Farms & U-Pick

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Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals Near NYC

One of my favorite things about late spring and summer is the plethora of fruit in season, especially the berries. Picking your own makes it even sweeter. As we move into the height of strawberry season, there are a slew of festivals and farms with fruit ripe for the picking. Many are just a short car ride away from New York City, making for a great day trip of strawberry picking and seasonal festival fun with additional perks for kids like carnival rides, petting zoos, and outdoor performances.

Read on to discover nearby strawberry fests and more than a dozen pick-your-own strawberry spots, all under two hours away.

For more day trip inspiration, check out our Family Getaways Guide, and find more local u-pick opportunities in our Farm Guide, or on our Long Island or New Jersey sites.

Petting Zoos Near NYC Where Kids Can See Farm Animals

We're so fortunate to live in a city that offers an incredible array of fun spring activities for kids, but sometimes I fret over the disconnect from nature. I want my daughter to be as comfortable in the country as she is in the urban jungle, so we're always looking for ways to get out of NYC and explore the expansive farmland that borders the city.

While you can meet some furry friends at the city's wonderful zoos, and even get hands-on at their mini petting zoos, there's something particularly special about enjoying an authentic farm setting. We've rounded up our top petting zoos and animal havens to get some serious face time with furry friends. Get ready to load up the family for a day of donkey petting, goat bottle-feedings, and sheep shearing.

Here are our favorite spots for an up-close animal encounter, all within two hours of NYC.

The Best Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Whether you are looking for a low-key petting zoo or an exotic experience with wild animals, there's no shortage of places on Long Island where children can interact with nature's noble creatures. If they want to, Long Island kids can do everything from feed a giraffe to visit with an alpaca, and even ride a safari train. 

Be sure to check our directory of zoos and gardens on Long Island, and peruse our pick-your-own guide for more local farm fun. And, for more seasonal fun, be sure to check our event calendar

7 Things to Love About the Queens County Farm Museum

While NYC families have full access to the best museums and shows that the world has to offer, life in the city can sometimes leave us feeling disconnected from nature. We’re always seeking ways to let our little ones get their hands dirty, so it’s no surprise that the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park is a family favorite.

Spanning 47 acres, the Queens County Farm Museum dates back to the 17th century and features old-fashioned farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard, an herb garden and a vineyard, all within city limits. As soon as you walk through the gates, you’ll feel miles away from the city.

Here are the reasons we are forever loving New York City's only historic working farm and why it's a fantastic destination for NYC kids. While you’re there, make a day of it with our Queens Family Neighborhood Guide.
 

Animal Farms and Petting Zoos for Boston Kids

Your city slickers may not come across a lot farm animals on the daily, but that doesn't mean that they should miss out on some cute and cuddly barnyard fun. Whether you're city folk or farmers-in-training, these local farms and zoos are the perfect places for little ones to interact, feed, and play with some of their favorite furry creatures. Check out all the best places in Boston and the suburbs to meet cows, chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and more below.

See Baby Animals and More at Kid-Friendly Farms in Westchester and Hudson Valley

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 farms, nature centers, orchards, and animal sanctuaries. Many of these spots also offer kid-friendly activities in addition to the chance to see, touch, and feed 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 activities. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

See Baby Animals and More at Family-Friendly NJ Farms

Celebrate spring by visiting baby animals and barnyard pets on a local New Jersey farm. In addition to seeing chicks, calves, lambs, bunnies, and piglets, kids can crack corn, collect eggs, and even learn how cheese and bread are made at these family-friendly farmsteads.

Some offer full petting zoos, as well as wagon rides and pick-your-own fruits and vegetables. Read on for more than a dozen of our favorites.

Beyond Strawberries: Best Places to Pick Your Own Blackberries, Peaches, Cherries, and More this Summer

The Pick-Your-Own season is bookended by strawberries in the spring and apples in the fall, but what do you do with all those months in between? Pick everything else, of course! The Delaware Valley's many farms and orchards are great spots to haul out the family on nice weather days and haul home buckets, baskets, and bushels of fresh summer fruits, and some sweet memories, too. Many of these farms host summer festivals, family activities, and special events to really round out the day so be sure to search our events calendar for details. For now, read on for our list of the best Philly area farms and get pickin'.

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