Farms & U-Pick

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Unlock Your Child's Love of Nature at Lavender by the Bay

“Live life in full bloom.”

That’s the motto at Lavender by the Bay, a 17-acre oasis of flowering plants that turns the normally green North Fork of Long Island into a most regal purple for three weeks in the early summer.

Situated on the Main Road in the Victorian-strewn community of East Marion, near Greenport, the farm draws visitors from as far away as New York City, who come by car or railroad; and from New England, who shuttle across on the nearby Orient Point ferry. Young and old, they are drawn by the aroma of fresh lavender and the opportunity to distance themselves from the essentials of modern living.

The blooming season ended Sunday, July 15 and will resume in late June 2019. You can visit the gift shop daily through the end of September and on Thurdays through Mondays through the end of October. In the meantime. feel free to glimpse our guide to gardens and petting zoos across Long Island.   

31 Summer Day Trips to Take with NYC Kids

It’s summer road trip season! With school out, we’re itching to get outdoors to explore beyond NYC’s limits. Lucky for you, our Mommy Poppins reviewers know all the best spots in the tristate area, from beaches and water parks to cool nature spots and pick-your-own fruit farms.

We’ve rounded up more than two dozen of our favorites for summertime, including a few indoor options for (shudder) rainy days, or if you really just need to freeze in the a/c for a bit. All of these spots are under two hours away, because, well, who wants to day trip for longer than that with kids in the backseat?

Find more ideas in our full Day Trips and Getaways Guide, or try checking off something from our 100 Things to Do with Kids in New York State list.

Pick Your Own Fun: Houston Farms for Fruit and Berry Picking

The intoxicating smell of freshly picked berries can only mean one thing: sweet spring (and summertime) is upon us! And what better way to take advantage of the season's freshest fruit than by picking it yourself? Instead of purchasing pre-packaged strawberries, blueberries and blackberries at the grocery store, take a trip out to one of these "you-pick-it" farms and gather them yourself by the bucketful. Not only will you be getting berries straight from the source, you'll also be supporting small farmers and creating memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.

Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries, Blackberries, and More on Long Island

Summer is a great time to pick berries on Long Island. Bushes are low to the ground, and berries are small enough for little fingers to grasp. It's a great activity for kids of all ages, and, really, who can resist a bowl of fresh berries and cream?

Late July is peak season for blueberries and raspberries. Blackberries ripen in August. Be sure to call the farms before heading out to confirm picking hours and berry availability. Don't forget to check out our Pick Your Own Guide for more fruit-picking options in the tristate area.

Some tips: Some farms charge an entry fee while others charge by the ounce, so take note, bring cash, and be prepared. Don't forget sunscreen as the sun can shine brightly on these open fields. Dress appropriately; kids can get a bit dirty. And for health and safety reasons, pets are not permitted on farms.

The East End is the prime destination for summer berry picking on Long Island. While there, why not consult our guide to the Hamptons and North Fork and make a day of it? Or for more farm fun, check out our list of LI's top animal farms and petting zoos.

Pick-Your-Own Blueberries and More NJ Berry Farms for Families

Blueberry picking is a perfect summer activity for the whole family: the bushes are low, the berries pop off the plants easily, and your family can literally pick hundreds without breaking the bank—or your back hauling them home. Lucky for us, blueberries are the official state fruit of New Jersey, and they are plentiful throughout the Garden State. We’ve assembled a list of some of the best pick-your-own farms NJ has to offer for kids, along with a few blueberry festivals. Happy picking!

Pick Your Own Blueberries and More at These Hudson Valley Farms

Strawberry-picking season may be coming to an end, but never fear: we've got the scoop on farms and orchards where you can pick other types of delicious berries all summer long—including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Here are a few of our favorite places to go berry picking in the lower Hudson Valley, whether you decide to go for the morning or to make an entire day of it. Either way, be sure to call ahead to make sure the farm has berries on hand.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out our summer guide.

Where to Pick Your Own Blueberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries Near NYC

Juicy blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are usually in season from July through the end of August near NYC, and some farms even have a second crop of raspberries that ripen later in the summer. So, if you missed the short but sweet strawberry picking season and can't wait for peach picking come August, now is a good time for your family to plan a berry picking outing to one of our favorite nearby farms.  

Read on for the lowdown on 13 spots in the tri-state area, all less than 2 hours from NYC (including one accessible by mass transit) plus our helpful been-there-done-that tips. A word of caution: approximate driving times below do not include traffic. You'll probably run into some, especially on summer weekends near the entrances to popular farms. 

Check out our comprehensive guide to all the nearby pick-your-own farms for everything from peaches to flowers and veggies.

Blueberry Picking in Connecticut: Pick Your Own Farms

Come and pick 'em folks! The following is a list of Connecticut farms that grow pick-your-own blueberries. Look at the map to the right to find one in your area. Here's a yummy blueberry pie recipe that will make all tummies happy, and make use of the plethora of fruit you are surely to have fun picking.

Fresh blueberries are in their prime from mid-July through mid-August. When picking, select berries that are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned, and completely blue. The fruit is often covered with a light white coating called "bloom," which helps prevent deterioration. Water on blueberries accelerates rotting, so don't wash them until you are ready to use them. If you store freshly picked berries in the refrigerator, unwashed and covered, they should last up to two weeks. Freezing is always a good option, too. For raspberries and other fresh picked fruit - check out our Pick Your Own Fruit Farm Guide.

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