Fall Fun on the Farm: 10 Family-Friendly Farms to Visit this Autumn | Family Friendly | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Fall Fun on the Farm: 10 Family-Friendly Farms to Visit this Autumn

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Pennings Farm Market, Warwick
  • Pennings Farm Market, Warwick
There's nothing like being out on a farm in the fall, paying a call on the folks who carry the torch forward and work the good, rich soil. At many of our local farms, you’ll find loads of fun alongside the food, as farmers have realized that welcoming and dealing directly with the public is nutritious for all involved. Susan and Phil Hurd have been pioneering agritainment since 1994 at Hurd’s Family Farm, an old- school working apple operation first farmed in 1894 that’s been transformed into a family fun zone. “Susan’s mission is to help the families that visit create amazing memories; her husband Phil is the engineer who brings her ideas to life,” says Sarah Polenza, farm manager. “Our generation, we’re focused on connecting the agritainment to the growing, weaving together the fun and the farming. Families stop staring at their cell phones; they’re talking and laughing together over a pack of apple cider donuts, working as a team in our corn maze, and smiling on their way to their cars, and I know we’ve successfully shared the joy.” Below are some of the highlights of the spots around the region where families can romp and frolic on the farm.

Pennings Farm Market | Warwick

Featuring the Harvest Grill, serving fresh farm-to-table pub fare, Pennings holds celebratory farm dinners with craft beverage tastings. There’s U-pick, live music on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons, a cidery, garden center, beer garden, hop yard, and an old-fashioned soft serve ice cream shop and bakery.

Bellvale Farms Creamery | Warwick

Bellevale Farms Creamery is a postcard-pretty, 200-year-old dairy with fine homemade ice cream, ice cream waffle cones, ice cream cake, and ice cream pies. It's ranked among the “Top 10 Ice Cream Parlors in the World” by TripAdvisor. Creative flavors like Great White Way (white chocolate ice cream with raspberry swirl and dark chocolate chunks) are served amid fabulous views from atop Mount Peter.
Bellvale Farms Creamery, Warwick
  • Bellvale Farms Creamery, Warwick

Kelder’s Farm | Kerhonkson

A giant garden gnome, Gnome Chomsky, presides serenely over mini-golf, jumping pillows, combine slides, tube slides, animals to greet, “spiderwebs’’ to scale, fishing, lawn games, and vintage tractors to climb on for yet another photo op at Kelder's Farm. There’s U-pick pumpkins, farm animals, Giant Connect Four, and apple cannons and a pumpkin cannon in season.
Kelder's Farm, Kerhonkson
  • Kelder's Farm, Kerhonkson

Hurd’s Family Farm | Modena

At Hurd's in Modena, there’s a bounce pillow, an obstacle course, a giant slide, multiple corn mazes, duck racing, apple launching and the Kids’ Corral, as well as an apple-bin train; there are hay rides, pony rides, wagon rentals, and gem mining available at Hurd's Family Farm. You can purchase snacks to feed the critters and fish, and for you and the crew at the Big Apple Cafe.

Barton Orchards | Poughquag

 At Barton Orchards, there's a Tree Top Adventures area with five aerial courses for all skill levels, along with a midway featuring the petting zoo, playground, tap room with live music and local craft bevvies, farm market and Bark Park for your furry friend. There’s a popular U-pick and an ice cream stand (cider donut sundae, anyone?) and an array of festival weekends.
Barton Orchards, Poughquag
  • Barton Orchards, Poughquag

Salinger’s Orchards | Brewster

Salinger's is a fourth-generation family farm all about delicious fruit, dedicated to growing 18 varieties of quality apples as well as peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, cherries, and other seasonal crops. Their bakery and market offers raw, local honey, fresh produce, baked goods, candies, gluten- free items, pastries, and more; they’ll happily grace your holiday table with a fresh turkey or spiral-cut ham and fresh-baked pies.

Greig Farm | Red Hook

Greig Farm maintains the O-Zone Sustainability Center, providing a variety of goods, services, and workshops to help local residents learn about their community options and sustainable choices. They’ve got a bulk-refill store, carbon credit station, and Community Bilmar Nurseries, Pleasant Valley Compost CSA program, alongside U-pick, a koi pond, art gallery, craft market, and goats to feed—and you can feed yourselves elegantly from the market, kitchen, and cafe. Don’t forget to visit the Abandoned Cider taproom.

Love Apple Farm | Ghent

Love Apple Farm offers a scratch bakery, market, gift shop, playground, petting zoo (meet Morgan the llama, Little Bit the pony, Salt ‘n Peppa the sheep, Autumn and Alexander the goats, and Ponchito the donkey) along with a wide variety of U-pick items. In their market, you’ll find specialty food items, sweet temptations, and kitchen essentials, along with a carefully curated selection of pottery, textiles, hostess gifts, and hand-poured soaps.

Bilmar Nurseries | Pleasant Valley

Bilmar Nuseries grows 200 acres of Christmas trees and nursery stock, which makes a great setting for the camping, hiking, nature walks, fishing in 10 ponds, lakes and streams, concerts, and events that go on here. There’s a Halloween Zombie Apocalypse adventure and a superb selection of cut-your- own Christmas trees when the time comes.
Bilmar Nurseries, Pleasant Valley
  • Bilmar Nurseries, Pleasant Valley

Minard’s Family Farm | Clintondale

Minard’s Family Farm hosts a slew of activities, including a corn maze, Tire Mountain and spiderweb to climb, gem mining, pedal carts, giant bounce pillow, barnyard sports, tug-o’- war, pumpkin picking, pumpkin bowling, apple slingshot safaris, apple checkers, pony rides, hayrides, and a hemp tour, not to mention a burger joint, lemonade stand, and barn market full of local goodies.

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