Farms & U-Pick

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Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Year: Southern California Tree Farms

Ah, childhood in New England. I remember the hip-deep snows of December, building snowmen until my fingers froze, and drying my hand-knit mittens by the fire. Fast forward to my boys’ childhoods in LA, and I wonder: What will they remember? Sand sledding at the beach and wearing shorts on Christmas day? Will they never make snow angels in their best friend’s backyard?

Thankfully, one winter tradition we can carry on here in the Southland is cutting down our own Christmas tree. If you’re willing to cross county lines, you, too, can experience this classic holiday outing. If living Christmas trees aren’t your thing, and you want something other than a pre-cut or artificial tree, get ready to set hacksaw to tree trunk, watch the tree fall gently to the ground, and smell the sap on your hands as you sing carols on the car ride home. We have compiled a list of area tree farms to help you get started.

NJ's Living History Farms: Old-Fashioned Farm Fun for Families

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

Trick-or-Treat and Pick Pumpkins on Governors Island This Year

Tis the season for fall festivals and Halloween fun in New York City, and what better place to celebrate the changing seasons than beautiful Governors Island, which has again extended its season through Halloween and filled its October calendar with plenty of fun.

For the second consecutive year, the Friends of Governors Island invite big-city dwellers to hop on a ferry and enjoy a classic small-town Halloween at Pumpkin Point. The fun kicks off the weekend of October 20, with a pumpkin patch in Nolan Park.

Tanaka Farms and Hello Kitty Make a Purrfect Pumpkin Patch

When two fantastic worlds collide, something great happens. Last year, the charming Irvine-based Tanaka Farms and Sanrio, the global brand known for creating pop icons such as Hello Kitty and her friends Keroppi, Chococat, My Melody, and Pochacco, launched a collaboration to celebrate all things healthy and cute — and the result is nothing short of magical. 

Pumpkin Patches Near NYC Where Kids Can Pick Their Own

We can't fight it anymore: The Halloween season is upon us! And what's Halloween 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. But for a more immersive experience, head to the country to pick your own pumpkin 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.

The Best Fall Pumpkin Picking for Families in the Philly Area

There's no better way to celebrate harvest season than with a special adventure to a pumpkin patch. Urban families can find pumpkins as close as Franklin Square in Philadelphia, or take a beautiful drive to a suburban farm. Looking for more than just pumpkins? Not to worry; every pumpkin patch offers additional family fun, such as festivals, hayrides, corn mazes, playgrounds, and apple cider tastings— all while searching for the perfect pumpkin.

Top Pumpkin Patches and Farms for Long Island Kids

The leaves soon will turn colors and 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 plenty of pumpkin patches and farms brimming with pumpkins perfect for picking this fall. All of these venues offer other family-friendly activities such as corn mazes and hayrides, so make a day of it. Pick-your-own farms  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 fall fairs and festivals.

Happy autumn (and early Halloween)!

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