October is the pumpkin’s time to shine, and what better way to celebrate this colorful fruit by visiting one of the many scenic farms and orchards throughout the Hudson Valley. Escape life’s hustle and bustle with the perfect blend of stunning fall foliage, family time and delicious homemade treats that are sure to delight the whole family. Many patches offer hayrides and corn mazes in addition to plump pumpkins primed for picking. Be sure to stop by the orchards’ shops for warm apple cider doughnuts and fresh-pressed cider. Great family fun is just waiting to be had at these local favorites:
Prospect Hill Orchards
73 Clark’s Lane, Milton, New York
Family-owned Prospect Hill Orchards is quite the destination once fall settles in the Hudson Valley. The farmland, which has been in the Clarke family for over 200 years, is part of the original homestead of Nathaniel Clarke, who moved from Cornwall-on-Hudson to Milton in 1817. Little ones can venture through the corn maze, learn about cider pressing, go on a scavenger hunt and even build a scarecrow. The orchard also has pick-your-own produce, including apples, Bosc and Asian pears, winter squash, gourds and, of course, pumpkins galore. Be sure to check out the farm’s Johnny Appleseed Cider Fest, Oct. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All events take place at 73 Clark’s Lane in Milton. www.prospecthillorchards.com.
221 Middle Road, Rhinebeck, New York
Head on over to Kesicke Farm in the historic and picturesque village of Rhinebeck this October to experience the best of autumn during one of the fall festival weekends. Meander through the corn maze, then hop on a wagon ride and pick your favorite pumpkin. After you say hello to the farm animals and give them a snack to two, indulge in a delectable apple cider donut. The farm also sells its own farm-raised, natural beef, pork, lamb, chicken and farm fresh eggs. The fall festival runs every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 27. Visit www.kesickefarm.com.
Twin Ponds on the Farm
531 River Road, Montgomery, New York
Open weekends through Nov. 3, this seven-acre corn maze nestled between Montgomery and Walden honors the dairy farmers who founded the farm and their importance and impact on the community. The paths of the maze twist and turn while the object of the maze is not only to navigate through it but also to hunt for the signs throughout the maze with trivia questions about farming. The view from above reveals a fun agricultural print of a tractor that weaves and loops around itself. Visit on the weekends for family-fun festivals, which include hayrides, ninja obstacle courses, kiddie trains and even a nighttime hay maze. www.twinpondsonthefarm.com.
Hurd’s Family Farm
2187 Route 32, Modena, New York
This 120-acre Ulster County farm is known for its family-friendly activities including hayrides, two-acre corn maze, cow-themed train ride, nature trails, apple launcher and obstacle course. Children can pet and feed friendly farm animals, hop on the Big Apple Bounce, which functions like a giant trampoline, and enjoy a dedicated playground area designed to help kids make the most out of their adventure. After enjoying a day of apple- and pumpkin-picking, families can refuel at the farm-to-table Big Apple Café with hot cider, fresh apple cider donuts and other delectable treats. There’s also a historic barn market filled with local and homemade products to take home and enjoy. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Nov. 3., www.hurdsfamilyfarm.com.
755 Route 209, Kehonkson, New York
Kelder’s Farm is a 200-year-old family farm located in the Hudson Valley that is a popular agricultural destination for families who want to unplug and reconnect. The thing that differentiates Kelder’s Farm from other farms and orchards is that you will be greeted by the world’s largest garden gnome (according to the Guinness Book of World Records). Similar to other farms and orchards, Kelder’s offers classic farm activities such as a petting zoo, corn maze, pick-your-own produce and hayrides with complete with beautiful scenery of the Rondout Valley and Shawangunk Mountains. The farm also has an unusual miniature golf course which you don’t want to miss. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., www.keldersfarm.com.
5 Sunset Ave, Kinderhook, New York
This fourth-generation family farm, originally a dairy–centric farm in the 1900s, is now a destination for a variety of pick-your-own fruits and veggies as well as family entertainment. Pick-your-own pumpkins are 40 cents per pound, and families can enjoy a day filled with wagon tours, bike rentals, farm animals, corn maze explorations and visits to the farm store for produce and homemade ice cream. Open Wednesdays to Mondays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through October., www.samascott.com.