Fall fanatics, relax: of course you can pick your own apples this year! And yes, apple picking season has begun. Many farms and orchards near NYC are open for apple-picking in fall 2020—you just need to abide by some new rules to keep everyone safe. New policies include advance tickets and reservations at some farms, masks and social distancing and time limits. (Plus, leave your dogs at home.) And you can still have farm fun with corn mazes, petting zoos and hayrides if you go to the right place. If you want a chill vibe, organic apples and the chance to sign up for a CSA box, we found that too. Read on for our favorite places to pick apples near NYC in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut! Need more ideas for fall fun? Check out our event calendar here!
This Long Island farm and orchard in Riverhead, NY has pretty much whatever you want when it comes to apple-picking near NYC. First, the star of the show, 78 acres of 27 varieties of apples that thanks to a trellis growing system are filled with literally low hanging fruit—great for the kids. Plus lots and lots of activities including a brand new obstacle course, pig races, a corn maze, new playgrounds, farm animals, hayrides, a sports zone, "bunnyville" and more! (And there's a "Barnyard Adventure" in nearby Matituck, NY .) For you, there's a winery, farm fresh produce and blooms. Harbes opens September 5, and masks and social distancing are required for picking.
Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
5698 Sound Ave.
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.
Fishkill Farms is doing you-pick by reservation only, Tuesday through Sunday. Reservations are booked up to seven days in advance, and there is a maximum of five people per party, which includes kids ages two and up. Make one: you'll be turned away if you show up and don't have a reservation.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Price: You'll pay $35 for a half bushel of apples, and you can also purchase advance tickets for other crops such as tomatoes ($35/flat).
9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, NY
Apple Ridge Orchards
Apple Ridge Orchards declares itself "the Hudson Valley's most scenic and rustic pick-your-own orchard." Apple-picking starts on September 5 this year, and they've got lots of varieties to choose from, including Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Gold Rush, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Liberty, Macintosh – Mutsu (Crispin), Red Delicious, Winesap and more! (Just remember different kinds ripen at different times. Check the orchard's Facebook page for what's currently picking.) Admission is free, parking is free, and apple bags for picking are free. It's $29 for 1/2 bushel. Make sure to get an apple cider donut before leaving!
COVID-19 safety measures are in place. Face masks are required, use of hand washing sinks and/or sanitizing stations is required for entry, and social distancing in the farm story is required. No hayrides, but the petting zoo is open! The orchard is open Thursday to Sunday, and all holidays, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Take note: pumpkin picking starts September 19!
101 Jessup Rd.
Apple Dave's Orchards
The vibe is festive and fun at Apple Dave's, an Orange County spot which opens for apple picking this season on September 5. Pick your own Macintosh, Cortland, Honeycrisp, Gala, Empire, Jonagold, Rome Beauty, Red Delicious, Macoun, Fuji and Golden Delicious, and come back in October for pumpkins. In addition to apples, you'll find adult drinks from Dave's Distillery (beer, farm cocktails etc.) and an easy ramble on Dave's Walking Trail around a small lake, flower and herb gardens and live music. And yes, COVID-19 safety measures are in place.
82 4 Corners Rd.
Hurds Family Farm
About 90 minutes outside of New York City, this Hudson Valley farm has a lot going on all the way into winter, when you can cut down your own tree there.
The apple-picking season started August 29, and Hurds has adapted its picking and many kids activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19—that includes lots of sanitizing stations, social distancing, advanced ticketing, etc.
Reserve and pay for tickets online ahead of time for picking, as well as kids activities (kids corral playground, giant slide, bounce house, obstacle course, duck racing), hayrides to the orchard and more.
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; kids activities 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Price: $9 for 1/2 peck, $14 for full peck, $26 for 1/2 bushel. Weekend fall activities: $15 for all-access wristband; weekday $8.
2187 Route 32
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. They know what they're doing: this year marks the farm's 104th season, and they open for picking the last week of August. See what you can pick, when, as well as full updates to the Pick-Your-Own process here.
Due to safety measures, capacity is reduced to 50 percent, so it's best to get there early so you aren't turned away if the orchard is full. Additionally, there are no wagon rides this year. The minimum to enter the orchard for every two adults is one peck bag of apples and the minimum to enter the orchard for every three to four adults is a 1/2 bushel bag of apples.
Hours: Daily, Pick-Your-Own: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Markets: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: Admission is free. Prices for apples vary depending on variety of apples. While there is a minimum for entering the orchard you can purchase smaller quantities of pre-picked apples in the Farm Market.
1335 White Hill Rd.
Yorktown Heights, NY
Way back in 1913 Ora and Rena Masker had a good feeling about the 200 acres of farmland they purchased in Warwick, New York. While the orchard has had to shelve much of its Family Fun Area for 2020 due to health precautions, Masker Orchards is open for apple picking. But you're encouraged to bring a picnic for lunch in the orchard! 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: $29.95/bag; Cider: $3.95/jug
45 Ball Rd.
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.
This year, apple picking is on weekends and by reservation only. You can reserve tickets here, which are good for four people. Children under 10 can enter free, and each ticket comes with a 1/2 bushel apple picking bag which holds approximately 25 pounds.
Unfortunately, The Harvest Moon Farm Fall Festival (weekends in September and October) is not taking place this year, but the farm store is open, selling honey, maple syrup, and jams/jellies, baked goods, ice cream, sweet and hard cider, and donuts.
Hours: Fri-Sun., 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Price: $50/four adults; kids under 10 free
130 Hardscrabble Rd.
North Salem, NY
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 often brings festivals, but as of this writing, those were on hold. Last year, Barton Orchards introduced two new attractions: a dog park and Tree Top Adventure, the latter which gets you admission to Barton Orchards for the day.
With over 120 acres of apple trees, apple picking is available from mid-August through November; see the rough schedule here for picking. 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 ranges 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: Tues.- Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Activities: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thurs. - Sun.
Price: The cost for apple picking is by bag size (you must use a Barton Orchards bag): Peck Bag/ ¼ bushel is currently $16 and the ½ bushel bag is $26. No entry fee for Kids activities.
63 Apple Tree Ln.
Another orchard for purists (i.e., giant inflatables and the like won't be found here), Jenkins-Lueken Orchards is home to 500 apple trees of scores of varieties. (McIntosh, Gala, Empire, Cortland, Fortune, Jonagold, Macoun and Fuji among them. 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.) The farm offers lovely views of Mohonk Tower and the Shawangunk escarpment to the west, and uses an integrated pest management system to keep chemical spraying to a minimum. (There's no requirement on how many people get in with a bag—you can choose from the smaller peck bag or half bushel.) You'll also find loads of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods made with the farm's bounty and freshly made donuts and cider. Plus, the farm is 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.
New Paltz, NY
A family-owned 600-acre farm, Alstede Farms is a popular destination for picking all kinds of things as well as family fun. They use only sustainable and USDA-certified organic production methods for growing a vast array of local fruits, vegetables and flowers; find out what you can pick today with this handy guide.
There are new rules and in place to keep everyone safe this season. (Read all of them here.) A major one is that everyone two years and older must have a pre-purchased ticket for a reserved time slot in advance, which you can do here. Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. the night before. Entry tickets get you access to pick your own areas, a Quarter-Peck Bag to fill with PYO vegetables or apples, scenic hay wagon rides around the farm, access to the hay pyramid, and access to the sunflower and evergreen mazes. (The number of kids' activities is reduced, but there's still plenty to do here.) You can add-on extra containers if you want more fruit or vegetables, and sunflowers are available at $2 a stem.
If you don't want to pick things yourself, The Alstede Farm Store is chock-full 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: $19.99/person weekdays; $24.99 weekends
1 Alstede Farms Ln.
Terhune Orchards opens Labor Day weekend for apple-picking with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Picking is first-come, first-served, so start out earlier rather than later in the day because supply can run out. (See the home page for latest updates.) Social distancing and masks are required, and you have 30 minutes to pick your fruit. Full guidelines are here.
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 orchard's playground is open and regularly sanitized, and there's a stroller-friendly Farm Trail Discovery Walk if you're in the mood for a nature stroll. 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. There's often live music in weekends, and you can also pick your own flowers here.
Hours: Pick Your Own is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ***Note that the apple orchard for you-pick is at 13 Van Kirk Road.***
Price: No admission fee to pick-your-own apples. Apples at the pick-your-own farm are sold by weight.
330 Cold Soil Rd.
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. Apple picking season started on August 26 this season and is open on weekdays only this year. Masks are required for all over two years, and it's advised you wear some good walking shoe's the orchard is not flat. You can check out the picking schedule at the orchard here.
Another reason to visit is that Silverman's offers by far one of 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. There are some new rules for the petting zoo (everyone two and older must wear a mask, etc.)
You can also take a scenic tractor ride here, and stock up on some homemade goods in the farm's market.
Hours: You-pick is weekdays only, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Price: Pre-purchased bags are required before entering orchard. Call for current produce pricing.
451 Sport Hill Rd.
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. Social distancing is required, and you may only use 1 peck (10 pound) bags provided for picking. Payment is by cash or check only.
While you're here, you can see cider made with 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.
Hours: Pick-Your-Own is weekends only and weather-permitting, starting September 12 and continuing through October. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
278 Leavenworth Rd. (Route 110)
feature photo: Tim & Selena Middleton via Flickr
—Mimi O’Connor & Meredith Levine