As the air gets crisp and apples and pumpkins begin to ripen, area farmers and orchard owners pull out all the stops to create great wholesome outdoor fun for the whole family. Anyone who has never been in a corn maze is in for a treat navigating through 8 to 10-foot stalks – it is definitely not just for kids.
A Farm in the City
The Queens County Farm Museum is the only working historical farm in New York City. Located in Floral Park, it is accessible by car, Long Island Railroad trains or city subway and bus lines. In addition to the museum, historic farmhouse and various farm animals, starting around mid-September through Halloween, the Queens County Farm Museum offers a giant corn maze filled with interactive activities. There are also hayrides and, on select weekends, special fall-theme festivals, pumpkin picking and Halloween activities.
Orchards Outside NYC
Looking to leave the confines of the city? There are plenty of options all less than a two-hour drive from midtown Manhattan many along scenic routes great for viewing the fall foliage.
On Long Island, try Fink’s Country Farm in Manorville, NY. Fink’s offers a host of activities in including hayrides and a combine slide. For a real challenge try the 7-acre corn maze at night with just a flashlight for guidance. Fink’s has a fully stocked farm stand featuring local produce and a u-pick pumpkin patch.
Headed in a different direction to the Hudson Valley, Barton Orchards, in Dutchess County has many fun fall activities. The smell of freshly baked apple cider donuts fills the air of Barton’s large country store. A 5-acre corn maze and haunted house are among the many attractions offered during the fall harvest season. Barton’s has two admission package choices – spend a few hours or the whole day.
Billing itself as New Jersey’s largest corn maze and hayride event, the Field of Terror in East Windsor, NJ is certain to get guests in the Halloween spirit. The flashlight maze and other haunted attractions are frightful but there are also family friendly options for the faint of heart. Young children will enjoy the daytime hayrides and pumpkin picking.
Pumpkins as Art in Westchester County
The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze is held each year on the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. Stroll through the paths of this grand estate after dark and view the thousands of extraordinary hand-carved pumpkin creations. In addition to standard Halloween witches, ghosts and goblins, the display also features intricately carved animals, flowers and scenery. Members of the Historic Hudson Valley receive free admission to the event with advance reservation. All others must purchase tickets at the gate. The Blaze normally runs through the whole month of October.