Family Pumpkin Picking, Wightman’s Farm, NJ

My husband has been taking an annual October trip to Wightman’s Farm in New Jersey since he was a kid. He and his brother have continued the family tradition, so we rent a car each year and head out to New Jersey for pumpkin picking, a hay ride, and a try at the pumpkin slingshot. Our nieces, who are now 8 and 4, are the ostensible reason for this trip, but I think it’s as much for the grown-ups as the kids. We are overtly competitive at the pumpkin slingshot, trying to ring the bell to win a free pumpkin (my niece did it last year!). I like picking up a novelty squash or two to decorate the house. You can always indulge in a cider donut after a hay ride, or an ear of hot buttered corn. And there’s a moment on the hay ride when you get a view of the surrounding valley and can see the spots where the leaves have started to change, and you look out over the apple orchards and the corn maze and see the bright colors of the food tents set up around the farm’s store. It’s a nice fall moment. Here are a few snapshots from our trip this year.