Apple picking 2013

I am not sure if it is quiet unusual that my tot loves being out in nature. He loves visiting farms and gains immense pleasure participating in related activities. We try to make it out to farms at least three times a year. He enjoyed apple picking last year, so I had to take him out again this year. Last year we enjoyed apple picking at Whitman’s farm in NJ. This year we decided to visit orchards in upstate New York. The plan was to visit “The Wright Family Farm” located Warwick, NY. The online reviews were fantastic, but instead we stopped at Dressler Farms in New Platz, NY.

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The views of the mountains from the farm were stunning, a floral welcome at the facade and the sight of apples from the parking lot made it a tempting stop. Right where we parked, we picked up a bucket and boarded a wagon that took us to the heart of the orchard. My tot enjoyed picking Fuji apples, Red Delicious apples and Golden Delicious apples. The orchard grew several different types of apples besides the three we picked. After picking about 30 apples, we went by the shop to enjoy freshly baked donuts and chilled apple cider. We also bought two different varieties of pears, corn and pumpkin. My tot could not resist climbing on top of a tractor and jumping up on haystacks. While there were not many activities for children at the farm, the loaded apple trees and a fantastic view of the mountains made this a wonderful trip for the entire family.

The only thing to watch out for when visiting Dressler or Wright Farm, it is at least two hours away from the city. On Google it maps out to be much closer but it was a long drive, but during this time of the year a beautiful drive through the fall foliage.

While we were done apple picking in less than an hour, we enjoyed the experience for days. We counted the apples, we arranged them in different shapes and my tot took the three different varieties of apples for show and tell to school.

We can’t wait to get back out on the farms to pick our pumpkins before Halloween. Our recommended farms near New York city based on the past three years of experience are as follows:

New Jersey farms:

1) Alstede Farms – Chester, NJ (1 hour from New York City)
This continues to remain our favorite farm. We have picked pumpkins, strawberries and blue berries here. My son has enjoyed climbing haystacks, riding ponies and kiddie wagons. There is easy access to farms and all the activities from the parking lot, making it a great destination to visit with young children.

2) Wightman’s Farms – Morristown, NJ (45 minutes from New York City)
A easy to reach farm is great for picking apples. The orchard is small but easily accessible with little tots.

New York State Farms

1) Dressler Farms – New Platz, NY (1 hour 35 minutes from New York City)
A great apple orchard with a wide variety of apples to pick. Enjoy wine tasting and freshly baked donuts.

Updated: London To Go

We just updated our city guide for London, UK. If you are planning a family trip to London do check this out.

Sandy has left us with a new family tradition

Monday – 29th October 7:30PM – the super-storm Sandy made landfall on the New Jersey coast and we lost power. We reside in the evacuation zone A of NYC, which means that we are the first ones to get flooded in case of hurricanes and storms. After a rather mild impact from hurricane Irene last year, all of us (me and residents of Battery Park) were not expecting mandatory evacuation this time around. Lo and behold we were given a mandatory evacuation notice on Sunday morning and we rushed to my cousin residing in New Jersey. We were not only fortunate that we had family to support us during this unfortunate storm but also highly grateful for their kindness.

On Monday evening as the storm struck New Jersey coastline we lost power. We set up candles on the dining table and interestingly all the family members gathered around the table participating in this rare activity. Devam (my 3 year old) thought that a major celebration was underway and he sang for this rare audience and entertained us all. The peace and quiet in the house strangely helped us overcome the fear of the otherwise 90 mph winds rattling our windows and doors. A day after the storm when power was restored everyone was back to their computers, conference calls, video games and iPads – in short their otherwise solitary lives. I and my cousin discussed how wonderful it was to have everyone together the night before. It would be wonderful if everyone did take a break and gathered together to celebrate this extinct phenomenon – “Family”. Wouldn’t it be great to recreate that evening (sans the storm) once a month? So we are going to turn this into a family tradition – remembering the many that suffered during the super storm Sandy and at the same time celebrating togetherness. We are going to shut down power for one Saturday evening every month, put up candle lights, munch on left overs from the morning and enjoy being a family.

Winning the hearts of toddlers – WSF NYC

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