Farms + Forests Where You Can Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree

At these farms and forests, the search for the perfect tree will be just as fun as decorating it.

Photo By: AleksandarNakic

Photo By: SWKrullImaging

Photo By: Krueger's Christmas Tree Farm

Photo By: Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm

Photo By: Sparkloft / Travel Oregon

Photo By: Adrienne Shubin

Photo By: Rebecca Gosselin

Photo By: Erway's Christmas Tree Adventure

Photo By: Old Time Christmas Tree Farm

Photo By: Connecticut Office of Tourism

Photo By: Intermountain Region U.S. Forest Service

Find Your Perfect Tree

It might be more work to pick out your own tree, cut it down and haul it to the car, but at these farms and forests, it’s worth the effort. Pack up the family mid-afternoon for a short road trip to these Christmas card-worthy spots and kick off the holiday season with carriage rides, nature walks, Santa and, of course, hot chocolate.

Pike National Forest, Colorado

Along the Front Range in Colorado, the Pike National Forest offers permits around the holidays for $10 a piece. At the base of Pikes Peak, one of America’s most iconic mountains, you’ll also find the North Pole, a Christmas-themed amusement park.

Krueger’s Christmas Trees, Lake Elmo, Minnesota

Visit with Santa at picture-perfect Krueger’s Christmas Trees in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, not far from the Twin Cities. Stay warm by sipping free hot cider and cocoa as you roam the fields in search of the best tree.

Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm, Glenville, North Carolina

Go to the North Pole and hang out with Santa’s helpers at Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm’s Elf Village, in Western North Carolina. The village is made up of tiny houses for the whole family to explore, and there are prizes for partaking in a scavenger hunt. On weekends, take the family for a horse-drawn carriage ride through the farm.

Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Get a $5 permit in towns around the Mt. Hood National Forest to hike around the base of the mountain to pick the perfect tree. Many National Forest sites around the country allow you to cut down small trees during the holiday season, but be sure you’re in an approved area for cutting before you pick up that saw.

Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm, Sonoma, California

Kick off your holiday spirit by choosing a tree at Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Sonoma (you pick out exactly which one you want, then staff members cut it down and bring it to your car). Be forewarned: Cash and checks only; credit cards are not accepted here.

Moon Mountain Christmas Tree Farm, Sonoma, California

After finding the perfect tree, head to the Historic Sonoma Plaza for eight acres of Christmas lights. The lighting ceremony will be on Nov. 18 this year, complete with live music and free hot chocolate and cookies, but the lights will be on at night through the end of December.

Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure, Wilson, New York

Venture north, nearly to the Canadian border, for a winter wonderland at Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure. Take the family on a covered wagon ride through the tree fields to start your search, then visit Santa and some of his deer—and zebra—helpers in the Lodge.

Old Time Christmas Tree Farm, Houston, Texas

Take a free hayride out to the cut-your-own fields at Old Time Christmas Tree Farm in Spring, Texas, just outside of Houston. The farm also offers a small train around the farm, a giant slide and inflatable maze to keep kids busy while you’re tying the tree down to the roof.

Jones Family Farms, Shelton, Connecticut

Jones Family Farms in Shelton, Connecticut, is just two hours from New York City. And for mom and dad, it’s also the jackpot of tree fields: The farm’s on-site winery offers tastings year-round.

Humboldt-Toiyabe and Tahoe National Forests, Nevada and California

Head to the Humboldt-Toiyabe or Tahoe National Forests for snowball fights and countless choices. If there’s a fourth grader in your family, you’re in luck: Thanks to the Every Kid In A Park program, you’ll get a free tree-cutting permit if you show your child’s pass.