This year, skip the grocery store pumpkins and go pumpkin picking at a family-friendly New Jersey farm, where you're sure to run into more fall fun, including barnyard animals, hay and corn mazes, and even the season's other favorite fruit: apples.
Red on for more than a dozen spots that are perfect for pumpkin picking with kids.
Closer to the New York border? Check out these Westchester and Hudson Valley pumpkin patches. If you're in south Jersey or headed for a Bucks County getaway this fall, our Philadelphia site has the scoop on Pennsylvania pumpkin patches.
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Pumpkin Picking in North Jersey
Abma's Farm – Wyckoff
This family-owned farm celebrates fall with hayrides and pumpkin picking every day except Sundays through November 1. Before leaving, savor some apple cider and doughnuts from the farm market.
Alstede Farms – Chester
This NJ farm has a lot to offer, including tons of activities for kids. You'll find a bounce house, wagon ride, corn maze, hay pyramid, and farm animals to feed—plus a farm stand and plenty of pick-your-own options. It gets very busy on the weekends, so plan to arrive before 11am or after 4pm to beat the crowds—or come on a weekday if you can (when admission prices are cheaper).
Conklin Farm U-Pick – Montville
Conklin is a smaller venue that comes highly recommended from our MP writers. It has all you could ask for: pumpkin picking, a toddler corn maze, and a weekends-only haunted hayride for older, braver kids, but at a less frenetic pace. A snack shack with hot cider, candy apples, and warm, homemade doughnuts will keep everyone full and happy. The Friday night special from 4–6pm features face painting, balloons, and free hayrides every half-hour.
Demarest Farms – Hillsdale
This Bergen County farm is a fun place to take the family. Pick-your-own pumpkins begins mid-September at this local favorite, and includes two petting zoo, an adventure playground, and corn box. Dig into the farm store's fresh salad bar and apple cider doughnuts if you need a post-picking pick-me-up. On select Friday nights, settle in to watch a movie in the pumpkin patch.
Farms View Farm – Wayne
The perfect "starter" pumpkin patch for little ones, Farms View is an adorable road stand with a short hayride to pick pumpkins. Admission also includes a fresh-pressed apple cider and an apple cider doughnut. You'll also find animals in the barnyard animals and character cut-out photo ops.
Heaven Hill Farm – Vernon
Heaven Hill Farm is known for its Great Pumpkin Festival, billed as the "largest fall festival in Northern NJ." You'll find pumpkin picking, but also hayrides, pig races, a cool spider web crawl, games, carnival rides (only on weekends), corn stalk and hay maze, farm animals, a boo barn, and much more.
Ort Farms – Long Valley
This 100-year old, family-run farm is described as quieter and less commercial by visitors but still offers tons of family fun, including hayrides, farm animals, an apple cannon, pony rides, a tractor play set, hay pyramid, and even monster truck rides. Don't miss the fall festival on weekends in September and October.
RELATED: 50 Things We Can't Wait to Do this Fall with NJ Kids
Get 'em straight off the vine at Riamede Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
Riamede Farm – Chester
For some real pumpkin picking, the kind where you cut the pumpkin right off the vine yourself, go to Riamede Farm. This quiet, simple, laid-back farm includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch. Don’t forget to bring your own clippers!
Stony Hill Farms – Chester
Huge pumpkins are waiting to be picked at Stony Hill Farms, open daily. The Maze Fun Park is open on the weekends for other fall offerings, includes hayrides, fence mazes, rope mazes, and a 10-acre corn maze. This year's theme celebrates the honey bee, NJ's state insect.
Sussex County Strawberry Farm – Newton
The name of this farm can be misleading; Sussex County Strawberry Farm has pumpkins, too! Beginning the first week in October, enjoy a pumpkin patch, weekend hayrides, horse-drawn carriages, fresh cider, and apples.
RELATED: Amazing Corn Mazes at Family-Friendly NJ Farms
Kids will love the corn sandbox at Wightman's. Photo by the author
Wightman's Farm – Morristown
This is my family's go-to pick-your-own NJ farm. Wightman's kicks off pumpkin season in mid-September, and the fun that awaits includes pumpkin picking, hayrides, mazes, a hay slide, and my kids' favorite, the corn sandbox.
Pumpkin Picking in Central NJ
Climb on the wooden train at Happy Day Farm's "Kids Korner." Photo courtesy of the farm
Happy Day Farm – Manalapan
You won't be bored at this Monmouth County farm. It's loaded with family activities including pumpkin picking, crafts, pony rides, hayrides, a wooden train, pig races, swings, a zoo, and even a "Kids Korner" for the 2- to 6-year-old crowd. Pumpkin Festival weekends include animal feedings, cornhole, pedal carts, tractor rides, and tug-o-war fun.
Johnson's Corner Farm – Medford
Take a hayride out to the pumpkin patch every day of the week from now through the end of October at Johnson's Corner Farm. You'll also find plenty of fall fun on the weekends, including a corn maze, live music, gem mining, and more. Stop at the market for cider doughnuts, pies, and more fall treats.
Melicks Town Farm – Califon
This fun farm is a perennial family favorite. On weekends in October, take a horse drawn wagon ridge out to the pumpkin patch where you can select your own pumpkins still growing on the vine. After picking out your pumpkin, enjoy the free grass maze, giant hay bales, and friendly farm animals.
Norz Hill Farm – Hillsborough
Pumpkin picking, hayrides, and farm animals are all part of the fall fun at Norz Hill. Pumpkins and hayrides are available daily beginning in mid September. Don't forget to try the five-acre corn maze, which boasts a new design each season.
Oasis Family Farm – Robbinsville
Pick pumpkins, sample local honey, enjoy games, and more at this NJ farm. There's even an ant colony and gem mine to explore plus a children's Fun Zone and bee hive to check out.
Terhune Orchards – Princeton
Terhune is such a fun place to bring the family because of the breadth of kid-friendly things to do around the farm. The pumpkin-picking fields at the main farm (Cold Soil Road) are open September – October. the Apple Days Fall Festival takes place on Saturdays and Sundays from September 14 – October 27, 2019; and check out Read & Pick Pumpkins on Tuesday, October 1, when kids will hear two pumpkin-related stories and then get to pick their very own pumpkin to bring home. Don't forget to check out the farm store and winery.
Pumpkin Picking in South Jersey
Duffield's Farm – Sewell
Duffield's pumpkin-picking hayrides and other fall fun kicks off on Monday, September 16, 2019 (through Saturday, November 2, 2019). Other activities include a corn maze, Barn Bounce, and Barnyard Express. Open Monday–Saturday from 9am–7pm
Johnson's Locust Hall Farm – Jobstown
Head to Johnson's Locust Hall Farm to pick pumpkins, feed the animals, check out the corn maze, take a hayride, and more. Go on a Monday for a free Mommy & Me Hayride! Open Friday–Monday from 10am–5pm.
Sahl's Father Son Farm – Galloway
Visit the farm Thursdays–Saturdays in October for pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn mazes, farm animals, and more. Closed Sunday–Wednesday.
Springdale Farms – Cherry Hill
Pick pumpkins and check out the corn maze—this year's theme is "The Amazing Bee." Open Monday–Saturday from 8am–6pm, and Sunday from 8am–5pm.
This article first published in September 2012 and has been updated since.