Best Sunflower Fields in New York For a Family Road Trip

You probably thinking of the midwest as soon as we mention sunflower fields, but did you know there are thousands of acres of sunflowers planted in New York?

Many farmers are happy to open their sunflower fields to the public for appreciation, photographing, and fun family mazes and some even operate U-pick to bring home your own magnificent blooms.

The blooms don’t last forever so you need to time this touch of summer magic just right.

Join us as we journey around the state of New York from Long Island to Niagra Falls, picking out our favorite sunflower field road trips for summer 2022.

But before we hit the road…

Best Time To See Sunflowers in New York

To have the best opportunity of seeing the vibrant yellow hues, plan your New York sunflower road trip from late July and through August, even a few can still be spotted in early September. Around the second or third week of August, you can almost be guaranteed some sunflower spotting.

Each field will be planted at a slightly different time so there will always be something in bloom in New York if you plan for these dates.

The blooms in each field will only last for about 10 days, and Mother Nature can play her hand too with stormy mid-summer weather capable of wreaking havoc with crops. You will need to plan your New York sunflower road trip carefully and call ahead to avoid disappointment.

Note that you really need a car for these sunflower fields in New York. Even the Long Island sunflower farms are in remote locations you cannot conveniently reach by public transport.

Sunflower-lovers may also be interested to check out:

What to Know Before Visiting New York Sunflower Fields with Kids

There are a few things you should bear in mind when planning a sunflower road trip in New York with your kids:

two children standing with back to the camera in front of giant towering sunflowers
  • Come properly dressed for the occasion and explain the rules and etiquette (often repeatedly to the little ones!) so everyone knows what is expected of them.
  • You are still on someone’s working farm and private property; Never trample on the flowers or pick any you are not supposed to.
  • Carefully follow any farm or field rule specifics, this can include sticking to designated paths and not climbing on any machinery.
  • Do expect even in summer the fields can be muddy – the flowers still need to be regularly irrigated to grow; we’d leave their best party frocks and white clothes at home, even if you think it’ll make for a cute photo.
  • Amenities on hand will vary by farm and field; some are still quite rustic (i.e., they may not have restrooms), and others will have cafes, playgrounds, and the full works to entertain the littles – we’ve tried to help you in this list narrow down what facilities you’ll find at each.
  • If it’s a U-pick farm (pick your own sunflowers), do BYO your own cutting tools, rarely will you find these are provided.
  • Avoid wearing perfumes or any strong fragrances – you want the bees focused on the flowers, not you!!
  • And on that note, don’t swat at the bees! They will be hanging around but as long as you leave them alone, they’re there doing a very important job.
  • Opening hours can be weather dependent, always contact the farms we mention here in advance if unsure of present conditions and to avoid disappointment.
  • Some events and festivals are ticketed and will require you to book in advance.

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!
  • Sunhats
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Closed-toe shoes are recommended
  • Snacks (bearing in mind any farm rules about bringing your own food)
  • BYO cutting shears (if the farm runs a U-pick and you’ll be sunflower picking)
  • Online reservations – check if the busiest places will run a ticketed system to control numbers

Best Sunflower Fields in New York

As you’d expect, there are no sunflower fields in any of the boroughs of New York City. You will find plenty on Long Island as well as a few a short drive away in New Jersey (see this separate guide to New Jersey’s Sunflower farms). Head to the Hudson Valley and Upstate though, and you’ll find a treasure trove of yellow goodness in NY!

Let’s hit the road and explore these incredible and utterly instagrammable New York Sunflower fields.

1. Wickham Farms

This working farm in Upstate New York annually plants 12 acres of gorgeous sunflower fields for Sunflower Spectacular – one of the best sunflower displays in New York state.

Wickham Farms also have lavender fields in bloom from the end of June to mid-July and pumpkin picking during their Fall Harvest Festival from early September through to the end of October.

Wickham Farms offers a flower bar for purchases and also offers hot food and dozens of kids’ activities including hay rides, mini-golf, and apple cannons. It’s one of the best places in New York for a family day out at the farm.

Cost: Variable online/at the door and on weekdays/weekends. 2022 pricing we understand will be $13.95 on weekdays/$16.95 weekends booked in advance (Closed Wednesdays). They also offer season passes if you live nearby and want to regularly join the farm yard fun.

Location: 1315 Sweet Corners Rd, Penfield, NY 14526

2. Manor Farm Sunflower Maze

An all-purpose family farm experience on Long Island, Manor Farm has been planting sunflower fields since 2013, with their flowers coming to bloom in about August – you’ll need to keep up to date on their Facebook page to see when blooms are about to peak.

This one has been purposefully designed as a maze rather than a field with plenty of cute additions, perfect for your sunflower photographs.

Not just the sunflowers, there’s plenty to enjoy at Manor Farm across the seasons including Easter hunts, and haunted Halloween trails. Our favorite though is the sunflower maze and the huge variety of sunflowers that can be found here.

You’ll find Manor Farm around an hour from Manhattan, making it one of the most popular sunflower fields close to New York.

Cost: Free but donation recommended

Location: 210 Manor Rd, Huntington, NY 11743

5. Waterdrinker Family Farm & Gardens

One of the most famous sunflower fields on Long Island, Waterdrinker is a classic sunflower farm experience offering indoor and outdoor greenhouses as well as tulip fields extending the flower-viewing season here. You can even hire a professional photographer for an hourly fee!

The Sunflower Festival opens end of August to early September, though some of the flowers may still be blooming by mid-September. You can buy flowers from their sunflower marketplace.

You’ll find food trucks and snacks for sale at Waterdrinker and an outdoor seating area. The Long Island Farm Brewery has even been added in an old potato barn!

Through into the mix lawn games, a corn maze, hayrides, tractor pedal cars, obstacle courses, and farm animals – plus they’re pet-friendly (on leashes) making for a full family outing.

At just 90 minutes from Manhattan, this is one of the most popular Long Island sunflower farms close to NYC – and one of the best family farm days out from late Spring through to fall, even a Winter Wonderland.

Cost: $15 General Admission, Under 2s free; $2 per stem or $5 wildflower bouquets.

Location: 663 Wading River Rd, Manorville, NY 11949

4. Wagner Farms

For a picture-perfect stroll amongst the sunflowers, we highly recommend Wagner Farms in the Upstate town of Rome, around 20 minutes from Utica.

In addition to a magnificent array of yellow flowers, Wagner Farms offer a corn maze and wagon rides. They also offer berry picking, a corn maze, tractor rides, and haunted summer night evenings.

There’s no U-pick here but sunflowers are available for purchase. The season here runs from late July to early September check Facebook for updates on early autumn activities.

Cost: $8 per person, under 2’s free.

Location: 5895 Old Oneida Road, Rome, NY 13440

5. Sunflowers of Sanborn

10 acres of sunflowers, 100,00 sunflowers, and your furry friends are welcome making this the perfect place for a summer’s day out.

Situated around 20 minutes east of Niagra Falls, the large farm Sunflowers of Sanborn is the perfect addition to your scenic drive through Upstate New York. The season generally speaking runs over the month of August, lasting until Labor Day with peak blooms expected in late August.

Grab a bite at the Sunflower Grill and Creamery and snip your own flowers at U-pick fields. Go on a tractor ride and try the maze for a complete family day out.

Cost: Admission free, $1 stems of $5 dwarf sunflowers. Professional photographers can also apply for permits.

Location: 3311 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn, NY 14132

6. Sunflower Valley Farm

This New Hampton sunflower farm in the Hudson Valley is a real treat.

Alongside the beautiful sunflower fields, there’s a sunflower maze, a small petting area, and face painting for kids on offer. You can picnic on the lawn, enjoy freshly squeezed lemonade, and sometimes they have an ice cream truck

With spaced-out plantings, the season here is expected to run from the end of July through until early September.

Cost: $5, under 5’s free. Photo shoot sessions can be booked mid-week if you want the most beautiful photos with the sunflowers

Location: 366 County Route 12, New Hampton, NY 10958

7. Strawberry Fields & Floral Farm

Found on the outskirts of Skaneateles in Upstate New York, not as big as others but a lovely family experience. You can’t always see the sunflowers from the road as they also plant corn, you will need to visit during their opening hours for a proper peek inside.

We love that there are – as the name might suggest – also strawberry fields here too. The sunflower fields are in bloom from July to early September and strawberries have a much longer season from mid-June through to October.

Cost: $2 to do the sunflower maze, $1 per stem, or $12 for a guided tour (must be pre-booked)

Location: 4240 E Genesee Street Road, (on Route 20) Skaneateles, NY 13021

8. Garden of Eve

Another good Long Island choice is Garden of Eve organic farm and market. Devoted not just to sunflowers they are open all the way from April through to Halloween with various seasonal events from Watermelon and Tomato Tatic through to Oktoberfest.

The annual Sunflower Festival runs from the end of July to August on weekends. Enjoy 5 acres with over 100,000 flowers to stroll through. They also have extensive lavender fields here too.

For keeping the troops replenished, you’ll find here a cafe, brewery, horse barn, and garden. Sitting around 2 hours from Manhattan it is the perfect sunflower day trip from NYC!

Cost: $5 Tickets online in advance includes one free stem is it now 7.95

Location: 4558 Sound Ave, Riverhead, NY 11901

9. North Fork Sunflower Maze

Planted by Sidor Farms, the sunflower maze in Mattituck, Long Island is an absolute gem!

Alongside sunflowers, they grow potatoes (did you know back in the 1940’s Long Island used to be one of the country’s biggest produces of potatoes?)

The result? Delicious North Fork Potato Chips! Made with their own sunflower oil, of course. Make sure you buy a pack and see what everyone’s raving about.

This pet-friendly farm is the perfect sunflower road trip stop in New York, but do check their website before you visit to catch the North Fork Sunflower Maze maze at its peak.

Cost: $8 and free for under 10s

Location: 8350 Wickham Avenue, Mattituck, NY 11952

10. Kelder’s Farm

Found in southern New York, Kelder’s is another fun family sunflower experience and makes a great New York day trip. Their Sunflower Extravaganza starts on 1 August when 6 acres will burst into bloom.

This colorful display is accompanied by yard games and a wide variety of farm attractions including jumping pillows, mini-golf, a corn maze and U pick fruit opportunities.

Cost: Day passes $12/weekends more – Under 2 and over 80 free | Season passes available

Location: 5755 US Route 209, Kerhonkson, NY, 12446 US

11. Schmitt’s Family Farm

Most famous for having one of the best pumpkin patches in Long Island come fall, Schmitt Family Farm also offers a short sunflower season too. They have a mini-golf facility, playgrounds, hay rides, a petting zoo, corn mazes, and sell sweet little snacks.

If you’re hitting up the sunflower farms on Long Island, you won’t want to miss this one off your list.

Cost: $10 admission + additional activities cost more

Location: 26 Pinelawn Road, Melville, NY 11747

12. Stokoe Farms

Offering a variety of sunflower experiences over the latter half of summer, this location in Rochester has been a family farm for over 200 years!

Blooms should be out starting from early August with more than 20 different varietals giving a vast array of colorful hues.

The Sunflower Experience includes daytime sessions as well as twilight experiences, complete with live music (and ideal for your photographers). You’ll need to check the schedule of events for the upcoming season here, mostly held Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

The sunflower experiences come complete with farm activities for kids including bouncing pillows and giant slides, rope courses, a cargo climb along with nature trails, and even the chance to cuddle a kangaroo in their Roo Ranch! Enjoy fresh lemonades and a fun family day out on the farm in this top New York nature spot.

Cost: Variable by event

Location: 656 South Road, Scottsville, NY 14546

A Few More New York Sunflower Fields to Consider in 2022

If this isn’t enough, we’d also consider adding these smaller and private sunflower fields to your New York summer road trip route:

  • Buttonwood Farm – we’re cheating a little as this is actually in Connecticut but well worthy of a mention in amongst its New York rivals with 14 acres of sunflowers. Bouquet purchases here go to support the Make A Wish foundation.
  • Daniel Thorn Farm – Found in upstate New York, there are no formal farm activities here but you can pull up for some roadside snaps and appreciate over 200 acres of sunflowers in Clyde, New York.
  • Hudson Valley Old Press Oils – it’s free entry to their fields and a small fee for cut flowers which are donated to local charities, you’ll find them in Plesant Valley.
  • Pindar Vineyard – add this to your Long Island itinerary, enjoy their week-long event held in mid-August where you can visit their small sunflower fields in Peconic, alongside their winery. Sunflowers are $2 a stem to purchase or $12 for six wine tastings.
  • Turek Farms – a family-owned farm in Cayuga County, this can easily be incorporated into a Finger Lakes road trip. It’s not one that’s openly advertised as welcoming tourists – which means far fewer tourists, but you also need to be respectful that this is private property- no picking here, just admiring.

Make sure you also pop over to our guide the Sunflower farms in NJ for plenty more options close to NYC!

We’re sure there are many more destinations we could add to this list, not all properties are open to the public but this could, of course, change year by year. If there are more Sunflower fields you’d like to see added or we have the dates/pricing wrong, do drop us a note at familyroadtripblog@gmail.com so we can include them next year.  

More Fun Sunflower Facts!

A few more interesting facts our sunflower-lovers may want to know before you head off on a sunflower hunting road trip this summer:

  • Sunflowers are actually a native North American species
  • The biggest producer of sunflowers and sunflower oil in the world is Ukraine
  • There are more than 70 different species of sunflowers! Some are even purple and red
  • A sunflower takes 80 to 120 days to grow – growing 2 to 2.5 inches per day
  • A sunflower is actually made up of thousands of mini flowers that make the full flower.
  • The long petals on a sunflower are called ray florets
  • Sunflowers can grow over 16 ft tall!
  • Young sunflowers always face the sun. This means the direction they face will change throughout the day
  • A mature flower will face east, attracting up to 5 times more pollinators
  • Want sunflowers for your vase? The best time to clip them is early in the morning after the dew has dried.
  • Sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrients and minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, fiber, and polyunsaturated fat

Get your family packed in the car and go for an unforgettable and utterly instagrammable sunflower road trip adventure this summer. Don’t forget we have a great collection of cool sunflower captions to complete your sunflower road trip.

© Family Road Trip

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