Nothing says fall family fun like a day of apple and pumpkin picking. This month, take a short trip out of the city, get a breath of fresh air, and spend some time with nature. True city kids (and adults) have no need to despair—many orchards are now much more than trees and vines. While classic cider doughnuts fill the tummy, petting zoos, mazes, and haunted houses promise to entertain. Many of these beautiful but not-too-far-away farms are charming, independently-owned operations, so be sure to call ahead and confirm hours before you hit the road!
A classic fall favorite, Riamede Farms gets back to the important basics: juicy fruit and delicious donuts. The kids will forget the lack of fancy mazes or petting zoos when they hop on a free hayride (on weekends), taste the 34 apple varieties, and help shear a pumpkin fresh off the vine—a rare treat in the tri-state area. Boasting hard-to-beat cider doughnuts, the farm has also reportedly offered up hot dogs cooked in cider and a honeycomb in the past. About 56 miles from Manhattan.
122 Oakdale Road, Chester,
NJ, 908-879-5353, riamede.com
If you think the best part of apple picking is gobbling apple doughnuts after, we hear the ones at Applewood Orchards are known to sell out within 15 minutes. But not to worry, new batches are rolled out around the clock. Smack dab in the heart of Hudson Valley, the farm features ponds and herb and rose gardens with plenty of kiddie activities, from duck feeding to puppet shows. About 54 miles from Manhattan.
82 Four Corners Road, Warwick,
NY, 845-986-1684, applewoodorchards.com
Kids will love the easy-to-reach dwarf trees at Pennings Orchard, located in a part of upstate New York famous for its brilliant foliage. If a petting zoo and live bands aren’t festive enough, cider doughnuts and kettle popcorn will add a little cheer to any chilly day. At lunch time, opt for one of the family-owned operation’s “Old Fashioned Hoedowns,” or bring a picnic basket and claim a spot on the expansive grounds. Leashed dogs welcome. About 50 miles from Manhattan.
169 State Route
94 South, Warwick, NY,
Orchards of Concklin
Fancy a spooky frolic after picking apples on a three-century old farm? Brave the haunted house at the Orchards of Concklin, or whiz down the giant slide bounce for a heart-racing thrill. If all the activity makes you hungry, pies filled with every kind of fruit imaginable make a yummy addition to the usual fresh-pressed cider and doughnuts. Take some of
the farm home with you by shopping the market, with a wide selection of honey, cheeses and more. About 32 miles from Manhattan.
2 South Mountain Road,
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
This distillery might be first and foremost known for its beloved Doc’s Draft Hard Cider, but its big, beautiful lawn makes it a great spot for the entire family—puppy included. Bring a ball or Frisbee to toss around after filling your bags up with rare varieties of “boutique” apples that are usually not grown commercially. In the afternoons, live music performances add to the wholesome outdoor fun. About 55 miles from Manhattan.
114 Little York
Road, Warwick, NY, 845-258-4858, wvwinery.com
Fink’s Country Farm
Forget pumpking picking. At Fink’s Country Farm, kids can fire up a corn cannon or pumpkin slingshot at the weekly Fall Festival. Free for children under two, other farm-inspired atrractions include pig races, calf roping and kiddie trains. If you’re feeling adventurous, stick around for sunset and navigate the flashlight maze (which is also open during the day). About 70 miles from Manhattan.
6242 Middle Country Rd,
Wading River, NY, 631-886-2272, finksfarm.com
Toddler-friendly trees and a pumpkin patch with twenty kinds of produce offers the best of fall at Silverman’s Farm. But topping these experiences is the unusual petting zoo, with curious creatures like emus, buffalo and llamas. Parents looking to dress up the house can bring home some scarecrows for fun fall décor. About 58 miles from Manhattan.
451 Sport Hill Road,
Calling all barbecue fans: Through the third weekend of October, Fishkill Farms will be serving up apple-wood grilled burgers, hot dogs, corn and veggies. Amongst the apple trees, we love that the orchard minimizes pesticides, opting for eco-friendly solutions like mulching instead. For a bit of whimsy, sunflowers and strawberries are also available for picking, and the hay jump and bouncy castle up the fun factor. About 63 miles from Manhattan.
9 Fishkill Farm Road, Hopewell
JCT, NY, 845-897-4377, fishkillfarms.com
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
Though this farm can get quite congested during the fall season, we can’t help but point out that they bake apple strudel sticks on top of the classic doughnuts and fruit pies. While lines for the tractor ride to the orchards and pumpkin patches can get long, the bakery is worth stopping by for sweet-toothed fams in the FDR State Park area. About 43 miles from Manhattan.
1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown
Heights, NY, 914-245-5111, wilkensfarm.com