Wightman’s Farms, just over the border on Route 202 as it heads north to Morristown, offers old fashioned family fun and plenty of great photo opportunities for a reasonable price.
Located at 1111 Mount Kemble Avenue in Morris County, this is a preserved working farm, which has offerings for each season. Currently, the farm's harvests are transitioning from summer fruits. This past weekend, there were fewer nectarines and peaches to pick, but apples were present in abundance.
Here are some tips to prepare for this trip:
- Wear sneakers. The terrain is a farm, with ruts and areas carved out for water drainage.
- If you have young kids who aren’t walking steadily yet, a jogging stroller would provide better traction, if you want to navigate the windy hills (otherwise, plan on picking apples at the bottom of the road).
- Bring cash or checks (ATM machine onsite). Credit cards are not accepted.
The farm charges $11 to become a member, which entitles you to pick fruit for the remainder of the season (through October). They have baskets with handles available for you to use when you pick, as well as hooks to help you retrieve fruit from higher branches. You are charged $1.29 per pound for apples and $1.59 a pound for peaches and nectarines. Those last two fruits are becoming more scarce as the weather grows cooler.
Save money on your trip by packing your own picnic lunch. Letting your child help plan and pack adds to the excitement of the adventure. My daughter was happy to delicately put her peanut butter and jelly spread crackers wrapped in foil, into our cooler, along with sandwiches and drinks for me and my husband.
There are plenty of picnic tables available, along with a nearby trash can. From the tables you have an excellent (albeit somewhat distracting) view of the children’s play area, as well as the lush grape vines.
Children’s Play Area
There is a free play area, as well as an area where admission is charged:
- The no-cost children’s play area adjacent to the picnic area offers painted characters stands. Among them are a farmer and an apple, where the child can stand behind and have their face in the cut-out, which makes for cute photos.
- There is also a towering pile of hay bales, with slides secured to them, for kids to climb.
- The most remarkable free play spot is a smaller hay maze, replete with tunnels, as well as fun nooks and crannies. This past weekend I saw two girls giggling and hiding, as they played hide and seek with their dad. My toddler enjoyed navigating me through it.
- For $4, smaller kids will enjoy the dried corn pit, which utilizes the corn like sand. There are some rugged toys for kids to play with and scoop up the corn, as well as a slide, which allows them to jump in. .
- There is a larger corn maze available for $8, which is great for older kids, who have the stamina to walk further.
- Hay rides start this coming weekend and the cost is $7.50 per person. The ride includes a doughnut.
An indoor farmstand located on the premises offers fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some deli meats and homemade items such as gazpacho. Baked goods including pies (famous in the area), breads and doughnuts also are available.
After all of the playtime, a great way to end the day is with a homemade doughnut available for just 89 cents each, which can be washed down with a small cup of homemade sweet cider (same price). I highly recommend picking up a gallon of their cider for $4.99, which is a fresh and delicious treat that will be sure to be a sweet reminder of the day’s fun.