Farms & U-Pick

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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!

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will start turning colors, and you might have noticed there’s a crispness in the air, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to go pumpkin picking. Happily, no matter where you live on Long Island there are places to find the perfect family pumpkins this fall—whether you want to pick your own off the vine or have the picking already done for you.

All of these farms and pumpkin patches offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes, hayrides, and more, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms are fun, but can get messy, so make sure kids are dressed appropriately. Look at individual websites for hours and costs since some activities are free while other attractions have added fees.

If you’re heading to one of the farms on the East End, why not stop at a kid-friendly winery or a pick-your-own apple farm? And, for more seasonal fun, check out our list of the best fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn (and early Halloween)!

Farm Fun: 11 Hudson Valley Hayrides for Kids in the Fall

It's autumn, and that means time for visits to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, eating doughnuts, drinking apple cider, and going on hayrides. The Lower Hudson Valley is rife with farm fun in the fall, including hayrides—many of which are free or at least included with the admission price.

We've gathered up some of our favorite farms and orchards with hayrides. For more ideas for kid-friendly autumn activities, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Spirit's Promise: A Horse Farm and Rescue on LI's East End

It's My Little Pony turned real life at Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation, a facility for abused, neglected or unwanted farm animals. It offers animals a renewed lease on life while providing a rewarding and educational destination for visitors. 

Want to get up close and personal with other animals? Peruse our list of animal farms and petting zoos on Long Island. Looking for more East End fun? Check out our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork.

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