It’s been a long, hot summer and we are ready for a new season—bring on the sweater dresses and the PSLs! We’re also excited to swap sweltering days at the beach for some fun fall activities. Top of our list? Heading out to a pumpkin patch to pick our own gourd, jump on a hayride and maybe even get lost in a corn maze. But before you hop in a car to one of these autumnal spots in New York or New Jersey, there are a few things to consider—like what kind of atmosphere you’re looking for (serene and rural vs. amusement park status), or whether you want booze to be available (there are cideries for that). Fortunately, our list of the best pumpkin patches near NYC has a destination to float almost anyone’s boat.

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

1. F & W Schmitt’s Family Farm (Melville, NY)

Distance from NYC: About 1 hour and 15 minutes (35 miles) from Midtown Manhattan by car.

The annual fall festival at F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm begins on September 19 and goes on until November 1. During this time, you can pay the farm a visit any day of the week and pick your own pumpkin for a $10 admission fee plus the cost of your loot. For the price, you’ll get plenty of entertainment, including hayrides, corn mazes, farm animals, mini golf and playground access to boot. There’s also a daytime and nighttime haunted house open throughout the fall festival, though the latter is not for the faint of heart. (Note: Some activities are only available on weekends, so if you’re planning a weekday visit be sure to check the site to see what’s on offer.)

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2. Secor Farms (Mahwah, NJ)

Distance from NYC: Roughly 1 hour (30 miles) from Midtown Manhattan by car.

A scenic hayride is required if you want to get to the pumpkin patch at Secor Farms, but chances are no one will complain—candy apples and beautiful views make for one sweet ride. Aside from the hayride, there’s also a petting zoo and corn maze, as well as a restaurant should you start to feel peckish after picking your perfect pumpkin. As of yet, there have not been any updates on the COVID-19 policies from last year, so check the website and give the farm ring before you visit to make sure everything is up and running per the usual by mid-September.

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3. Alstede Farms (Chester, NJ)

Distance from NYC: Alstede Farms is 53 miles from Midtown and no more than 1 hour and 30 minutes by car; you can also take NJ Transit to the Gladstone station and hop on the free Alstede Farms courtesy coach that will take you straight to the pumpkin patch.

This New Jersey gem—a 600 acre swath of farmland—is open year round, so you can ‘pick your own’ in any season, provided you reserve a spot before you go. That said, pumpkin picking typically isn’t available until mid-September, but when the patch does open to the public, you’re sure to get a good gourd and much more from your visit to Alstede. The farm has both a corn and evergreen maze, a sunflower trail (if they’re still in bloom when you visit), farm animals for kids to feed, a cider mill and a winery that offers tastings to grown-ups who want to wind down with a little vino after all the fun.

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4. Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard (North Salem, NY)

Distance from NYC: Roughly 50 miles from Midtown Manhattan and 1 hour and 45 minutes by car. You can also catch the Metro-North from Grand Central to Croton Falls and call a cab at the station for a six-minute ride to the farm, and a total travel time of 1 hour and 45 minutes max.

If you pay a visit to Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard you’ll be treated to live music, hard cider, a well-stocked farm store and a restaurant that features delicious brunch and breakfast dishes made with farm fresh eggs and the finest seasonal ingredients. There’s a pumpkin patch and hayrides too, of course. Check out the scene from mid-September to late October and you won't be disappointed.

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5. Outhouse Orchards (North Salem, NY)

Distance from NYC: 1 hour and 45 minutes (51 miles) by car or an 80-minute train ride on the Metro-North from Grand Central, plus a quick cab ride from Croton Falls station to the farm.

Good news for anyone who isn’t keen on traveling with tools: The pumpkins on this patch have already been plucked from the vine for easy picking. Better still, the atmosphere at Outhouse Orchards is downright festive, as the pumpkin patch typically boasts all manner of seasonal decorations. The farm stand is decked out in a similar fashion, but we think the array of fresh produce will make an even bigger impression than the decor. Hayrides, apple picking and a corn maze are also available for extra kicks—and definitely snag some tasty baked goods at the barn on your way out. ( cider donuts.)

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6. Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction, NY)

Distance from NYC: 65 miles and 1 hour and 45 minutes by car from Midtown Manhattan.

This one might ring a bell to New York City residents—namely because the top notch goods from Fishkill Farms have quite a presence at farmer’s markets and high-end grocery stores alike. Indeed, the folks at this Hudson Valley farm know what they’re doing, and you’ll have a great experience as a result. The pumpkin picking season—which enjoys considerable apple picking overlap and spans from mid-September through November 1—includes a few other attractions, like live music and hayrides. However, the focus at Fishkill Farms is really on the food, so you can mostly just expect gorgeous farmland and the chance to finish off your visit with a flight of hard cider and a premium cheeseboard.

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Pumpkin Patches Near NYC Elwood Farm
Elwood Pumpkin Farm/Facebook

7. Elwood Farm (Huntington, NY)

Distance from NYC: 1 hour from Midtown Manhattan by car. FYI, you can take public transit here, too, but it will add at least 3 hours to the trek.

This popular Long Island pumpkin patch and Christmas tree farm doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other destinations on our list. In fact, it’s a little more low-key. That said, the landscape is beautiful, wagon and hayrides are par for the course, and there’s a kid-friendly corn maze, too. As for the pumpkins—they’re all out in the Elwood fields and still attached to the vine, so you can enjoy a proper pick-your-own experience. Again, the season typically begins around mid-September—but because this isn’t a full-blown farm with other produce on offer, you’ll definitely want to make sure pumpkins are there for the picking before you swing by.

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8. Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson, NY)

Distance from NYC: 2 hours and 20 minutes by car or 1 hour and 35 minutes by bus from Port Authority to New Paltz, followed by a 25-minute (13 mile) cab ride.

Come for the pumpkins, stay hours for the giant bouncy pillow and breathtaking views of the Kerhonkson countryside. Seriously, a visit to Kelder’s Farm is a whole day affair since the place is a veritable amusement park. If you have kids, it will be hard to tear them away from the aforementioned trampoline—but if you succeed, there’s plenty more to see. For starters, there’s a fun playground, a mini golf-course and a few other outdoor games just a stone’s throw from the bouncy business. The whole fam will also have a blast shooting apples out of the apple cannon—an activity that you’ll encounter en route to the sprawling pumpkin patch. (Note: There’s also a corn maze, in the event that anyone has energy left for it.)

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9. Decker Farm (Staten Island, NY)

Distance from NYC: 50 minutes from Midtown Manhattan by car; 1 hour 20 minutes by bus.

Decker Farm is situated in Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island and is open exclusively for pumpkin picking on weekends throughout the month of October. The environs are charming and picturesque, the pumpkins are plump and there are myriad attractions to keep the whole family entertained—including hayrides, arts and crafts, and face painting. All in all, this is an easy trip to make from the city, and a pretty rewarding one at that.

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10. Demarest Farms (Hillsdale, NJ)

Distance from NYC: 1 hour from Midtown Manhattan by car.

Demarest Farms is home to one of the most popular pumpkin patches in New Jersey, and this year some beloved attractions are opening back up. Throughout the month of October, you can take a private hayride to the pumpkin patch to pick your own—and if you go on the right day, you might also be treated to live music and mouthwatering barbeque. (Check the events calendar.) For evening visitors, there are regular drive-in movie nights, as well as a Halloween light show, occupying 32 acres of farmland, that you can tour in your vehicle. In other words, there’s pretty much something for everyone.

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