WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Black Friday is not just about shopping: it's also when many Christmas tree farms open their fields for the cut, chop and cart season.
Yes, it's a bit of a drive -- you need to be in the country, after all -- but it's worth it for the memories, the selfies and in many cases, the hot cider.
Here's a sampling of area options:
Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm (1335 White Hill Rd, Yorktown Heights, 914-245-5111): Free hot apple cider is available pre or post-tree selection. The farm opens Saturday, Nov. 29 and features Douglas and Fraser Firs for "Choose-n-Cut" along with pre-cut Frasers.
Hardwick Tree Farm (213 Wood Street, Mahopac, 845-528-5814): Opens the Saturday after Thanksgiving and remains open weekends until Christmas. Expect a wide variety of trees including Douglas Fir, Frasier Fir, Balsam Fir, Concolor and Canaan at $13 per foot.
Abel's Trees (435 North Clove Rd., Verbank , 677-6395) has been planting Christmas trees since the mid-1960s and currently has more than 25 acres filled with Balsam Fir, Blue Spruce, Norway Fir, Serbian Spruce, Canaan Fir and White Spruce.
Battenfeld's Tree Farm (856 Route 199, Red Hook, 845-758-8018) : There's lots of choices at this fifth-generation family-owned farm where options include Blue Spruce, White Pine, Douglas Fir and Frasier Fir. You'll also find a large gift shop.
Emmerich Tree Farm (101 Sleepy Valley Rd., Warwick, 845-986-0151) expects over 500 of its trees to be over 7 feet tall. There's also tractors and wagons to make it easy to get your tree home. And yes, for those who've been here before, there's plenty of hot chocolate.
Evergreen Farm (407 No. Tower Hill Rd., Wassaic, 845-677-3785): Douglas Fir, Frasier Fir and Spruce are yours for the cutting and carting at this family-owned farm where if you don't want to chop it, they'll do it for you.
Solvang Tree Farm (80 Bedell Rd., Poughkeepsie, 8450 473-0224). Cut your own trees are $54 and include Colorado Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Norway Spruce and Scotch Pine, up to 8 feet. You can also buy a fresh tree as well as wreaths and other decorations.
Did we miss a spot you like? Tell us about it and share your tree photos.
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