We know it must be Fall when we feel that chill in the air, the leaves start to change color, harvest festivals abound and apple picking season begins. Pennsylvania is one of the country's top apple producing states, so we are fortunate to have a number of orchards in the area where we can enjoy this favorite Fall tradition. Many of the orchards host activities to extend the fun beyond apple picking - everything from tractor rides and corn mazes to moon bounces and music festivals.
There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms listed below, all within an hour's drive of Philadelphia. Because farm conditions and apple selection can vary throughout the season, it is recommended to call or check the website before visiting.
Barnard's Orchard—Kennett Square
This family owned orchard features a variety of pick-your-own apples throughout the fall season.
With a variety of apples to choose from, and fall festivals taking place every weekend from September 30 to October 28, 2017, as well as Columbus Day (October 9, 2017), it is worth the drive to check out this Lancaster farm.
Highland Orchards—West Chester
Shuttles run to the fields on the weekends, but during the week you are able to drive your car there after stopping at the market first to pre-pay. Highland has many varieties of apples, which are sold by the container, not per pound. Harvest Festival weekends in the fall include hayrides, face painting, scarecrow building, and more.
Johnson's Farm—Medford, NJ
In nearby Medford, just a quick drive over the Ben Franklin Bridge, enjoy apple picking at Johnson's Farm where the first day of picking is September 9, 2017. There are also a ton of family-friendly activities to engage in on the farm, including pedal go-karts, an obstacle course, climbing rocks, and more.
Much more than just an orchard, Linvilla is a huge outdoor destination for families. The Pumpkin Land display alone is worth the visit, along with a large playground, farm animals, a market, and festivals on the weekends. Families can take a hayride out to Linvilla’s 20 acres of orchards with 25 different varieties of apples.
The Market at DelVal—Doylestown
Pick your own apples and pumpkins via a wagon ride that takes you through the farm and across a giant corn maze. The Market also has a great selection of cheeses and delicious ice cream. Apple picking season kicks off on September 2, 2017 with Apple Fun Days.
ShadyBrook Farm is a great Bucks County spot for seasonal outdoor activities. Along with the PumpkinFest corn maze, inflatables, giant jumping pillows, and playground, the farm also offers visitors a wagon ride to pick-your-own apples. Fields are closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Snipes Farm and Education Center—Morrisville
Snipes Farm offers one of the widest selections of apples to pick in the area, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Jonagold, Empire, Melrose, Ida Red, Keepsake, Royal Court, Crispin, Honey Crisp, Fuji. Pick your own apples on Saturdays, September 24-October 30, 2017.
Solebury Orchards—New Hope
Take a wagon ride to the orchards on weekends, where the driver can bring you directly to the best picking spots. With more than 20 different varieties of apples ripening at different times during the season, pick-your-own is available through the first week of November. The 15 acres of orchards are open Thursday through Sunday.
This orchard with a large variety of pick-your-own fruits and vegetables is located close to the Oxford Valley Mall, with easy access from Route 1, I-95, and the PA Turnpike. Wagon rides to the apple orchards are available. Styer Orchard advises calling first to determine the picking conditions for that day.
Tabora Farm & Orchard—Chalfont
This is one of the smaller farms on our list, with parking directly in front of the apple picking area. It's easy to get in and out, especially if you have little ones with a short attention span. The market has a great selection of bakery items and the feel of an old country general store.
Pick-your-own fruit at Weaver’s is relaxing and kid-friendly. All of the apple trees are dwarf trees, so most of the fruit is easy reach. You can visit the farm Monday-Saturday to pick your own, but check the website as hours vary throughout the season.
When you arrive home with your bounty of freshly picked fruit, be sure to try some of our favorite apple recipes.
Originally published September 2014. Updated August 2017.
Photo of Solebury Orchards courtesy of Cait Sumner for Mommy Poppins