The calendar has flipped to fall, the season of pumpkin picking on Long Island.
It’s a great, fun way to spend time outside with your family, enjoying the autumn air as you pick the perfect pumpkin together.
Both Suffolk County and Nassau County boast some of the best places to take your family pumpkin picking. And Your Local Kids has compiled a short list for you:
- Wickham’s Fruit Farm: Located in Cutchogue, it offers apple and pumpkin picking all of September and October.
- Garden of Eva Organic Farm & Market: Located at 4558 Sound Avenue in Riverhead (631-722-8777).
- White Post Farms: Located in Huntington, it offers pumpkin picking, as well as its Annual Fall Farm Festival, which runs September 21 to 22, 28 to 29 and October 5 to 6, 12 to 14, 19 to 20, 26 to 27, with admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Albert H. Schmitt Family Farms: Located in Dix Hills, it offers daily pumpkin picking, and its Fall Festival runs Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., September 21 to October 27.
- Brightwaters Farm and Nursery: Located in Bay Shore, it offers pumpkin picking as part of its Fall Harvest activities, and its open from September 27 to October 30, weather permitting. Hours are Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Columbus Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Dee’s Nursery and Florist: Located in Oceanside, it offers pumpkin picking as part of its Fall Family Festival, which runs every weekend in October.
- F&W Schmitt’s Farms: Located in Melville, it offers pumpkin picking, as well as corn mazes, hay rides, slides and rides.
- Harbes Family Farm: Located in Mattituck, it offers pumpkin picking right from the vine as part of its Fall Festival that runs every weekend from approximately the end of September to October.
- Organics Today Farm: Located in East Islip, it offers pumpkin picking, as well as hay rides and more every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Halloween.
- Fink’s Country Farm: Located in Wading River, it offers pumpkin picking Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Columbus Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as a Fall Festival, which runs weekends from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., from September 20 to November 2.
There’s also the Rise of the Jack o’Lanterns, a family-friendly, all-ages Halloween extravaganza featuring carvings from dozens of local artists in a unique walk-through experience. You’ll see celebrities, sports figures and other large-scale displays all made from jack o’lanterns. It takes place at the Old Westbury Gardens, October 16 to 19, 22 to 26, 29 to November 2.
As you can see, there are many places to go pumpkin picking on Long Island, but wherever you decide to take your family, here are a few tips:
- Calling ahead. You’ll want to confirm hours, see if there are admission fees and check pumpkin availability. You’ll also want to check on the conditions of the fields before you venture out.
- Pre-picked or pick yourself. Some farms will have pumpkins that are pre-picked and arranged neatly in the patch for selection, while others will allow you to pick off the vine. Check to see which type of picking experience a farm offers and whether or not it provides a cart or wheelbarrow to transport your pumpkin picks.
- Sneakers or boots. Wearing sturdy shoes will help ensure against any falls you or your children might take since the furrows in the pumpkin patch can create uneven footing.
- Fall fun. Many farms that offer pumpkin picking, like those listed in this article, also offer fun fall activities, such as corn mazes, hay rides and other rides, and games or Halloween-related events, such as pumpkin carving and haunted houses.