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. For more seasonal activities check out our Connecticut Fall Fun Guide.
Rogers Orchard prides itself on its delicious cider doughnuts.
Karabin Farms - Southington
A local family owned farm in Southington, has pick your own apples in September until late October. All PYO includes a free wagon ride to the orchard Friday through Monday from 9:30 am-4pm. If you go on the weekends you’ll be able to check out the donut and snack shack. They also have a variety of animals to visit such as cows, horses, and pigs. Pick Your Own is sold by the bag. A one peck bag for $15.00 or a large 1/2 bushel bag for $25.00.
Rogers Orchards - Southington
You can pick your own apples in September through mid October. They have two locations in Southington both open Friday-Sunday from 10 am-5 pm. Bags are provided and you can mix and match with all your favorite varieties.
Dondero Orchards - South Glastonbury
Donero's has apple picking daily from 8 am-6 pm. On the weekend, check their bakery for homemade apple fritters! After picking your apples, be sure to ask them for their 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. Please check their Facebook page for their Fall hours and directions to their two locations.
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 on the weekends from 8 am-5 pm. Go visit the Hungry Harvester Concession Stand from 10 am-4 pm to try their famous apple fritters and irresistible freshly baked apple cider donuts.
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. They are open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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
Litchfield and Fairfield Areas
Beardsley's Cider Mill and Apple Orchard - Shelton
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. This year their pick-your-own apple crop was wiped out due to weather conditions. They still sell apples and other items in their storefront however.
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 their 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
New Haven and Middletown Area
Family owned since 1871, Bishop's offers 110 acres of apple crops. During the off-season find fresh apples at the farm store or PYO at three orchard locations when the time is right. Bishop's provides bags at no cost and on weekends enjoy a tractor ride to the orchard. An entrance fee applies on weekends in addition to the cost per pound of fruit picked. Call Bishop's information line before heading out to the orchard (203) 458-PICK.
Belinsky Farm - Oxford
Small, scenic, and brimming with PYO apples, Belinsky Farm has PYO hours from 9 am-5 pm on weekends. For weekday hours, call ahead.
Drazen Orchards - Cheshire
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. PYO guests are asked to finish up their harvest by 6 pm. Crops vary season to season, always call before you go.
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.
Blue Hills Orchard - Wallingford
Sells freshly harvested fruits from their orchards. There is no PYO option, but this farm merits a mention all the same. On weekends beginning at the end of September enjoy hayrides around the property for $5 per person. Kids age four and younger ride fore free. Seasonal fruit served along the route which lasts about 45 minutes.
Lyman Orchards - Middlefield
Centrally located in the middle of the state, is a large and popular orchard with amazing views. PYO is open daily from 8 am-5 pm. Apples are $1.50/lb. You can sign up on their website for "pick your own alerts" so that you never miss a fruit season. Also check out the Apple Barrel market, open daily from 9 am-6 pm, featuring fresh local fruit, baked goods, and specialty items.
Scott's Yankee Farmer - East Lyme
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.
Allyn's Red Barn - Ledyard
Allyn's provides pick-your-own apples, as well as a farm store brimming with pies, cider, and other delicious treats. Call ahead to confirm hours of operation.
Horse Listeners Orchard - Ashford
Horse Listeners boasts a large variety of apples, peaches, blueberries, and assortment of veggies. Children will enjoy pony rides on weekends, and the entire family will appreciate the free apple cider available after a long day of picking fruit.
Beardsley’s Cider Mill - Shelton
Pick-your-own apples in September and October. The semi-dwarf apple trees here grow only 10-12 feet off the ground, making it fun and easy even for little ones to reach the good fruit. Cash or check only.
Holmberg Orchards - Gales Ferry
Holmberg Orchards offers a little of everything: a variety of pick-your-own apples, a superb farmer's market with lots of local offerings, and a winery that features hard ciders and fruit wines.
Bishop’s Orchards - Guilford
More than 20 varieties of apples are available from mid-August to late October. On weekends, enjoy a tractor ride into the orchard. While here, indulge in a luscious pie, decadent fudge, or a wholesome meal, including soups and sandwiches.