Farms & U-Pick

Apple Picking in LA? Pick Your Own this Season!

“Apple picking in LA?” your Northwest/Midwest/East coast friends scoff? Well you can tell them that California is the second largest apple exporter and the fifth largest apple producer in the United States. While it may not feel like fall in the Valley - where I heard it was 103 degrees the other day - there are some apple-picking day trips to be had in the area that feel like a seasonal retreat. (And when your bag runneth over, check out these tempting apple recipes...)

Pick Your Own Apple Orchards This Autumn in Eastern CT

Packing up the kids and heading out to pick apples is a rite of passage, and almost a requirement, for families in New England.  Giving kids, both big and little, the experience of seeing where food originates on the farm, is invaluable.  Not to mention, the pictures of kiddos in the orchards and among the pumpkins are sure to be popular with the grandparents.  Check out some of the best pick your own farms for apples in Eastern Connecticut! And make sure to check out our CT Apple Picking Farm Guide too.

Organic Apple Picking in NJ? Where to Find "Low-Spray" Apple Farms in the Garden State

Apple picking in New Jersey is a tradition that my newly transplanted family was excited to experience (South Florida is not exactly known for its fall fruit orchards). I could hardly wait to hop aboard a hay ride with our kiddos and spend the day picking juicy ripe organic apples. But after doing a little research, I was surprised to learn that the climate in New Jersey is not really conducive to large scale organic apple farming--it’s just too expensive and yields too little fruit--so almost all of our organic grocery store varieties hail from Washington State. But that doesn’t mean New Jersey farmers aren’t doing their best to reduce the use of pesticides. Check out these apple farms below, where New Jersey kids and their parents can experience a fun fall day while bringing home local, carefully farmed fruit.

Family Friendly Things To Do This Labor Day Weekend in CT

Where did the summer go?  It seems like just a few weeks ago, I was finally putting away the snowblower and shovels!  The calendar doesn't lie, and Labor Day is almost here, the unofficial, last weekend of all that summer is made of. Our events calendar is full of fun stuff to do happening each day so be sure to check it out.  Labor Day Weekend is also the unofficial kick off to some of our favorite fall activities as well as the start of a huge fair season that spans all areas of Connecticut!  So, before the leaves start changing color and we fall into autumn, let the planning begin for your family's last, big weekend of summer, and make it memorable one! We've listed some fun activities for you to do with the kids as well as some great events happening this Labor Day Weekend.

25 Fun Things to Do with Kids on a NJ Staycation

No fancy vacations planned for this month? Not to worry, we've got you covered! New Jersey offers tons of great options for family outings close to home, whether you're looking for a beach adventure or want to visit a local farm or museum. Skip all the hassles involved with packing, crowded airports and sleepless hotel stays…your family can get their fill of summer fun right here at home in New Jersey. (And save you some money too.) Read on for our top 25 Staycation Ideas, and visit the Mommy Poppins NJ Summer Activity Guide for additional suggestions.

Get Up Close and Personal with Animals at these 7 Places in the Hamptons, North Fork & East End

With its rich farming history, Long Island is home to various animals that help tend to the land and produce food., while others animals are here seeking refuge, being rehabilitated from an injury. And we're lucky enough to view and encounter marine life at a local aquarium.

We've compiled a list of places on the East End of Long Island where you can learn about animals, experience hands-on encounters and even kiss a sea lion! In addition, visit some of these Family Friends Farms on Long Island, and for more ideas on how to spend your time in the area, check out our North Fork and Hamptons Guide as well.

Horseback Riding in Connecticut: Hartford Area

My now 6-year old daughter has been a horse-lover ever since her first pony ride at a town fair. After several casual rides she began begging me for “real” horseback riding lessons. Luckily, we live in a state that has the highest density of horses in the country, and the greater Hartford area has no shortage of options!

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