Farms & U-Pick

NYC Columbus Day Weekend Getaways: Farm Fun for the Whole Family

The fall harvest is in full swing and while you can celebrate the season right here in NYC, the upcoming Columbus Day holiday weekend is an ideal time to get out of town for one last nature-themed excursion before the cold of winter sets in. Even though apple picking is already pretty much over (many orchards say their trees have been picked bare), farms throughout the northeast are still offering lots of seasonal fun like pumpkin patches, giant corn mazes, petting zoos and other agritainment.

We've rounded up half a dozen attraction-filled destinations for Columbus Day weekend. Most are within two hours of the city and make great day trips but a few require an overnight stay. For even more vacation inspiration, check out our NYC Family Getaways Guide and our Travel site, which has a great list of fall travel deals.

Underwood Family Farm in Moorpark: Pick-Your-Own Plus a Whole Lot More

Ever wish you owned a farm but then found yourself relating more with Eva Gabor’s Green Acres character than with Eddie Albert’s? Why not try a day trip to a local farm to get your feet wet? Moorpark’s Underwood Family Farm is a mere 50 miles from downtown LA and everything you could ever ask for in a fun, outdoor, pick-your-own activity for the family.

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.

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