With Thanksgiving behind us, we are now into Christmastime meriment. You could take the easy route, order online, or trek to the local parking lot filled with trees. Or you could go all New Englan, and hop in a car on a field trip for the seaon– cutting down your very own hand=picked Christmas tree. Why? Because you know you live in Connecticut.
This is a local economy trip to the max, so you may want to hit the ATM for cash before heading out to the country and foraging for your dream tree. Scope out the pine needles you favor, there’s choices like Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir, and White Pine to examine, and many farms offer other seasonal items in the Christmasy spirit. Our picks also offer hot chocolate, warm apple cider, snacks, bonfires, wine tastings, and horse-drawn wagon rides.
This farm has been in operation for almost 250 years. Operating primarily as a dairy farm, they started growing Christmas trees in the 1920’s looking to break into the holiday crop. Since that time they have given up the dairy business and planted most of the farm with Christmas trees. What makes Maple Row stand out is the adventurous experience that they create. There is minimal organization of the trees and you can search the entire farm looking for that one perfect tree. Saws are provided when you get there and they ask that you don’t bring your own power tools (for obvious reasons). The staff is very knowledgeable and can answer any question you have about the 9 different types of Christmas trees on the farm. The hardest part is simply deciding what tree you want to bring home.
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If you’re looking for a place to get all of your holiday season essentials, Fairview Tree Farm is the place to go. The farm offers the chance to cut your own tree, but the best part is that they do all the heavy lifting. They’ll carry, wrap, and stow your tree after you make cut. In addition to the trees, this farm is home to award winning, hand-crafted wreaths. Other offerings include a full Christmas shop, fresh made cider, handmade doughnuts, and on weekends there are even hey rides with Santa himself! This is a great place to get your fill of holiday cheer.
For something on the more casual side, Castle Hill Farms offers a laid back experience at a great price. Castle Hill has 20 acres of trees that you can walk through to find that one perfect tree. They also offer complimentary apple cider and cookies to enjoy while you walk through the trees. And if you get cold, the staff usually has a fire going so you can get warm while you make your choice. One added bonus, this farm is dog friendly (they just need to be on their best behavior).
Switching over to Westchester County, Wilken’s Tree Farm is a great place to go with the family to create some memories. The farm offers some awesome views that are hard to beat on a clear, crisp day. Other than the views the best part of this farm is the fully operational bakery. They have pies, apple cider donuts, cookies, strudel sticks, brownies, muffins, candy, popcorn, brittle, fudge and fancy dipped apples, all made right there on the property. If your lucky, you can also get some fresh apple products that are made from the orchard on the farm. This is a very diverse place and you might even be able to snag one of their homemade bottles of wine.
If you’re looking for a place that doesn’t just have Christmas trees, the Jones Family Farm is the place to go. The farm has become a local hotspot of seasonal activity and is one of the oldest operational farms in the state. They started growing Christmas trees around 1940 and some of these trees are still standing today, at a whopping 100 ft tall these trees aren’t going in any living room. The 200 acres of trees can be explored until finding that perfect tree to cut down yourself. If you aren’t looking for a tree, you can check out the winery for tastings, tours, and classes. Cooking is also a big part of the farm with cooking classes being offered year round with ingredients grown right there on the property. This place has something for everybody.