wright's Farm)

(credit: Wright’s Farm)

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Pick your own apples at Wright’s Farm (even on the holidays). Start at the farm stand to get your bags and then drive your car straight into the orchard. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic, go on a hike, play football, or just relax before filling up your bag with crisp and juicy apples. Don’t forget to stop through their country store were you can stock up on fresh farm-made jams and jellies. Did we mention they also make their own fudge? We’ve got our eye on their seasonal pumpkin fudge and fresh-squeezed cider. Swoon. Adults cost $12 and kids (ages 4-9) cost $6 for access to the entire 453-acre farm and hiking/biking trails and one bag of apples. Parking is free.

(credit: Love Apple Farm)

(credit: Love Apple Farm)

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For those looking to pick more than just apples this fall, head over to Love Apple Farm. You can find other tree-ripe fruit like peaches, plums, melons, and tomatoes (because that’s technically a fruit, right?). This place is great for kids because it’s also home to both a mini horse and mini donkey that have their own mini stable. In fact, there’s an entire petting zoo for the kiddos to enjoy. After a fire ravaged the storage barn and farm stand two years ago, the 80-acre farm plans to add a modern produce store as well as a café and bakery to attract customers in the winter. The farm is open everyday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

(credit: Warwick Apple Fest)

(credit: Warwick Apple Fest)

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Don’t miss out on the Warwick Applefest happening on Oct. 4. Head up to the Hudson Valley and enjoy everything that the apple has to offer. Take part in the Apple Pie Baking Contest (or just grab a slice), buy some of your favorite varieties at the farmers’ market, or see what kinds of food and craft vendors are set up this year. Village shops, restaurants, and businesses are just a short walk away and kids can have a ball at the childrens’ carnival. No wonder more than 30,000 people come to this fun event! Check the website for an updated 32-page booklet that contains schedules of Applefest events, transportation, information, directions for wineries, u-pick apples, and more.

(credit: Hurds Family Farm)

(credit: Hurds Family Farm)

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Hurds Family Farm is open year-round but September and October is definitely the best time to pick apples. They specialize in a wide variety of apples including Royal Galas, Empire, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Jonagolds, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Rome Beauties, and Ruby Frost. They make apple picking easy with signs underneath every apple tree describing the type of apple and whether or not it’s ready to be picked. You can also pick up your holiday pumpkin! Stop by on the last weekend of September to watch their extreme pumpkin carver in action. Take a break under their new Amish-made pavilion, which overlooks their apple orchard. Kids can take in the view of the Mohonk Mountains while bouncing inside the Big Apple Bounce air pillow or they can be adventurous and take a ride down the giant slide on slide mountain. Families can rent campfire sites or party tents for fresh air dining and hayrides are available to help you get around the 120-acre orchard. The farm is open everyday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.