Feeling the end of summer blues? The cure for that is piling everybody into the car (or hopping a train) and heading to one of the orchards outside the city for some seasonal picking. Whether you want full-on bouncy house corn maze spectacular, or prefer a lower-key, tractor ride and farm stand with a side of apple cider, there’s a spot for you. Read on to see our picking picks!

fishkill farms

photo: via Fishkill Farms Facebook page 

New York

Fishkill Farms
Fishkill Farms has been around for eager apple pickers since the 1960’s, and this year is no different.  This environmentally-friendly farm, where you can find either organically grown apples or those certified “Eco Apple” by Red Tomato, has a mission of “growing good food in harmony with nature.” Besides its massive apple orchard, Fishkill grows peaches, nectarines, black currants, pumpkins and flowers which are all seasonally available for pick-your-own.

While the farm is open daily, come on the weekends to enjoy free hayrides (mid-September through mid-October) and mouthwatering hamburgers, hot dogs and grilled farm vegetables straight off an apple-wood grill.  Seasonal events include yoga on the farm, live music, line dancing and flower workshops, and you don’t want to miss the farm’s “Fall Harvest Festival Weekends” which feature hayrides, homemade donuts and cider, and live music.


Hours:  Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 .pm.

Price:  There is an admission charge for adults and children over the age of 12 plus the cost of picking.  Admission cost and price per pound of fruit varies based on the day of the week, the time of the year, and what crops are in season.  Call the store at 845-897-4377 for specific rate information.

9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, Ny
Online: www.fishkillfarms.com

wilkens farm

photo: via Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm Facebook page

Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
Only an hour north of NYC, Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm offers seasonal pickings of peaches, apples, pumpkins, and even coniferous (aka “fir”) trees come Christmas time.  This fall, pick your own apple season started September 3rd and ends October 16th. Stop by the bakery for homemade pies, apple-cider donuts and other treats, or check out their Apple Farm Market for a pre-picked variety of apples and other farm-fresh fruits, jams, syrups, honey and healthy snacks such as apple chips and granola. Need a seasonal gift basket or some Wilkens swag? Check out the Country Market for country-themed gift baskets galore. as well as their custom-designed souvenir shirts, tote bags and caps.

Hours:  Daily, Pick-Your-Own:  10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Markets:  10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Price:  Prices for apples vary depending on weather and variety of apples.  While there is a 1/4 bushel minimum for entering the orchard you can purchase smaller quantities of pre-picked apples in the Farm Market.  Contact the farm at wilkensfruitfarm@gmail.com for details.  Free admission and wagon rides!

1335 White Hill Rd.
Yorktown Heights, Ny
Online: wilkensfarm.com

Masker Orchards
Way back in 1913 Ora and Rena Masker had a good feeling about the 200 acres of farmland they purchased in Warwick, New York. Masker Orchards is now a hopping spot for families looking for fall fun, thanks to a dedicated “Family Fun Area” where you will find pony rides, a haunted house, an apple maze, face painting, live music and more. An on site snack barn sells kid-friendly fare such as pizza, ice cream, apple cider and fresh apple pie. Fall 2016 picking season started September 3rd, and the orchards are filled with 14 different varieties of apples. Check out the Masker’s  orchard ripening schedule to see when you’re favorite ones will be ready for picking.

Hours:  Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Price:  Free admission and parking.  Apples:  $28.95/bag; Cider: $3.95/jug

45 Ball Rd.
Warwick, Ny
Online: maskers.com

harvest moon

photo: A.D. via Yelp

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
This family-owned and operated farm offers a robust selection of fresh and healthy food grown on site, from herbs, vegetables and fruits to vegetable-fed, antibiotic and hormone-free broad breasted bronze Turkeys, and farm fresh free-range eggs. The Harvest Moon Farm Fall Festival is a big to-do. Beyond apple and pumpkin picking, you’ll find hayrides, bouncy castles, pony rides, face painting, ‘apple cannons’, live music and more. A country store sells lots of locally-produced goods, like honey, dairy and cheese products, maple syrup and all types of freshly-made baked treats.

Hours:  Daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. April through Christmas
Apple Picking:  Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. September and October

Fall Festival:  Saturdays and Sundays from September 9 through October 29
Price:  $5/person entrance fee; cost per event varies; apple picking: $20 for a medium bag and $30 for a large bag

130 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, Ny
Online: harvestmoonfarmandorchard.com

Barton Orchards
Located in Poughquag, New York, Barton Orchards features several attractions that take the apple picking experience to the next level, including a real petting zoo, a five-acre corn maze, a wooden ships playground, a haunted house and live music.  (Come on a weekend and you will also get unlimited hayrides.)  The fall season brings Apple and Pumpkin Festival Weekends, as well as The Harvest Festival on September 10, which includes free fireworks and flashlight corn maze. With over 120 acres of apple trees, apple picking is available from mid-August through November.  You can also find a pumpkin patch ripe for picking from late September to the end of October.  But if you want to expand to other fruits and vegetables, there is a seasonal assortment that range from peaches, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans to eggplant, cucumbers and squash.  Venture just a bit off site and enjoy Barton Orchards’ Farm Market and Bakery, where you’ll find pies and cakes, among other fresh delectables.

Hours:  Pick-Your-Own at the Farm:  Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Fun Park:  Weekends, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Price:  Price for admission is free during the week, and $5 on weekends. Fun Pass pricing may vary in high season and is currently $7.  The cost for apple picking is based on bag size and seasonal crop:  the Peck Bag/ ¼ bushel is currently $16 and the ½ bushel bag is $24.

63 Apple Tree Ln.
Poughquag, Ny
Online: bartonorchards.com

Jenkins-Leuken Orchards
Another orchard for purists (i.e., giant inflatables and the like won’t be found here), Jenkins-Leuken Orchards is home to 500 apple trees of scores of varieties. (McIntosh, gala, empire, cortland, fortune, jonagold, macoun and fuji among them.) The farm offers lovely views of Mohonk Tower and the Shawangunk escarpment to the west, and uses an intergrated pest management system to keep chemical spraying to a minimum. Picking at this family-run farm begins September 9 this year, and you can get a sense of when your favorite variety is ripe and ready by checking this rough schedule, although of course it’s always best to call to be sure. You’ll also find loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked good made with the farm’s bounty and freshly made donuts and cider. Plus, the farm i now making small batch hard cider at its new Yankee Folly Cidery. Take note: you can also pick your
own pumpkin here, as well as berries in the summer.

Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily

69 Yankee Folly Rd.
Online: jlorchards.com

alstede farms

photo: via Alstede Farms Facebook page 

New Jersey

Alstede Farms
A family-owned 600 acre farm, Alstede Farms prizes “health, freshness, quality, integrity, quality of life.”  They use only sustainable and USDA-certified organic production methods for growing a vast array of local fruits, vegetables and flowers but they also make sure to give families a fun farm experience. Events and experiences here include food festivals and pancake breakfasts, a Fall Festival, hayrides, a giant corn maze, a bouncy house and live music. A huge variety of friendly farm animals live here, such as horses, goats, donkeys, sheep, cows, chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, and rabbits that you can feed, and kids can take a pony ride, too. In other words: the kids will not be bored.  The farm offers Pick Your Own fruits and vegetables, as well as a Community Supported Agriculture Program. The Alstede Farm Store is chockfull of fresh fruits and vegetables from the fields, local honey, homemade ice cream and pies, cider donuts and much, much more.

Hours:  Pick Your Own is open daily 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Price:  Pick Your Own Admission pricing varies on the time of day and ranges from free to up to $6.99/person.  Children under two are free.  Containers used for picking produce are $2 flat.  Prices per pound vary on the product and season; details are provided on the Alstede Farms website ahttp://alstedefarms.com/pick-your-own-2/what-can-i-pick-today/.

1 Alstede Farms Ln.
Chester, Nj
Online: alstedefarms.com


photo: Mike O. via Yelp

Terhune Orchards
One of the big draws at Terhune is the dwarf apple trees, which kids can pick from without using poles or ladders. Visitors can also get up close and personal with the barnyard animals and feed the goats, sheep, horses, ducks, geese and chickens. The farms hosts six Family Fall Fun weekends in September and October with pony rides, wagon rides, corn and hay bale mazes, as well as live music, face-painting and pumpkin painting. For those of you who like a little wine to relax after a full day of family fun, don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine from the Terhune Orchards winery, where you will find 12 varieties of wine.  The orchards’ Pick Your Own season starts in May and ends in October, offering an assortment of berries in the spring/summer months and apples and pumpkins in the fall.

Hours:  Pick Your Own is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Price:  No admission fee to pick-your-own apples.  Apples at the Pick Your Own farm are sold by weight.  There is an $8/person admission fee for festivals; free for children under three.

330 Cold Soil Rd.
Princeton, Nj
Online: terhuneorchards.com

apple girl

photo: Brian Burke via Flickr

Sun High Orchard
Not every apple-picking experience offers the chance to befriend an alpaca named “Jersey Gold”, but that’s how they roll at Sun High Orchards. (Guests can also meet the resident mini donkey “Jessica.”) Visitors are encouraged to stay a while and relax at a shaded picnic table area while enjoying homemade ice cream, apple cider donuts, fruit pies and cookies.  Additional autumnal products include fall decor items such as corn stalks, Indian corn and gourds or, should you be so fortunate to have a fireplace you can fill up your truck with self-serve stacks of firewood and pay via the adjacent mailbox.  Apple picking occurs in September and October, and while bags are free, the apples are sold by the pound.

Hours:  Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Price: Apples are sold by the pound and pricing is based on the type of apple.

19 Canfield Ave.
Randolph, Nj
Online: sunhigh.com

Hillview Farms
Want some unexpected yet pleasant surprises while you go on your apple picking adventure?  Come to Hillview Farms where you may find chickens and peacocks wandering around these grounds.  Apple picking starts in late August and runs through the end of October, but you can also pick your own blueberries, peaches, pumpkins, and flowers here, depending on the season.  Live nearby? Hillview also offers school tours during children dig for potatoes, observe the honey bee habitat, see a demonstration of the polishing and sorting of apples, watch how an apple cider press works, hold newly-hatched chickens, and hang out with the goats.

Hours:  Daily, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Price:  Call farm for updated pricing information.

223 Meyersville Rd.
Gillette, Nj
Online: hillviewfarms.com

silvermans farm

photo: Cil E. via Yelp


Silverman’s Farm
Founded by Ben Silverman in the early 1920s, this farm started as a cider mill and eventually evolved into a Pick Your Own fruit farm.  Offering by far the most exotic and varied petting farm within driving distance from the city, Silverman’s is home to a menagerie of buffalo, llamas, alpacas, sheep, goats, fallow deer, emus, long-horn cattle and exotic birds.  Whether you take the scenic tractor ride, visit the exotic petting farm, check out the new featured exhibit, Bunnytown, or homemade goods in the farm market, Silverman’s Farm is the total farm experience.

Hours:  Daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Price:  Pre-purchased bags are required before entering orchard. Call for current produce pricing.

451 Sport Hill Rd.
Easton, Ct
Online: silvermansfarm.com

beardsley cider mill orchard

photo: via Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard Facebook page

Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard
Originally a dairy farm, Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard has been around since 1849.  Another farm that’s home to shorter trees, Beardsley’s  currently grows over 10,000 dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees in its Pick-Your-Own orchards. See cider made at the state-of-the-art press on site, and then check out the 12 types of farm-baked pies for sale, as well as cider donuts, pumpkin cheesecake and more.  The farm store includes fresh-picked plums and nectarines and peaches, the last of which locals rave about.  Just in time for the upcoming Jewish New Year, Beardsley’s also offers local raw honey in 1lb, 2lb and 5lb sizes.

Hours:  Pick-Your-Own is open in September and October and only on the weekends, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Bakery and store open daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m. through Dec. 24

Price:  Pick Your Own apples are paid by the pound and cash only.  Call for apple pricing and availability.

278 Leavenworth Rd. (Route 110)
Shelton, Ct
Online: beardsleyscidermill.com

cover photo: Shinya Suzuki via Flickr

Where do you go for prime apple picking? Tell us in the comments below!

—Meredith Levine