Pick your own Pumpkin in NYC for Halloween

Queens ny kids With Halloween right around the corner, now is the time to find the perfect pumpkin to carve into a spooky jack-o-lantern. Luckily, there are a few places close by to try. The only working historical farm in New York has yet another treat to offer you and your family this Fall. The Queens Farm Museum, located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, has pumpkins galore that are just waiting to be picked. This Saturday and Sunday, the planting field is open to pick your own pumpkin. Prices are dependent on the size of the pumpkin.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, you can visit Decker Farm, located at 435 Richmond Hill Road on Staten Island, for their pumpkin picking history lesson. Admission is $5 per person, or $16 for a family of four. Included in your admission is a guided tour of the farm house, admission to the Historic Richmond Town museum with transportation to the farm, and hayrides. If you happen to find “the” pumpkin in their pumpkin patch, the price of the pumpkin is determined by its size.

If you’re looking to take pumpkin picking to an entirely new level, hop on the Pumpkin patch subway, drive through the tunnel or over the 59th Street Bridge this Saturday and head on over to the Hoot and Howl at the City’s annual Pumpkin Festival in Central Park’s band shell area. On top of live performances, the chance to pose with characters from Transformers and Strawberry Shortcake from The Hub television network, hay rides, puppet shows, and a haunted house, there’s a pumpkin patch available for you to pick your own pumpkin. The best part: the activities available are free. You really can’t go wrong with free.

Once you’ve found a keeper and you’ve gotten it home, it’s time to carve it. You can pick up an electric pumpkin carving tool from most craft stores, and it will save you tons of time. You can choose the traditional face, with triangle eyes and nose, or get creative and make your pumpkin your own. As an added bonus, if you have younger kids, Nick Jr. has jack-o-lantern templates of their most popular characters from Dora the Explorer, Yo Gabba Gabba, and The Backyardigans available on their website. Check it out at www.nickjr.com.

This weekend, load up your family and enjoy the beautiful, brisk October weather and find your own perfect pumpkin. For more information on the Queens Farm Museum’s pumpkin patch, visit www.queensfarm.org. Pumpkin picking at Decker Farm is from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. If you’re giving the Pumpkin Festival a try, it’s being held from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and it’s easiest to enter the park at 72nd Street.

Jesseca Stenson