Well, fall is officially here, and it's time to find the "Great Pumpkin,"Charlie Brown! So grab the kids (and the Advil) and get ready to roam the pumpkin patches to find the perfect pumpkin. Here are some of our 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 us.
BERGEN COUNTY PUMPKIN FARMS
Abma's Farm: 700 Lawlins Rd. Wyckoff
Located 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, try The 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
Another 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
Depiero's 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
Another 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
Not 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
Enjoy 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
Bring 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
Stony 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
Take 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 grown produce.
Brookhollow Farms: 301 Rockaway Valley Road, Boonton Township
Not 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.
Hillview Farms: 223 Meyersville Road, Gillette
If you're looking to take a nice trip with the family, hop in the car and go to Hillview Farms. It's a great place to see the leaves changing color. Hillview offers hayrides into the pumpkin patch and there's also a great market where you can purchase fresh produce and baked goods.
Hamilton Farms: 130 Old Denville Road, Boonton Township
Hamilton 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
Middle 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
In 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
The 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
Pumpkin 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
Take 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
Burjan's Pumpkin Festival: 524 Old York Road, Flemington, NJ
The scenic 20 minute hayride takes you around the farm and past all of the poultry that they raise and into the pumpkin patch. After you've picked your pumpkin, there's lots to do for the kids--inflatables, an incredible corn maze, snacks, and so much more. A beautiful day trip that is definitely worth the ride.
Grochowicz Farms: 2401 Route 31 South, Glen Gardner
Grochowicz 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 children's activities.
Schaefer Farms: 1051 Flemington/Whitehouse Road, (County Rte 523) Flemington, NJ
Bring 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.