Much like apple or pumpkin picking, there are tons of Christmas tree farms just outside of the city, many of which open for business the day after Thanksgiving every year. With rows and rows of trees to pick from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your family. You can choose from trees that have already been pre-cut, usually on the same day, or you can search the fields for your tree and have it cut down right in front of you. It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Most of these farms are in Nassau and Suffolk, and there is also one in Yorktown Heights in Westchester, any of which are about a 45 to 75 minute drive from Queens. There are four Christmas tree farms in Manorville, Long Island, like Grandpa Tony’s Tree Farm, which is located at 305 Weeks Avenue. They are open until December 24th, for those last minute tree buyers, from 8am-5pm every day. Be sure to call ahead of time, 516-639-3587, just to make sure they’ll be open when you get there. Also on Weeks Avenue in Manorville is Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm, where in addition to trees, you can also purchase fresh wreaths. Log on to www.mikestreefarm to plan your visit. For a load of extras, try Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights. Here, not only can you find your tree, they also have a gift shop, bakery, farm market, and they offer each member of the family complimentary hot cider while you search for the perfect tree. You can visit www.wilkensfarm.com for more information.
A few pointers before you head out for your tree cutting adventure. It is a safe bet that when you go for your tree, it will be, at the very least, brisk. That means hats, gloves, scarves, boots, and thick socks. Anything you need to keep yourself and your kids warm, bring it and/or wear it. You’ll be wandering around fields of trees during the second half of fall or beginning of winter. You can also pack a little survival bag, bringing your own hot chocolate or cider in a thermos, small snacks for the kids, or even soup.
It’s also important to have an appropriate vehicle to take the tree home. Chances are it will be going on the roof of your car, so bringing your soft top convertible is probably not the best idea. The farms will have someone available to help you secure the tree for the journey home, but if you’d like to bring an old blanket to act as a barrier between the branches and the roof, you can do that as well.
All in all, cutting down your own tree is a great way to spend quality time with your family, and to get into the holiday spirit. Start a new family tradition. There’s still time to get yours for Christmas.