If you live in or near the Big Apple, you owe it to your city’s nickname to go out and get some the old fashioned way (i.e. taking them right off the tree). Apple picking is a great way to have fun, fall outdoor adventure that can involve everything from a few donuts and some cider to an over-the-top harvest celebration with lots of bells and whistles. Read on for our favorite orchards offering apple experiences of all kinds.
photo: via Fishkill Farms Facebook page
Fishkill Farms is committed to environmental responsibility and is one of the only orchards in the region to offer pick-your-own apples grown according to organic standards (in select orchard blocks); additionally, the orchard is certified sustainably-grown by Eco Apple. From mid-September to mid-October, stop by for Harvest Festival Weekends, which feature food, donuts, cider, hayrides and live music.
Insider Tip: If you want the more low-key experience (i.e. apple-picking, a hayride, a lovely view and no bounce house) this is probably a good choice for you.
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Price: $5/car for pick-your-own plus cost of fruit
9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, Ny
Daily, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
One of our favorites to get to by public transit, Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm is a quick trip on Metro North Railroad (take the Hudson line to Croton-Harmon or Peekskill) and then hop in a cab to reach the farm about 15 minutes away. Open for apple picking beginning September 12th, the farm boasts seven acres where both apples and pumpkins are available to pick yourself. While you’re there, definitely check out the three farmer’s markets (yes, three!) where you’ll find delicious baked goods.
Insider Tip: The apple cider donuts are not to be missed, and be sure to come back after Thanksgiving for choose-n-cut Christmas trees.
Hours: Open daily, Pick-Your-Own 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Check the harvest calendar for exact dates.
Price: Pay by weight; call the farm for estimated pricing information. There is a 1/4 bushel minimum for entering the orchard.
1335 White Hill Rd.
Yorktown Heights, Ny
We love Masker’s because they let you eat all the apples you want for free while visiting! Beyond stuffing your 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. Be sure to check the website for up to date information and events this fall.
Insider Tip: Want a specific kind of apple, or want to know how to use a variety? The Masker Orchard Ripening Schedule is a great resource and guide.
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Price: Apples $26.95 for a 1/2 bushel bag (20-22 pounds)
45 Ball Rd.
photo: Tim and Selena via Flickr
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
If you don’t want to drive to go apple picking, Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is another easy place to get to by taking the Metro North Railroad (Harlem Line) to Purdy’s. The station is about three miles down the road from the farm. Once there, you’ll find multiple varieties of apples, a corn maze and hay rides. Their facebook page offers an easy way to keep up to date on upcoming crops and farm events.
Insider Tip: Apple Picking will begin the week of September, 7 2015, and Fall Festival weekends begin September 12. Locals go for the apple cider doughnuts, so be sure to try one while you’re there. Also: they have wine tasting and apple canons!
Hours: Open Daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: Only pick what you can fit into your purchase bag, outside bags are permitted. Check back with the site to confirm bag pricing.
130 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, Ny
You know this farm knows their stuff when the address is on Apple Tree Lane! If your kids prefer more activities than solely apple picking, a visit to Barton Orchards is the perfect fit. With hayrides, a five-acre corn maze, walking trails, Fun Park with peddle kart race track (adult supervision required), Kiddie Kart Zone, and more…this spot almost certainly have your kids sleeping in the car on the way home. The farm runs a live actor Haunted House, barnyard animals, pumpkin field slide and midway farm market, bakery and snack shacks. Be sure to check it facebook page for the most current picking information.
Insider tip: You can also pick-your-own veggies here. The farm kicks off harvest season with free admission, parking and fireworks on September 12!
Hours: Open weekdays 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Weekends 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Price: General admission/$3; Additional $9.50 for the Fun Pass (includes over 15 attractions). Apple bags are 10 lbs. for $15 or 20 lbs. for $24
63 Apple Tree Ln.
photo: Terhune Orchards via Facebook
For the full-on fall experience with all the bells and whistles, head to Alstede Farms on a weekend. Aside from pick-your-own apples, you’ll also find pony rides, a moon bounce, a wagon train, hay rides, a hay pyramid (for climbing), live music and more. You’ll find not one, but two corn mazes here, one for smaller kids, another larger one for older ones; the theme for both this year is “Digging Dinosaurs,” and the big maze will feature an interactive puzzle game “FSI: Farm Scene Investigation.”
Insider Tip: Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. – noon, access to the pick-your-own orchard, hay rides and corn maze is free.
Hours: Pick-your-own is 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily
Price: Pick-your own admission starts at $5 plus cost of apples; Pricing for rides and other amusements vary by day and can be purchased for the day or a la carte.
1 Alstede Farms Ln.
(If using GPS or mobile devices please note: the farm is NOT located at 1 Farm Lane, Chester NJ)
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. 26 through Oct. 31, 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 enjoy after the kids hit the hay.
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
330 Cold Soil Rd.
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. 2015 begins Sun High’s 27th season of educational and fun farm tours for schools and play groups; reservations are required for participation.
Insider Tip: If picking apples has worked up little Johnny Appleseed’s appetite, buy some baked goods, soup or hot spiced cider made right on the farm and enjoy it by the cozy fireplace.
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m..–6 p.m.
Price: Call for apple pricing and availability
19 Canfield Ave.
photo: Tim and Selena Middleton via Flickr
You’ll find more than a dozen varieties of apples to pick at Hillview farms. The orchard offers hayrides every weekend in October which take visitors through the farm to the apple orchards and pumpkin patches. The roadside market sells apples, pumpkins, vegetables, tomatoes, donuts, cider and bakery items.
Insider tip: If you make it there by mid-September, you might be able to pick some peaches as well!
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Price: Call farm for updated pricing information
223 Meyersville Rd.
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: If your little one is celebrating a birthday soon and is an animal fan, the farm is a great place to celebrate and will definitely keep the kids entertained. Group reservations are available.
Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Price: Pre purchased bags are required before entering orchard. Call directly for estimated pricing and crop updates.
451 Sport Hill Rd.
photo: Beardsley’s Cider Mill & Orchard via Facebook
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 enable kids to do the work picking while you sit back and relax.
Insider tip: Beardsley’s also makes the hard stuff (as in cider) and can help you make it too with starter kits and tips.
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
278 Leavenworth Rd. (Route 110)
Where Does your family head to pick apples in the fall? Tell us in the comments below!