Kids can pick apples from the smaller trees at Alstede Farms. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
Kids can pick apples from the smaller trees at Alstede Farms. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala

10 Top Apple Picking Orchards and Farms Near NYC

Starting just before Labor Day weekend and continuing through the fall, orchards around the tri-state area offer families a chance to pick their own apples. Many apple picking orchards also host cool kids' attractions, including hayrides, petting zoos with barnyard animals, bouncy houses, and corn mazes. Some even sell home-baked treats like apple cider donuts.

While there was a time when apple trees thrived in NYC (ever wonder how Orchard Street got its name?), city families today need to head out of town to pick their own fruit. There are plenty of wonderful apple orchards in the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut, although many are quite a long drive, and we know nothing derails a fun family outing like a stressful commute. So we've rounded up 11 places to pick your own apples that are an hour or less from Midtown Manhattan by car. A few are even accessible by train.

For other fun farm outings, check out our Pick-Your-Own Guide.

Apple picking in the Northeast typically kicks off in early September, but several farms, especially in New Jersey, have certain varieties ready for picking by mid-August. The picking season lingers into early October, depending on the orchard. However, the popular farms closest to NYC may be picked clean before then. Be sure to call ahead to confirm hours, attractions, availability, and prices, as COVID-19 precautions, weather, and fruit conditions can force frequent changes.

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Apple Picking in New York

Take a tractor ride to the orchard. Photo courtesy of Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

1. Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard – North Salem

2020 update: Apple picking occurs on weekends only and reservations are required. Apple picking begins on Saturday, September 5. The popular annual fall festival has been canceled, and there will be no hayrides, pony rides, children's activities, or live music.
130 Hardscrabble Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan. Also accessible via Metro-North.
Formerly part of Outhouse Orchards, this family-run farm allows visitors to pick their own apples beginning around Labor Day. The farm hosts a fall festival on weekends in September and October where families can enjoy a pumpkin patch, pony rides, face painting, bouncy houses, and other carnival-like fun in addition to picking armloads of apples. Be sure to grab some homemade doughnuts and cider from the store before you leave. This farm is a cab ride away from the Metro-North Croton Falls station.

2. Orchards of Concklin – Pomona

2020 update: The apple picking season starts Sunday, September 20. Visit the website for up-to-date information.
2 South Mountain Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan.
The Orchards of Concklin has been a prominent fixture in Rockland County for more than 10 generations. In past seasons, each person over the age of 3 entering the orchard has been required to purchase a 1/2-peck bag to fill.

3. Stuart's Fruit Farm – Granite Springs

2020 update: Apple picking season kicks off Saturday, September 5, at Stuart's. Hayrides are on hiatus for the season. Masks will be required when social distancing isn't possible, and staff asks that only one person from your party wait on line to purchase picking bags. No outside food can be brought to the farm this season.
62 Granite Springs Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan.
Beginning in early September, this century-old, family-owned farm offers more than 20 types of apples ripe for the picking every day. Scenic hayrides are also offered on weekends. This is a cash or check-only spot.

RELATED: Apple Picking at Eco-Friendly Fishkill Farms

Picking it straight from the source is a thrill for all ages! (Ask before climbing any trees, though.) Photo by Shira Kronzon

4. Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm – Yorktown Heights

2020 update: Wilkens anticipates starting its 2020 season the last weekend of August or the first weekend of September. There will be no hayrides this season. Wilkens' season lasts into October; you can find a full harvest schedule on the website.
1335 White Hill Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan. Also accessible via Metro-North.
An apple-picking trip here includes a hayride out to the orchard. There are dozens of varieties. Check the farm's schedule to see when your favorites will ripen. If you're already planning your holiday season take note: Wilkens offers pumpkin picking beginning around October 1 and cut-your-own Christmas trees starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving. No car? Take Metro-North to the Croton-Harmon or Peekskill stations, and then a 15-minute taxi ride to the farm.

Grab an apple picker for those hard to reach apples at Dr. Davies Farm. Photo by Matt Nighswander

5. Dr. Davies Farm – Congers

2020 update: Apple picking begins Saturday, September 5.
306 Route 304
About 50 minutes by car from Midtown Manhattan
This historic 35-acre orchard is home to 4,000 trees and opens for daily apple picking on Labor Day weekend. Be prepared to battle school groups during the week. Note: This location accepts cash only, and there is an ATM on-site.

6. Outhouse Orchards – North Salem

2020 update: Weekend visits require reservations, which can be booked online in advance.
139 Hardscrabble Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan. Also accessible via Metro-North.
Outhouse Orchards (nope, it's not a joke; it's named for the family that owns it) dates back to the late 1800s. Its pick-your-own apples season kicks off on September 1 and there are hayrides and a corn maze, too. Note: Parking on weekends is $10, but weekday parking is free. No car? No problem. Take Metro-North to the Croton Falls station and catch a cab to the farm.

See our guide to more apple picking north of NYC in Westchester and Rockland County.

Apple Picking Orchards in New Jersey

Alstede Farms offers rows upon rows of apple trees, plus kiddie entertainment like pony rides and a hay pyramid. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala.

7. Alstede Farms – Chester

2020 update: Pick-your-own tickets are required and must be purchased online before you visit. Courtesy transportation to the fields is available with social distancing protocols in place. Large gatherings at the farm have been postponed indefinitely, though some smaller events are beginning to pepper its calendar.
1 Alstede Farms Lane
About 1hour by car from Midtown Manhattan. Also accessible via New Jersey Transit.
Talk about agritainment: In addition to being open for daily apple picking, the farm offers all of its special attractions (corn maze, pony rides, hayrides, a bouncy house, and farm animals to feed) every single day, not just on weekends. It has dozens of apple varieties, including several ready for picking in August. Check its picking schedule before taking the trip. Get a wristband and spend the day. You can picnic or partake in the concessions. Even better: You don't need to rent a car to get here. Take New Jersey Transit to the Gladstone station and then a taxi or FREE courtesy shuttle to the farm.

8. Demarest Farms – Hillsdale

2020 update: The pick-your-own apple season should start around Saturday, September 5. A reservation is required to visit. Hayrides and other farm fun will not be offered, and strollers must be left at home.
244 Wierimus Road
About 40 minutes by car from Midtown Manhattan
Demarest has the distinction of being the closest apple-picking destination for NYC families. Just across the Hudson River, this popular farm offers apple picking beginning Saturday, September 5. Seven bucks gets you a hayride, time at the playground, and face time with the farm animals; pay an additional $12 fee for a bag to hold all the apples you can pick. The farm store offers plenty of lunch fixings, including hot food, salads, soups, donuts, and desserts.

9. Riamede Farm – Chester

2020 update: The pick-your-own season at Riamede generally begins the Thursday before Labor Day weekend (Thursday, September 3, 2020), but exact details have yet to be released. Follow Riamede on social media for updates.
122 Oakdale Road
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan
Choose from more than 30 varieties of apples, including heirlooms, at this farm, which is open daily. No bouncy castles or petting zoos here; Riamede is all about apples, with the only extra being a complimentary hayride on weekends.

10. Sun High Orchards – Randolph

2020 update: Apple picking begins in mid-September. Please see the website for an up-to-date schedule as harvest season approaches.
19 Canfield Avenue
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan
Beginning in September, kids can get up close and personal with the alpaca and donkey, and take a leisurely hayride to the apple trees every day. Apples are sold by the pound, so only grab what you want to buy. Cap off the day with a trip to the farm stand for homemade ice cream or gather the kids around the picnic table for a late lunch in the shade.

RELATED: Pumpkin Patches and Hayrides for NYC Kids This Fall

Jonathon Apples ready for picking at Wightman's Farms. Photo courtesy of the farm.

11. Wightman's Farms – Morristown

2020 update: Pick-your-own is open weekends only and tickets are required but are purchased on-site.
1111 Mount Kemble Avenue
About 1 hour by car from Midtown Manhattan
A $7 membership purchase is required for every person over the age of 3 to enter this orchard, which buys you access every day, all season long. Privileges include discounts on purchases and weekend attractions such as a pumpkin slingshot, hayrides, and a corn maze. It's popular with local families and can get crowded, including the parking lots.

Find more pick-your-own apples in New Jersey.

Know Before You Go

  • In general, be prepared with masks and ready to observe social distancing no matter your farm of choice.
  • Call ahead to confirm hours, apple availability, attractions, and prices. Many orchards are small, family-run establishments that close unexpectedly.
  • Approximate driving times don't include traffic. Sadly, you're probably going to run into some, especially at the entrances to popular farms.
  • Leave your pets at home. They aren't allowed at most farms.
  • If you're thinking of packing a picnic, call ahead to make sure the farm allows you to bring your own food.
  • By late September trees start looking bare, so don't wait until Halloween to visit.
  • You picked the apples, now what? We've got some tasty and easy apple recipes for you to try.

This article, originally published in September 2012, is updated annually. Katie Nave Freeman contributed additional reporting.

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