Oct 05, 2012
By Danielle Puma
It’s October and nothing beats a fresh and crisp apple picked directly off the tree — or even a pumpkin twisted off of its vine. It’s worth the drive out east so grab the kids and your friends and take a scenic drive to some of Long Island’s best apple orchards and pumpkin patches. There are also many local wineries nearby that parents can enjoy after the kids tire out from too many apples. Many of these farms offer delectable autumn treats such as apple cider donuts, freshly baked fruit pies, roasted sweet corn and homemade sticky caramel apples. You can also enjoy a hayride through the orchards after picking a bushel or a peck of apples and the biggest pumpkins.
If you’d prefer staying closer to home, there are some great u-pick places that won’t put a damper on your gas bill.
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park. (718) 347-3276. www.queensfarm.org, Saturday-Sunday, 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Queens County Farm Museum has plenty of pumpkins to choose from as you wander through their planting fields. The price of the pumpkin is based on its size and runs until October 28th. On October 7th, the farm is having an Apple Festival that features a large variety of apples, apple products and freshly pressed cider. There will also be food and collectibles on sale as well as games and hayrides for the kids. Admission is free.
They also have The Amazing Maize Maze that is three-acre interactive corn maze. It features the challenge of finding clues and solving puzzles to make your way out of the maze. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $5.00 for children ages 4-11, and children ages 3 and under are free.
Dees’ Nursery & Florist, Inc.
69 Atlantic Avenue, Oceanside. (516) 678-3535. www.deesnursery.com, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 8:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m., Sunday 8:00-6:00 p.m.
The Dees’ Fall Festival is a fun experience for the entire family and is every weekend in October from 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Kids can pick their own pumpkins. They also have a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, kid’s crafts, a huge jumping slide and story time. The Dee’s Haunted Walk is also open for families to have some spooky fun from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. It has been ten years since they have had their haunted house so it’ll prove to be scary and spooky.
The nursery also has an ornamental pepper plant that will add color to your fall garden and they come in a variety of different shapes and colors. It is a great plant for a festive Halloween decoration.
Albert H. Schmitt Family Farms
6 Bagatelle Road, Dix Hills. (631) 549-1159. www.schmittsfamilyfarms.com, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m., daily
The Albert H. Schmitt Family Farms has free admission to their Fall Festival every weekend. They will have hayrides, an animal train ride, a large selection of Halloween decorations and a pumpkin bouncy house for the kids. Rides and activities are an additional fee.
They have pumpkin picking for the family to enjoy and if you’re in the mood for a delicious snack, enjoy their roasted corn or fresh apple cider. If you come on the weekend, you can buy a pass for the day and it includes all the rides and activities provided for the kids.
812 Sound Avenue, Wading River. (631) 929-4327. www.lewinfarm.com, Wednesday-Monday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Lewin Farms is a 1,100 acre farm that is family owned and operated. They were the first pick-your-own farm on Long Island. At the current time, people can pick their own apples, pumpkins, gourds, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Prices vary depending on their weight.
The farm also offers Farmstand hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. where you can buy fresh vegetables, fruit and other treats. They also have roasted corn and fresh baked potatoes on the weekends and on holidays. After you enjoy one of their snacks, get lost in their corn maze. They create a new design every year.
The East End
Make a day of it and make the trip to some of Eastern Long Island’s beautiful apple orchards and pumpkin patches. You’ll also enjoy a hayride with the kids at many of these places.
Harbes Farm & Orchard
5698 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. (631) 298-0800. www.harbesfamilyfarm.com, Saturday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Harbes Farm & Orchard features over 17 different varieties of apples that are grown within reach for hands of all sizes. This kid-friendly farm has pony rides and farm animals for the kids. Their five-acre orchard offers u-pick apples and pumpkins, corn mazes and a wide assortment of delicious fall treats at the Honey Crisp Café such as homemade candy, caramel apples, hot apple cider, gourmet roasted corn and apple cider donuts. If you decide to take a break from apple picking, enjoy a scenic tour of their orchard by catching a ride on their new Apple Express Hayride. It is $8 per person to enter the orchard and includes a quarter peck of apples and a hayride.
After your wagon is filled to the rim with crisp apples and pumpkins, venture into their corn mazes. Their Robin Hood Corn Maze has families step back in time and enjoy this medieval adventure with their live actors. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is $9.95 per person, including their hayride. Their scary and spooky Moonlight Maze is open Friday and Saturday nights in October. It is open from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Columbus Day weekend through Halloween. The maze is $12.95 per person and includes a hayride. Pets are not allowed.
Schmitt’s Family Farm
26 Pinelawn Road, Melville. (631) 271-3276. www.schmittfarms.com, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., daily
Schmitt’s Family Farm has a great farm stand and pumpkin field. There is no entrance fee and free parking. Kids can pick their own pumpkins and engage in other activities such as a fire truck slide, a tree house slide, the pumpkin patch playground, pony rides and look at the farm animals.
Their daytime corn maze, also named Robin Hood, is $8.00 per person and is seven-acres. A children’s daytime haunted mansion walk through is $5.00 per person and is open from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The farm also offers free hayrides and fresh vegetable picking.
Hank’s Pumpkin Town
240 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. (631) 726-4667. www.hankspumpkintown.com, 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m., daily.
Enjoy picking fresh apples and pumpkins at Hank’s Pumpkin Town. It is $18 for one-peck bag of apples. On weekends and on Columbus Day, there is a limit of four people per bag of apples. They also offer roasted sweet corn, cider donuts, hot and cold apple cider, candy apples, fresh baked pies, cookies, cupcakes and more at The Roasted Corn Shack. Their pumpkin patch offers pumpkins of all sizes and is picked directly off the vine.
Who doesn’t love a wagon and tractor train ride on a cool autumn day? Their wagon rides are $3 per person. After a wagon ride, kids can expend their energy at the Playground, pony rides, get their face painted or get lost in a corn maze. Pets, strollers, backpacks and wheelbarrows are not allowed in the orchard.
The Milk Pail
50 Horsemill Lane, Water Mill. (631) 537-2565. www.milk-pail.com. Friday-Sunday and Holidays, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Friends and family will have a great time spending the day at The Milk Pail. They offer twenty varieties of apples and pumpkins throughout the months of September and October. The pumpkins are all different shapes, sizes and colors and are grown up to 150 pounds. They also carry squash and gourds. Apple varieties consist of Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Jonagold, Mutsu, Macoun, Empire, and Stayman.
Before picking your apples in their orchard, you must first purchase a bag. It is $39 per bag and can hold up to a half bushel of apples. The Milk Pail does not sell their apples by the pound. Pumpkins are priced individually. Before leaving, stop in their Country Store for local vegetables, apple cider, donuts, muffins, pies, cookies and cheese. They do not have public restrooms and dogs are not allowed on the premises.
Local Pumpkin Picks
After a wonderful day of picking apples and pumpkins with your friends and family, you can use them in your favorite recipes or as festive fall decorations. But what if you need to carve a jack-o-lantern at the last minute? Or you’re craving freshly salted pumpkin seeds? Lucky for you, there are a number of places located in The Five Towns that conveniently carry pumpkins – both big and small.
- Glatt Farm, 110 Rockaway Turnpike, Lawrence, $3.49 each
- Brach’s, 11 Lawrence Lane, Lawrence, 99 cents a pound
- Key Food, 1030 Railroad Avenue, Woodmere, $2.49-$4.49 per pumpkin
- Food Town, 1368 Peninsula Boulevard, Hewlett, .99-$5.99 per lb.
- Stop & Shop, 603 Burnside Avenue, Inwood, 2 for $10.00
- De Setta Nursery, 144 Franklin Place, Woodmere, .75 for small pumpkins, $7.50-$10 for larger ones, and $250 for their 300-lb pumpkin
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