CENTRAL JERSEY - The temperature may not say it, but the calendar does. Fall is here, which means it’s time to plan those apple and pumpkin picking adventures. Weather forecasters are predicting that the upcoming weekend may feel less like late August and more like early October. So, where are the best spots in and around Middlesex County for pumpkins, hayrides and of course a dizzying corn maze? Read on! You won't need the Great Pumpkin for fall fun this autumn.

  • Giamarese Farms and Orchards on Fresh Ponds Road in East Brunswick is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for apple and pumpkin picking through October 29. For folks looking for fall harvest fun like hayrides, a corn maze, pony rides and more, head to Giamarese on the weekends. Admission is free. Pay as you go for hayride, ponies and the corn maze as well as for the apples and pumpkins picked.
  • Cheesequake Farms on Route 34 in Matawan offers free admission, but patrons must purchase tickets for the hayride and corn maze. The hayride takes pumpkin pickers out to the patch to find the perfect pumpkin. Fall decorations and treats are also available for purchase. New this year is the Zombie Zone, open at their Route 9 location on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person plus tax and are cash only. Participants 13 and under must have an accompanying parent. Children cannot be under five years of age. Fi
  • VonThun Farms on Ridge Road in Monmouth Junction is open for fall fun with a wealth of activities that include hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin patch and more. General admission is $11.95 plus tax except on October 7, October 8, October 14 and October 15 where the admission price is $14.95 plus tax. A dollar discount is offered for seniors and the military. Kids 36” and under are free. Additional fees are required for corn cannon, pumpkin blaster, pony rides and face painting as well as any pumpkins and apples picked. Moonlight corn maze excursions on October 20, October 21, October 27 and October 28 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.
  • Etsch Farms in Monroe Township is open weekends from now through October 29 from noon until 6 p.m. Activities include the Feed the World Corn Maze, corn train and hayride. Explore the giant corn maze or the smaller one. Then, go pick pumpkins. Pay-one-price wristband is $12.95 plus tax for visitors ages three and up. Kids two and under are free.
  • Happy Day Farm on Iron Ore Road in Manalapan is celebrating the seventy-fifth birthday of that curious little monkey George, with a mega Curious George-inspired corn maze. Happy Day is open weekends from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Fridays in October from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $14 plus tax on weekends and $11 plus tax on Fridays. Children two and under are free. Over 30 games and activities available.
  • Habiak Farms on Deans Rhode Hall Road in South Brunswick offers traditional pumpkin and gourd picking along with corn stalks and straw. It’s open on weekends.
  • Stults Farm on Cranbury Neck Road in Cranbury serves up weekend hayrides, gourds and pick-your-own apples and pumpkins.