Photo by Gina Cosenza for BBGI

Farms in Fall are synonymous with pumpkins and apples. But, did you know that farms in New Jersey host big sunflower festivals right in this area?

Holland Ridge Farms and Dalton Farms in New Jersey host annual sunflower festivals in September, and into October. At these ticketed events, you can mosey on in and pick yourself some fresh fall flowers from each farm’s giant fields.

Holland Ridge Farms’ Fall Flower Festival began on September 15, 2023. The festival is open through October 15, 2023. Check their website and Instagram for details!

As for Dalton Farms, the start date for their Sunflower Festival was on August 24, 2023. It’ll run through October 8, 2023, so don’t miss your chance to get your flowers.

There’s more to these festivals than picking flowers. For one, sunflower fields, albeit flower fields in general, are wildly Instagramable. There are tons of props and photo-ops scattered through the fields for you to pose with. There are ways to make entire days out of these events, due to the farms’ inclusion of good food and drink. It’s a day of fun for the whole family.

We highly recommend that you check out these stunning fall festivals while you can, but don’t fret too much if you miss them. Each farm also hosts their own Spring tulip festivals with tons of flowers and other beauties to pick from. But make sure you get to at least one. They’re incredible!

Here’s some helpful stuff to know before heading to one of the New Jersey sunflower festivals:

  • Getting Tickets

    These events have tickets that are online-purchase only, so plan in advance. Your tickets must be purchased online at each respective website in order to be able to enter. Dalton has a walk-up option ONLY IF they haven’t run out of tickets for the day, but it’s better to be safe and go online. These are highly popular events, so don’t miss out!

  • Foot Attire

    If you plan on taking loads of pictures while you’re there, it’s tempting to dress in you best outfits. Especially if you plan on taking family photos in the flowers. The best thing to remember is that it’s a farm. Realistically, there will be dirt and dust, and maybe even mud. If you don’t wear shoes that are at least functional, you may be left super uncomfortable. That’s not to say that you SHOULDN’T dress nice, but, keep in mind where you’re going. If you still want to wear heels or dress shoes, bring a change of shoes for the car ride home or your walk back to the car.

  • Make Sure There's Photo Space On Your Phone

    Just to reiterate, these places are HIGHLY Instagramable. It’s almost impossible to be there and not take photos. At each farm, there are tons of photo-ops. For example, each farm has a swing that you can sit on to get a super cool action shot with the tulips. That’s all well and good, but if your phone or camera has no memory or space for photos, you’ll be stuck. So delete those overflow pics and bring a new SD card! It’ll be totally worth it.

  • Arrive Hungry

    Or thirsty. Each farm has food trucks and you won’t wanna miss out on the grub. The options change regularly. You’ll find some unique items to eat and drink. Dalton Farms also has some wine for sale most weekends. Holland Ridge Farms, however, does not sell or permit alcohol on the premises. Keep that in mind when picking which festival to go to.

  • Respect The Flowers

    The whole point of the event is to pick yourself a fresh bouquet of locally grown flowers, and, of course, to take photos. A big rule at these festivals is that if you’ve picked the flower, you’ve bought it. The sunflowers are $1 per stem, and other flowers are $1 per bloom. They manage to keep the fields so beautiful and full throughout the season. Be sure to respect the work that was put in to make the festival possible. 

  • A Guide To The Flowers

    If you have a long car ride home, you may want to consider bringing some water along for your stems. At Dalton Farms, they have water and buckets to travel home with for just $3. Another pro tip I have: While it may be tempting to pick the flowers that are blooming and colorful, the best ones to pick are the ones that haven’t opened yet. If the flower is still folded up, but you can see peeks of its color, that’s the one you want. They’ll open up and last longer in your vase at home. If you want an open sunflower, look for the center to be flat, not domed. It will last longer as well. They have tons of signage directing you on how to pick the flowers, and provide shears to cut through the thick flower stems.

  • There Are Other Flowers

    Not feeling sunflowers? Or looking to make your bouquet more colorful? Both farms offer flowers other than sunflowers as well! They are also pick-able and available for purchase.

  • Events Within The Events

    Check the farms’ websites and social media to see if there are any special weekend events on the weekend you plan to go. They have yoga, wine tastings, and many other fun things to do among the flowers.

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