If you’re looking for something unique to do as summer comes to an end, visiting a sunflower farm is the perfect thing for you! Whether you’re gathering flowers for your vase, entertaining your kids, or trying to get the perfect picture ‘for the ‘gram’, find out all you can do at a local sunflower farm in Rochester, New York.
Wickham Farms Sunflower Spectacular
Rochester, New York has earned the name “Flower City” for a reason. In addition to the Lilac Festival every spring, several farms have gorgeous fields of sunflowers at the end of summer. Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Wickham Farms just outside of Rochester for their Sunflower Spectacular. Thought the skies were gray, my spirits were not!
Wickham Farms is proud to display 19 varieties of sunflowers with over 250,000 blooms in their fields. Let me tell you, it was pure joy wandering through the fields and admiring all the different kinds.
There are two different levels of admission to the Sunflower Spectacular. Standard admission includes entrance to the farm and sunflower fields, two sunflowers, and a hayride. The cost is $10 on weekends and $8 on weekdays. If you’re looking to get the most out of your experience – particularly if you’re visiting with kids – opt for the other admission. For $15 on weekends and $10 on weekdays, you also get access to all of the activities on the farm. This includes a corn maze, jumping pad, animal encounters, and more! Perfect for spending some time with the kiddos. Children 2 and under are free, and you can save $1 on your weekend admission by purchasing tickets online!
Inside the main barn, you’ll find a café and gift shop. Decently pressed sandwiches, desserts, and drinks are available for consumption onsite. While I was disappointed it wasn’t quite apple cider season, I opted for some giant snickerdoodle cookies. As I ate mine on the car ride home, I was crushed that I didn’t get more! That was by far the best snickerdoodle I ever had. Be sure to treat yourself!
Drinks for the Adults
If you’re traveling without the kids (or even if you are!), right next to Wickham Farms is Oak & Apple Cidery. While it technically opened in 2018, the season was only a short 5 weeks long. So, 2019 marks their first full season serving cider to the public. The tasting room is gorgeous and the staff was very friendly, engaging in conversation with us naturally. While I normally go for the sweeter end of the spectrum, I found myself drawn to the Bairille Dair, aged in French Oak.
What Happens with the Sunflowers?
Don’t worry! The flowers don’t go to waste. Most sunflower farms harvest the seeds and oil for people – and birds – to eat. At Wickham Farms, when sunflowers are still in bloom at the end of the visiting season, they make bouquets and donate them to Golisano Children’s Hospital. I honestly can’t think of a better way to use them.
That’s not all! Most sunflower farms keep operating to the public throughout the fall with apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and more.
Other Sunflower Farms in New York
Wickham Farms is not the only place you can find sunflowers in New York. Browse this list to see which farm is closest to you, just be sure to check their website before visiting to make sure they are open. Most farms celebrate sunflowers blooms in late August, but a few have festivals earlier in the summer.