There's something deeply satisfying about visiting a pumpkin patch come October, whatever your age. And just because you're without a car doesn't mean you can't plan this fall excursion. These are the six best pumpkin patches to visit throughout New York State—with a few right here in the city—that you can get to via public transportation.
↑ The easiest trip in search of pumpkins is the one to the Queens County Farm Museum, in Little Neck, Queens. This 47-acre farm—New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland—is open weekends in October with a variety of fall activities. There is no admission fee to walk through the pumpkin patch (although the pumpkins will cost you), and you can also pick up Hudson Valley apples, fresh cider, and locally-made treats. Other autumnal activities include a three-acre corn maze, a haunted house, and a kiddie festival on Sunday, October 25.
How to get there: Take the E or F train to Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike Station, then transfer to Q46 Bus (running eastbound on Union Turnpike) to the Little Neck Parkway stop. Cross Union Turnpike and walk north on Little Neck Parkway three blocks to the museum entrance.
↑ Decker Farm is another pumpkin-picking spot that's NYC-based, albeit on Staten Island at Historic Richmond Town. The 1810-era farm, which includes 11 structures on 11 acres of land, hosts pumpkin pickers every weekend through November 1. On top of the pumpkin patch, you can join a hayride, tour the farmhouse, or navigate a corn maze.
How to get there: From the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George, take the S74 bus to Richmond Road and St. Patrick's Place.
If you'd rather go pumpkin picking upstate, there are plenty of options. Both Outhouse Orchards and Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard (↑) in North Salem are accessible from the MetroNorth. Despite its less-than-pleasant name, Outhouse is a scenic family-owned and operated apple orchard that hosts pumpkin picking in the fall. There's also a corn maze, hay ride, and a farmstand selling apples, produce from the farm, local honey, and maple syrup.
Right across the street from Outhouse is Harvest Moon Farm, which hosts a fall festival every weekend through October. For a $5 admission, there's a pumpkin patch, live music, a kid's bounce house, hay rides, pony rides, face painting, and BBQ. For the adults, a hard cider tasting room also opens up on weekends.
How to get there: Take the Metro North from Grand Central to the Croton Falls station. On weekends, cabs are usually waiting to take patrons three miles to either farm.
↑ From the Long Island Railroad, Dee's Nursery is the most accessible fall destination from any train stop. This family-owned nursery and garden center hosts a festival every weekend in October with a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and kid's crafts. The only caveat: you won't get the farm backdrop.
How to get there: Take the Long Island Railroad toward Long Beach and exit at the East Rockaway stop. From there, it's about a 15 minute walk east to the nursery.
↑ Masker Orchards, located upstate in Warwick, has been home to apple orchards in the Hudson Valley for more than 100 years. It's open five days a week with a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, an Apple Maze, and a haunted house through Halloween. Other events, offered on weekends, include face painting, pony rides and live music. Be sure to stop by the county store to pick up apple butter, fresh jam, or honey before you leave.
How to get there: Take the New Jersey Transit bus #196 or #197 from Port Authority to the Willowbrook Station in Warwick. Masker Orchard is a half mile walk from the station.