Throughout October, many farms let you scour the fields for your ideal pumpkin, and pick it right off the vine. Some offer more than just a pumpkin patch, with fall festivals featuring live music, natural and delicious food, hayrides, spooky haunted houses and more. Picking your own pumpkin is the perfect fall activity that the whole family will enjoy!
Before making the trip, call ahead to check crop availability, activities and times of operation.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
Country store, educational visits, produce program
130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem
1271 Hilltop Hanover St., Yorktown Heights
139 Hardscrabble Road, Croton Falls
62 Granite Springs Road, Granite Springs
1313 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights
63 Apple Tree Lane, Poughquag
Pumpkin Patch open weekends in Oct.
823 West Dover Road, Pawling
223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook
9 Fishkill Farms Road, Hopewell Junction
Corn maze, pony rides, hay rides.
1697 Salt Point Turnpike, Salt Point
19 Rose Hill Farm, off Rte. 9, Red Hook
63 Robinson Lane, Wappingers Falls
Blue Jay Orchards
125 Plumtrees Road, Bethel
Hayrides, farm animals, corn maze.
606 Walnut Tree Road, Shelton
Hayrides, farm animals
451 Sport Hill Road, Easton
Hayrides, farm animals
51 John Read Road, Redding
230 Guinea Road, Brewster
Apple Ridge Orchards
101 Jessup Road, Warwick
2290 Albany Post Road, Walden
39 Colandrea Road, Newburgh
45 Ball Road, off Rte. 17A, Warwick
4 Ochs Lane, off Rte. 94, Warwick
Hayrides, corn maze, haunted barn
1448 Rte. 211 West, Middletown
Dr. Davies Farm
306 Rte. 304, Congers
101 Ackertown Road, Chestnut Ridge
Corn maze, haunted house
Rte. 45 and South Mountain Road, Pomona
Apple Hill Farm
Hay rides and fire truck rides
124 Rte. 32 S, New Paltz
Pick your own on weekends only, hayrides
271 Rte. 208, New Paltz
69 Yankee Folly Road, New Paltz
341 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland
— Sarah Niss
Halloween Pumpkin Carving Tips
Transforming pumpkins into cleverly carved creations is a Halloween tradition. Each October, glowing pumpkins take up residence near doorsteps and porches, adding to the magical ambiance of the season. Many people carve jack-o’-lanterns, with some featuring just smiling or grimacing faces while others are far more artistic creations. These tips can help anyone carve a pumpkin.
• Begin with a fresh pumpkin. Look for a pumpkin with a green stem. If the pumpkin has been sitting around for too long or has been handled too much, the stem can get brittle and fall off. A thick, fresh pumpkin is best for carving.
• Plan your ideas. Draw a plan for your pumpkin before you make your first cut. Then transfer that design to the pumpkin with pen or a thin marker. Pumpkin-carving kits come with designs that can be “traced” by poking small holes to create the outline of the design.
• Don’t cut all the way through. Many professional pumpkin artists do not actually cut clear through the flesh of the pumpkin. They carve and shave off layers of the outer rind until it becomes more translucent. The level of transparency can be adjusted based on how much skin is removed and can add texture and shadowing. The more air that penetrates the pumpkin, the faster the pumpkin will start to degrade.
• Delay carving until the last minute. Wait until the day before Halloween to begin carving. Pumpkins are a perishable item, and they’ll begin to rot as soon as you begin carving. Spritzing them with water can help them stay fresh, but there’s no turning back the clock once the first cut is made.
• Cut a hole in the back. According to Brooklyn-based Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, cutting off the top of the pumpkin can affect its structural integrity and cause it to rot faster. Instead, cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin and use an electric light to illuminate it. LEDs are advisable because they don’t generate much heat, which can cook and rot the pumpkin from the inside out.
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