Day Trip to DuBois Farms in Highland For Seasonal Fun Without the Crowds

The tractor ride at DuBois Farms was a kid-pleasing treat.
The tractor ride at DuBois Farms was a kid-pleasing treat.

The Hudson Valley beckons locals and visitors alike to enjoy a day at the farm and there are many great, family-friendly farms in the region, each chockfull of programs and old-fashioned attractions. As farm-themed day trips gain popularity, many small farms are expanding their offerings. In search of a new destination, I recently stumbled on DuBois Farms in Highland, New York.

We had such a fun day at this under-the-radar, uncrowded destination that DuBois Farms is officially our family’s go-to farm spot now. Read on for all the fun in store, including car shows, pick-your-own, and even a pirate ship—and find more farm fun in our Guide to Local Farms and Pick-Your-Own.

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Little boy looks at a classic car at DuBois Farms
Classic cars drew us into a trip to DuBois Farms, but they were far from the only attraction at the farm.

We were initially drawn to visit DuBois Farms by the promise of an on-site car show. It was impressive, set up on the farm's main lawn. During a return visit a couple of months later, we would discover hundreds of pumpkins on the same spot.

Halfway through looking at the old automobiles, with live music playing up the hill, the kids found their favorite place on the farm: a little play village and pirate ship to climb on. I found a bench and watched as the kids ran from the tiny wooden schoolhouse to the jail, and back to the massive pirate ship, and we ended up spending most of our first visit here.

RELATED: 6 Alpaca Farms to Visit in the Hudson Valley

Boy and girl wander through DuBois Farms pumpkin patch
Come mid-September, pumpkins aplenty are available to pluck from the field at DuBois Farms.

Soon enough someone needed the restroom, so we ventured to find one. We were all pleasantly surprised to discover two very nice bathrooms inside the on-site Tavern—a vast improvement from the usual farm port-a-potty.

We were then drawn to the smell of pizza and went to order some food, agreeing on a couple of brick-oven pizzas, which I washed down with a local ale from the Tavern. The pizza—and the beer—were excellent.

It was peach picking season during our first visit, and we were happy to find Honey Crisp apples ripe for the picking, too—my kid's favorite. I loved that we could pick only a few apples here, versus filling up an entire bushel at other farms. Beyond the fruits, DuBois Farms grows eggplant, kale, grapes, and more.

Adding to the farm fun, visitors can take a tractor ride up the hill through the orchards, which was exciting for the kids. The tractor rolled along the dirt path to the peach trees where some passengers got off and those waiting hopped on. You’re welcome to walk, too, but let’s be honest, why would you when you can ride on the back of a huge tractor?

RELATED: Family-Friendly Vineyards and Hard Cider Houses in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Boy sticks out his tongue at DuBois Farms
Cookie Monster ice cream left its mark on my son's tongue!

Before we left, we went in search of the Cookie Monster ice cream my son had learned about from a playmate on the pirate ship. When we found the ice cream shop, the girl behind the counter told us the seasonal attraction turns into a coffee and hot cocoa bar in the fall.

With blue tongues and an extra pep in their step, the kids led the way to the store where we got in line to pay for our apples—hold on to your receipt; you'll need to show it to exit. Local homemade soaps, syrup, honey, cider doughnuts, and pies were also for sale.

We left the farm with full bellies, plus doughnuts and apples to eat when we got home, and we were happy to have a new, less crowded farm to visit again. We liked it so much, we returned the following weekend with my husband, who also enjoyed the pizza and beer. Crowds of people were making their way in as we left later in the day, so I'd suggest heading over when the farm opens if you're looking for a less crowded visit.

We loved the staff members at Dubois Farms, who were all happy and helpful, adding to the charming ambiance. While the high picking season is over, DuBois Farm remains open through late November. It will close down for the winter and spring, reopening again for daily visitors in July. Bookmark its pick-your-own page for updates on picking seasons. Future plans do include Christmas tree sales and a season that extends into December.

Know Before You Go To DuBois Farms

  • The grounds are stroller-friendly.
  • If there is heavy rain the day before, wear your rubber boots as it gets soggy on the property.
  • No outside food or drink is allowed.
  • Leave your pets at home as they're not allowed in.
  • DuBois Farms is open daily through Sunday, November 21, and no reservations are required to visit.
  • There is also no admission fee required and no fee for parking. You pay for what you pick, plus food and drinks, which can be enjoyed at its seating areas, both indoors and out.

Photos by the author

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