The smell of bonfires, hay and fresh apple cider filled the air at Alstede Farms this past Saturday, Oct. 23, as Drew Hillel hosted their Harvest Moon Festival. For a $10 deposit fee, students could reserve a spot for the evening trip with costs covered for food, transportation and farm festivities.
Located in Chester, NJ, Alstede Farms annually opens their gates to the public for an array of fall-themed activities, including pumpkin and apple picking, hayrides and a corn maze that is accessible both during day- and nighttime hours. Students were ecstatic to have nearly four hours to explore the farm grounds and partake in these fun-filled ventures.
Hayrides provided by farm staff took students on a long and winding tour of the orchards and sunflower fields before dropping them off at the start of the giant corn maze. Even with flashlights and maps provided, the daunting task of navigating the maze in the dark posed a fun challenge for participants.
“For an hour I got to relive the Scooby-Doo trope of trying every door, only to lead back into the same hallway,” Bryce Brittingham (‘23) said about the difficulty of the corn maze.
After successfully finding the maze’s exit (or ducking out of one of the emergency exits provided), the hayride circled back around to drive students further out onto the grounds to a pumpkin patch. The $10 deposits students made to go on the trip was then put towards a pay-what-it-weighs fee for the pumpkins.
For attendees 21-years-and-older, the wine tasting booth, fully stocked with wine made from the farm’s own fermented grapes, was a must. Paired with the farm’s iconic apple cider donuts and fresh roasted corn on the cob, the evening was chock-full of delicious eats.
To conclude the evening, students gathered around bonfires with complimentary s’mores kits to roast marshmallows and sip freshly made cider with friends and fellow farm-goers. On the off chance attendees had not yet found a souvenir from their trip, the farm’s stand of produce and baked goods offered enticing treats for relatively low prices.
Needless to say, Saturday’s excursion left students with full stomachs and hearts. “I had a great time at the event!” Danie DiRuggiero (‘22) said. “Hillel made sure we had everything we needed to have a fun and safe time.”
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