School just started, and you’re gonna need an apple for the teacher. Or maybe you’re looking to start a new family apple-picking tradition or to find a new place to continue a beloved yearly outing. Whatever the reason (as if you need one) it’s time for apple picking in nj, and you need to know where to go. So we’ve rounded up our annual list of the best places to go for apple and pumpkin picking, plus corn mazes, hay rides, petting zoos and more. How ’bout them apples?
In Bergen County:
Demarest Farms (244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale, 201-666-0472)
Home to 14-plus varieties of apples, this 130-year-old farm provides a beautiful setting for picking and spending the day visiting their corn maze and petting zoo, and don’t leave without trying their homemade donuts and soups. Plan your trip for Friday October 6, 13 or 20 and treat yourself to pumpkin picking and movie night with an exclusive showing of the movie Spookley The Square Pumpkin. Admission for this special event is $16/pp. (General admission is $7 and includes a hayride, petting zoo visi and playground access. $10/bag of apples. Apple picking starts September 2, Saturdays and Sundays and all holidays from 9:00 to 4:30 and Mondays through Fridays from 3 to 4:30. Pumpkin picking starts September 16, Monday-Friday 3 to 4:30, Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 to 4:30).
In Rockland County:
Dr. Davies (306 Route 304, Congers, NY, 845-268-7020)
Wander through their 55-acre farm filled with 4,000-plus trees where apples abound and gorgeous vistas are at every turn. Visit their roadside farm stand for fresh fruits and vegetables, including their own sweet corn and fresh-pressed cider. A trailer ride will take you to the pumpkin patch on their scenic farm. Get there early before the crowds! (Open every day from 10 to 4, cash only.)
The Orchards of Concklin (2 South Mountain Rd, Pomona, NY, 845-354-0369)
This place has been a staple in Rockland County for 10 generations, and the owners take special care of their orchards, encouraging visitors to be kind to the trees when picking. A slide as well as haunted and bounce houses will keep kids busy while you visit their bakery for pies, cookies, pastries or a quiche. (Apple picking starts September 17, open Sundays and Columbus Day 10 to 5, $10/bag of apples, pole rental $2, kids under 3 free.)
Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Lane., Chester, 908-258-6245)
From Fuji to Honey Crisp, new varieties are popping on trees every week at Alstede (check their website for the growing schedule and events calendar). Work your way through the corn maze and enjoy wagon-train rides. (Picking every day 9 to 6 with last admission at 5 p.m., $6.99 fee includes a hay wagon ride and live entertainment on weekends, $17.99 Childrens’ All Day Activity Pass includes unlimited access to pony rides, moon bounce, wagon-train rides, corn kingdom and also includes admission to pick-your-own areas, hayrides and live entertainment. $1.99/pound of apples. Pumpkin picking starts in mid-September. Apple Pancake Breakfast to be held Sunday, September 3.)
Stony Hill Farms (8 East Mill Road, Chester, 908-879-2696)
The picking for little ones is easier with Stony Hill’s dwarf apple trees with up to 20 different varieties of apples to choose from. Weave through their 10-acre corn maze then try the rope and tile mazes before visiting the playground as well as the farm market for Jersey-fresh produce. (Picking season runs through mid-October, pumpkin patch is open at the end of September through October. Open Saturdays and Sundays 10 to 5. $9.00 for ¼ peck, which is approximately 4 lbs. of apples. $.59/lb for pumpkins.)
Hurds Family Farm (2187 State Route 32, Modena, NY, 845-883-7825)
Every weekend brings 25 family activities, including a two-acre maze and special events, including Grandparents Day on September 10 and a fresh air jazz concert. See their website for details. Visit their Big Apple Café for fresh, delicious meals and then kids can do the Big Apple Bounce, the cow train and hayride and pedal karts. (Picking runs until early November, open every day 9 to 5. $7/half peck of apples. Pumpkins are $.60 a pound.)
Silverman’s Farm (451 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT, 203-261-3306)
Dozens of varieties of apples are ripe for the picking now at Silverman’s, a trek from Bergen to Connecticut, but take the day and make the trip. With a farmer’s market, a pumpkin patch as well as their animal farm, everyone will be kept busy. (Open every day 9 to 5. See website for further details).
Johnson’s Corner Farm (133 Church Rd, Medford, 609-654-8643)
Apples and pumpkins are ready to be picked at one of the largest “pick your own” farms in southern Jersey. Pumpkin picking hayrides begin September 10 and apple picking starts mid-September. Visit the weekend of September 23-24 from 11 to 3 for the Apple of My Eye festival with hayrides, a food tent, live music and of course, peak season apple picking. (Open daily from 10 to 5, $1.89/lb. for apples, pumpkins are $.79/lb. Hayrides and corn mazes are extra.)