There are Pumpkin Picking Farms aplenty in the Garden State. The best known are huge farms that offer all-day fun with hay rides, corn mazes, and petting zoos. Those places, while very popular, tend to get packed on the weekend. After a few hours of the crowds, I’m nearly out of my gourd. So my favorite farm for our annual autumn outing is Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, NJ.
Just 25 minutes from my home of Montclair, Demarest Farms offers fun hayrides, plenty of photo ops, corn mazes, and amazing apple cider doughnuts—but on a much smaller scale.
I can’t lie and say that there aren’t crowds, but if you arrive at the farm when it opens at 10 am on the weekend, you’ll be able to eat delicious doughnuts, take photos, hop on the hayride, pet some animals, and pick your pumpkins all in just about an hour. It’s the perfect pumpkin picking place for families with young children or those who are looking for a quick outing.
244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale, NJ
Hours: M – F, 3 to 4:30 pm / Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 4:30 pm
*Special Columbus Day hours 10 am – 4:30 pm
Cost: $5 per person admission includes a hayride to the pumpkin patch. $9 per pumpkin.