Harbes Farm, Mattituck: Kid AND Parent Friendly Day Trip
By Dina Shingleton, Suffolk County Correspondent
A beautiful day with nothing planned! What could be more intimidating for the parents of a toddler? Determined to savor the last few weekends of autumn before the weather turns too cold, my husband, daughter, and I made the 50+ mile drive out to Mattituck to check out Harbes Family Farm. We decided upon Harbes as it met a few of our last-minute requirements: u-pick pumpkins, hay ride, and petting zoo.
The Harbes Family actually have three locations to choose from, but the Mattituck location on Sound Avenue fulfilled all three of our day-trip requirements and then some. A concession offered roasted sweet corn, fresh squeezed lemonade, candy apples, and other autumnal treats. The sprawling farm stand had a variety of fresh produce, seasonal flowers, cheeses, jams, and pumpkins for sale (just in case you didn’t want to brave the pumpkin patch).
The hay ride was adorable and featured Farmer Stan, a bona fide, 81-year-old retired farmer, schooling us “city-folk” on the ins-and-outs of Long Island farm culture. A banjo player entertained the kids with folk renditions of children’s songs; he even had the adults clapping and stomping along. Sheep, goats, and chickens waited patiently in the petting zoo; the nearby concession stand had bags of feed available for $2.00. My daughter got a real kick passing bits of feed through the fence to the sheep and goats.
After the hay ride and petting zoo, our daughter played in the play area with the other children. Although not large, it has an adorable wooden tractor with slide off the back. All the kids got a real kick out of it, and were very patient waiting their turn to go down the slide, even my almost 2 year old!
Too tired out from the play area, we decided to purchase a pumpkin from the farm stand rather than force march our daughter through the fields in search of the perfect pumpkin. The stand had plenty of pumpkins to choose from and we settled on a 22 pounder for our front porch!
The leaves are just starting to turn out East, which made the scenery extra pretty! If you haven’t gotten your pumpkin yet, I highly recommend a trip to Harbes’ farm. If you’re sans children, you can check out the Wine Barn (we, sadly, didn’t get to) and also check out Martha Clara Vineyard which is nearby.