We’ve all read the studies about how kids are more likely to eat what they’ve helped grow or cook. So head out to one of the many places for berry picking in NJ for a fun day out that will also get your little ones that much more excited about eating fruit! Juicy strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and more are all just a short drive away—hey, they don’t call Jersey the Garden State for nothing. If the idea of eating all that fresh fruit before it goes bad stresses you out, think smoothies, jam, ice cream toppings, pies and tarts. Freeze it now, and have wonderful pies and jams next winter too.
Donaldson Farms, Hackettstown NJ
Pick your own strawberries and raspberries on your own or bring a group. Group picking tours include lessons about the berries, a hayride, a snack and a stop at the petting zoo. Strawberry Harvest Weekends will be announced soon, so check the website for dates and times! Open daily from 9 – 6.
Alstede Farms, Chester, NJ
A one-stop shop for berries, Alstede Farms grows strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Plan your visit for one of their Strawberry Harvest Festival weekends in June, or head over in July for their Blueberry Festival weekends. Or, power up for a long day of picking with a pancake breakfast cooked just for you. The Strawberry Pancake Breakfast is Sunday, June 3, or treat your dad to Father’s Day brunch on the farm either June 16 or June 17. Open daily from 9 – 7.
Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction, NY
Strawberries kick off their pick-your-own season in June, but come back in July for cherries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries and again in August for peaches and nectarines. Fishkill’s orchards are certified sustainably grown and produce an environmentally friendly low-spray fruit. Check out their Facebook Fan Page for crop updates. Open daily from 9 – 6. U pick fields close at 5.
Schaefer Farms, Flemington, NJ
A member of the local farming community for four generations, Schaefer Farms grows a variety of fruits and vegetables each year, including blackberries and raspberries. Join their mailing list to be notified when a crop is ready for U Pick. Open M – S 9:30 – 6, Sunday 10 – 5.
Sussex County Strawberry Farm, Andover, NJ
At this family-owned farm, they believe that “the best strawberries (and raspberries) are the ones you pick yourself.” Picking season will begin in early June for strawberries. Call ahead for times and picking conditions or follow them on Facebook.
Hillview Farms, Gillette, NJ
Open nearly 150 years on 53 acres, Hillview’s blueberry season kicks off in July. (Peaches are ready in early August.) Open daily 9 – 6. U pick fields close at 5.
Love Apple Farm, Ghent, NY
Exhaust yourself picking blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and peaches, then revive yourself at the café, bakery and market. Raspberries start off the season in June. Check the website for what’s ripe. Open daily 10 – 5.
Chatham Berry Farm, LLC, Chatham, NY
If you’re willing to travel for healthier produce, load up the kids and head here. Berries grown at the Chatham Berry Farm, LLC are grown without pesticides, fungicides or insecticides. Call to find out when strawberry picking starts. Blueberry and raspberry picking begins in July, and blackberry picking will begin in August. Open daily 8 – 6.
Stony Hill Farms, Chester, NJ
Check out the website for this family-owned, family-friendly farm or like them on Facebook to learn more about strawberry picking conditions. Then head back in the fall to challenge yourself in their corn maze. Open daily from 10 – 5 (picking until 4).