Farms & U-Pick

Apple Picking Orchards in Hartford County, CT

The nights are beginning to have a cool crisp breeze in the air, the leaves will soon be changing their colors, and the days are getting shorter….all signs of the start of my favorite season here in Hartford County. Fall marks the end of summer and with it comes many great things like fairs, breathtaking foliage, cozy sweaters, and especially apples! What better way to mark the start of fall harvest than to go apple picking with the kids. Many farms in the central Connecticut area offer pick-your-own fruit. While you’re there don’t forget to try a warm apple cider donut! For even more areas to go Apple Picking check out our CT Apple Picking Guide.

Apple Picking Near Boston with Kids: Pick Your Own Fun!

Nothing says fall in New England like a family excursion to the apple orchards. With many orchards to choose from, families can head a short distance from Boston for their choice of places to pick their own apples starting in late August through mid-October.

We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite places to pick apples near Boston, but with over 50 farms in the area offering apple picking, there are many more to choose from. In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards offer petting farms, country stores, hay rides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities, so leave plenty of time to take advantage of all these farms have to offer. You can also plan your child's fall farm birthday party at some of the farms.

And if you're looking for some ideas for what to do with all those apples, we've put together some of our favorite apple recipes for inspiration!

13 Places Where LI Kids Can Learn and Have Fun in the Hamptons & North Fork

Few places bring history to life better than the East End. And why should that surprise anyone? Eastern Long Island is, after all, home of the first permanent English settlement in the state. Not to mention two of the nation’s oldest lighthouses, both commissioned by George Washington himself.

And parents eager to indulge their children’s intellectual curiosity will find no shortage of destinations. We’ve rounded up a baker’s dozen of our favorites that can be visited at limited cost and whose insights are bound to inspire your budding historian.

So check these out, and while you’re at it, enjoy our Long Island Classes Guide for more education fun for the kids.

Bird Watching with Long Island Kids

Nature is abound on Long Island and one way to squeeze in some quality family time is to learn which animals share our home. Luckily, various kinds of birds can be found here throughout the year and families can learn more about where the best spots are to watch our feathered friends take flight.

Can't get enough? We've also rounded up places where you can have an Animal Encounter or On the Farm birthday party.

Family-Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New Jersey

When planning a family day trip, vineyards and wineries may not be the first destinations that come to mind. Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to relaxing and scenic vineyards that are family-friendly, and even pet-friendly! These vineyards offer outdoorsy fun that includes food truck events, music, farm activities, spacious fields, and of course, the Garden State’s homegrown wines. Not all local vineyards and wineries permit children on the premises, but raise your glass to these five that do. And be sure to check the policies on children in the tasting areas.

A Visit to Auerfarm in Bloomfield

Sprawled on 120 acres in Bloomfield, Auerfarm is a pastoral oasis in the Hartford area. From the moment you turn on the dirt road (be sure to drive slowly), you will feel the freedom and peace of farm life. Children will be more than happy to explore for a couple of hours, romping in meadows, spotting dragonflies, and greeting farm animals. 

New Jersey Zoos and Aquariums: Popcorn Park Zoo

From zoos and aquariums to farms and parks with live animals, New Jersey is home to plenty of attractions for animal-loving families. While all of these great destinations are educational, one special zoo in Forked River takes things a step further by teaching visitors about compassion. Popcorn Park Zoo is made up entirely of animals that have been rescued. The zoo was established in 1977 for the sole purpose of providing a refuge for wildlife that were sick, elderly, abandoned, abused or injured, and could no longer survive in their natural habitat. As time went on, the zoo expanded to include domestic and exotic animals. My kids and I recently visited Popcorn Park. From lions, tigers and bears to parakeets, monkeys and peacocks, this little zoo's inhabitants were definitely worth the trip. 

Weekend Fun for CT Kids: Asian Festival, Puppetry, and Dinosaurs August 15-16

While my friends are beginning to pack away the beach gear and shift their focus on back-to-school shopping for the children, I refuse to let the next two weeks of vacation get away without more adventures. Pencils and notebooks can wait because there are too few summer days left for outdoor concerts, building sand castles, or visiting one more museum on our "must see" list.

This weekend, a Smorgasbord of fun and shopping will be had in Fairfield County, where you can also enjoy a Walnut Beach Concert. The family can also get together for Quassy Amusement Park Carload Night, pick something fresh for dinner at the Goshen Farmers Market or enjoy Open Farm Day in New Haven.


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