Apple picking season has begun, which also means you and the kids can enjoy some fun on the farm 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!

New York

Harbes Orchard

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. Harbes site has an excellent guide to apple varieties and when they ripen,  Plus lots and lots of activities including a 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 4, 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. 
Riverhead, NY 
631-369-1111
Online: harbesfamilyfarm.com

Fishkill Farms

Head to Fishkill Farms for organically grown apples and a lower-key vibe. Besides its massive apple orchard, Fishkill grows peaches, pears, nectarines, black currants, tomatoes, pumpkins and flowers—all of which you can pick yourself. Flights of alcoholic cider with a cheese plate are also available. Pricing for the 2021 apple picking season is not yet posted, but expect to pay about $42 for two, half-peck bags. From mid-September to mid-October Fishkill hosts Harvest Festivals on the weekend, with music, hayrides, cider donuts and more. 

Pick-your-own apples (and everything else) is 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. 

9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Hopewell JCT, NY
845-897-4377
Online: fishkillfarms.com

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 4 this year, and they've got lots of varieties to choose from, including Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Gold Rush, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Liberty,Red Delicious and Winesap Check the orchard's Facebook page for what's ripe. Admission is $3, parking is free, and apple bags for picking are free. It's $32 for 1/2 bushel.

Bonus fun includes hayrides, a petting zoo, a honey bee observation hive and Smokey Boys BBQ on weekends in September and October, plus cider donuts. 

The orchard is open Thursday to Sunday, and all holidays, from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.  

Take note: pumpkin picking starts September 18! 

101 Jessup Rd. 
845-987-7717
Warwick, NY 
Online: appleridgeorchards.com

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 Labor Day weekend. Macintosh is up first, but to see when your favorite variety is ripe, click here. 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.

Apples are $16 for a full peck bushel bag and $30 for a full half bushel bag. Admission and parking is free. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through late October.  

82 4 Corners Rd. 
Warwick, NY 
845-986-1684
Online: appledavesorchards.com

photo: Hurds Family Farm

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. (Pumpkin picking starts late September.) The list of activities for kids is long (check it out here) but includes a giant slide, pony rides, petting zoo, cow train, bounce house, obstacle course, duck racing, hayrides to the orchard and more. You can buy tickets in tiers with prices ranging from $14 to $29 online. Hurds is a dog-friendly farm, but you must keep your pet on leash. 

The apple-picking season starts August 28, and you can save a few dollars buying your bags in advance: $14/small; $20/medium, $42/large. If you are visiting on the weekend, you must pre-order a minimum purchase of $20 to enter the farm. Tickets go on sale the Tuesday before.

Hurds often hosts live music (bluegrass, jazz, etc.) on the farm; see the calendar here. And check their handy ripening schedule to see what's picking that day.

Hours: Closed Tuesdays. Other days: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; kids activities 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

2187 Route 32
Modena, NY
845-883-7825
Online: hurdsfamilyfarm.com

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 105th season, and they open for picking September 4. See what you can pick, when, as well as full updates to the Pick-Your-Own process here. Be prepared to walk to the orchard: wagon rides to and from the orchard will be offered on select weekends in early September only.

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:  Wed.- Mon, , 10 a.m. - 4: 30 p.m.,. starting late August through mid-December. Farm is closed Tuesdays

Price:  Admission is free. Prices for apples vary depending on the variety of apple.  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
914-245-5111
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 and it's easy top see why: the views are picture perfect. Masker Orchards opens for apple picking on September 4 this year. Check out the Masker’s orchard ripening schedule to see when you’re favorite ones will be ready for picking. The orchard has a family fun area with a petting zoo, pony ride, etc., and it's also dog-friendly.

Admission and parking is free. Apples are $32.95/bag.

They are open weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

45 Ball Rd.
Warwick, NY
845-986-1058
Online: maskers.com

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. Harvest Moon has also gotten into the hard cider business, with Hardscrabble Cider. Order some food from the extensive menu and grab a picnic table to eat al fresco. 

As of mid-August, it was still peach-picking season at the farm. Stay tuned for apple-picking info. 

The Harvest Moon Farm Fall Festival traditionally happens weekends in September and October. 

Hours: Fri-Sun., 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

130 Hardscrabble Rd.
914-485-1210
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 festivals every weekend (Family Fun, Ocktoberfest, etc.) and Barton even has a dog park and Tree Top Adventure — the latter of 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.

Hours:  Pick-Your-Own at the Farm: Tues.- Sun., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Activities: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thurs. - Sun. 

Pricing for the 2021 season is TBD. 

63 Apple Tree Ln.
Poughquag, NY
845-227-2306
Online: bartonorchards.com

Jenkins-Lueken Orchards

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. 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. 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.

Pricing and hours are not yet posted for the 2021 season. 

69 Yankee Folly Rd.
845-255-0999
New Paltz, NY
Online: jlorchards.com

New Jersey

photo: Alstede Farms

Alstede Farms

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, and pricing, with this handy guide. Alstede's list off apple varieties and picking dates is impressive; find that here.

All visitors must pre-purchase a 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. You can add on extra containers if you want more fruit or vegetables, and sunflowers are available at $2 a stem. 

Pricing varies by crop, selected activities, etc. 

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.

1 Alstede Farms Ln.
Chester, NJ
908-879-7189
Online: alstedefarms.com

 

Terhune Orchards

Look for apple picking to begin the first week of September at Terhune Orchards. (Exact date TBD.)  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.) 

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, 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. 

No admission fee to pick-your-own apples.  Apples at the pick-your-own farm are sold by weight. 

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.***

330 Cold Soil Rd.
Princeton, NJ
609-924-2310
Online: terhuneorchards.com

 

Connecticut

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.  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.
Easton, CT
203-261-3306
Online: silvermansfarm.com

photo: Beardsley's Cider Mill

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)
Shelton, CT
203-926-1098
Online: beardsleyscidermill.com

feature photo: Lumix2004 via pixabay

—Mimi O’Connor

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