Courtesy of Milk Pail

Pumpkins are the hottest gourds around, and here are the very best places to spend a day picking pumpkins in Long Island.

Molly McArdle

Whether you want to bake a pumpkin pie, carve a jack-o-lantern, arrange a killer gourd-themed décor scheme, or just spend the day outside on a beautiful farm, Travel + Leisure has got the lowdown on the best Long Island pumpkin patches.

Benner's Farm, East Setauket

This working family farm hosts a one-day Harvest Festival with pumpkin picking, live music, and cider making in October, but Benner's is open on weekends all year round. (Make sure to come back in spring to see the newborn farm animals.) Closer to Halloween, they also offer a haunted hayride. An intimate and friendly experience, visitors get a chance to see a wide-range of animals. Free entry

Borellas Farmstand, Saint James

When a potato farmer and a flower shop owner fell in love over sixty years ago, they combined their respective trades to found Borella's Farmstand, producing both flowers and vegetables on Long Island since 1960. Every weekend during the month of October, their Fall Festival features pick-your-own pumpkins, corn mazes, a live DJ, a corn cannon, hayrides, bounce houses, and tons of good food. $12 admission

Harbes Family Farm, Mattituck

With thirteen generations of farming experience, the Harbes Family Farm now has three locations. The flagship has two large pumpkin patches, two corn mazes, a 10-acre "Barnyard Adventure" park, a tasting room for the Harbes Vineyard, pony rides, hay rides, and lots of fresh produce and food. Free entry

Gabrielsen's Country Farm, Jamesport

After picking your own pumpkin (to live music no less), explore what this North Fork farm has to offer: an 11-acre corn maze, dairy cows, and goats, a corn crib, and fresh roasted corn and homemade lemonade. Plus, unlimited train and hay rides! Free entry

Lewin Farms, Calverton

The first pick-your-own farm on Long Island, this fourth-generation family farm offers pumpkins (and apples, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes) through late October. Don't forget their corn maze, which spans over five acres and has a different design every year. Free entry

Milk Pail, Water Mill

The Halsey family has been farming in Water Mill, Long Island, since the 1640s. This twelve-generation tradition continues with Milk Pail, the farmers market they established in 1969, and the U-Pick Apple and Pumpkin Farm. In addition to the two most popular products of fall, they offer roasted corn and baked potatoes. Yum. Free entry

Organics Today, East Islip

"Sometimes you gotta sit back and smell the pumpkins," says this small organic farm. In addition to their on-site market—which sells ethically produced meat and eggs, raw honey, pies, breads, jams, and plants—Organics Today has a large pick-your-own pumpkin patch and freshly prepared snacks like roasted corn, hot apple cider, popcorn, and apple cider donuts. Hope aboard their tractor-pull hay ride and find your perfect pumpkin. Free entry

Stakey's Pumpkin Farm, Aquebogue

A third-generation Long Island farm (but only a first-generation pick-your-own operation), the Stakey's pumpkin patch has grown since 1976 from a single acre to 26, currently with more than 18 varieties. Now equipped with hay rides, a corn maze, a bouncy house, face painting, and pony rides—in addition to a country store, flower house, and snack shack—visitors can pick up home décor accents (Indian corn, anyone?) and have some fun in addition to finding the perfect pumpkin. Activities individually priced

White Post Farms, Melville

During the last two weekends in October, White Post Farms comes alive with activity. Not just a humble pumpkin patch, it also features a magical comedy show (or a comedic magic show) by Jim McClenahan, a "canine cabaret," a barnyard game show, a hayride sing-a-long, the Tricks for Treats Exotic Bird Show, and a performing horse show appropriately titled "Horses Horses Horses!" Don't forget to try their roasted corn, candy apples, or fresh funnel cake. $18 admission for the festival, $12 otherwise

Woodside Nursey & Garden Center, North Patchogue

With a scarecrow making workshop available every day, and face painting (plus fresh roasted corn) over the weekend, Woodside Nursery has week-round activities along with a goofy—but utterly charming—Haunted Tunnel. Their outdoor "Octobercation" exhibit aims to teach children about trick-or-treat safety, and also features a Scooby Doo section as well as a replica of the world's biggest pumpkin. $3 admission

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