You probably thinking of the midwest as soon as we mention sunflower fields, but did you know New Jersey is also home to dozens of incredible and picturesque sunflower farms?
Forget berry picking and corn mazes, in summer and early fall it’s sunflower mazes that rule supreme in NJ!
Most sunflower blooms in New Jersey can be found in the latter part of summer and even through to early fall, providing the perfect segway to apple picking and pumpkin season!
Many of New Jersey’s sunflower farms are within easy reach of NYC on a day trip, so join us as we journey around the state, picking out our favorite NJ sunflower farms for summer 2022.
But before we hit the road…
Best Time To See Sunflowers in New Jersey
To have the best opportunity of seeing sunflower fields, plan your New Jersey sunflower road trip in August through to early September.
Each field will be planted at a slightly different time so there will always be something in bloom if you plan for these dates.
The blooms only last for about 10 days in each field before they need to be harvested, so you do need to plan your New Jersey sunflower road trip with care to avoid disappointment.
And remember, Mother Nature plays her hand too; summer storms can happen, ruining crops or delaying blooms, so we’d highly recommend checking with your chosen sunflower farm a few days out that fields will be in bloom and activities on as scheduled.
What to Know Before Visiting New Jersey Sunflower Fields with Kids
There are a few things you should bear in mind when planning a sunflower farm NJ road trip with your kids:
- You are still on someone’s working farm and private property; Never trample on the flowers or pick any you are not supposed to
- Instruct your kids to carefully follow any farm or field rules, this can include sticking to designated paths and not climbing on any machinery
- Come properly dressed for the occasion, working farms are muddy even in summer so do expect whatever they wear to come home dirty
- If you want great sunflower photos with kids, aim for contrasting colors without prints
- Amenities on hand will vary by farm and field; some are still quite rustic (i.e., they may not have restrooms), while others come complete with dining facilities, bathrooms, playgrounds, and other farm activities
- Avoid wearing perfumes or any strong fragrances – you want the bees focused on the flowers, not you!
- Don’t swat at the bees! They will be hanging around, but as long as you leave them alone, they’re there doing an important job
- Opening hours can be weather dependent; call in advance if unsure and to avoid disappointment
- Avoid the crowds by going on weekdays if you can (but note that not all New Jersey Sunflower Farms are opened daily)
- Some events and festivals are ticketed so make sure you book online in advance (we’ve tried to annotate these once for you below)
- Some NJ sunflower farms will want cash at the gate
What to Pack for a Sunflower Road Trip
In addition to our road trip essentials, for a sunflower day trip or longer road trip, make sure you pack for all the family
- A camera!
- Bug Spray
- Boots or at least closed-toe shoes are recommended
- Snacks (bearing in mind any farm rules about bringing your own food)
- Shears for cutting flowers (also recommended some wet paper towels to wet your stems on the way home will help their longevity)
Best Sunflower Fields in New Jersey
Whether you’re seeking an easy day trip from the big smoke or want to incorporate a farm stop on one of New Jersey’s incredible scenic drives, here’s the best of the bunch you’ll want on a New Jersey sunflower bucket list!
1. Holland Ridge Farm – Cream Ridge
Home to 5 million sunflowers, 300-acre Holland Ridge Farm is the largest U-Pick Flower Farm in the USA! At just over an hour away from Manhattan it makes an ideal weekend escape with the kids.
They run both a tulip U-Pick season earlier in the summer and a late sunflower season running through September and into October.
On-site they have up 15 food tucks daily, picnic tables, pony rides and farm animals so you can have a full family outting – but please make sure you pre-book a time slot online.
Cost: $12.80 for 3 and up (TBC for 2022), U-Pick $1 a stem – they provide the buckets and clippers
Location: 86 Rues Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514
2. Happy Day Farm – Manalapan
Sitting less than 90 minutes from Manhattan, Happy Day Farm is a popular NJ day trip destination for sunflower viewing and picking.
The season here starts in early July and can run through until mid-August
In addition to the sunflower fields, there’s lavender viewing, raspberry and blueberry picking. Props are available for some extra photography fun and there’s plenty of farm yard activities from tractor rides to fair ground games and rides.
Note, no furry friends allowed here and and no outside food. You’ll need to BYO your own shears for collecting flowers or pay a deposit for theirs.
Note they have further property only a mile away Arrowhead Farmstead with props and plenty of photo op areas in their 10 acre field.
Cost: $17 Cash Only – open Wednesday to Sunday. U-pick Sunflowers are $2.50 and family photo slots can be booked after hours for $150/hr
Location: 106 Iron Ore Road, Manalapan, NJ 07726
3. Sussex County Sunflower Maze – Sandyston
Found in Sandyston, around 2 hours drive from Manhattan, you’ll find beautiful sunflowers blooming at Sussex County Sunflower Maze from mid August to Mid September.
There are several different sunflower mazes here to enjoy amongst the 1.5 million sunflowers, making it the largest sunflower maze on the east coast.
Well-behaved furry friends are allowed here on a leash, plus kids can join in a bug safari tour and kids scavenger hunt.
Cost: (cash only on entry) $10 adults, children $6 under 3 free
Location: 101 Route 645, Sandyston, NJ 07826
4. Alstede Farms – Chester
With a long sunflower season running from mid-July to mid-September, Alstede Farms have fun family farm activities on offer year-round, from fall pumpkin patches to berry picking and wine tasting.
Take a hayride out to the sunflower fields and plenty of PYO opportunities, as well as photo ops – they have a special point you can climb to for overlooking the fields.
During harvest season they have evening entertainment overlooking the fields of sunflowers.
Cost: $2 stems. Purchase tickets at the gate, $5 conveinece fee included
Location: 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, NJ 07930
5. Stony Hill Farm Market – Chester
With 2.5 acres and 8 varietals, Stony Hall Farms isn’t the largest sunflower farm in northern New Jersey but still picture perfect. There’s one field available for walks and photos and another available for guests to pick their own sunflowers.
During the Sunflower Festival you can get a wagon ride, live music and access to vendors. Last year the season ran from early September to early November.
Cost: $19.99 festival tickets. Admission to the cutting fields only is $10 and includes one stem
Location: 15 North Road, Chester, NJ 07930
6. Three Silos Farm – Newton
Think spectacular countryside views in this 6 acre sunflower and zinnia field. Three Silos Farm have a half mile walk through the fields.
Expect the season to run from end of July to end of August. You can pack your own cooler and picnic blanket and enjoy barnyard tunes and one of New Jersey’s most beautiful farms.
Cost: $10 General Admission, $5 kids 3 to 12 years.
Location: 150 Hampton House Road, Newton, NJ 07860
7. Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm – Jobstown
Offering Park N’ Pick to access all their flower fields from Friday through Sunday. This historic property Locust Hall sprawls over 315 acres (not all sunflowers!) and offers a huge variety of Farm to Table events, workshops, and live music events.
You’ll need to check in with them when the sunflower season has started, and flowers are ripe for picking! Generally, it will start in early September, followed by the fall apple and pumpkin season.
This is known as one of New Jersey’s most picture-perfect farms for sunflower photography, also a great spot for weddings and special events.
Cost: $4.95 entry TBC 2022 (+ picked items)
Location: 2691 Monmouth Road, Jobstown, NJ 08041
8. Johnson’s Corner Farm – Medford
Famous for their annual Sunflower Celebration, Johnson’s Corner Farm is a delightful spot to enjoy a sunflower maze and sunflower picking in New Jersey. You can also nab yourself PYO sweet corn, blueberries, and tomatoes here.
Expect the Sunflower Celebration to take place in mid-September. A ticket here for the sunflower maze also gets you access the discovery barn, kids activities and splash pad.
After you’ve snapped some fun family pictures, enjoy their marker, ice cream parlor or FarmHouse Kitchen.
Cost: $5-6 to take the Hayride out to the fields. Sunflowers are $1 a stem. Make your bookings online in advance
Location: 133 Church Road, Medford, NJ 08055
9. Sunset Flower Farm – Bellepain
Running a 17 acre property, this working flower farm grows many colorful varietals year round but sunflowers will be found ready for purchase in August.
A popular day trip in Cape May County, Sunset Flower Farm “Beauty by the Bunch” will pick a bundle of flowers for you.
Cost: Varies by bunch
Location: 550 Hands Mill Rd, Bellepain, NJ 08270
10. Von Thun Farms – Washington
Von Thun Farms is home to the New Jersey Sunflower Trail. Open through the summer season until September, this is a glorious U-Pick destination in Warren County, New Jersey.
Enjoy not just sunflowers but zinnias, marigolds, and many more – it’s a real flower-lovers delight; fill a bucket with your treasured finds. They also have raspberries and peaches available for U-pick at their Brunswick fields.
No pets allowed here, but you can visit their farm animals and farm market. They trail includes several cute farm yard props to really make your photos pop!
Cost: $12.99 weekdays, 14.99 weekends; $6 for 3 stems – online booking in advance strongly encouraged. Exclsuive photographer hours can also be booked.
Location: 438 Route 57 West, Washington, NJ 07882
A Few More New Jersey Sunflower Fields to Consider in 2022
We can’t be certain yet that all of these will be planted and go ahead this year or open to the public, so keep an eye on their Facebook pages or contact them directly if you’d like property access without trespassing:
- Andersen Farms – have previously run a Sunflower Maze in Sparta. They were closed in 2020 and 2021 but we await news in 2022 (otherwise still stop in for their amazing ice cream!).
- Alan’s Flower Farm – offering a variety beyond just sunflowers including dahlias, peonies, and hydrangeas in Chesterfield. Sunflowers bloom through summer and into fall and are available to purchase.
- Brodhecker Farm – another option in Sparta though expect just a roadside stop here from late August, you’ll find these fields along Route 25.
- Bullock Farms – check their Facebook page if they’ll be running a fall season U-pick on the weekends
- Dalton Farms – in Swedesboro, south New Jersey grow sunflowers and are open from Labor Day throigh September
- Donaldsons Farm – better known for their PYO fruits and fresh produce, they do have sunflowers in bloom too during early fall, Hackettstown
- Melick’s Town Farm: Oldwick Farm Market – operate a pick your own without an appointment, just bring your clippers, found in Oldwick July to September
- Silverton Farms – found in Roms River off the Garden State parkway you’ll find their harvest mid-August
- Terhune Orchards – offering everything from farm animals to fresh backed pies – even wine – and yes, Sunflowers! Found in Princeton
- Wards Farm – not always open to the public but they do run events during the year, check for upcoming festivals in Salem County.
We bet there are a few more up-and-coming destinations in New Jersey we can add to this list! If there are more you think we need to add for 2023 do drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can include them next year.
Taking Home Some U-Pick Sunflowers?
Here are some top pointers to get the most out of your U-Pick Sunflowers
- Do all your fun farm activities first and leave U-Pick until just before you leave
- Don’t break the sunflower stems off, always use clippers – check if you need to BYO or can borrow some from the sunflower farm
- Bring a container to put them in with a little water as soon as they’re picked (a tall water bottle can work well), the quicker you can get them in water, the less likely they’ll wilt
- Alternative, some damp paper towel wrapped around the stems can help
- When you get home, cut off 1-2″ from the stem, remove the leaves and put it in cold water with sugar or a teaspoon of lemon-lime soda – your blooms will last that little bit longer
- Taking some pictures of your magnificent blooms to get you through the winter? Don’t miss our favorite sunflower captions!
What are you waiting for? grab your boots and clippers and jump in the car for an unforgettable and utterly instagrammable sunflower road trip adventure this summer.
© Family Road Trip