Cue the fresh apple cider and hayrides---it’s pumpkin picking season in Northern New Jersey! Team Nest Builder recommends you grab the kids, flee the house and head to one of these 7 super pumpkin-picking spots, pronto! (Just be sure to call ahead to confirm they’ll be open as weather and stock may impact hours and activities. And if you’re thinking of loading up Fido, make sure pets are allowed first!)
1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester
Kids adore this pick-your-own, family-owned, first-generation New Jersey farm offering a bounce house, pony rides, wagon rides, corn maze, hay pyramid, and farm animals. Don’t skip the farm store, packed with homemade goodies including ice cream! If your schedule allows, visit on weekday when crowds thin and a special weekday ticket package becomes available. Call 908-528-8823 for more information.
Stony Hill Farms
15 North Road, Chester
Up for a challenge? Check out Stony Hill Farms 10-acre corn maze, or hit their fence mazes, rope mazes, tile mazes, and more.! Let the kids blow off steam in the trike park before heading to the Fun Park. Then jump on a hayride to the pumpkin fields to pick out a sure winner! Please Note: Stony Hill farms attractions are not handicap accessible due to rugged terrain and stairs on the bridges inside the maze. Strollers are permitted but are extremely difficult to push on the ground, and carriers are recommended.Call 908-879-2908 for more information.
Conklin Farm U-Pick
65 River Road, Montville
Looking for a place that’s a little more laid-back? This smaller farm offers a corn maze, pumpkin picking, and hayrides, including a scary haunted hayride (not recommended for the little tykes!) And you could head home with a 100+ pound pumpkin if you win their Slingshot Game! New for Fridays: 4-6pm face painting, balloons and FREE hayrides on the half hour. Call 973-400-9460 for more information.
Heaven Hill Farm
451 State Route 94, Vernon
Looking for an all out pumpkin-picking extravaganza? Head to Heaven Hill Farm for its Great Pumpkin Festival, the "largest fall festival in Northern NJ." Weekend carnival rides will wow the kids, but they’ll also have a blast on the hayrides, watching pig races, doing a spider web crawl, making their way through a Wizard of Oz corn maze, interacting with farm animals, and much more. Call 973-764-5144 for more information.
Ideal Farm and Garden Center
222 NJ-15, Lafayette
Hop a scenic hayride to Pumpkin Hollow -- a 5-6-acre pumpkin patch. Afterward, visit with farm animals, walk through the hay maze, or, if you dare, tiptoe through the haunted barn. Call 973-579-3893 for more information.
47 Decker Pond Road, Andover
This massive farm offers $2 hayrides to on-the-vine pumpkin picking. For another buck, test out their pumpkin launcher! (There’s even a corn cannon!) A HUGE bounce pillow forms the main attraction at the entrance, along with a cow-train and corn maze. (Free activities include pumpkin tic-tac-toe, straw maze, corn boxes, and a petting zoo.) Hungry? No need to leave! Purchase a hot dog, hamburger or pulled pork sandwich along with tasty sides. Call 908-979-0303 for more information.
252 High St., Newton
After picking pumpkins, wander through the 10-acre corn maze (heading here on a Friday night? Bring a flashlight or rent one for “flashlight night”!) Not scary enough? Jump on the haunted hayride, but beware, it’s not for the faint of heart! Call 973-579-2424 for more information.
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