Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Connecticut
Sweet or tart, red or golden, apples are fun to pick by the bushel with kids in Connecticut. Starting in late August through September, farms and orchards around the state are bursting with apples, and many offer wagon rides, hayrides, cider doughnuts and other fall activities and treats to enjoy with children, too. Here are some of our favorite spots to enjoy this fall family tradition in Connecticut.
Note: In 2020, due to COVID-19, many farms are delaying, or altering their u-pick plans, and changes could happen at any given time. Check with the farm before heading out. We will update the following information as we learn of changes. Expect face coverings to be required at these PYO spots per state guidelines, especially when social distancing cannot be maintained, so be sure to bring your favorite kid and grown-up face masks with you to the farm or orchard.
Rogers Orchard prides itself on its delicious cider doughnuts.
Where To Pick Apples in Hartford
2020 Update: The barnyard is closed and there will be no wagon rides.
You can pick your own apples in September through mid October. They have two locations in Southington both open Friday to Sunday. Bags are provided and you can mix and match with all your favorite varieties.
Dondero Orchards - South Glastonbury
Donero's has apple picking daily. On the weekend, check its bakery for homemade apple fritters! After picking your apples, be sure to ask the farm for its list of suggested usage ideas.
Rose's Berry Farm - South Glastonbury
Rose’s Berry Farm is a huge Pick Your Own destination. They are very well organized and offered a variety of pickings including seven different apple varieties.They also sell applesauce and apple cider.
Belltown Orchards - South Glastonbury
Yet another spot in agricultural South Glastonbury, Belltown Hill Orchards has 24 varieties of PYO apples from mid-August to early November, weekends only. Go visit the Hungry Harvester Concession Stand to try its famous apple fritters and irresistible freshly baked apple cider doughnuts.
Easy Pickins' Orchard - Enfield
North of Hartford in Enfield is Easy Pickins' Orchard. All of the apple trees are fully-dwarfed and offer apples for picking from just above the ground to the six foot level so that everyone can pick comfortably. There are 20 varieties to choose from.
Lost Acres Orchard - North Granby
Another spot north of Hartford to check out is Lost Acres Orchard, which has PYO apples with free wagon rides on the weekends in September and October. While there, check out the farm store, which sells apples, cider, pies, breads, soups, jams, mums, and handmade quilts.
Fully dwarfed trees make it easier for young pickers to reach. Photo courtesy of Beardsley's Cider Mill & Orchard
Where To Pick Apples in Litchfield and Fairfield
Beardsley's Cider Mill and Apple Orchard - Shelton
2020 Update: This season customers will be charged per bag on the way into the orchard. PYO will remain cash or check only.
Beardsley's is a smaller apple orchard, tucked away among the many historical farms in Shelton. Its rustic brown wooden barn and farmhouse building hide an orchard of over 5,000 apple trees. The orchard's dwarf and semi-dwarf trees with branches never growing higher than 10-12 feet are easy to pick. Beardsley's also has a farm store with all sorts of delicious foods: apples, of course, thick, local honey, homemade bakery products and the chief attraction: freshly pressed apple cider straight from the orchard's cider mill. Call for available varieties and picking times.
March Farm - Bethlehem
The trip itself to this wonderful 100-year old family farm is a feast for the eyes: scenic, gently winding country roads along and across fast creeks lead you up to the farm. Apple trees cover 50 acres of hills on both sides of the road. The farm store sells fresh, seasonal produce and all sorts of apples and homemade bakery products in addition to giant pies, cider-flavored donuts, and rich cookies. There is a play-scape on site as well as farm animals for the little kids to befriend. Open daily 10 am to 6 pm
Blue Jay Orchard - Bethel
Apples, pumpkins, farm store with cider mill, educational tours for schools. They sell apples and other items in its storefront.
Averill Farm - Washington Depot
Averill Farm is a local Litchfield County favorite. Everyone seems to stop by in the Fall to pick-their-own or to snack on the fresh home-made apple cider donuts. Tables and chairs are set up outside by the orchards where you can sit and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Litchfield Hills. They have pumpkins and gourds and other Fall items as well. Pick your own apples include Macintosh, Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, and more; 21 varieties in all!
Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm - Sharon
Ellsworth Hill offers pick-your-own apples, pears, and corn as well as apple cider and a corn maze. You can stop into its store on the way out and pick up jams, pies and fresh apple cider. Always make sure to call for schedules and availability – picking times for different varieties vary, some farms and orchards may open mid-September only.
Silverman's Farm - Easton
Come and pick your own apples and have the kids enjoy meeting some of the Silverman's farm animals too. They have goats, llamas, sheep and even buffalo! Before you leave, pickup some fresh apple cider or a fresh pie to take home. J and D kettle corn is available on the weekends.
Photo courtesy of Bishop's Orchards
Where To Pick Apples in New Haven and Middletown
2020 Update: At press time, there is no wagon ride. This season customers will be charged per bag on the way into the orchard.
Belinsky Farm - Oxford
Small, scenic, and brimming with PYO apples, Belinsky Farm has PYO hours on weekends. For weekday hours, call ahead.
Drazen Orchards - Cheshire
2020 Update: This season there will be no wagon ride.
Stroll the scenic acres of this Cheshire farm, bring a picnic to share under a shady tree, and pick your own apples all season long. On weekends enjoy a wagon ride.
Hickory Hill Orchards - Cheshire
Four decades and going strong, Hickory Hill Orchards in Cheshire offers more varieties of apple than you may have even heard of. Farm stand hours are 9:30 am - 6:00 pm and PYO apple orchards opened for the season in August with early varieties. Call ahead to ensure your best experience.
Norton Brothers Fruit Farm - Cheshire
Monday-Friday, from 8:30 am-5 pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 9 am-4:30 pm PYO at this Cheshire farm. Visit the farm market loaded up with fresh produce and other goodies.
High Hill Orchard - Meriden
Offers PYO and fresh apple cider Fridays from 12:00 pm-6:00 pm and Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am-5:00 pm. The farm is closed Monday through Thursday.
Rose Orchards - Branford
Located in North Branford, Rose Orchards offers seasonal PYO as well as a farm market and a creamery serving up old fashioned frozen custard.
Lyman Orchards - Middlefield
2020 Update: Picking groups or parties will be limited to no more than 4 to maintain safe social distancing in the field.
Centrally located in the middle of the state, Lyman is a large and popular orchard with amazing views. PYO is open daily , and you can sign up on its website for "pick your own alerts" so that you never miss a fruit season. Also check out the Apple Barrel market, featuring fresh local fruit, baked goods, and specialty items.
Apples, peaches, berries, and more grow at Horse Listeners. Photo courtesy of Horse Listeners Orchard
Where To Pick Apples in Eastern Connecticut
Scott's Yankee Farmer - East Lyme
2020 Update: At press time, it is uncertain whether tractor rides will be offered this year. Apple picking will start on Saturday, September 5 along with the corn maze. Both activities will require reservations on weekends and holidays.
One of the largest farms in Eastern Connecticut, Scott's not only offers apples, but also berries, peaches, and pumpkins. Hitch a ride on a tractor and see the farm from a different perspective.
Horse Listeners Orchard - Ashford
Horse Listeners boasts a large variety of apples, peaches, blueberries, and an assortment of veggies. Its fully stocked farm store is open year-round.
Holmberg Orchards - Gales Ferry
Holmberg Orchards offers a little of everything: a variety of PYO apples, a superb farmer's market with lots of local offerings, and a winery that features hard ciders and fruit wines.