To access the interactive agritourism map click HERE.

Wholesome, outdoor fun has never been more in fashion, making the 2021 return of harvest festivals in Central Jersey season extra special. Many of these weekend festivals started in mid-September, and virtually all of them will run every weekend in October.

Most farms are taking public health precautions by encouraging mask-wearing, hand washing, and social distancing. Fortunately, by the kick-off to harvest season, 82% of residents 12 and older in the four-county Central Jersey region had received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to NJIIS.

Fall flowers and an antique barn at Dogwood Farms.

This year, make Central Jersey your harvest season destination. Once again, farmers will welcome visitors from near and far to partake in the bounty—and fun—of the fall harvest. Just an hour from New York and Philadelphia by train, car, or bus, Central Jersey is one of the most accessible agricultural areas in America. At DiscoverCentralNJ.com you’ll find farms and orchards to please everyone, including families, friends, young couples, and seniors.

Before or after your farm visit, be sure to partake of our local craft beverage makers and farm-to-table restaurants.  If you are coming from a distance, we have some very special places to stay overnight.

It’s smart to check each farm’s website before you visit, since activities and hours can change depending on weather and other factors. Our favorite harvest festivals can be found at these farms, in order of their opening weekend:

Norz-Hill Farm has been owned by the same family since 1922 in Hillsborough. Their Family Fun Fall Festivals started in early September and run through October 31. Enjoy hay wagon rides, a corn maze, u-pick pumpkin patch, Kids’ Corner, and a food stand. The cost is $15 per person on weekends, $12 weekdays, with children under 36 inches free. They also offer Scare Farm, a popular Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nighttime experience starting September 24, with costs starting at $20 per person.

“Scare Farm” at Norz-Hill is part of the harvest season fun.

Dogwood Farms in Basking Ridge is a certified organic farm with roots going back to before the Revolutionary War. Starting September 18 they offer a small-scale harvest festival on weekends from 10 to 4pm with no admission fee. Enjoy their Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze, Fall Photo Booth, Fall Plants, Cider Donuts, and more.

Terhune Orchards and Winery, near Princeton, is the region’s agritourism leader, inviting thousands of visitors every year to a 200-acre family-owned and operated farm. Starting September 18, autumn brings Terhune’s Fall Family Weekends, with pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, pumpkin painting, pedal tractors, wagon rides, corn stalk maze, adventure barn, and a barnyard of farm animals. This year, timed tickets required for public health reasons. Admission $12 per person. Pumpkins, food, pony rides are not included in admission.

Siblings choose a pumpkin at Terhune Orchards.

Von Thun Farm in South Brunswick offers a weekend fall festival through October including a wide variety of activities such as a 6-acre corn maze, unlimited hayrides to the pumpkin patch, 20+ activities & attractions, access to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch. The basic cost is $15.99, with special pricing for groups and all-season passes. Premium activities, weekends, and U-pick apples are extra. Weekday access to the corn maze is also available for $8.

Snyder Farm in the Somerset section of Franklin Township offers a family-oriented Farm Festival weekends starting October 2 through the 24th. Activities include hayrides, giant chair, backhoe diggers, corn maze, hay bale activities, climbing tunnels, wooden train, corn hole games, hay bale activity center and more. General admission of $15 (under 2 free) is required for pumpkin picking, plus cost of pumpkin.

Von Thun is just one of Central Jersey’s Instagram friendly farms!

Though not offering festivals, many other Central Jersey farms offer a bounty of fresh food and experiences you will enjoy this time of year. Whether you are driving or bicycling, you’ll find some wonderful scenery and farms, such as along the Hunterdon 579 Trail.

Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse in Milford produces 100% grass-fed, raw cows’ milk cheeses, pastured meats, and rustic breads baked in a wood-fired oven. The farm has 60 mature cows, plus a new generation of Bobolink Grazers, the result of crossing modern dairy breeds with the ancient Kerry cattle of Ireland. Their farm store is open daily except Tuesdays. Tours Saturdays and Sundays.

Cherry Grove Farm is a sustainable dairy farm and creamery on 480 acres in Lawrenceville, making award-winning farmstead cheeses from grass-fed raw cows’ milk. The farm also raises heritage breed pigs, lambs, chickens and beef cattle, raised without hormones, antibiotics or steroids. Farm Store open daily April through December.

Gorgeous Goat Creamery in Stockton offers tours, hikes, and picnics with a growing herd of goats who will capture your heart! Purchase weekend tickets online. October tickets will be available starting in late September. They also offer a range of goat cheeses, soaps, and other products after your visit, or at one of several farmer’s markets.

Griggstown Farm Market near Princeton sells its famous “Griggstown chicken” and other farm products using all-natural methods. The market sells seasonal fruit pies, pot pies, poultry sausages, quail eggs, and fresh seasonal soups. All products prepared in a USDA kitchen at the Farm. Thanksgiving and holiday menus complement the farm-raised turkeys sold in November & December. Store open daily.

Make new friends at Gorgeous Goat Creamery.

Hidden Spring Lavender Farm is offering a special Alpaca’s Farmers Day on September 25, with advance tickets required. But you can also see the growing herd—including new baby “Montgomery” almost any Saturday or Sunday.  Although the lavender blooming season has past, their on-farm store is chock full of bouquets, buds, oil, lotions, creams, moisturizers, hand soap, aromatherapy and bath and body items, lavender wreaths, dried Lavender, and more.

We’ve heard more than a few folks joke about New Jersey’s nickname, the Garden State!  But after a day, a weekend, or a week visiting Central Jersey farms, you’ll be a true believer.

Hidden Spring Lavender is a Century-old farm with a gift shop and alpacas. Alpaca Farmers Day is Sept. 25.

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