As the vibrant hues of summer transition into the warm, earthy tones of autumn, Long Island bursts into a symphony of colors. The air adopts that distinct crispness, carrying the scent of freshly fallen leaves and the promise of festive times ahead. Central to this autumnal celebration is a time-honored tradition: pumpkin picking.
Long Island’s farms and events provide a bountiful and joyous setting for families to handpick their pumpkins, whether for carving jack-o-lanterns or baking pies. The various events and farms also offer additional activities like hayrides, mazes, and refreshments to make the pumpkin-picking experience more enjoyable.
The local farms and festivities will provide a delightful pumpkin-picking experience as the fall season kicks in. It’s not just about picking pumpkins; it’s about making memories with family and friends amidst the vibrant colors of autumn on Long Island.
The Pumpkin Picking Tradition
In America, pumpkin picking is not just a recreational activity; it’s a rite of passage signaling the onset of fall. With their bright orange glow, Pumpkins have long been symbolic of harvest festivals, representing abundance and the spirit of gathering.
With its rich agricultural heritage, this activity takes on an even deeper resonance on Long Island. Families eagerly anticipate their annual trip to local farms, where they can select the perfect pumpkin, awaiting transformation into a glowing jack-o-lantern or a delicious pie.
Today, pumpkin picking is a cherished ritual for many families. As October begins, pumpkin patches spring to life, offering an array of pumpkins and a complete sensory experience. Hayrides, corn mazes, and the scent of fresh pies set the stage for the Halloween season.
For many, carving a pumpkin, scooping out its innards, and crafting a face or design is a prelude to Halloween festivities. The illuminated pumpkin, with its warm glow, becomes a beacon, signaling the approach of Halloween.
Discover Long Island’s Premier Pumpkin Patches
Long Island is synonymous with classic fall traditions, and as the leaves change colors, the time-honored activity of pumpkin picking beckons. While there are numerous places to pick pumpkins on Long Island, a few stand out for their expansive fields, variety of pumpkins, and additional attractions.
Here’s a curated list of places and events where families and pumpkin enthusiasts can enjoy a day out in the crisp autumn air, immersed in the festivity of the season:
Brightwaters Farms, Bay Shore
Available throughout October, Brightwaters Farms in Bay Shore is a diverse farm operation offering pumpkin picking, among other farm activities. Their address is 1624 Manatuck Blvd, Bay Shore, NY 11706.
F&W Schmitt Family Farm, Melville
This farm at 26 Pinelawn Rd, Melville, NY 11747, offers daily pumpkin picking and other fall family fun activities from 9 am to 5 pm.
Wickham’s Fruit Farm, Cutchogue
With a rich history dating back to 1661, this farm at 28700 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY 11935, offers a quaint pumpkin-picking experience amidst a historical setting.
Pumpkin Fest, Islandia
Just before Halloween, on October 28, from 12 pm to 3 pm, a pumpkin fest is organized at 1100 Old Nichols Rd., Islandia. Besides pumpkin picking, attendees can enjoy hayrides, light refreshments, raffles, and an apple pie eating contest.
Pumpkin Picking Long Island 2023 Prices
The prices for pumpkin picking in Long Island for 2023 vary from place to place and often include additional activities and experiences. Here are some pricing insights from different venues:
General Entry and Pumpkin Patch Prices:
One venue mentions a $5 entry fee to access the pumpkin patch, though the farm has free admission. Admission at another place is $8.99 per family of up to 6 members, with a $1 charge for each additional person, and individual activity prices vary.
Another farm mentions that while parking is free, other offerings may incur additional charges.
Specific Venue Prices:
At Fink’s Country Farm, the Fall Festival includes unlimited hayrides and access to a corn maze, with additional fees for U-pick pumpkins, face painting, kiddie trains, pony rides, and more. Harbes Farms, with multiple locations, sells pumpkins by the pound. The venues are open on different schedules; some are open seven days a week, and others are open only on weekends and holidays.
Special Event Prices:
For a Fall Festival at White Post Animal Farm, the admission is $34.95+tax per child and adult, with pumpkins being an additional purchase. Another venue charges $20 per person for weekend and holiday admission to a Maze Park, with weekday admission at $14 per person. However, this doesn’t include pumpkin patch admission.
The pricing structure often includes access to other farm activities. It may have special rates for weekends, holidays, or family/group entries. It’s advisable to check the respective websites or contact the venues directly for the most accurate and up-to-date pricing information.
While pumpkins are the main attraction, these farms offer many other activities. Hayrides take visitors around the vast expanses, letting them soak in the autumn beauty. Corn mazes, with their twists and turns, offer fun challenges. Then there are petting zoos, where kids can interact with farm animals understanding a bit more about farm life.
Many farms also host special events, from scarecrow-making workshops to pumpkin carving contests, amplifying the festive spirit.
Tips for a Successful Pumpkin Picking Trip
Embarking on a pumpkin-picking expedition requires a bit of planning:
- Timing Matters: Weekdays, especially mornings, tend to be less crowded. This ensures a leisurely experience and provides a wider selection of pumpkins.
- Dress Smart: Opt for comfortable shoes, as you’ll walk often. Bring along reusable bags or a small wagon to carry your selected pumpkins.
- Preserve Your Pumpkin: Once you’ve chosen it, store it in a cool, dry place to ensure it lasts longer. Applying petroleum jelly to the cuts can help retain its shape and freshness if carving.
The joy of picking a pumpkin doesn’t end at the farm. It extends to the kitchen, where this versatile vegetable can be transformed into numerous delicacies. Long Island bakeries are renowned for their pumpkin pies, tarts, and bread. A simple pumpkin soup or roasted pumpkin can be a delightful treat for the home chefs. And let’s not forget the seeds – roasted with a dash of salt, they’re a crunchy, healthy snack.
Choosing to pick your pumpkins from farms that employ sustainable farming techniques doesn’t just ensure healthier produce; it’s a step towards a greener planet. Supporting these farms bolsters local economies, reduces carbon footprints, and preserves the rich agricultural legacy of Long Island.
Pumpkin picking on Long Island is more than just a seasonal activity; it’s an embrace of nature’s bounty, a nod to sustainable living, and a cherished family tradition. Whether you’re hunting for the largest pumpkin in the patch, navigating the corn maze, or simply savoring the autumn air, it’s an experience that encapsulates the magic of the season.