10 Family-Friendly Vineyards and Hard Cider Houses in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
Looking for the best family-friendly vineyards in Westchester and the Hudson Valley? Read on for 10 picks worth a day trip.
While apple picking season is winding down, the rich orchards of Westchester and the Hudson Valley are more than one-trick ponies. Many of the orchards we flock to for farm fun also feature vineyards and hard cider houses. Some are particularly appealing to families, making a visit a fun outing for all ages.
Below we've rounded up 10 destinations for hard apple cider and wine that are suitable for kids. If, however, you are more of a beer connoisseur, there are plenty of Hudson Valley breweries for you to visit as well. Once you've sampled your way through Westchester and the Hudson Valley, be sure to check out our roundup of family-friendly wineries on Long Island. We've also got plenty more seasonal picks in our Fall Fun Guide.
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Top Family-Friendly Vineyards in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
1. Dressel Farms – New Paltz
Families have much to enjoy at Dressel Farms, which offers pick-your-own apples and pumpkins, ice cream, a farm stand, and hard cider for the grown-ups at its Kettleborough Cider House. Seating at the taproom's outdoor patio is first-come, first-served on weekends. Ice cream is homemade, and many flavors are created from produce grown on the farm. The apple cider donut flavor is a must-try. The apple-picking season runs through October, subject to availability.
2. Angry Orchards – Walden
Book your table in advance to enjoy the outdoor "Cider Garden" at Angry Orchards. Small bites are served alongside a selection of hard ciders. Orchard Tours can also be booked. For a fun seasonal perk, Angry Orchards is hosting a Halloween movie night outdoors on Friday, October 21, when it screens the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as a '90s- and 2000s-themed Halloween Bash on Saturday, October 29. Tickets for all events can be booked on its website.
3. Apple Dave's Distillery – Warwick
Loaded with seasonal fun, Apple Dave's has been a mainstay for awesome autumnal activities since its founding in 1949. It offers apple and pumpkin picking, live music, farm animals, cider donuts, a farm store, and a Halloween store. Adults can enjoy cider, beer, wine, and cocktails. Everyone appreciates the views of the open fields, mountains, and lake.
4. Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard – North Salem
Traditionally the site of raucous annual fall festivals, Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard offers loads of attractions on fall weekends, including apple-picking, hayrides, pony rides, bouncy houses, bungee jumping, live music, food, and delectable cider donuts. You can also find Hardscrabble Cidery here. A variety of brews, all crafted from apples grown on-site, are available. Stop and say hello to the farm animals, and pop into the farm market for treats, fall decor, mums, donuts, and hard cider to-go. The pumpkin patch is open for picking.
Magnanini Winery offers plenty of space to spread a picnic blanket and enjoy a tasting flight in the great outdoors.
5. Magnanini Farm Winery and Restaurant – Wallkill
In addition to wine tastings, this venue spices up the fun with pasta nights and live acoustic music amid outdoor seating. Family-style meals get rave reviews. A "picnic fridge" is stocked with wine tastings to go, so you can grab your selection and find a quiet spot to spread a picnic blanket and enjoy it alfresco.
6. Thompson’s Cider Mill and Orchard – Croton-on-Hudson
You can visit this working cider mill and orchard on weekends through Thanksgiving, and the mill is open on Thanksgiving Day as well. If you’re shopping for fresh-pressed cider, however, Thompson’s suggests that you visit nearby Fable Farm, where apples and apple cider donuts are also sold, as well as hard cider on weekends.
7. Millbrook Vineyards & Winery – Millbrook
This spacious setting in Dutchess County allows ample room for children to relax and spread out while adults sample the assortment of wines. Food trucks regularly take up residence on the weekends. Picnic tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic and blanket or folding chairs to find a spot to spread out. Millbrook Vineyards also offers live music, lawn games, and other attractions.
Stone Ridge Orchard has a market with apple picking and cider tasting.
8. Stone Ridge Orchard – Stone Ridge
Situated in Ulster County, this sprawling orchard offers pick-your-own seasonal produce in summer and fall, a farm stand, and a "Farm Bar" serving wine, beer, and cocktails in addition to hard cider. Family-friendly events populate the calendar from time to time, too.
9. Warwick Valley Winery – Warwick
This multifaceted destination offers apple-picking in the fall, a grill, a winery, and hard cider. More than 60 different types of apple trees are grown on-site. Outdoor dining is available at Doc's Bar & Grill, which serves hard cider, wine, sangria, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and more.
10. Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm – Yorktown Heights
Known for its apple and pumpkin picking, corn maze, cider donuts (with a full view of the machine that makes them), and farm market, Wilkens is also home to White Hill Vineyard. The Vineyard is open Saturdays and Sundays, 12pm-4:30pm, through October. If you’d like to brave the corn maze, purchase tickets at the farm market, bakery, or the pick-your-own pavilion.
Originally published in 2020. Tom Stefanchik contributed additional reporting. Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the respective venues