By Thomas MacDonald

With the return of harvest season, Long Islanders are packing up their families and flocking to local farms to join in the annual fall tradition of pumpkin picking.

Sure, anyone can just go to the supermarket and buy a plump pumpkin. But where’s the fun in that? Going pumpkin picking means making priceless memories with hay rides, corn mazes and other farm-based fun—not to mention the fresh-baked goodies at the farm stand.

But where are the farms to go pumpkin picking on Long Island? You don’t have to ask any old jack-o-lantern. Look no further! Here are two dozen:

Benner’s Farm
Pumpkin-picking season starts Oct. 1 at Benner’s Farm. Come for the pumpkins, stay for the different workshops every Saturday and the Fall Harvest Festival on Oct. 9. 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., Setauket. 631-689-8172 bennersfarm.com 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Borella’s Farm Stand
This local pick-your-own-pumpkin farm hosts a fall festival every weekend in October through Halloween with face painting, inflatable rides, a cow train, corn maze, live entertainment and much more! 485 Edgewood Avenue, St. James, 631-862-7330. borellasfarmstand.com 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Brightwaters Farm
The month-long fall harvest festival runs through Oct. 30 at this farm, where there will be clowns, a strong man challenge, pumpkin pitch bean-bag toss and much more in addition to the pumpkin picking! 1624 Manatuck Blvd., Bay Shore. 631-665-5411 brightwatersfarms.com 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Elwood Pumpkin and Christmas Tree Farm
Advertised as the westernmost farm on LI where pumpkins can be picked off the vine, these farmers set themselves apart from much of the competition who don’t actually grow the pumpkins they place in their fields. They offer the authentic pumpkin-picking experience. 1500 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington. 631-368-8626 elwoodpumpkinfarm.com 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day, 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Fairview Farm
As only farms in the Hamptons can do, besides pumpkin picking, this one has an eight-acre corn maze that offer views of the Atlantic Ocean. They also are well known for their pies. 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton. 631-537-6154 fairviewfarmatmecox.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and holidays.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Fall Festivals and Fairs 2016

Finks Country Farm
The month-long fall festival at this farm runs through Oct. 30. It features an animal farm, bouncers, characters, live music, a five-acre corn maze, kiddie trains, hay rides and, yes, pick-your-own pumpkins. 6242 Middle Country Rd., Wading River. 631-886-2272 finksfarm.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Gabrielsen Country Plant farm
Besides pumpkin picking, this farm hosts a season-long fall festival featuring a trackless train, bouncy houses, corn maze, a giant pumpkin, games, live music and more! 200 Herricks Ln., Jamesport. 631-722-3259. gabrielsenscountryfarm.com 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market
Don’t just pick your own pumpkins, celebrate Pumpkinfest, with hay rides, a straw tower, pedal carts and more, every Saturday and Sunday in the month of October here at this farm! 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-722-8777. gardenofevefarm.com 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Glover Farms
This pumpkin farm is opening up Oct. 1 so visitors can pick their pumpkins right off the vine! Also, you can get lost in their corn maze! 633 Victory Ave., Brookhaven. 631- 327-8559. gloverfarmsbrookhaven.com 2-6p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day.

Greenland Family Farm
Go for a hay ride while pumpkin picking throughout the month of October! 17155 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734 5791. greenlandfamilyfarms.com 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Hank’s Pumpkintown
This is the Disneyland of Long Island farms. In addition to picking pumpkins, visitors can enjoy some of the many different attractions during the month-long fall festival, including hay rides, a maze park, gem mining, face painting and even a playground. 240 Montauk Hwy., Watermill. 631-726-8015 hankspumpkintown.com 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Harbes Family Farm
For those looking to pick their pumpkins right off the vine, visit this farm’s Jamesport location. Those who like wine tasting with their pumpkin picking should try the Mattituck location. And those who also want to go apple picking when they go pumpkin picking can do both at the Riverhead location. That’s a lot of picking! All three venues have corn mazes and other attractions. Call 631-298-0800. www.harbesfamilyfarm.com 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at Jamesport and Mattituck farms, weekends only at Riverhead orchard.

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Helen’s Pumpkin Farm
This farm offers tractor as well as horse-drawn hay rides, and touts the largest pumpkin-picking fields on the North Fork. 987 Union Ave., Aquebogue. 631-722-5076 www.helensfarm.com 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Kaufold Country and Florist Farm
Pick your own pumpkins and check out the flowers, too. 724 Middle Country Rd., Ridge. 631-924-1265. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

Krupski Farms
Krupski Farms is preparing for the fall season as they begin to harvest their pumpkins ready to be picked by visiting families over the course of the coming weeks. 38030 Route 25, Peconic. 631-734-7841 Facebook.com/Krupski-Farms 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Lenny Bruno Farms
Aside from the great many other crops they grow, Lenny Bruno Farms has pick-your-own pumpkins this fall. 740 Wading River Rd., Manorville 631-591-3592 lennybrunofarms.com 9-6 p.m. daily.

Lewin Farms
Pick your own pumpkins—and apples, while they last—through late October. Lewin Farms encourages their patrons to call ahead to confirm the daily schedules,which can change. 812 Sound Ave., Calverton. 631-929-4327 Lewinfarm.com 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays.

May’s Farm Stand
Take the hay ride, wander through the corn maze, ride a pony, and get the kids’ faces painted while picking pumpkins! 6361 Route 25A, Wading River. 631-929-6654. maysfarmny.com 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm
From giant pumpkins to baby pumpkins, pick them all here, all month long! 2287 Sound Ave, Baiting Hollow. 631-727-1786. www.facebook.com/Rottkamps-Fox-Hollow-Farm 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends.

Milk-Pail Farm and Orchard
They feature more than 60 different varieties of pumpkins ranging from mini ones to massive monstrosities that weigh over 150 pounds! You might need a forklift to pick them. All pumpkins are grown on site. They also have apple picking. 1346 Montauk Hwy., Watermill. 631-537-2565 wwww.milk-pail.com 9.30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday- Saturday. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016

Schmitt Farms
Schmitt Farms focuses on family fun, including pumpkin picking, a haunted mansion, corn mazes and more, through Oct. 30. They’ve been doing this for years and it shows. 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville. 631-271-3276. schmittfarms.com 10 a.m-5 p.m. daily.

Schmitt’s Family Farm
Hayrides, bouncy houses, duck races, games and an animal train ride for the kids! 6 Bagatelle Rd., Dix Hills. 631-549-3276. schmittsfamilyfarms.com 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Seven Ponds Orchard
Seven Ponds orchard is a “ You Pick Farm,” meaning everything they sell is available for their visitors to pick: berries, vegetables, apples, and, yes, even pumpkins. Alongside the pumpkin patch, Seven Ponds Orchards offers a farmers market, a toyland for the little ones, and, of hayrides. 65 Seven Ponds Rd., Watermill. 631-726-8015. Facebook.com/Seven-Ponds-Orchard 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Stakeys Pumpkin Farm
This pumpkin farm lets you pick those orange gourds straight off the vine. It also offers hay rides, bouncy houses, and much more fun. 270 West Lane, Aquebogue. 631-722-3467 www.stakeyspumpkinfarm.com 12-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.  

W&K Farm
Specializing in mostly homegrown vegetables, flowers and even home-baked goods, W&K Farm is open for business for the pumpkin-picking season. Corner of Wading River Road and South Street, Manorville. Facebook.com/WK-Farms 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

White Post Farm
This fifth-generation farm has a month-long fall festival that runs through Oct. 30 with pumpkin picking, live shows, animals, a train ride, bouncy houses, and much more fun! They’ve been doing this for years–and it shows. 250 Old Country Rd., Melville. 631-351-9373. whitepostfarms.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day.

Windy Acres
Along with the incredible apple selection and fresh produce, Windy Acres Farm is prepped and primed for pumpkin-picking time. It provides tractor rides for kids, and their delicious home-baked goods for everybody else. 3810 Middle Country Rd., Calverton. Facebook.com/Windy-Acres-Farm 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

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