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Take your Pick - Pumpkin Picking and whole lot more in and around NJ

Pumpkin Picking in and Around NJ It's almost fall. The days are getting shorter and cooler, the leaves will soon be turning color.
Time to get out to a local farm, enjoy a hayride out to the pumpkin patch and pick out your own pumpkin.

When I was originally writing this post I was going to list all the farms in the area by county but there are a lot a websites out there that already do that (I will provide links to those Sites at the end of this post).
Instead I decided to list a few farms that I have been to and give you my opinion about what I feel are the great places to visit and why you should check them out. So without further ado here they are.

Demarest Farms in Hillsdale NJ
If you Live in or around Bergen county you can't beat Demarest farms. It is so close and boasts both apple and pumpkin Picking (Pumpkin Picking Starts Sept 26th)
Get your bag for Apple picking then cross the street and take a hayride out to the orchard and Pumpkin patch
They also have a corn maze and decorate the store for Halloween.
Demarest Farms has great pies and other food items as well as holiday items.
Tip: Go During the week and pay Just nine Dollars for the Hayride and up to 15 pounds of apples.

Schaefer Farms in Flemington NJ
Although this farm is a bit of a ride (about and hour and 15 minutes from the GWB) For Pumpkin Picking I don't think it gets any better. You and your family can take a hayride out into their 40 acre Pumpkin Patch and pick out a pumpkin that is still on the vine.
They also have farm animals and a corn maze and the farm stand is filled with fall items. From Schaefer farms own Indian corn, gourds, kale, corn stalks and a wide variety of colorful mums to
apple cider and fresh baked pies from local vendors. Afterwards take a train ride on the Black River Railroad (This September be part of the The Great Train Robbery) or checkout the Liberty Village outlets of Flemington

Apple Picking at Maskers in NY
Maskers Orchard in Warwick NY
About an hour and 15 minutes from the GWB Maskers is a 200 acre Apple Orchard and starting September 19th the pumpkin patch will be open. The Orchard is really beautiful and you can drive out and have a picnic on the grounds if you wish. Many families bring a wagon for hauling their little ones and their apples. (I personally prefer the doodlebug bike trailer - but that's me any excuse to ride) The orchard also has a large country store with lots of neat and tasty items as well as a nice place to sit and relax for a while. Maskers Orchard has a number of Upcoming Events including clowns, music, and Pony rides. For a complete schedule of special events click here. After you are done at the Orchard Checkout the Warwick Winery and Distillery

Some Recommendations from Friends
Casola Farms in Holmdel
Not too far about an hour from the GWB. They have a hay ride, corn maze, petting zoo and a cowboy show! It should be a lot of fun for all the kids.

"And yes I am aware that only I can find an EYEtalian pumpkin farm complete with a sausage and pepper stand!" (from Kim)

Scroll down to the bottom of their page to get your coupons and save up to $3.00

Heaven Hill Farm in Vernon, NJ
Family fun for all ages every Saturday and Sunday from September 19 to October 25 including Monday, Columbus Day. Enjoy the scenic countryside on an old-fashioned hayride. Features pumpkin picking on a 40 acre pumpkin patch, pig races “Pigtuckey Derby”, feeding the farm animals, a petting zoo, learning the work habits of bees with an up close look inside their hives, a hay maze and hay crawl to a Hay Mountain, a corn maze, the Boo Barn offering animated entertainment for the young and young-at-heart, and the Haunted Acres Hayride every Friday and Saturday through October 30 from 7-10 p.m.

General Admission of $6 ( FREE for children ages 3 and under) . includes designing a customized sand art masterpiece and choosing your very own personalized “tattoo” at the face painting booth. (from Nancy)

Country Charm Farm Harvest and Pumpkin Festival New Paltz, NY
Walk among fun-filled, life-size scarecrows amid panoramic views of the Shawangunk Mountains.
Phone: 914-255-4321

Weekend Planner - Special Fall Edition

Apple & Pumpkin Picking:Hayride

Fall is here there is a slight chill in the air and the days are getting shorter so this weekend why not take the family to a nearby farm or orchard have some Apple cider and cider donuts. Then take a hayride out into an orchard or pumpkin patch to pick some apples or a pumpkin or two for Halloween.
Many orchards embrace the season with hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin picking, homemade ice cream and even live music.
Apple varieties change from week to week, and guidelines change from orchard to orchard, so be sure to call ahead.
Ask whether you can bring your own bags and baskets, whether apple pickers (long poles that reach to the top of trees) are provided.
Tips for picking out a pumpkin to carve
1) When choosing your pumpkin, look for one that is without bruises, is evenly colored, and isn’t moldy or rotten. Check the bottom for rot and tap gently to hear a firm, hollow sound.
2) Pick a pumpkin that best suits your intended pattern/design, or vice versa.
3) The lighter the pumpkin’s skin, the softer the pumpkin will be, thus the easier to carve. However, lighter-skinned pumpkins may not last as long post carving.
4) Choose a pumpkin with a smooth, flat face, with shallow ridges and few of them.
5) Never carry your pumpkin by the stem.
for more tips on prepping,carving and Keeping your pumpkin fresh:Clicky

Here is a list by region of places to go picking:


Demarest Farm
244 Werimus Road, Hillsdale; 201-666-0472
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. holidays; by appointment weekdays.
Types of apples: More than 18 varieties, including Liberty, Black Twig, Double Red Delicious and Winesap.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking starting Sept. 27, face painting with Wiggles the clown, hayrides, ice cream shop and decorations.

Abma’s Farm and Market
700 Lawlins Road,Wyckoff, NJ 07481, 201-891-0278
30-acre farm dates back to the 1790s. The homestead and out-buildings have been well-preserved, kept in their original state, and the Dutch-style barn, one of the few 200-year-old barns still standing in Bergen County, converted into a thriving retail market with a “scratch” bakery and a gourmet kitchen.
Saturday rides are open to the public and run continuously starting Sept.27th thru October 25th, 11:00-3:45 pm. The fee for the ride is $5.00 per person, under two rides on a lap for free. No reservation is required. The wagons leave approximately every 15 minutes from the parking lot across the street. (Sequoia) During the ride the wagon will stop at the pumpkin patch and everyone will have the chance to pick a pumpkin, if you choose.
Pumpkins are purchased separately at the patch for various prices depending on the size.


Peaceful Valley Orchards
150 Pittstown Road, Pittstown; 908-730-7748
Hours: Starting Sept. 27, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: 23 varieties, including Jersey Mac, Grimes Golden, Suncrisp and York. Other activities: Pumpkin picking, weekend hayrides, Fall Harvest Festival Oct. 11 with live music, corn maze, activities for kids and an ice cream fund-raiser.


Terhune Orchards
330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton; 609-924-2310
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 21 varieties, including Gala, Stayman Winesap, Granny Smith and Fuji.
Other activities: Farm animals, corn maze, wagon and pony rides, Farm Trail Discovery Walk,“Corny-copia” Adventure Barn, pumpkin patch, 31st Annual Apple Days festival Sept. 20 and 21; Fall Family Fun Weekends Sept. 27 to Oct. 26.


Hillview Farms
223 Meyersville Road, Gillette; 908-647-0957
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends
Types of apples: 12 varieties, including Jonagold, Jonathan, Macoun and Honeycrisp.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, hayrides.

Riamede Farm
122 Oakdale Road, Chester; 908-879-5353
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 29 varieties, including King David, Cortland, Braeburn and Ida Red.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking starts Sept. 27, hayrides on weekends.

Sun High Orchards
19 Canfield Ave., Randolph; 973-584-4734
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Types of apples: Up to 10 varieties, including Mollie Delicious, McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Cortland.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking starts Sept. 29, hayrides to pumpkin patch, farm tours.

Wightman’s Farms
1111 Mount Kemble Ave. (Route 202), Harding; 973-425-0840
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: 31 varieties, including Zestar, Paula Red, Mollie Delicious and Pink Lady.
Other activities:Weekend hayrides, Maizeland and the African Adventure corn maze, Kiddie Corn Pot Play Area.


Ripple Hill Farm
181 Mountain Road, Basking Ridge; 908-647-1300.
Hours: 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Types of apples: Cortland and Empire.
Other activities: none.


Pochuck Valley Farms
962 Route 517, Vernon (Glenwood) 973-764-4732
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 16 varieties, including Lobo Mac, Melba and Gravensteins.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, pick-your-own pears, wagon ride to orchard.

Heaven Hill Farm
449 Route 94, Vernon, NJ 07462 (973) 764-5144
Open Daily at 9:00 am
Besides the Haunted Nightmare Hayrides we have daytime activities including -- Kiddie Rides, costumes, Pumpkin Picking, Corn, Gourds, Apples, Cider, Mums, Halloween Displays & Decorations.

Windy Brow Farms
359 Ridge Road, Fredon; 973-579-9657
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: 32 varieties, including Greening, Gala, Cortland and McIntosh.
Other activities:Wagon ride to orchard.


Brook Hollow Farm
Frog Pond Road, Hainesburg; 908-496-4577
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 12 varieties, including McIntosh and Cortland.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, pick-your-own peaches, weekend wagon rides.

Longmeadow Farm
561 Route 521, Hope; 908-459-5351
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: 13 varieties, including Ginger Gold, Northern Spy, Rome and Cameo.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking and hayrides start Oct. 4.

Mackey’s Orchard
284 County Route 519, Belvidere; 908-475-1507
Hours: Starting Sept. 20, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: More than 100 varieties, with 10 or more ripe for picking at a time, including Cortland, Gala, Rome and Granny Smith.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking in October, hayrides to orchard on October weekends, playground, ice cream.

Matarazzo Farms
783 Route 519, Belvidere; 908- 475-3671
Hours: Starting Sept. 27, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: 14 varieties, including McIntosh and Golden Delicious.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, hayrides to pumpkin patch, corn maze, wine tasting and tours.

Race Farm
93 Belcher Road, Blairstown; 908- 362-8151.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 10 varieties, including Gala, McIntosh, Rome and Idared.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, pick-your-own vegetables.

Tree Licious Orchards
135 Karrville Road, Port Murray; 908-689-2906.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: More than 30 varieties, including Shinshu, Cameo, Gala and Mutsu.
Other activities: Pick-your-own peaches, pears and quince.


Apple PickingApplewood Orchards and Winery
82 Four Corners Road, Warwick; 845-986-1684
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Empire, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Rome Beauty.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, wagon rides, farm animals, duck pond.

Lawrence Farms Orchards
39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh; 845-562-4268
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 14 varieties, including Ida Red, Mutsu, Stayman and Northern Spy.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, pick-your-own peaches, pears, grapes and vegetables.

Masker Orchards
45 Ball Road, Warwick; 845-986-1058
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 14 varieties, including Macoun, Prime Reds, Sparta Macintosh and Smoothies.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking starting Sept. 20, pony rides, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, clown Sept. 29 and 30 and Oct. 6 to 8.
2008 Cider Print the Cider Coupon.

Ochs Orchard
4 Ochs Lane, Warwick; 845-986-1591.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: In September, McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Empire, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Crispin/Mutsu and Stayman Winesap.
Other activities: Farm animals, homemade ice cream, pick-your own raspberries, tomatoes and pumpkins.

Pennings Orchard
169 South Route 94, Warwick; 845-986-7080;
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: 19 varieties, including Ginger Gold, Jonamac, Braeburn and Northwest Greening.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, weekend hayrides, farm animals.

Prospect Hill Orchards
40 Clarke’s Lane, Marlborough; 845-795-2383
Hours: Starting Sept. 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
Types of apples: McIntosh, Macoun, Gala, Cortland, Empire, Red and Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Winesap, Jonagold, Fuji, Ida Red, Rome and Granny Smith.
Other activities: Hayrides, pick-your-own pears.


Dr. Davies Farm
306 Route 304, Congers; 845- 286-7020;
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Types of apples: Cortland, Spartan, Empire, Ida Red, Crispin (Mutsu), Northern Spy, Red and Golden Delicious.
Other activities: Pumpkin picking, weekend hayrides.

The Orchards of Concklin
2 South Mountain Road, Pomona; 845-354-0369
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and Columbus Day.
Types of apples: Macoun, Red Delicious, Empire, Golden Delicious, Rome.
Other activities: Haunted house, giant slide, corn maze on weekends.

Other Events

Eco Trek 2010:Join the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey on October 2 for the fundraising walk and expo, Live Healthy, Go Green. Held at Lake Rickabear Outdoor Program Center in Kinnelon (less than an hour from the GWB) , the event encourages participants to walk 1.2 miles around the lake and visit health and environmental exhibits created by the Girl Scouts. Registration begins at 9am, and patrons gather for an 11am warm-up preceding the walk. Proceeds benefit the healthy lifestyles and green living initiative programs that are part of the Girl Scout leadership experience.
When: October 2, 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM.
Where: Lake Rickabear Outdoor Program Center in Kinnelon

Home Depot - Kids Clinics
The Home Depot's Kids Workshops This months project is a whistle fire truck.
The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Additionally, this fun time allows for quality one-on-one time between adults and children.In addition to the newly constructed project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron, similar to The Home Depot associates' aprons, and an achievement pin.

Make your own Apple Picker
You can always make your own with a 2 liter bottle of soda and a broom handle and some duct tape and scissors.


The Mohonk Mountain House

Sitting atop the Shawagunk ridge, The Mohonk Mountain House is a resort that calms the mind, stimulates the body, and awakens the soul. From the moment guests pass under the majestic Willows they are greeted by the site of the 267 Victorian Castle and transported to a place of natural beauty from the Lake in the Sky to the Cliffs that surround the lake to the View of the Hudson Valley.

Guests at the mountain house receive three delicious satisfying meals a day as well as afternoon tea and cookies. For Lunch we opted for the Outdoor cookout at the Granary. The Granary sits above the Swimming area of the lake and is BBQ style lunch along with full salad and dessert bar. There is also an ice cream and Sundae bar.
The main dining room provides a westerly view overlooking the Hudson Valley where diners are treated to a stunning sunset views.

There are plenty of activities to take part in including swimming, hiking, boating, and fishing. Additional guide led activities such as Mounting Biking, Rock Climbing, and Horseback riding are also available for an additional fee.

Sitting at the top of the Mountain is the Albert Smiley Memorial
tower. Those who climb to the top of the tower will be rewarded with spectacular views of the landscape outstretched below.

As a single parent I enjoyed the opportunity to share time with my daughter away from the distractions of everyday life. We enjoyed our time together be it out on the lake fishing or pedaling one of the paddle boats, building sand castles on the lakeside beach, hiking along the trails or just relaxing in one of the rocking chairs overlooking the lake while enjoying an afternoon treat.

Mohonk also has a Kids camp which provided me with some personal time. I was able to hike up the rock scrambles and the crevasse, get in a mountain bike ride, a trail run, and even a yoga class while my daughter made friends with the kids at Mohonk.
While walking into the dinning hall the first evening after Kids camp one of the kids called out to my daughter and asked if she was doing the kids swim that night. Throughout dinner We met a few more "friends". I think it's great the way kids just get together. They remember each others name and refer to each other as friends. "That's my friend Sara she like Ariel (from the little mermaid) just like me" is a common type of introduction.

The Kids camp is made up of 2 daily sessions as well as evening activities like the kids swim.
Kids are placed in groups according to age.
Activities are age appropriate but parents can limit activities that their child is able to participate in.
Parents can feel comfortable that their kids are safe and enjoying themselves while they engage in one of the many activities offered at Mohonk or they can decompress at Mohonk's full service Spa, or participate in one of the classes offered at the Mohonk fitness center including Yoga and Pilates.

Our stay at Mohonk was for two nights and 3 days and while short we were able to pack a lot of fun into our days and nights creating memories to last a lifetime. One of my favorites was at the campfire after we ate some smores my daughter snuggled up with me on a log bench and we just watched the fire and looked up at the stars for a while nothing being said but a moment shared.