Farms & U-Pick

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Best Apple Picking Orchards for Philadelphia Families

We know it must be Fall when we feel that chill in the air, the leaves start to change color, harvest festivals abound and apple picking season begins. Pennsylvania is one of the country's top apple producing states, so we are fortunate to have a number of orchards in the area where we can enjoy this favorite Fall tradition. Many of the orchards host activities to extend the fun beyond apple picking - everything from tractor rides and corn mazes to moon bounces and music festivals.

There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms listed below, all within an hour's drive of Philadelphia. Because farm conditions and apple selection can vary throughout the season, it is recommended to call or check the website before visiting.

Get Lost in Fairfield County's Best Corn Mazes

Corn mazes are a favorite fall adventure for many families: the scent of autumn, the wind swooshing through golden stalks, and the opportunity to safely hand over the reigns to your children and let them be in charge of where to go and how to find the way out. What better way to bond than to band together and head straight into a place where you know you can get lost and the only way out is to concentrate on the map, read the clues, and work together to get to the other side. Combine your trip with a pumpkin patch and cider mill and you've got yourself a pretty excellent fall day to make lifelong family memories. For more fall fun, check out our CT Fall Fun and Halloween Guide. These corn-y masterpieces are only around for a few weeks each fall, so don't miss your chance. For even more ideas in your inbox, sign up for our weekly newsletter

Kid-Friendly Wineries on Long Island's East End

With so many wineries on the East End welcoming children and even pets, Long Island wine country has become a huge destination not just for couples and bachelorette parties, but for families, too.

From picnic areas to live music and annual events, we’ve rounded up a host of vineyards—many of which are family-owned and operated—that offer the most family-friendly experiences. In addition to wine, most tasting rooms offer light snacks and nonalcoholic beverages, and some allow outside food and drink in designated picnic areas. Of course, kids must be supervised and pets must be on leashes. Be sure to check individual websites for specific rules. And be responsible if driving.

Summertime is the perfect time to visit an East End vineyard. And while you're out that way, check out some other family-friendly spots on the North Fork, including Lavender by the Bay, a family-friendly lavender farm in East Marion; Greenport village; and the Long Island Aquarium

Unbearable Cuteness Among the Alpacas of Morris, Connecticut

What do you call it when alpacas take over the world? The Alpacalypse! What did the alpaca say to the blade of grass? Nice gnawing you! What do you call it when alpacas sing? Alpacapella...I could go on all day! But I won't. Instead I'm going to encourage you to grab the fam, hop in the car, and visit Southwind Farms in Morris where you can meet and greet...wait for it...alpacas! Ooh, road trip? Alpaca my bags! (Sorry, sorry).

Brookhollow’s Barnyard: A Sweet NJ Petting Zoo with the Cutest Animals

I’ve lived in New Jersey my entire life—30 years—and I’m devastated that it’s taken me so long to learn about Brookhollow’s Barnyard, a sweet petting farm that is Boonton's best kept secret. The family-run farm not only entertained my own baby animal, but it kept my husband and me smiling for hours (on one of the most humid mornings of the summer, yet!).

If you’re antsy to zip away from your own zany zoo at home, and have a few hours to kill on an upcoming weekend, you have to check this place out. And check out our guide to NJ farms for even more family-friendly fun, from pick-your-own fruit to top "agritainment" centers.

11 Spots for Peach Picking Near NYC

Peach picking season is upon us in the Northeast, the perfect excuse for NYC families to plan a sweet summertime day trip before kids head back to school.

Starting in July or early to mid-August, depending on the farm and the weather, the peaches begin to ripen, and peach season typically runs into September. Peach picking, a perfect activity after berry picking season has peaked, is often a less commercial and more straightforward outing than some of the more popular fruit seasons like apple picking, meaning you're not going to run into as many hayrides, face painting, or crowds, but you will get a more authentic farm life experience.

We've rounded up 11 peach orchards, all under two hours by car from NYC. Several are accessible by mass transit, so you're really out of excuses! 

18 Top Pick-Your-Own Peach Farms in New Jersey

There’s nothing that screams summer more than a warm-off-the-tree peach, with the sweet juices dripping down your chin. With farms a-plenty and peaches ripe for the picking, choose your spot from the list below, grab your baskets and babes, and head to one of these u-pick farms

The peach-picking season in the Garden State really gets going in mid-July and carries on through August and early September at some farms. Before you go, call ahead or check the farm’s Facebook page to make sure crops are still plentiful and what, specifically, is available on any given day. (You might also be able to pick blueberries, which are available at many farms through July.)

Read on to find out where the juiciest fruit can be found.

An Explosion of Purple Flowers Bloom 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.   

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