NYC is called the big apple but during our road trip through upstate New York we discovered the real apple county of New York State! The fall season is all about apples and pumpkins and we drove by many farms offering pick your own apples so we decided to stop into two spots and check it out. I had heard that most of the farms were very kid friendly and that there was plenty for the kids to do, but I was shocked by HOW MUCH there really was for the little ones! Most of the farms are rich in history, family run and are fully operational, if you’re lucky you’ll meet an owner on your visit.
Disclosure : Our visit was hosted by A Welcome Surprise! but as always, opinions are totally ours!
The farms are a perfect way to deal with cranky kids and also the perfect way to tire them out for a long drive after. Our first stop on day one was to Lagoner Farms where we were greeted by PumpkinTown! Kids could have purchased pumpkins of every size and shape and I’m kicking myself for not grabbing one for our baking and carving needs. This fifth generation run farm has been around for over 100 years and during our visit we made sure we grabbed a bit from their Farm to Table cafe. Little Monkey insisted on buying apples as well (of course!). During our visit there were a variety of apples cut up for us to sample and learn about the different varieties – didn’t realize how many different types there were!! Little Monkey and Baby Boy loved the play area which featured a couple slides, swings and bales of hay for kids to play in. We were a bit pressed for time so we did not partake in the wagon ride or pick our own apples, raspberries or tomatoes. Be sure to pop into their bakery and mini mart to purchase goods to bring back to friends and family. If you’re looking for a quick visit, this farm is your best bet.
The next day we decided to swing by Long Acre Farms and the hubs and I thought we’d spend an hour here, similar to what we did at Lagoner Farms. HAH! Three hours later we were dragging Little Monkey and Baby Boy out by their hoodies! We started our day at Long Acre, which meant that they had way more energy than they did at our end of the day visit at Lagoner. Also, there was much more to do here as the space was massive and spread out so that even though the place was busy, we didn’t feel like we had to battle with others to get on rides or play structures. Long Acre Farm is family run and Little Monkey befriended a little girl whose parents worked at the farm. The two girls got along charmingly and Little Monkey is truly hoping she gets to return to Long Acre, just so she can see her friend once again! This farm had plenty of green pastures for Baby Boy to run at, a mini goat farm making him squeal in delight and some kickass play structures for Little Monkey to climb, slide and dangle through. The highlight was the Amazing Maize Maze which owner Joan (yes we met the owner here!!!) told us is the second oldest corn maze in the world! We didn’t dare do the extremely hard adult maze (didn’t have 90 mins for that challenge!) and opted instead for the 15 minute kiddy maze which was absolutely perfect for us. Little Monkey ran around the maze collecting animal footprints at each station and we had the chance to teach her about a few new animals. We also took the cow train and both kids were amazed when we showed them the corn fields and the corn growing off them!
They also had a wine cellar and the kids played in the corner while the hubs and I sampled some of their wines. I loved that some of the wines came with special stories. One wine was made for the wedding of one of the daughters and another was made for the grandmother’s 80th birthday…each one distinct. The wine cellar also had a clean bathroom which Little Monkey was happy to see. I didn’t spot any change tables so I plopped Baby Boy on the grass and did a quick bum change.
For us city folks, farms are always fascinating to visit. It’s a great way for us to teach the kids about farm to table procedures and the value of good food. At Long Acre farms we bought fudge as souvenirs for our friends back in Canada but there were also many fresh fruits and veggies we could have purchased. Lagoner Farms had a full on bakery and were selling some delicious jams, cakes and breads….you know those jams came back as gifts for our moms!
If you’re looking to take a road trip during the fall season, you can’t go wrong with farms that not only offer fresh produce, but also activities for the kids! Long Acre won our hearts because of the sheer size of the farm and the breath of activities for both parents and kids. If you’re looking for road trip inspirations, check out A Welcome Surprise!