With all the chaos and busyness of our everyday lives, it's often worth taking a minute to stop and enjoy the beauty around us. And that's just what a number of farms around New Jersey hope to do with their annual sunflower mazes and flower festivals happening this summer. Whether you want to just enjoy the view, or are ready to cut and bring home a few, grab your tix in advance and make a plan to visit one -- or more -- of these farms for their flower power.
Sunflower season has just begun at Happy Day Farm, where the gorgeous stems are sure to put a smile on your face. Take a tractor ride to the flowers, and while you're there, enjoy fresh lemonade, shaved ices and photo ops. Raspberry and blueberry picking, as well as lavender viewing, is also available for a full-day experience. (Happy Day Farm, Manalapan, U-Pick Sunflowers opened July 19)
At Stony Hill Farms, their annual Sunflower Festival provides guests with 2.5 acres of gorgeous stems to roam in, snap photos in, and cut stems from to take home. Live music and attractions such as the mazes, trike rides and homemade flights of ice cream are sure to please the whole fam. (Stony Hill Farms, Chester, Sunflower Festival dates start July 22)
Here's a little known fun fact: NJ is home to the largest sunflower maze on the east coast. With over 1.5 million sunflowers and 3 miles of trails, the Sussex County Sunflower Maze at Liberty Farm should definitely earn a spot on your must-do list this summer. This pet-friendly spot allows guests to shoot photos, pick your own and venture through the maze. (Sussex County Sunflower Maze, Sandyston, Sunflowers begin blooming in mid-August)
A short drive to the Hudson Valley leads you to Sunflower Valley Farm, where picturesque flower fields and a sunflower maze are perfect for photo shoots, which can be scheduled. This scenic farm also offers seeds to grow your own garden, plus plenty of activities such as a petting farm and face paint to keep the kids happy. (Sunflower Valley Farm, New Hampton, Sunflower season begins end of July)
Be your own photographer at VonThun Farms Sunflower Trail. With over six acres of sunflowers, it's safe for your family to wander as long as you would like and cut your own sunflowers. Raspberry and blackberry fields are open late July through August to bring home fresh fruit on your travels, too. And did we mention with hayride tours and a barnyard area there's something for everyone? (VonThun Farms, Washington, NJ, now open through August.)
Round out your end-of-summer plans at Holland Ridge Farms' U-Pick Sunflowers. Along with the classic sunflowers, visitors can expect colorful rows of gladiolas, lilies and dahlias spanning 60 acres -- the largest U-Pick on the East Coast. BYO photography or use their professionals for Insta-worthy snaps. Pony and tractor rides, animals and farm fresh food are all available for a fun-filled day. (Holland Ridge Farms, Cream Ridge, sunflowers open in September)
The Sunflower Trail at Ort Farms leads you through more than five acres of sunny fields, where you can explore at your leisure and stop at their photo opps along the way for beautiful shots. Visit their U-cut sunflower field to bring home your own to display, as well as zinnia field for additional beauts. With special activity days and fun for kids, there's plenty to do to brighten your day. (Ort Farms, Long Valley, Sunflower season starts late August)