New York

Find Your Perfect Jack-O'-Lantern at These NYC-Area Pumpkin Patches

EvgeniiAnd/Shutterstock
EvgeniiAnd/Shutterstock
EvgeniiAnd/Shutterstock

Is that an autumnal chill in the air? Do you have the sudden urge to drape yourself in velvet? Can you feel yourself starting to get a little… spooky? Fall snuck right up on NYC, and now it’s time to break out your Ouija board, plan your dog’s Halloween costume (mine is going as the fox from Fleabag), and wear your coziest flannel to the pumpkin patch. While the five boroughs don’t have a lot of farmland left, there are tons of spots to pick your pumpkin in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island — all within two hours of the city.

Each of these patches is rich with a selection pumpkins for your picking pleasure, and plenty of hayrides, maize mazes, and haunted houses to inspire your jack-o’-lantern carving plans.

Hanks Pumpkintown
Hanks Pumpkintown
Hanks Pumpkintown

Hank’s Pumpkintown

Watermill, NY
As the name suggests, Hank’s got u-pick-’em pumpkins on the vine, off the vine, and any other way you’d like them. This year, 48 acres of the farm are dedicated to pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. They’ve also got straw bales, corn stalks, mums, and gourds, so you can create the autumn tablescape of your hayfever dreams. You can pick pumpkins every day through Halloween, but the corn maze and wagon rides are only open on the weekends.
By public transport: 2 hours (From Jamaica Station, take the LIRR towards Montauk to Southampton, then take a taxi for the remaining 1.8 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Ward's Pumpkin Patch
Ward’s Pumpkin Patch
Ward’s Pumpkin Patch

Ward’s Pumpkin Patch

Ridgewood, NJ
Ward’s has been slinging pumpkins from this New Jersey farm stand every fall since 1940. There are no vines here, but they’ve got every shape and size and type of gourd for jack-o’-lantern carving. (They also offer painted pumpkins in festive themes for those of you who hate the pulp or have no business being near a bunch of knives.)
By public transport: 55 minutes (From the Port Authority Bus Terminal, take a Greyhound bus toward Albany to Ridgewood Park and Ride, then walk for the remaining 2 minutes.)
By car from Grand Central: 50 minutes

Elwood Pumpkin Farm

Huntington, NY
This Long Island farm grows its own pumpkins, making it one of the few places where you can pick them right off the vine. It’s on the smaller side but relatively close to the city, so pick your pumpkin, take a hayride, and then spend the rest of the day leaf peeping in beautiful Caumsett State Park half an hour away. (P.S. Plan ahead and bring cash for pumpkin purchasing, since Elwood doesn’t take credit cards.)
By public transport: 1 hour and 20 minutes (From Penn Station, take the LIRR towards Port Jefferson to Huntington, then take a taxi for the remaining 4.5 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Queens County Farm Museum
Queens County Farm Museum
Queens County Farm Museum

Queens County Farm Museum

Little Neck, Queens
With a 3-acre corn maze and a haunted house on October 26, Queens is working hard to get you into the Halloween spirit. Admission to the museum is free, so choose your pumpkin from the patch and then spend some time wandering the grounds and posing for the perfect rosy-cheeked profile picture. It’s almost cuffing season, after all!
By public transport: 1 hour and 10 minutes (From Penn Station, walk to Sixth Avenue/W 37th Street and take the QM6 bus to Union Turnpike/252 Street.)
By car from Grand Central: 45 minutes

Fishkill Farms
Fishkill Farms
Fishkill Farms

Fishkill Farms

East Fishkill, NY
This sprawling farm is just 20 minutes outside of Beacon, New York. It hosts a Harvest Festival every October weekend, featuring live music, an outdoor grill, and hayrides. The wide variety of decorative gourds and specialty pumpkins for sale at the store include all-white offerings, if you’re going for that minimalist Halloween vibe, along with a patch for a more authentic picking experience.  
By public transport: 2 hours (From Grand Central Station, take the Metro North Hudson Line towards Poughkeepsie to Beacon, then take a taxi for the remaining 12 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Stuart’s Fruit Farm

Granite Springs, NY
This quaint family farm — which has been in operation since 1828 — offers the quintessential autumn experience. Choose a pumpkin from the patch, pick some apples from the orchard, and have a picnic among the changing leaves. Stop by the farm store for an apple pie and cider donuts for dessert. There are no flashy fall festivals or haunted mazes, but it’s the perfect way to get that cozy fall feeling. Stuart’s is cash or check only, so do come prepared.
By public transport: 1 hour and 30 minutes (From Grand Central Station, take the Metro North towards Harlem line to Purdy’s, then take a taxi for the remaining 11.7 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Silverman's Farm
Silverman’s Farm
Silverman’s Farm

Silverman’s Farm

Easton, CT
With 20 varieties of squashes and gourds to choose from, you’ll have the most festive fall stoop on your block. If you can guess the weight of your pumpkin within 2 ounces, it’s free. (Just hope it’s easier than guessing what you’ll pay for the salad bar at Whole Foods). Every weekend at the farm features food vendors, face painting, and a “cereal bowl” — a gigantic pool of dried corn and hay bales to play and pose in.
By public transport: 1 hour and 30 minutes (From Grand Central, take the Metro North towards New Haven to Fairfield, then take a taxi for the remaining 8.9 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 15 minutes

F&W Schmitt's Family Farm
F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm
F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm

F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm

Melville, NY
At Schmitt’s, October is all about pumpkins. They don’t have an apple orchard, so the farm is totally dedicated to Halloween fun. The patch is full of pumpkins, the hayrides are hosted by the family farmers, and this year’s corn maze is mad scientist-themed. If you like to get scared, they also host an adult haunted mansion and corn trail on October weekends after 7pm.
By public transport: 1 hour and 45 minutes (From Penn Station, take the Metro North towards Port Jefferson to Huntington, then take a taxi for the remaining 4.8 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Kelder’s Farm

Kerhonkson, NY
Every fall, Kelder’s grows thousands of pumpkins in over a dozen varieties. On weekends, they offer hayrides straight to the patch. They also boast a jumping pillow, a corn maze, a milking cow… and miniature golf. It might not be seasonal, but their putt-putt course has been named “one of the 10 most unusual in the USA” (same), so it’s definitely worth a swing.
By public transport: 2 hours and 5 minutes (From Penn Station, take the Amtrak towards Albany to Poughkeepsie, then take a taxi for the remaining 27 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Fink's Country Farm
Fink’s Country Farm
Fink’s Country Farm

Fink’s Country Farm

Wading River, NY
With a big ol’ patch of pumpkins on the vine, this family farm is the real deal. The patch is only open on weekends, and you have to buy admission to the Fall Festival to pick ‘em; tickets are $15 for adults and $17 for kids 3-16. The Fall Festival features plenty of countrified entertainment for all you citified folk — think calf roping, pig races, a corn cannon, and a pumpkin slingshot.
By public transport: 2 hours and 30 minutes (From Penn Station, take the LIRR towards Ronkonkoma to Riverhead, then take a taxi for the remaining 9.6 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Outhouse Orchards

North Salem, NY
While “outhouse” might not exactly put you in the mood for autumn magic, it doesn’t get more romantic than the Hudson Valley in October. All their pumpkins are off the vine, so you can pick your favorite from their big patch and then head straight for the hayride. While you’re there, place an early order for your Thanksgiving turkey, pies, and pumpkin cheesecakes.
By public transport: 1 hour and 20 minutes (From Grand Central Station, take the Metro towards Harlem to Purdy’s, then take a taxi for the remaining 3 miles.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Green Meadows Farm

Brooklyn, NY
A farm? On Flatbush Avenue?! Kind of! Aviator Sports and Events Center is transformed into a farm and petting zoo with a pumpkin patch every weekend in October. Admission is $9 and includes a pumpkin, hayrides, a kid-friendly haunted house, and — the real draw — the chance to sit on a bulldozer. It might not be a working farm, but it’s the perfect place to take the kids without a meltdown in the car.
By public transport: 30 minutes (From the Flatbush Avenue Station, walk to Avenue H/Flatbush Avenue and take the Q35 bus to Flatbush Avenue/Gateway Sports, then walk the remaining 7 minutes.)
By car from Grand Central: 1 hour
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New York

Scavenge for Peeps Cookies and More Fun Treats in NYC This Easter

The best Easter desserts in NYC this spring include Easter Bunny Churros and Carrot Cake Macarons.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

As spring makes its way through New York City, not only do we get to enjoy beautiful weather, stunning cherry blossoms, and cool activities priced at $Free.99, but it’s also the perfect time for some limited-edition desserts.

With Easter fast approaching, bakeries are filling their shops with tons of chocolate eggs, carrot cake-flavoured everything and all types of flavours that offer both nostalgia and innovation within the city’s dessert landscape. After you’ve picked up a cake from the city’s best new bakeries, from Easter Bunny Churros to Carrot Cake Macarons, here are 8 Easter desserts to try in NYC right now.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery

Throughout April
Various locations
There’s great news for devotees of Magnolia Bakery’s Classic Banana Pudding: For Easter, the spot is mixing up the iconic dessert’s vanilla pudding with some carrot cake. The Carrot Cake Pudding is filled with freshly grated carrots, coconuts, pineapples, raisins, and walnuts. And if both bananas and carrots aren’t your thing, they’ll be offering their Classic Vanilla Cupcakes in pastel colours with a Cadbury chocolate egg hidden inside.

Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery
Photo courtesy of Funny Face Bakery

Funny Face Bakery

Through Easter Sunday
NoHo and Seaport
Known for their celebrity face and meme-worthy decorated cookies, fans of Funny Face Bakery know that a new fun design is always just around the corner. For Easter, they’ve created the adorable Hoppy Easter decorated cookie that resembles a classic box of marshmallow Peeps. Along with that, they also have the return of their fan-favourite Caramel Pretzel Chip cookie flavour, plus a set of three mini-decorated cookies perfect for gifting.

The Doughnut Project

Friday, April 7 through Easter Sunday
West Village
With the ever-changing flavours at The Doughnut Project, it’s super easy to miss out on trying out a new debut. But this Easter weekend, there will be two new flavours available. One is of course, a carrot cake doughnut topped with a cream cheese glaze, and the other is known as the Doughnut Nest-a French cruller “nest” with a cream-filled doughnut hole “egg” in the centre.

Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour
Photo by Cole Saladino, courtesy of The Fragile Flour

The Fragile Flour

Wednesday, April 5 through Easter Sunday
East Village
For stellar vegan desserts this holiday, head to The Fragile Flour, a plant-based bakery and dessert wine bar. They’re known for going all out for each holiday with a variety of new pastry options that you can pair perfectly with a glass of wine. This Easter, they’ll have a whole dessert menu that’s both delicious and gorgeous for posting on IG. The menu includes Stuffed Carrot Cake Cookies, a Lemon Cake (whole or by the slice), some festive cupcakes, and specialty macarons.

Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Photo courtesy of Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

Through mid April
Midtown
For a luxurious take on Easter chocolates, browse the selections available at Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate. You can even pick the Easter Signature Chef’s Selection for a special box curated by award-winning chefs. For something other than chocolate, choose between the Carrot Cake Macarons or the cake flavored Easter Marshmallow Trio, both of which are almost too cute to eat.

La Churreria

Throughout April
Nolita
This churro-centric spot is putting the cutest Easter spin on their crispy cinnamon churros by twisting them up into bunnies and bunny ears. At Churreria, choose from a Bunny Churro Lollipop topped with your choice of chocolate or dulce de leche and sprinkles, or the bunny ear churros in the Ube and Matcha ice cream sundae or the Ube Milkshake, both of which are made with ice cream from il laboratorio del gelato.

Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci
Photo by Briana Balducci

Lafayette

Throughout April
NoHo
You’ve surely seen this croissant tons of times while scrolling through IG or TikTok, whether it’s the Pain au Chocolat one or the latest of the month. Known as Supr√™mes, these filled croissants went viral and continue to live up to the hype each time a new flavour comes out. April’s flavour-sour cherry amaretto with a Luxardo custard and toasted almonds. While you’ll have to be super early and wait in line during one of their three drops of the day to get a taste, we promise you it’ll be worth it.

Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain
Photo courtesy of Levain

Levain

Seasonal
Various locations
We all know the iconic cookies from Levain-they’re gigantic, perfectly crispy and chewy, and well worth the long lines. For spring, the shop is launching a new flavour: Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip. Filled with gooey caramel chips, fresh shredded coconut, and melty dark chocolate, it’s one you’ve got to try while it’s still around. To further celebrate the new season, all of Levain’s storefronts will be decked out in spring floral displays, serving as the perfect backdrop for pictures.

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Alaina Cintron is an Editorial Assistant at Thrillist. Her work can also be found in Westchester Magazine, Girls’ Life, and Spoon University. When she’s not at her desk typing away, you can find her exploring a local coffee shop or baking a new recipe.

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