Apple picking season is here! I used to look forward to apple picking every year as a child, and now I have just as much fun watching my little ones run through the orchards—not to mention the fresh-pressed apple cider and hot, delicious cider doughnuts! Many farms also have family-friendly entertainment and activities including live music, corn mazes, and more. Apple picking is also a great farm-to-table teaching opportunity and a wonderful way to ease out of summer.
So get your apple recipes ready and read on for our top picks for apple picking with kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family-owned and -operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.
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Pick apples straight from the tree or out of a crate at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard. Photo courtesy of the farm
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard – North Salem
This family-run farm allows visitors to pick their own apples daily beginning in September. On weekends, you’ll find fall festivals with lots of entertainment for kids, including farm animals, bouncy castles, hayrides, and more. The farm also offers homemade doughnuts, cider, produce, and fresh eggs. Take note: Dogs are no longer allowed on the premises.
Outhouse Orchards – North Salem
Apple picking starts September 1, 2018, with bags costing $25. In addition to fruit picking, there are also hayrides and a corn maze. There is $5 parking fee on weekends, but parking is free during the week.
Stuart's Fruit Farm – Granite Springs
With close to 20 different varieties of apples as well as pumpkin fields, this family-run farm has lots of fall fun. Apple picking starts in early September. On weekends, take a hayride that passes through the orchards and pumpkin fields to the crest of a hill, offering gorgeous views of the fall foliage. The original barn now serves as a fruit and produce stand. You can also enjoy fresh muffins, scones, pies, doughnuts, and apple cider, all baked on the farm.
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm – Yorktown Heights
Check in to get your bags and picking poles (available to rent) and catch a hayride to the apple orchard. The farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples available at different times throughout the season—picking starts September 1, 2018—so be sure to check the schedule to see when your favorites are ready. Pumpkin picking will be available later in the season, and the farm also offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees starting November 24. Its bake shop and markets offer freshly baked goods including pies, cookies, apple cider doughnuts, strudel sticks, snacks, and country-themed and seasonal crafts and gifts.
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Apples and fall fun are waiting at Dr. Davies Farm. Photo by Matt Nighswander
Dr. Davies Farm – Congers
Dr. Davies offers 4,000 trees spread over 55 acres, weekend hayrides drawn by tractor trailers, a corn maze, and a market that offers homemade doughnuts and fresh pressed cider, along with pumpkins, veggies, and more. Bring cash as credit cards are not accepted. Apple picking starts September 3, 2018.
The Orchards of Concklin – Pomona
This farm offers a variety of apples throughout the season. Apple picking starts September 16, 2018, and don't forget to visit the farm store and bakery with tons of goodies to choose from.
Apple Dave's Orchard & Winery – Warwick
Formerly Applewood Orchards, Apple Dave's was renamed for founder David Hull in 2015. In addition to delicious apples and pumpkins (in October), there are wagon rides, puppet shows, live music, and fresh apple cider donuts. Activities are free, and you only pay for what you pick.
Lawrence Farm Orchards – Newburgh
Apple picking starts in September at this Newburgh farm, which offers more than 15 varieties to choose from. Along with the picking, kids can have fun in the playhouses that make up the “Little Village.” The entrance fee is $3—but if you plan on heading over often, you can snag a season pass. You’ll also find apple cider donuts, apple cider, and lots of other tasty treats.
Masker Fruit Farm – Warwick
Instead of taking a wagon ride out to the orchards, drive your car up to the tree of your choice. On weekends, head to the Family Fun Area near the red barns for pony rides, baby farm animals, horse drawn wagon rides, a family-friendly haunted house, face painting, live music, and a pumpkin patch. The farm offers 14 different varieties of apples, so be sure to check the farm's ripening schedule to find out when your favorites will ready to pick.
Ochs Orchard – Warwick
There are lots of different varieties of apples to choose from—from Gala in early September to Golden Delicious in the beginning of October. Along with a market, there’s cider made on the premises. Plus, kids will love the petting zoo.
Pennings Orchard – Warwick
Pennings Orchard offers more than a dozen varieties of apples and a pumpkin patch, starting on August 25 this year. Families can enjoy weekend activities including a petting zoo, corn maze, pumpkin picking, a train ride, and more.
Barton Orchards – Poughquag
This 122-acre farm offers extensive pick-your-own options including apples, pumpkins, squash and more. Admission fees apply on weekends. Barton boasts tons of activities including a corn maze, haunted house, bounce house, slides and train rides. Read our in-depth profile on Barton Orchard for more details.
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Fishkill farms has a huge variety of apples as well as lots of treats! Photo by Diana Natal for the farm
Fishkill Farms – Hopewell Junction
There are lots of different types of apples at this 270-acre Hopewell Junction farm, all of which are either organic or eco-certified. You’ll also find doughnuts, ice cream, free hayrides, and more. It’s $5 to enter for adults and kids 12 and up, and Tuesdays are free.
Greig Farm – Red Hook
Apple picking at Greig Farm kicks off in September. On Saturdays year-round, check out the Hudson Valley Farmers Market—which also has a market on-site during the week, where you can grab lunch before (or after!) a day of picking.
Rose Hill Farm – Red Hook
There are more than 20 different varieties of apples ready to be picked from the end of August through the end of October at this 100-plus-acre farm. A number of events are held throughout the year, so keep an eye on their website.
Originally published September 2013 and updated for 2018.