Labor Day weekend marks the start of apple picking season in the Tri-State area, when dozens of orchards open to the public. Here is a round-up 16 awesome orchards to visit for a day trip where you and your mate/friends/family/brood can go apple picking, as well as hunt for pumpkins and other produce. Times, prices and availability vary, so phone ahead!
1. Applewood Orchards & Winery
Choose from ten kinds of apples—Macintosh, Cortland, Rome Beauty, Red Delicious, Empire, Macoun, Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji, Jonagold and Golden Delicious—at this upstate farm, which also sports a lush pumpkin patch, herb and rose gardens, and a general store stocked with myriad jams and jellies. Kids can enjoy weekend hayrides, puppet shows and visiting with live chickens, bunnies and sheep, parents can savor the on-site winery (just be sure to pick a designated driver!). The town of Warwick is also home to Applefest (warwickapplefest.com), which takes place on Sunday, October 5, and features live music, crafts and a highly competitive apple-pie-baking contest.
- Contact: 82 Four Corners Rd, Warwick (845-986-1684, applewoodorchards.com).
- Hours: Daily 9am-5pm September 6 through late October.
- Admission: $28 for a half bushel.
2. Barton Orchards
An over 220-year-old white oak marks the center of this 122-acre farm filled with 25 apple varieties—everything from Cortland to Macintosh. Kids can also enjoy a petting zoo, weekend hayrides and a five-acre corn maze (this year’s theme is Mazes in the Movies).
- Contact: 63 Apple Tree Ln, Poughquag (845-227-2306, bartonorchards.com).
- Hours: Monday-Friday 9am–5pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-6pm through Oct 31.
- Admission: Fun Pass $9.50, (includes admission, corn maze, haunted house and family theme park). Apples: $1.49 per pound. General admission $3, children under 2 free (includes petting zoo, hayrides, kids’ special events);
3. Dr. Davies Farm
Though it’s home to more than 4,000 apple trees spread across 35 acres, this Hudson Valley farm—originally built by Dr. Lucy Virginia Davies and her husband, Arthur, in 1891—is less than a half hour from the George Washington Bridge. Picking poles are available, but young ones should be able to manage with the orchard’s low-hanging fruit. In September and October, weekend trailer rides ($5) stop at the farm’s faux pumpkin patch, where kids can pick small sugar pumpkins ($3 each) that were placed there but grown elsewhere.
- Contact: 306 Rte 304, Congers (845-268-7020, drdaviesfarm.com).
- Hours: Daily 10am–4:00pm through November 26.
- Admission: $37 for 25 pounds. Pole rental $3 (you get $1 back once it’s returned)
4. Fink’s Country Farm
At Fink’s patches, families can pluck pumpkins right off the vine, with produce for sale by the pound or wheelbarrowful. On weekends, the farm offers a barnyard, pony rides and hayrides, a bounce house and a corn maze which can be navigated during the day, or if you’re feeling brave, by flashlight after dark on October 18 and 25. If your little one has a destructive side (and whose doesn’t?), let her blast produce out of the corn cannon or pumpkin slingshot.
- Contact: 6242 Middle Country Rd, Wading River, NY (631-886-2272, finksfarm.com).
- Hours: Opens September 20 weekends 9am–5pm through November 2.
- Admission: Fall festival admission: $13.25, children under 2 free. Some additional activity fees apply.
5. Grieg Farm
With its stunning views of the Catskill Mountains, the Greig Farm is an elegant spread. Greig’s sells pick-your-own apples and fall raspberries along with pumpkins. For lunch, head to Gigi Market, where the menu showcases Hudson Valley produce, cheeses and meats, and kid-friendly offerings like seasonal flatbread “Skizzas.”
- Contact: 223 Pitcher Ln, Red Hook (845-758-1234, greigfarm.com).
- Hours: Daily 8am–8pm through the end of October
- Admission: $20 for a half bushel.
6. Hurds Family Farm
This farm caters to the seasons. In fall, expect plenty of apple-picking opportunities, and on select weekends leading up to the Christmas holiday, your brood can choose a tree from its crop of evergreens. In addition to a corn maze, Hurds offers an apple launcher, an “eco-discovery trail” and a cow-train ride (Holstein-painted go-karts rigged up to a tractor). At the Kids Corral, tykes can pedal trikes, meet farm animals, feed fish off a dock and take on a giant slide. Don’t forget to grab a pumpkin out of their patch before you head home.
- Contact: 2187 Rte 32, Modena (845-883-7825, hurdsfamilyfarm.com).
- Hours: Season begins August 29. Daily 9am–5pm.
- Admission: $14, children under 3 free. $20 for a half bushel.
7. Keider’s Farm
An impressively large garden gnome, Chomsky, stands sentry at the entrance to Kelder’s Farm. The spot offers all the classic fall farm amusements: a petting zoo, hayrides and a corn maze. Kids also love their giant jumping pillow, but the biggest draw is a mini-golf course ($3.75) designed by artist Maria Reidelbach, coauthor of Miniature Golf (said to be the first book ever bound in artificial turf). The whimsical course is constructed from recycled tractor wheels and other repurposed farm implements. Along with the standard pick-your-own apples, the space is lined with plenty of vegetables, herbs, flowers and other types of fruit—including pumpkins—that kids can pick along the way.
- Contact: 5755 Rte 209, Kerhonkson (845-626-7137, kelderfarm.com).
- Hours: Daily 10am–6pm through October 31.
- Admission: $1.50 for a pound.
8. Lawrence Farms Orchards
In addition to over a dozen types of apples including Empire, Cortland, Macintosh, Macoun, Jonagold, Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red and Golden Delicious apples, this Newburgh farm cultivates a cornucopia of other fruits and vegetables. From late September through October, pears, yellow peaches, grapes, sweet corn, tomatoes, pumpkins and other natural bounty are in season.
- Contact: 306 Frozen Ridge Rd, Newburgh (845-562-4268, lawrencefarmsorchards.com).
- Hours: Daily 9am–4pm through Nov 23.
- Admission: $3 per person, children under 2 free. Call for produce pricing.
9. LoveApple Farm
Its name is no lie; tending to more than 15,000 fruit trees is proof enough that this farm hearts its harvest. Along with fall faves like a market and a petting zoo, kids can enjoy weekend pony rides, the farm’s new mico mini pig, Ellie May, and a Mexican cantina with kid-friendly fare. There’s also an old-fashioned ice cream shop, which serves homemade cones and sundaes made from their own fruit.
- Contact: 1421 Rte 9H, Ghent (518-828-5048, loveapplefarm.com).
- Hours: Daily 8am–6pm.
- Admission: Apple prices subject to change. Call for details.
10. Masker Orchards
Perennial pickers swear by this 200-acre orchard with 20,000-plus trees, the first fruit farm in the state to switch to pick-your-own (back in 1972). Visitors can drive right up and enjoy a picnic lunch under the tree of their choice. Don’t be afraid to sample the goods: Here, unlike in Oz, snacking on apples while you pick is encouraged! Wagon rides, a haunted house, barnyard animals & pony rides add to the atmosphere on weekends, along with a corn maze that’s open daily. The town of Warwick is also home to Applefest (warwickapplefest.com), which takes place on Sunday, October 6, and features live music, crafts and a highly competitive apple-pie-baking contest.
- Contact: 45 Ball Rd, Warwick (845-986-1058,maskers.com).
- Hours: Opens August 30. Daily 9am–5pm through early November.
- Admission: $26.95 for a half bushel. Free admission. Some attraction fees may apply.
11. Milk Pail Farm & Orchard
At this 44-year-old homestead (which started out as a dairy farm), even smaller kids can pluck more than 20 different varieties of apples that grow on dwarf apple trees. Also available: wagon-led farm tours, fresh cider at the Milk Pail country store and a pumpkin patch with over 58 varieties of gourds weighing up to 150 pounds. And for the first time, RubyFrost, a new apple just released by Cornell University will be available for picking—just be sure to check their website for weekly updates on its availability.
- Contact: 1346 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill (631-537-2565, milk-pail.com).
- Hours: Friday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm August 30 through October.
- Admission: Free admission. $43 for a half bushel.
12. Minard Farms
Construction executive Derrick Doubrava purchased this Hudson Valley farm in 2003, but it’s been a family-owned orchard for more than century. Visitors take a hay-wagon ride to more than 100 acres of easy-to-reach apples and—as the season allows—areas devoted to peaches, nectarines, Asian pears, strawberries, pumpkins and other veggies available for purchase at the farm stand. Doubrava’s wife, Debbie, a former banker, is something of a local legend for her homemade apple-cider doughnuts, available at the farm market.
- Contact: 250 Hurds Rd, Clintondale (866-632-7753,minardfarms.com).
- Hours: Sat, Sun 10am–5pm through Nov 1.
- Admission: $22 for a half bushel. Apple prices subject to change.
13. Mr. Apples Orchard
Philip “Apples” (his well-earned nickname) inherited this orchard from his parents but utilizes a modern, Earth-friendly approach to farming and sprays his apples and pears with only a minimal amount of pesticides. McIntosh and Cortlands are at peak in September, while October is prime time for Red. Phil says you can still pick in early November: “A light frost won’t hurt ’em.” This part of Ulster County is rife with natural wonders, including the nearby Rondout River and its eye-catching waterfalls, so leave time for an invigorating hike.
- Contact: 25 Orchard St, High Falls (845-687-9498, mrapples.com).
- Hours: Daily 10am–5:30pm until mid-November.
- Admission: Pricing varies.
14. The Orchards of Concklin
If your kids still have energy to spare after apple-picking at this venerable orchard (it’s been around since 1712!), they can bounce the buzz away in the haunted blow-up house or on the giant slide (open from noon to 5pm). From April through the end of the year, each month boasts a special offering; expect plenty of apple- and pumpkin-picking in October, and in November freshly baked Thanksgiving pies are up for sale. Sample a homemade quiche or pick out a pumpkin to take home.
- Contact: 2 South Mountain Rd, Pomona (845-354-0369, theorchardsofconcklin.com).
- Hours: Season begins September 20. Sat-Sun 10am–5pm for five weekends (call for availability).
- Admission: $9 per person includes 1/2 peck bag, children under 3 free. Pole rentals for $2 with $5 deposit.
15. Outhouse Orchards
Its name may not inspire hunger pangs, but Outhouse’s mouthwatering selection of homemade doughnuts, fudge, pies and other goodies will. No sweet tooth? Then gnaw on a smoked turkey leg, one of the savory options available here. After filling up on food, kids can pay a visit to the farm animals, and saunter over to the pony rides and hayrides on weekends.
- Contact: 130 Hardscrabble Rd, North Salem (914-277-3188, outhouseorchardsny.com).
- Hours: Daily 9am–5pm.
- Admission: $25 per half bushel.
16. Stone Ridge Orchard
There have been fruit-bearing trees here for more than 200 years, but the farm’s approach to sustainability is very 21st-century. Eco-friendly practices like minimal pesticide use and substituting mulch for synthetic fertilizers helped the orchard get certified by Eco Apple, a program of the organic/fair trade nonprofit Red Tomato. You’ll find kid-oriented activities here, including a pumpkin house to visit. But Stone Ridge is, primarily, apple-crazy: There are more than a dozen kinds of organic apples for visitors to pick—including classics like McIntosh, Cortland and Stayman—but much of the land has been given over to newer breeds growing on smaller, more densely planted trees, which manager Elizabeth Ryan says puts less stress on the soil and produces bigger and sweeter fruit. Take a bite and judge for yourselves.
- Contact: 3012 Rte 213, Stone Ridge (845-687-2587, stoneridgeorchard.us).
- Hours: Daily 9am–5pm Labor Day Weekend through late October.
- Admission: $9 for a five-pound bag, $17 for a 10-pound bag, $20 for a 27-pound bag.
Via TimeOut NY.