Outside the city limits, there are plenty of ways to reap the bounty of the land. And eat a cider doughnut or two.
Red Hook’s picturesque red-and-white farmhouse offers some of the best produce money can buy, so take what you can get from their apple orchard and pumpkin patch. The Grandiflora greenhouse has tons of potted gems and gifts for garden lovers. Gigi Market, their nearby cafe and trattoria, showcases a menu of meats, vegetables, and cheeses from the Hudson Valley.
Harbes Family Farm
Thirteen generations of farming has lead to three farm retail locations on the North Fork of Long Island (Mattituck, Jamesport, and Riverhead) and a wine tasting barn. Families are more than welcome to spend the day harvesting pumpkins (they’ve sold out of apples for the season), running through corn mazes, jumping on hay rides and hanging out with farm animals. Refreshments like cider doughnuts, candy apples and homemade kettle corn are available for noshing.
Fink's Country Farm
Stock up on the requisite autumn decorations -- hay bales, corn stalks, gourds -- during the fall festival at this secluded Wading River farm. Kids can entertain themselves with pig races, calf roping and the pumpkin slingshot, while you stuff your face with roasted corn on the cob. U-pick pumpkins on the vine can be carted around in wheelbarrows, and Friday and Saturday nights call for spooky flashlight-led walks through the corn maze.
Applewood Orchards & Winery
Arrive to Warwick early to pluck superlative apples from Macintosh, Rome Beauty, Empire, Gala and Honey Crisp trees; then head out to the pumpkin patch. Puppet shows, face painting and visits with chicks and bunnies up the cuteness factor. A country store sells jams, herbs, chrysanthemums and picnic lunches. You can also bring old cellphones to donate, in exchange for fresh apple doughnuts.
Hurds Family Farm
If your idea of a perfect fall day includes launching apples from a cannon and sitting in a cornstalk teepee, do not miss out on a trip to this century-old Modena farm. Sure, there are apples and pumpkins to pick, but there are also bonfires and go-carts rigged up to a tractor. Re-energize with hot apple cider, pumpkin muffins and the Apple Blossom Queen: sliced apples, chopped nuts and a hill of whipped cream.
For some fun facts on apple growing and harvesting in New York, check out the video.