As a relatively new parent, I cannot explain the seemingly universal urge to grab the family and go apple / pumpkin picking. Maybe it’s just a great way to get outside, enjoy the cooler temps and get some family photos. Or is it a New England thing? Autumn always puts on a beautiful show here in Connecticut. Last year, we agreed to meet another family at Beardsley Cider Mill for some apple picking. Though pre-scheduled far in advance – it turned out to be a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon, but we found ourselves overheated in 80 degree weather (positively unAutumn-like). Coupled with a jammed parking lot and long lines (yep, two of them) to buy our apples and our cider & donuts, we swore off weekend picking… FOREVER.
Now we have 20 month old toddler who loves to exploring outdoors. A year older and wiser… I headed up north to Pumpkinseed Hill Farm at Jones Family Farm on a weekday! At 10 am on a Tuesday in early October, there was only 1 other family. It was amazing to have this huge hilltop pumpkin patch to ourselves! I subsequently took two other trips to this Shelton farm with friends and family. It’s a great place for young children to play outside and when the little ones are finally petered out, there’s a hayride around the surrounding fields. If you need snack, I recommend buying a pumpkin cookie while you’re purchasing hayride tickets.
Below are photos from all 3 of our trips this year, I hope it gives you a good sense of the beauty and the bounty of this farm.
Lily loved walking up and down this little bridge near the pens with chickens and pigs.
You can also see the corn maze in the background. I kept my distance, there was no way I was embarking on that adventure with a toddler!
Her other favorite spot was this Hansel and Gretel themed house.
Back on the lookout at Billy Goats Gruff bridge. This time with a friend.
The farm provides small wagons to carry your pumpkins. Children are not allowed in the wagons, but that’s ok because all Lily wanted to do was push one around the pumpkin patch.
If you wander out beyond the corn maze entrance, you’ll come across a field of sunflowers.
And past the sunflowers, you’ll find other produce growing on the farm. Here you can see strawberries and broccoli in the front rows.
In the cabbage patch.
If you’ve been to Pumpkinseed Hill Farm on the weekend you might not recognize the farm in my photos. Typically it’s filled with hundreds of people and though there is a huge parking lot and ample space in the fields, I still recommend a weekday visit. If you’re looking to have a quiet experience with no waiting and no lines – know that this the price of admission. The good news is no matter when you go, there is no entrance fee to visit the farm.
Jones Family Farm
Pumpkinseed Hill Farm
120 Beardsley Road,
10 am to 5:30 pm daily (call ahead to confirm)