Small or plump, round or bumpy, choosing the perfect (or not so perfect) pumpkin is easy in Jersey where pick-your-own farms are plentiful. But don’t stop at seasonal gourds. Apple cider, petting zoos, corn mazes and more are available at these farms. See you on the hayride!
1. Demarest Farms, Hillsdale
Whether you plan on carving a sneering jack o’ lantern or turning your pick into a pie, there is no shortage of the seasonal bounty at Demarest Farms. After choosing your preferred pumpkin, head to the petting zoo to learn about the farm animals. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stock up on good things to eat at the farm store—complete with a delicatessen, bakery, fresh produce, homemade donuts and a wide selection of jams, jellies and cheeses.
Hours: Pumpkin patch open Monday to Friday, 3 to 4:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 9 am to 4:30 pm through November. Farm store open until December 24.
Price: $5 general admission includes hayride, playground, petting zoo; additional fee for pumpkins.
2. Melick’s Town Farm, Califon
Take a horse drawn wagon ride to Melick’s pumpkin patch where you can pick your favorite gourd right off the vine. Climb the giant hay bales and explore the grass maze. Don’t leave yet! Turn your pumpkin-picking adventure into an all-day event at the Melick’s cider mill in Oldwick, just a 20-minute drive south of the farm. See how fresh picked apples are pressed into a delicious blend of cider.
Hours: Farm open daily, 9 am to 6 pm; cider mill open daily, 9 am to 6 pm, through first week in November.
Price: Pay by the pound for pumpkins.
3. Tranquility Farms, Allamuchy
Spend the day delighting in the crisp fall weather during the scenic hayride to the pumpkin fields at Tranquility Farms. Afterward, try your skills on the pumpkin launchers and corn cannons. Let the kids take a ride on the cow train or navigate their way through the three-acre corn maze. Stop in the kids’ fun tent for a game of pumpkin tic-tac-toe or to play in the corn boxes.
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays through Halloween, 10 am to 5 pm.
Price: $2 hayride to pumpkin patch; extra fee for pumpkin launcher, corn cannons, corn maze.
4. Springdale Farms, Cherry Hill
Hop on a hayride to the pumpkin patch at what is said to be the last working farm in Cherry Hill. Get lost for a while in the corn maze—this year’s design honors the Lenape, South Jersey’s Native Americans. Throughout the pathways of the maze, there are pictures, clues and games to make this a learning experience for the whole family.
Hours: Pumpkin picking through October 31, 10 am to 3:30 pm weekends; 11 am, 2 pm and 4 pm sessions on weekdays. Corn maze open through November 6, Saturday and Sunday; 10 am to 4 pm.
Price: $3.75 plus tax for hayrides to pumpkin patch; additional fee for pumpkin.
5. Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Five sprawling acres of pumpkin patches are available during fall family fun weekends at Terhune Orchards. Until the end of October, enjoy pony rides, venture through the corn stalk maze and meet the farm animals in the barnyard. A must-see this year is the adventure barn. Take a walk through a hand painted, life-sized storybook to learn about the legend of Johnny Appleseed.
Hours: Friday to Sunday, noon to 5 pm
Price: $8 admission to the festival area for ages 3 and up.
6. Oasis Family Farm, Robbinsville
In addition to the on-the-vine pumpkin harvest, Oasis offers a fun zone with a giant rope spider web; a gem mine featuring a cave full of gemstones; and a fossil camp where budding paleontologists can learn about dinosaurs. There are also plenty of traditional fall favorites to enjoy, plus pumpkin pies, bread, donuts and butter for sale.
Hours: Pumpkin picking daily through Halloween.
Price: $6 fun zone admission; $7 gem mine; $9 fossil camp.