As a vital regional hub, Woodbridge connects all points of the compass with incredible access to both urban centers (ie. NYC) and suburban pleasures. Woodbridge residents at  Fox Hill RunForest View, Evergreen East, Evergreen Forest and Cloverleaf Gardens have so many reasons to be grateful when the Autumn rolls around. Especially when it comes to easy access to great outdoor activities like the perennial pumpkin picking outings so many of us enjoy.By clicking here, you’ll be taken to a page that features a comprehensive listing of some of the best Woodbridge area pumpkin patches along with all of the info you’ll need to pack your wagon for a fun fall day.

The 2 most common apres pumpkin picking activities – carving & cooking – require different types of pumpkin subcategories and here’s a quick reference to making your pumpkin picking outing even more impactful after your great day out!

Cooking: Typically weighing between 4 and 8 pounds, cooking pumpkins have dense flesh with a smooth texture and high sugar content. Pumpkin shells get dull as they age, but the flesh usually remains intact and gets sweeter. So don’t shy away from a dull pumpkin unless it’s bruised or blemished. Pumpkin purée is an excellent way to preserve fresh pumpkin, and it can be frozen in portions.  Whether steamed or boiled you can freeze for several months and then thaw in the fridge overnight before using.

  • Step 1: Halve the pumpkin.
  • Step 2: Remove seeds and stringy bits.
  • Step 3: Cut into small pieces and peel.
  • Step 4: Place in steamer over boiling water.
  • Step 5: Steam for about 50 minutes or until tender.
  • Step 6: Don’t carry it by the stem — instead, cradle it from the bottom or tote it home in a bag
  • Step 7: Mash, purée in a blender or food processor or put through a food mill.
  • Step 8: READY for use in any recipe calling for pumpkin purée!

Carving: In general, carving pumpkins are typically thinner and easier to saw into. They also have less guts on the inside, which are also grainier and stringier, making them easier to clean.  Carving pumpkins start at around 7 pounds and some varieties grow to even 30 pounds. Parents should also consider the smaller pumpkins which are great for smaller kids.

  • Pick it up and tap it: It should feel sturdy. When you tap it, you should hear a hollow sound.
  • Check the coloring: Choose one that has consistent coloring throughout.
  • Look for bad spots: Try to choose a pumpkin without any scratches, bruises, or dark spots.
  • Apply pressure: Flip the pumpkin upside down and apply pressure with your thumbs. If it’s not completely sturdy, the pumpkin isn’t fresh and will rot quickly.
  • Set it down: Make sure it sits flat! (Unless you want your jack-o’-lantern to sit a little crooked.)
  • Carry it from the bottom: Don’t carry it by the stem — instead, cradle it from the bottom or tote it home in a bag.
Once they are carved, pumpkins begin to deteriorate. You can extend their lifespan a few ways. During the day, keep your jack-o’-lantern out of the sunlight. At night, illuminate it with a small electric light rather than a candle. The heat from the candle speeds the decay. If you must have the authenticity of a candle, then only light it for a few hours each night. And don’t forget to roast the seeds for a delicious snack too!
Autumn is an excellent season for you to start your search for a new dwelling and’s apartment locator page highlights 85 Garden State communities awaiting your virtual or in-person review.