The time of pumpkin spice and spooky fun has finally arrived. After a scorching hot summer, it’s time to cool off and enjoy what nature has to offer. Whether you like pumpkin picking or something scary, there’s an activity for everyone, and most of them are within an hour from Montclair State University.
1. Farms View Roadstand — Wayne, New Jersey
Farms View Roadstand is a great place for a quick little pit stop on your way to pumpkin heaven. Located about 15 minutes from campus, they offer everything from hayrides to a farmers market.
Farms View Roadstand has plenty to pick from if you’re in the mood for jams, baked goods or apple cider. On the weekends, you can get a hayride, a mini pumpkin and an apple cider donut as part of a $10 deal. It’s also a great place to buy food if you enjoy fresh produce and baked goods.
2. Tranquility Farms — Andover, New Jersey
Foodies are warned, this place could be for you. Tranquility Farms has cider, donuts, ice cream, pulled pork, hamburgers, french fries and just about any type of fall food you could imagine.
They also host their own petting zoo, corn maze and the best yet: a pumpkin chucker. They have seasonal flowers, so in the fall, there are huge sunflower fields. This fall, they have a new package where you can get unlimited cow train rides, corn maze entrances and hayrides. There’s surely something for everyone here.
3. Ort Farms — Long Valley, New Jersey
Ort Farms offers a genuine pumpkin picking experience — right from the vine itself. They also offer fun weekend activities, such as a corn maze, hayrides, train rides, a petting zoo, pony rides, an apple cannon and monster truck rides. They have one of the best petting zoos, with several goats, cows, horses, pigs, bunnies, chickens and lambs.
Prefer to go during the week? Check out the hayride, the pumpkin patch and the farmers market. They also have cider slushies on tap that are simply delicious and refreshing. Ort Farms is full of local fruits, veggies and baked goods. If you decide to take a trip, the surrounding area is also chock-full of other farms.
4. Demarest Farms — Hillsdale, New Jersey
Demarest Farms is best known for seasonal apple picking, but they have much more to offer. The summer offers peach picking while the fall offers apples and pumpkins. To get to the fields, you take a hayride, which makes for a great photo opportunity before you start picking.
There’s also a petting zoo, a store and other photo opportunities along the way. New this year, there’s a Halloween night show where you drive your car through the 32 acres of orchards. One of the most important things to know for Demarest Farms is that you have to book ahead, as their availability fills up quickly.
5. Sleepy Hollow, New York
This one is for the spooky folks out there. Sleepy Hollow was made famous by the classic Washington Irving story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and we’re all in luck because it’s just under an hour from campus. The town is a gorgeously haunting site right in the Hudson Valley, offering cemetery tours, spooky shops and great eats. It’s the perfect day trip for you and your friends.
New Jersey is one of the best states in the country to experience the fall. We have amazing weather, beautiful scenery and no shortage of things to do. Treat yourself this fall, take a break from your classes and join in on all the fun that the Northeast has to offer.