The autumn sun, colorful foliage, crisp air, giggling children, and a cup of hot cider -- this is the antithesis to the workweek grind. Add a pumpkin or two into the mix, and whether you're decorating it or turning it into a baked delight, you have the recipe for a great fall. Some of the spots we found in the New Haven area are the definition of agri-tourism, so they also made our list of Apple Picking Orchards in central Connecticut. Whether you are looking for slender pumpkins or plump, sprawling farms or cozier ones, New Haven County has what you seek. For even more ideas, sign up for our weekly newsletter and check out our Halloween and Fall Fun Guide.
Belinsky Family Farm - Oxford
For 50 cents per pound, pick pumpkins in various shapes, sizes, and colors. And since it's hard to decide between pumpkin pie or apple pie, go for both. Fill a bag with various kinds of apples, including Cortland and Macintosh. Belinsky is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, and at random on weekdays, so call ahead.
124 Moose Hill Road, Oxford 203-888-0322
Bishop's Orchards - Guilford
Before finding that perfect pumpkin, let the little kids get lost in a hay maze or take bigger kids to the corn maze at 526 New England Road (opens in September and costs $6 per person).You will also enjoy the selection of mums, corn stalks, Indian corn for fall decorating and scarecrow making for the whole family, plus delicious apple cider and baked goods (and a winery!). Open seven days. Corn maze open weekends and holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford 203-458-PICK(7425)
Clover Nook Farm - Bethany
Could it have a cuter name? Probably not. Oh, and having opened back in 1765, it's been around longer than the United States of America. How's that for legit? Grab a wagon and go find your perfect pumpkin and reward your efforts with some fresh apple cider. Open weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
50 Fairwood Road, Bethany 203-393-2929
Rose Orchards Farm - North Branford
It's soup to nuts here with a patch of pumpkins already gathered from the field, a straw maze, a corn maze, farm animals that children can feed, and a scenic hayride through a covered bridge. There's also produce, refreshments, picnicking space, and a delicious creamery. Open seven days, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
33 Branford Road, North Branford 203-488-7996
Shore Line Trolley Museum Pumpkin Patch - East Haven
If your child finds the need to add choo-choos to every event on your calendar, this is the place for you. Explore the train station before climbing aboard the trolley bound for the pumpkin patch. Once there, your pumpkins get to pick a pumpkin to decorate. Coloring and face painting will also add to their delight. Open October 14-15, 21-22, and 28-29, 2017. Trolleys depart every 20-30 minutes.
17 River Street, East Haven 203-467-6927
Schreibers Farm - Oxford
Enjoy free pumpkin hayrides on weekends between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., have a picnic, and indulge in locally raised products, including eggs, maple syrup, and honey.
571 Quaker Farms Road, Oxford 203-888-0832
Drazen Orchards - Cheshire
You can pick apples until mid October, but the pumpkins are already waiting for you at the farm stand, in addition to artisan apple and pumpkin pies.
215 Wallingford Road, Cheshire 203-272-7985
Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Bishop's Orchards Farm Market
Originally published 9.22.2015