Autumn in Westchester is such a lovely time of year, making it a little easier to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer. One fall tradition that is particularly sweet in the northeast is apple picking. We're lucky to have so many beautiful orchards and farms throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Many of these farms host fall festivals and other family-friendly events and attractions. Barton Orchards in Dutchess County is one such farm that offers much more than apple picking. I recently visited the orchard with my two school-aged girls and we all had a fantastic time. From pick-your-own produce to live entertainment, Fun Park games, even a haunted house, we've got all the details on what to see and do on this fun-filled orchard.
Barton Orchards offers pick-your-own apples—and a ton more! The 122-acre farm feels endless, with rows and rows of apple trees, peach trees, and (depending on when you visit) sunflowers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, string beans, blueberries, raspberries, currants, grapes and so much more. During peak apple-picking season, visitors can pick their own pumpkins right off the vine.
Beyond apple picking, visitors will find traditional orchard activities like hayrides and farm animals (my girls were swooning over the peacocks and emus). Other attractions include a 5-acre corn maze (allow as much as an hour to find your way!) and an amazing wooden play area comprising a large ship, castle and train. If that's not enough to delight your little ones, head to the Fun Park which offers a slew of assorted amusements for kids (and their adult escorts), like bounce houses, 60-foot tube slides, Hop-Along Racers and even team competitions like Boulderdash, to name just a few. And now through Halloween, Barton Orchards also has a haunted house!
Getting hungry? Granny Smith's Kitchen sells burgers, hot dogs, pulled-pork sandwiches, drinks and the like. Head to one of the sheltered picnic tables where you can enjoy live music (at select times) while you eat. The Farm Market & Bakery offers jams, soup mixes, some produce and delicious fudge, as well as pies, tea breads, cookies and oh-so-tender doughnuts.
Things to know before you go...
The corn maze, Fun Park and other select attractions are only open on weekends and require a Fun Pass for admission (additional fees apply).
Plan to arrive early and make a day of it as there's a ton to do (and wait time can be long, especially during the peak apple picking season). My family spent about 3 hours at Barton and didn't make it to many offered activities.
A limited number of wagons are available—you may want to snag one early to haul your load.
The haunted house is not recommended for small children.
Though portable potties abound, we're happy to report that construction is underway for actual bathrooms.
Barton Orchards is located at 63 Apple Tree Lane in Poughquag. Admission to the orchard is FREE on weekdays; $3 per person on weekends. Fun Passes are available for an additional $9.50 and are required for admission to the Fun Park, corn maze and haunted house. Visit their website or call (845) 227-2306 for more information.