Farms & U-Pick

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Family-Friendly Vineyards and Wineries in New Jersey

When planning a family day trip, vineyards and wineries may not be the first destinations that come to mind. Believe it or not, New Jersey is home to relaxing and scenic vineyards that welcome kids, and even pets. These vineyards offer outdoor fun that includes food truck events, music, farm activities, spacious fields, and of course, the Garden State’s homegrown wines.

Not all local vineyards and wineries permit children on the premises, but raise your glass to these seven that do! And be sure to check the policies on children in the tasting areas before you visit.

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in New Jersey

Nothing screams springtime in the Garden State like getting your hands dirty picking strawberries, and heading to a pick-your-own farm is an outdoor adventure with a sweet reward.

Whether this is your child’s first time at the strawberry patch or you’re looking to fill pies, jam jars, smoothies, and shortcakes for months to come, you'll want to check out our list of more than 20 New Jersey farms and festivals around the state, where your sweeties can their hands on bushels full of juicy red berries.

Check out our May GoList and Spring Fun Guide to find more events and activities to enjoy with your NJ kids this strawberry season. Happy picking!

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in the Hudson Valley

With spring in full swing, it's almost time to head out to the Hudson Valley's pick-your-own farms to gather some sweet, sun-ripened strawberries. There are plenty of places throughout the Hudson Valley where kids of all ages can try their hand at picking, and we've rounded up a few of our favorites here. 

The season usually starts around the beginning of June, but be sure to call ahead first. Not into picking them yourself? We've also included a few strawberry festivals you can check out instead! 

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Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms in the Philadelphia Area

The start of strawberry picking season in Pennsylvania is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner. Spending a day picking this sweet fruit at a local orchard or farm is a great activity for families. Strawberry picking teaches kids about their food sources, connects everyone with nature, and makes for a fun outdoor experience, and some of the sweetest memories can be made nibbling on fresh berries out in the fields.

We have compiled a list of farms in the Philadelphia area that offer strawberry picking, as well as a few activity-filled strawberry festivals. Read our tips before you go to help make your day at the farm even more enjoyable.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals on Long Island

Long Island is ripe with places where families can pick their own strawberries. Deciding where to go can be a challenge, so we've handpicked a few of our favorites.

Harvesting your own fruit is not only fun, but it connects you with the source of your food and supports local farmers. And it doesn't get fresher than picking fruit right off the vine. This is especially important for Long Island strawberries, which are sweeter and more delicate than most grocery-store varieties, and have a shorter shelf life.

Many of these farms are located on Long Island's East End, but there are a few festivals in Nassau or western Suffolk counties for families who don't want to travel quite as far. Either way, call ahead or check the farms' websites to confirm that fields are open and the strawberries are ripe.

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

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