As a New Englander, I’m predictably obsessed with fall, which means I’m always looking for the next great fall activity to share with my family. But pumpkin picking is a tried-and-true favorite. Who doesn’t love an afternoon in the brisk outdoors, selecting the right gourds for the autumn season? Here’s where to head for the best pumpkin picking on Long Island.
In Oceanside, you can have your pumpkins—and your festival, too. The ongoing Fall Festival, which features a petting zoo, a corn maze, a haunted walk, and, of course, in-the-fields pumpkin picking, begins in September and extends through the month of October.
This East Islip farm provides one of the coolest pumpkin picking experiences on Long Island: nighttime picking! Come equipped with a flashlight and prepare to pick in the dark. When you’re done picking, fill your belly with hot roasted corn, apple cider, and, of course, apple cider donuts.
For East Enders, there is no other pumpkin picking than Hank’s, in Water Mill. Hank’s, which has every child-friendly activity known to man (my son is obsessed with the train ride that takes you around the property), is home to one of the most impressive pumpkin patches ever. It’s great for grabbing a gourd, and, of course, staging a seasonally appropriate photo shoot.
Pick your pumpkin in St. James and treat your kids to a boing in the bouncy houses. Borella’s hosts weekend fall festivals throughout the month of October, which include rides on the “cow train,” a decorative train attached to the back of a tractor. Come for the pumpkins, stay for the fun.
In Aquebogue, Stakey’s opens up 26 acres for pumpkin picking, where discerning squash lovers can find 18 (!) varieties of pumpkin, all ripe for carving. There is a corn maze, too, as well as hayrides, inflatables, and a face-painting booth.
Read more: How to Make Your Own Homemade Pumpkin Pureee