7 Orchards to Go Apple Picking Near the Big Apple
If your kids grew up in the heart of the city, they might not know where the food they eat comes from (hint: not the refrigerator!). For a fun, fall outdoor adventure, head out to the country and go apple picking to show your kids that apples do indeed grow on trees. It’s gives your family the perfect excuse to ditch the city for the day. Best of all? These orchard picks go beyond great apples since lots of these farms offer hayrides, zoos and other activities that’ll show even the most jaded city kids how cool the country can be. Read on to find out the best spots for dwarf trees sized for kids, orchards accessible by public transportation and the top spots for corn mazes and hay rides.
We love Masker’s because they let you eat all the apples you want for free while visiting! Plus, you can take a New Jersey Transit bus from Port Authority to Willowbrook Station and walk 1/2 mile from there. Got a car? You can drive right up to any tree in this 200-acre orchard. Beyond stuffing their faces with juicy apples, you can go on wagon rides, pony rides, listen to live family-friendly music and meet farm animals on the weekends.
Insider Tip: Visit the orchard on Sun., Oct. 5 and you can also check out the annual Applefest in Warwick’s town village complete with a children’s carnival, craft and food vendors, entertainment and more.
Go: 45 Ball Rd., Warwick, Ny
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Nov.
Price: Apples $26.95 for a 1/2 bushel bag (20-22 pounds)
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
If you don’t want to drive to go apple picking, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is easy to get to by taking the Metro North Railroad to Croton Falls. Cabs wait at the station to take apple-pickers 3 miles down the road to the farm. Once there, you’ll find six varieties of apples, a corn maze and hay rides.
Insider Tip: Locals go for the apple cider doughnuts. Be sure to try one while you’re there!
Go: 130 Hardscrabble Rd., North Salem, Ny
Hours: Sept. 7 – Oct. 31; 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: Apples $25 for a bag
If your kiddos prefer activities to apple picking, a visit to Barton Orchards is the perfect solution. With general admission you get hayrides, a wooden ships playground and the petting zoo along with apple picking. For more fun, we suggest the premium admission ticket, which includes the trackless train ride.
Don’t Miss: The 5-acre corn maze is not your average farm fun. This year’s maze has a movie theme playing off Labyrinth, The Shining and Harry Potter. Follow colored paths depending on how long you want your adventure to be and see if you hit one of the three bridges or the escape slide. And don’t you dare go home without trying the farm’s homemade pastries!
Go: 63 Apple Tree Ln., Poughquag, Ny
Hours: Open weekends, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Columbus Day
9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Oct. 31
Price: General admission/$3, fun pass/$13.50
Apples $14 quarter bushel/$20 half bushel
The dwarf trees at Terhune Orchards are short enough for little ones to pull their own apples, so get those kids working Don’t miss the Fall Family Fun Weekends, Sept. 20 through Nov. 2, that offer extra entertainment like live music, lunch and a corn maze on top of the usual pony rides, barnyard animals and tractor-pulled wagons.
Insider Tip: While you’re there, visit the fully loaded farm market to stock up on local organic milk, eggs, cheese, jam and fresh fruit and vegetables from Terhune’s own 200-acre farm. They produce their own wine too, so grab a bottle to guzzle after the kids hit the hay.
Go: 330 Cold Soil Rd., Princeton, Nj
Hours: Van Kirk Road (Pick-Your-Own) Orchard open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Oct.
Cold Soil Road (Main) Orchard with barnyard, farm market and nature trail open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Call for apple pricing and availability
Sun High Orchard
Apple picking is a serious affair at Sun High Orchard. Call and tell the farmers your favorite apple variety and they’ll tell you when to come visit. Weekend hayrides to the pumpkin patch begin the last weekend of Sept. through Oct. so you can squeeze in two fall activities into one outing. Don’t forget to say hello to resident mini donkeys Sweetheart and Kasper who are always looking to make new friends.
The Good Stuff: If picking apples has worked up little Johnny Appleseed’s appetite, buy some baked goods, soup or ice cream made right on the farm and enjoy by the cozy fireplace.
Go: 19 Canfield Ave., Randolph, Nj
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m..–6 p.m.
Price: Call for apple pricing and availability
Families come from all over the tri-state area to Silverman’s Farm, and it’s no wonder why. The exotic petting zoo filled with buffalo, llamas, emus and more is worth the road trip alone. Add a gorgeous tractor hayride to the hilltop apple orchard and a huge pumpkin patch for Halloween, and you’ve got a whole day of fun here.
Insider Tip: Most weekends J&D Kettled Corn is at the farm with their big stainless steel kettle making delicious sweet and savory popcorn. Definitely buy a bag for snack time and take another one home too.
Go: 451 Sport Hill Rd., Easton, Ct
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Price: Admission and apples $16/bag (2-person entry), $30/half bushel (3-person entry)
Zoo, $3/child, $5/adult
Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard
As the name suggests, everyone has got to try the cider during a visit to Beardsley’s. The small-batch apple press is state-of-the-art – washing and scrubbing apples twice and pasteurizing the juice with ultra violet (UV) light instead of using heat to preserve the fresh apple flavor. The 5,000 dwarf trees featuring 26 apple varieties are just as comprehensive, but the kiddos do the work picking while you sit back and relax.
Fun Fact: It takes about 25 apples to make one gallon of cider.
Go: 278 Leavenworth Rd. (Route 110), Shelton, Ct
Hours: Orchard open Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; mid-Sept.-Oct. 31
Bakery and store open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Dec. 24
Price: Call for apple pricing and availability – Cash only
Where do and your kids go for a day of u-pick apple fun? What do you make with your goods — apple pie, apple sauce, apples dipped in caramel? Leave us a comment below!