Apple Picking near Atlanta: Best Apple Orchards for Apple Picking with Kids

B.J. Reece Orchards is a great place to spend a weekend picking apples with the family. Photo by author
B.J. Reece Orchards is a great place to spend a weekend picking apples with the family. Photo by author
8/27/23 - By Melanie Preis

Atlanta apple picking checks every box for an enjoyable fall outing—getting close to Mother Nature, letting children frolic in an apple orchard, taking home delicious apples (souvenir bonus!), and enjoying autumn weather. Besides the actual apple picking, many Atlanta apple orchards and apple u-picks feature attractions for families.

Apple picking near Atlanta may include hay rides, petting zoos, and of course, filling one's face with as many apple-related baked goods as possible from the on-site bakery. There are no rotten apples in this bunch of wonderful Atlanta orchards!


Many of the attraction-focused apple orchards near Atlanta are only a short drive from the city, and as you drive north, check out the wonderful fall colors that surround the drive. Note: Keep a lookout on each orchard's website or social media page as apple-picking days vary, as well as crop statuses. September to late October are the best times to pick apples so start finding those tasty apple pie recipes now. There's more seasonal info in our fall guide!

And don't forget to read more about what Atlanta has to offer local kids and families by subscribing to our Mommy Poppins Atlanta newsletter.

Apple Picking Near Atlanta with Kids

B.J. Reece Orchards —Ellijay

2023 Dates: August 26-October 29

B.J. Reece posts its u-pick calendar so kids and families know which apple varieties are available to pick on certain days (apples include Rome Beauty, Crimson Crisp, Golden Delicious, and Evercrisp). Everyone over the age of 2 pays $8 per person on the weekdays and includes the farm slide, corn box, duck races and petting farm play time. On weekends visitors pay $13-$26, depending on which activities they want to do. (The Super Fun package for $26 includes weekday attractions as well wagon ride, admission to the pig races, milking the cow, jumping pillow play time & cow train ride.) U-pick apples are measured in bushels and pecks and cost between $10-$40. You can even bring your four-legged family members—B.J. Reece allows leashed dogs into the orchard!

B.J. Reece Orchards has a tasty on-site bakery and market, open Monday-Saturday, 9am-6pm, and Sunday, 1-6 pm, selling the yummiest apple-filled baked goods (we seriously recommend getting an apple cider doughnut...or five).

Hillcrest Orchards offers great attractions, including cow train rides. Photo by author

Hillcrest Orchards —Ellijay

2023 Dates: September 2-November (or until crops are picked)

Hillcrest Orchards kicks off apple-picking season on Saturday, September 2 and runs every day until the apples are gone, usually around Halloween. Hillcrest features apple varieties including Rome Beauty, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Cameo and many more. Every weekend during the apple season, Hillcrest puts on the Apple Pickin' Jubilee with fun attractions like cow train rides. Families pay $18 per per person on weekends and these are the only days in which visitors can pick apples (u-pick priced seperately). 

The bakery is open daily 9am-6pm and features delicious treats that will get you in the fall spirit. Hillcrest Orchards and Farms makes apple pies, apple cider doughnuts, and their famous apple fritters. Another great part of the bakery is you get to watch the bakers at work making their apple creations.

R&A Orchards —Ellijay

2023 Dates: Weekends, September 2-October 29

Located a few miles east of Ellijay, R&A Orchards has been an apple-picking destination and family-run business for more than 50 years. Every weekend in September and October, visitors pay $5 for admission (which includes a family-friendly tractor ride) and head to the orchard for apple picking. Available apples vary throughout the month, but available types may include Rome Beauty, Ginger Gold, Honey Crisp, Gala, and more. Flower picking is also offered. R&A also has a market that is open seven days a week, 9am-6pm. 

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Red Apple Barn —Ellijay

2023 Dates: Weekends, August 26-November (or until crops are picked)

Spend the weekend at Red Apple Barn: Saturday, 10:30am-5pm and Sunday, 1-4pm. Admission is $10.75, which includes a tractor ride, one apple from the orchard, a cup of apple cider, an apple cider doughnut, three flowers, rock and pumpkin picking, games, access to the playground, and more (kids under 2 are free). Purchase additional apples in bins at the orchard by the quarter peck ($6), half peck ($10), peck ($20), and half bushel ($32). The market, open Monday - Saturday, 9am-6pm, and Sunday, 1-5:30pm, sells yummy apple products, including apple breads, apple chips, apple cider and doughnuts, and more.

close-up of apples on the tree
The apples are gorgeous and delicious at Mercier Orchards.

Mercier Orchards —Blue Ridge

2023 Dates: Weekends, August 26-Until crops are picked

Located a few miles north of Ellijay, by the Blue Ridge mountains, sits Mercier Orchards. The family-run orchard is well known for its lush grounds, u-pick options, market store, and hard cider. This year visitors are taken by tractor to the orchards where staff helps them pick apples. The Mercier Orchards market is still open every day, 9 am-5 pm, and offers apples available for purchase (as well as other produce, jams, jellies, and more tasty products). 

Apple Season Events Near Atlanta

Georgia Apple Festival —Ellijay

Happening in Ellijay, across two weekends in October, Georgia Apple Festival is a celebration of fall, great food, art vendors, and of course, apples! Occurring October 14-15 and 21-22, Georgia Apple Festival costs $10 admission for adults and free for children under 12. Events include Apple Arts (arts and crafts in downtown Ellijay), Apple Classic Auto Show, a 5K, parade, and much more. 

Apple Pickin' Jubilee at Hillcrest Orchards - Ellijay 

On weekends during apple season families head to Hillcrest Orchards for this fun event. For $18 per person, get access to many attractions, including the apple tree maze, cow train rides, cow milking, mini golf, wagon rides, and more, as well as live shows, like pig racing. This is also the only time visitors can pick apples at Hillcrest. 

Remember to check each orchard's website and/or social media as weather and other factors can affect crop availability, hours of operation, and event programming.