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The leaves are changing colors, the weather has gone from stagnant to refreshing and PSLs are most definitely back. What does it all mean? It’s pumpkin picking season, of course. Celebrate the change of season and get ready for Halloween festivities with an excursion to one of these pumpkin picking spots in New Jersey and New York for a gourd-geous selection plus family-friendly entertainment to boot. Happy picking, friends.

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.

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1. Wightman Farms  Morristown  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Wightman Farms/Facebook

1. Wightman Farms (Morristown, NJ)

A visit to Wightman Farms can easily be a full day affair thanks to plenty of ways to keep even the littlest kids entertained on this beautiful, sprawling farm in Morristown, New Jersey. Social distancing, mask-wearing and crowd-control policies are all in place and the attractions are all up and running. What attractions, you ask? Hay rides, corn mazes, picnic and play areas, as well as games (like pumpkin slingshot) are among the family-friendly activities you can enjoy when you plan a trip to this pretty pumpkin picking spot.

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2. Secor Farms (Mahwah, NJ)

While Covid-19 has put a damper on some of the typical entertainment at Secor Farms (including the petting zoo, hay rides, and corn mazes), beginning September 14, you can still take your pick from the prime selection of pumpkins at their storefront patch. Plus, Secor Farms promises to deliver the goods with snazzy seasonal decor so your visit feels extra festive. Just be sure to hit up the market, too, so that (in addition to the pumpkins) you can score some seasonal produce, grown by local Amish farmers, as well as top-notch eggs.

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3. Giamarese Farm   Orchards  East Brunswick  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Giamarese Farm & Orchards/Facebook

3. Giamarese Farm & Orchards (East Brunswick, NJ)

Many of the classic seasonal attractions—hay rides, corn mazes—are available at this family-owned Jersey spot where you can pick apples and pumpkins alike. Just don’t plan a picnic (that’s a no-go) and be sure to wear a mask and mind your six-foot bubble. If you are invested in more than just pumpkin picking, Giamarese Farm also recommends that visitors give ‘em a ring before they arrive to ensure the activities are open on the day they plan to visit.

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4. Ort Farms  Long Valley  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Ort Farms/Facebook

4. Ort Farms (Long Valley, NJ)

The fall pumpkin fest at Ort Farms, which is scheduled to kick off on September 19, boasts a host of entertaining activities for visitors of all ages. The farm will be offering train, pony and even monster truck rides on the weekends. If you want to avoid the crowds, there’s fun to be had on weekdays, too: You can get lost for the afternoon in the giant corn maze (or opt for the more kid-friendly hay bale maze instead), feed the farm animals and take your young ones to the tractor playset before you drive home with the perfect pumpkin and a doggie bag of cider donuts in tow. Reservations are required to ensure social-distancing is maintained, so score some tickets online before you head to Ort Farms for an outdoor adventure.

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5. Alstede Farms  Chester  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Alstede Farms/Facebook

5. Alstede Farms (Chester, NJ)

Check out that maze! This gorgeous 600-acre swath of farmland features enough family-friendly recreation (including wagon rides, pony rides, and yes, mazes) to ensure a memorable pumpkin picking experience. The even better news is that Alstede Farms boasts both an ice cream stand and a wine tasting courtyard, so visitors of all ages can end the day on a good note. Pro tip: If your pumpkin picking plans don’t involve young children, make it a date night visit with the harvest moon hayride—an event that includes live music, food, wine, s’mores and a romantic moonlit tour of the fields. The festivities, slated to begin in late September, will require a reservation, so check the website and book a time slot once the official opening date is announced.

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6. Terhune Orchards  Lawrence Township  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Terhune Orchards/Facebook

6. Terhune Orchards (Lawrence Township, NJ)

The Apple Day Fall Harvest Festival at Terhune Orchards is an extravaganza of fun-filled activities that promise to thrill guests of all ages. The event begins on September 14 and continues every weekend through October 27. Note: When planning your visit, keep in mind that pumpkin picking doesn’t start until late September/early October. Visitors can paint pumpkins (once they’re available), play games, stroll down scenic nature trails and navigate the corn and hay bale mazes. For an additional fee, grown-up guests can also enjoy a glass of vino at the Terhune Orchards Winery tasting room. The takeaway? When it comes to bang for the buck, this seasonal celebration is hard to beat.

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7. Snyder’s Farm (Somerset, NJ)

Pumpkin picking at Snyder’s Farm, which is scheduled to start on October 3 and go through to October 25, starts with a scenic hayride to the festival grounds, where guests will be greeted by an impressive pumpkin patch and a whole host of attractions to boot. Kids will be over the moon for the ‘pumpkin moon bounce’ (an enormous, pillowy pumpkin-themed trampoline) and a slew of other events—including corn toss games, rubber duckie races, potato sack slides and, of course mazes. The list of attractions at Snyder’s basically turns pumpkin picking into an amusement park experience...and no one will be sad about it.

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8. Happy Day Farm  Manalapan Township  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Happy Day Farm/ Facebook

8. Happy Day Farm (Manalapan Township, NJ)

This pumpkin picking spot certainly lives up to its name (think: pedal carts, a pirate ship playground, a giant jumping pillow and an enormous slide). Admission to this pumpkin picking party includes 30+ additional games and activities for kids of all ages (and grown-ups, too). The fall fiesta starts September 12 and carries on until the end of October—but be sure to buy your tickets online, as that is how the farm is limiting capacity and keeping things Covid-safe.

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9. Demarest Farms  Hillsdale  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Demarest Farms/Facebook

9. Demarest Farms (Hillsdale, NJ)

Gourd season will start at Demarest Farms, one of the top pumpkin picking farms in the state, in late September and with Covid-19 safety precautions in place. Strollers, personal items (like backpacks and purses), and outside food are all prohibited and handwashing is required at check-in, so plan accordingly. Hayrides have also been canceled due to pandemic concerns, but the pumpkin patch itself is as impressive as ever. The silver lining? From October 2 through October 23, Demarest Farms will be hosting a Friday night drive-in movie for families, so once you find a choice winter squash you can settle in your car for a viewing of the kid-friendly flick ‘Spookley the Square Pumpkin’.

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10. Abma’s Farm (Wyckoff, NJ)

The pumpkins from Abma’s Farm will be ready to pluck from the vine as of September 26. Hayrides are part of the packaged deal and some kid-friendly crafts and activities—pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, barnyard tours, and storytime—will be up and running shortly after opening day. Purchase tickets (a must) for this socially-distanced picking event and you and your brood will have a blast.

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11. Johnson’s Corner Farm (Medford, NJ)

The pumpkins at Johnson’s Corner Farm are Insta-worthy, but parents should know the ‘Discovery Barnyard’ and animal farm are even bigger draws. The barnyard is basically a small amusement park that boasts multiple play areas, splash pads, go karts, climbing rocks, a space net and access to friendly farm animals, of course. Admission to the barnyard recreation center is purchased separately (at a discount) from the pumpkin picking festival tickets, but the fall festival has its share of attractions, too: live music, gem mining and a food tent featuring fresh-off-the grill fare, to name a few.

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12. Schaefer Farms  Flemington  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Schaefer Farms/Facebook

12. Schaefer Farms (Flemington, NJ)

Celebrate fall bounty and pick up a prized pumpkin at Schaefer Farms where the family fun kicks off on September 26 and continues every weekend through October. This place boasts a bouncy house, corn cannon, petting zoo, corn maze and plenty of good eats. In other words, this family-friendly spot promises several hours of entertainment. Don’t miss the farm stand on your way out, where you’ll find a mouthwatering selection of baked goods and beautiful seasonal produce.

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13. Oasis Family Farm  Robbinsville  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Oasis Family Farm/Facebook

13. Oasis Family Farm (Robbinsville, NJ)

Think of this destination as the Disneyland of pick-your-own spots in Jersey. Oasis Family Farm opens for pumpkin season on September 26 and has a list of year-round attractions that could fill a book: Gem mining, panning for gold, and fossil digs are a few of the exciting hands-on activities that guests can pay to participate in once the pumpkin picking mission is accomplished. Then there’s the ‘fun zone’—a recreation space that features a 50-foot tube slide, zip line, sandbox, pirate ship playground and more. Don’t be surprised if you have to drag your kids away from this action-packed farm.

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14. Kelder’s Farm (Kerhonkson, NY)

New Jerseyans will have to cross state lines to get to this idyllic upstate New York locale, but the scenic landscape and the extensive number of attractions make Kelder’s Farm well worth the trek. Guests can bounce to their heart’s content on a massive jumping pillow—a big hit with kids of all ages and a fun workout for adults, too—or play a rousing round of homegrown mini golf. The farm also has a newly installed ‘Combine Slide’, constructed from a real combine farm tractor, as well as animals to pet and a number of outdoor games for guests to play. Pumpkin picking is already available, but the folks at Kelder’s Farm recommend you buy tickets online so that social-distancing measures can be implemented more effectively, especially as Halloween approaches and the activity grows more popular.

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15. Farms View Roadstand  Wayne  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Farms View Roadstand/Facebook

15. Farms View Roadstand (Wayne, NJ)

Good news Pinterest drop-outs: This Passaic County staple has a dazzling array of Halloween decor available for purchase—you know, to ease the crafting pressure a bit. There’s also a large pumpkin patch so you can pick the cream of the crop after a relaxing hayride that includes refreshments. (Hello, fresh cider and sugar-coated donuts.) Finally, before you head home with your prize, swing by the barnyard to visit the chickens, peacocks, horses and other farm animals that live on the premises.

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16. Barton Orchards (Poughquag, NY)

This Hudson Valley gem offers many family-friendly amenities, including a game-filled fun zone, playground and petting zoo for the young crowd, as well as tree top adventure classes (advanced booking required) and a tap room for adults. Plan your visit to this pumpkin picking place no sooner than late September or early October and be prepared to reserve your spot online.

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17. Von Thun s Country Farm Market  Monmouth Junction  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Von Thun’s Country Farm Market/Facebook

17. Von Thun’s Country Farm Market (Monmouth Junction, NJ)

The pumpkin fields at Von Thun Farms open up September 19—and guests can do a lot more than simply snag a future jack-o-lantern. General admission gives visitors access to the apple picking orchards along with an array of kid-friendly games that run the gamut from junior pedal karts to pumpkin bowling. The most spectacular attraction, though, is the 5+ acre interactive corn maze—a challenge that’s not for the faint of heart, but (thankfully) comes with a cheat sheet in case you need some extra guidance.

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18. R and J Farm  Galloway Township  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
R and J Farm/Facebook

18. R and J Farm (Galloway Township, NJ)

A supersized jumping pad and one mile long corn maze trail make for family-friendly, outdoor fun at R and J Farm, which begins its pumpkin picking season on September 19. Best of all, one pumpkin of your choosing is included in the price of the leisurely hay wagon tour, which covers the grounds and makes an extended stop at the pumpkin field.

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19. Cheesequake Farms  Matawan  NJ and Old Bridge  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Cheesequake Farms/Facebook

19. Cheesequake Farms (Matawan, NJ and Old Bridge, NJ)

After a scenic, peaceful hay ride through the woods, guests can pick their own pumpkin straight off the vine at the sprawling pumpkin patch at Cheesequake farms, starting from September 18. There’s a challenging corn maze to take on too, plus a farm stand that’s filled with fresh produce and seasonal decor that you can purchase as a festive souvenir from your pumpkin picking experience. Note: Cheesequake Farms has two locations in New Jersey and it’s advisable to check with the farm you intend to visit to ensure the pumpkin patch is ready before you swing by.

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20. Ward s Pumpkin Patch  Ridgewood  NJ  pumpkin picking nj
Ward’s Pumpkin Patch/Facebook

20. Ward’s Pumpkin Patch (Ridgewood, NJ)

Pumpkins and gourds of every description can be found at this popular Ridgewood patch. Face painting and goat feeding pair wonderfully with apple cider, homemade baked goods and local produce at this family-run establishment. Guests should be aware that, though its generously-sized lawn provides ample opportunity for little ones to run around, Ward’s pumpkin patch doesn’t provide the same sprawling farm experience as some other options. Nevertheless, you can expect a kid-friendly pumpkin picking experience made even more festive by the ever-changing seasonal decor, which includes artfully painted pumpkins along with some spooky Halloween touches.

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