Farms & U-Pick

Maple Sugaring on Long Island 2016

Nothing tops a pancake or waffle like that thick, amber-hued liquid, produced only here in the Northeast—maple syrup. Fortunately for Long Islanders, we don't need to travel to New Hampshire or Vermont to get a firsthand look at the process of converting maple sap into syrup and ultimately sugar. There are farms right here on the island that offer demonstrations and provide samples (yum!).

10 Christmas Tree Farms Near NYC Where You Can Cut Your Own

Skip the NYC corner-stand haggle this year and head to one of these Christmas tree farms to spark a new family holiday tradition. We found 10 cut-your-own tree farms within an hour's drive of Midtown Manhattan, so the kids (and parents!) can fulfill that lumberjack fantasy and still have time to deck the halls.

You can find a 12-foot tree for just $50 at one of the nearby New Jersey Christmas tree farms, gulp down a free cup of hot cider at another in Westchester or do a little birding at a Connecticut tree farm situated in an Audubon nature sanctuary. Nearby Long Island is packed with pretty family tree farms, too. Read on for our top 10 picks for New York families.

Looking for more holiday day trips? We have a few to recommend for local families.

Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms in the Philadelphia Area

Want to work off some of that leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Some families prefer to burn off those calories (AND prepare for the Christmas indulgences) by running a Santa or Elf Run, but the traditionalist might want to work their muscles by cutting down their own Christmas trees.

Create a new family tradition or continue a long-standing ritual by picking out an evergreen that’s going to be front and center for the month of December! Some of these local farms offer additional family fun, such as crafts, cider and hot cocoa sampling, or other treats.

Looking for even more fun this season? Check out our Holiday Guide and our Events Calendar for the latest!

Fishkill Farms: Eco-Friendly Apple Picking in Lower Hudson Valley

Apple picking season is still in full swing and though there are plenty of orchards that offer the chance to pick your own apples and pumpkins in upstate New York and New Jersey, it was really important for my family to choose an organic orchard. Turns out, truly organic farms are harder to come by than I thought.

I did a little digging and found Fishkill Farms a few years back and since then, my family has made the annual apple-picking pilgrimage to this lovely farm that practices ecologically-sustainable farming and offers low-spray apple varieties in addition to a growing number of organic ones. An hour and half from Midtown Manhattan and an hour from central Westchester, Fishkill Farms makes for a great day trip.

Best Corn Mazes for Kids in Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley

In our quest to find the best fall fun in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley, we’ve located the best apple picking, the best autumn festivals and even the best cider doughnuts. So what’s left? Corn mazes!

All of the mazes on this list also offer other fall activities, and with our available weekends rapidly dwindling, you can get a one-stop deal with plenty of all-day fun.

For even more ideas, be sure to check out our Event Calendar!

19 Corn Mazes for Kids Near NYC

Navigating the twists and turns of a giant corn maze is the perfect fall bucket list item for adventurous NYC kids. Yet, with dozens of mazes scattered throughout the more rural parts of our tri-state area, the real challenge is deciding which one to visit.

My family loves our annual corn maze romp (that's my son in the photo above, pondering his next move at the local Queens County Farm Museum's maze), and now we're rounding up almost two dozen of the area's best corn mazes—all within 90 minutes of NYC.

We've broken down our picks to let you know which are better for older kids vs. preschoolers, which are accessible by train and which has the best doughnuts. Most all of these farms include extra seasonal things to do like pumpkin picking, pony rides, petting zoos and even a 100-foot monster slide in one case—all of which adds up to a perfect day trip this fall.

Pumpkin Patches in the Hartford Area

The farm fields are lined with bright orange pumpkins just waiting to be picked and carved into Jack-o-Lanterns. Pumpkin picking is one of the most popular fall activities and there is no shortage of pumpkin patches in the greater Hartford area. With Halloween approaching, don't delay: head out on a crisp autumn day and find just the right pumpkin to decorate with your child. Don't forget to roast and enjoy the seeds! For even more fall fun, check out our CT Fall Fun and Halloween Guide.


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