Roxy’s Best Of…Chester, NJ

The Best of Chester, NJ, from kid stuff (including summer camp) to restaurants to shopping


Pumpkin Picking and Harvest Moon Hayrides at Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey

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Our family never lets the Fall season slip by without a trip to Alstede Farms in Chester, New Jersey. When we first moved out here in October 2003, we invited our best friends from New York City’s West Village to come out to see how country folk live in the Roxiticus Valley, including pick your own pumpkins and a hay ride at Alstede Farms.  Once the girls started pre-school at Westmont Montessori, there was always a pumpkin picking class trip to Alstede Farms, and Westmont even had the end-of-year school picnic, complete with pony rides, one year.

Today, as we were heading back from our beach house in Bay Head, we realized that we have our standing annual pumpkin carving date with my best friend, Hope, and her four kids, set for Friday, October 17th, but no time to pick pumpkins before then.  So we quickly unloaded the Suburban and headed out to Alstede Farms.  We didn’t really want to head out on a hayride to pick our own, so I called ahead and learned that Alstede Farms has plenty of pumpkins pre-picked and ready to take home from their shop at the front of the farm.  What we didn’t realize until we arrived was that Alstede Farms has become a destination… a wildly popular pumpkin picking carnival!  The parking lot was packed, but we found a spot and headed down to the market to pick out our pumpkins and sample the seasonal ice cream cones:  apple pie, pumpkin, and green apple caramel flavors.  Rex pulled a large wagon over and the girls loaded it up with six perfect carving pumpkins.  Once we had the pumpkin collection in the back of our Jeep, it was time to climb the giant hay bales, where I took these photos just for you.  The I snuck back to the little stand for a bag of six apple cider donuts…Rex and the girls had some for dessert tonight, but I saved mine for breakfast tomorrow.

Alstede offers Harvest Moon Hayrides from 6:00pm to 10:00pm on the following dates:

  • Friday, October 17th and Saturday, October 18th
  • Friday, October 24th and Saturday, October 25th

Pay one price ($14 for children 12 and under, $16 for adults, under 3 for free) includes a night-time corn maze (bring your flashlight!), the harvest moon hayride, country music, a campfire, and unlimited hot and cold cider.  You can also pay by the pound for “pick your own pumpkins by flashlight” and purchase a Smores Roasting Kit.

Speaking of corn mazes, you couldn’t get me out in the corn with a flashlight (think Stephen King’s “Children of the Corn”), but Alstede Farms has an awesome corn maze — the Iron Mines of Chester Corn Maze…I’m going to try to scan the map and share it with you tomorrow.

Alstede Farms, 24 Route 513 South (Old Route 24), Chester, NJ.  Phone:  (908) 879-7189. Please don’t forget to tell ‘em Roxy sent you!

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