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Real talk: Fall is the greatest season of all (Pumpkin patches! Apple picking! PSLs!). But if you haven’t sat on a barrel of hay for a scenic jaunt around a country farm with an apple cider donut in hand, then you’re just not doing it right. So don your mask and climb aboard—here are six of the best hayrides near NYC. (Psst: Before you go, remember to keep the CDC’s Halloween guidelines in mind—going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household is considered a high-risk activity.)

Editor’s note: In light of COVID-19, please review federal, state and local traveler guidance. Please also check with farms before visiting to confirm they are open and operating with safety precautions.

RELATED: The 20 Best Places to Go Pumpkin Picking in New Jersey and New York

hayrides NYC Queens Country Farm Museum
Queens Country Farm/Facebook

1. Queens Country Farm (50 minutes from NYC)

Every weekend through October 30 (plus Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day), this historic site that dates back to 1697 is open for pumpkin picking, hayrides and maze exploring. But not just any maze—the Amazing Maize Maze is designed in the shape of Vincent Van Gogh’s renowned painting of sunflowers. And for one-night only on October 24, visitors can explore this interactive 3-acre puzzle under the stars—just don’t forget to bring your flashlight. Admission to the farm is free but activities (including hay rides) are priced separately.

73-50 Little Neck Pkwy., Queens; or 718-347-3276 or queensfarm.org

hayrides nyc riamede farms
Riamede Farms/Facebook

2. Riamede Farm (80 Minutes from NYC)

Hop on a hayride at Riamede Farm any weekend in October (plus Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples’ Day) and take in the gourd-geous pumpkin patch and apple orchards. OK, truth be told there isn’t any hay involved but the farm wagon rides are just as fun. A Farm Pass is required for entry and must be purchased in advance. Or hey, why not gather your quarantine pod and make it a group affair? Privately scheduled wagon rides are available by special request on weekdays for $75.

122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ; 908-879-5353 or riamede.com

3. Decker Farm (1 Hour from NYC)

This historic farm may date back to the early 1800s but there’s plenty of modern-day fun to be had here, including photo ops and pumpkin chucking. Yep, release some of that stress you’ve been holding on to these past couple of months by hurling a pumpkin in the newly installed bungee system ($3 for three chucks). Then enjoy a beautiful hayride around the grounds where you just might see costumed artisans performing old-school trades like stone carving and soap making. Open on weekends and timed-entry tickets are required—purchase here.

435 Richmond Hill Road, Staten Island, NY; 917-887-0482 historicrichmondtown.org/deckerfarm

4. Alstede Farms (80 Minutes from NYC)

Every day in October, pre-purchase an entry ticket online for the family-friendly Alstede Farms and enjoy picking fields, a sunflower maze, an evergreen maze and a corn maze, plus tractor drawn wagon rides. Extra cool event? The Harvest Moon Hayride each weekend from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. that allows visitors to explore acres of scenic farmland in a tractor-drawn wagon ride at night. Afterwards, cozy up to the bonfire while listening to live music and sipping on a hot apple cider. Food, wine tasting and s’mores making kits available for additional purchase.

1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ; 908-879-7189 or alstedefarms.com

5. Harbes Family Farm (100 Minutes from NYC)

The only thing better than a hayride tour through a 78-acres of beautiful farmland? A singing hayride tour! Head to Harbes Family Farm on the weekend for plenty of family-friendly fun including pig races, music-filled hayrides and the Barnyard Adventure area filled with farm animals, sport zones and mazes. Tickets required for the Barnyard zone plus hayrides. Open daily through November 1.

715 Sound Ave, Mattituck, NY; 631-298-0800 or harbesfamilyfarm.com

Hanks Pumpkin Town hayrides nyc
Hank’s Pumpkin Town/Facebook

6. Hank’s Pumpkin Town (110 Minutes from NYC)

Yes, the pumpkin picking, maze park, wagon and barrel train rides and mega slides are fun worth having. But, to be honest, we’re most excited about Hank’s Fall For Y’All drink: hot apple cider served in a souvenir campfire mug, topped with whipped cream, caramel and an apple cider donut. We’ll take two, please. No reservations required and open every day.

249 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY; hankspumpkintown.com

RELATED: The Best Places to Go Apple Picking in NY and NJ (If You’re Into That Sort of Thing)

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