Farms & U-Pick

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Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms in New Jersey

For many families, cutting down a Christmas tree is an annual tradition that marks the beginning of the holiday season. For kids, the experience can be downright magical: you're set loose in a forest of trees, with a mission to find the perfect one. If you're thinking of going the cut-your-own route this year, start your tree search by checking out our extensive list of Christmas tree farms. Once you've checked that off your list, be sure to visit our Holiday Guide for even more ways to celebrate the season. 

Petting Zoos & Farms: 9 Places to Bring Westchester Kids for Animal Fun

Have an animal lover on your hands? Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley are filled with opportunities to see animals up close and personal—including some places that even let you get hands-on at a petting zoo. Many of the farms also offer kid-friendly activities in addition to the chance to see, touch and feed animals like horses, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, alpacas and more.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more family-friendly autumn activities. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Westchester

Even if Christmas isn’t your holiday, its hard not to smile when the distinctive smell of fresh pine, balsam or fir fills the air this time of year. The smell can only be sweeter when you've picked through live trees to choose the perfect one then, with your family, chopped it down, loaded it on your car and brought it home as a labor of love. The experience offers a chance for family bonding, photo opportunities and surely lots of laughs.

Following is a list of farms in our area where families can choose and cut their own Christmas tree. Not quite sure you're up to the challenge of chopping a tree? Don't worry. Many also offer fresh-cut trees all offer help to make sure your experience runs smoothly. (Not all farms are open every day, so be sure to call ahead.) Most of the farms here begin selling trees the day after Thanksgiving.

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Step Back in Time at NJ's Living History Farms

The Garden State's many wonderful farms are perfect spots for a family-friendly outing any time of year. But a few special farmsteads offer visitors the unique opportunity to experience farm life just as it existed many years ago. These living history farms give visitors the chance to try their hand at chores like bottle-feeding lambs, gathering honey, and harvesting ice. If you're looking for a fun, educational experience for the entire family, hands-on historical farms are a great choice.

For even more outdoor family fun, check out these New Jersey farms and historic villages

Fall Festivities for the Whole Family at Froberg's Farm

Situated on the outskirts of Southeast Houston in Alvin, Froberg's Farm is home to locally grown produce, homemade baked goods, and good old-fashioned fun! Known primarily for springtime strawberry picking, Froberg's is also home to one of the area's best fall festivals. Each weekend from October to early November, families can participate in Froberg's fall activities including a corn maze, hayrides, flower picking, plenty of traditional festival games, and a few brand new favorites. And in 2017, they added even more fall fun.

Exploring the Missouri City Edible Trail

At first glance, the entrance to this trailhead in Southwest Houston looks like any other. The unassuming concrete pathway stretches out in front of you, shaded by trees and running parallel to Oyster Creek. It could be a million other trails, and if you didn't know what you were looking for you might assume it was just that. But a short ways down the path from our start in the dirt parking lot is a sign that tells visitors just how unique this pathway really is: "Welcome to the Missouri City Edible Arbor Trail." 

Pumpkin Patches Near NYC Where Kids Can Pick Their Own

We can't deny it any longer: The Halloween season is upon us! And what's All Hallows' Eve without the perfect pumpkin? Sure you can grab one from the local farmers' market, grocery store, or one of the few pumpkin patches right here in New York City in a pinch. But for a more immersive experience, head to the country to pick your own this fall. Many of these farms and orchards offer additional activities for kids, including hayrides, bouncy houses, corn mazes, and apple picking, so you can expand your hunt into a family day trip.

Like our recent profile of nearby pick-your-own-apple orchards, these 12 pumpkin patches are all about an hour from Midtown Manhattan by car. We even found a few reachable via public transportation.

Corn Mazes and Haunted Mazes for LA and Orange County Kids

As kids are mostly settled into the new school year, and local orchards are open for apple picking, the next sign of autumn is the corn maze.

Corn mazes are created by a tractor in a growing field of corn—usually following a fairly intricate design. For large mazes, GPS is often used to create a picture that can be seen from the air. A mature corn maze is a true adventure, with walls of corn that are taller than most adults; children (and adults) can for sure lose their way! Most operators recommend kids be at least 5-8 years old before going in alone; use your judgment, of course. Closed-toe shoes are recommended for comfort (sneakers are best), as corn mazes involve walking on uneven ground and broken cornstalks. And if you head into the maze at dusk, be sure to bring a flashlight!

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