Apple picking season is upon us and my family is so excited! This is something we do every fall as a family tradition. It always allows for an amazing country day out of the city for some family fun. Its a great way to teach our youngsters from an early age the science around seasons and how it effects seasonal produce. Between the hayrides, the mazes, and all the other fun activities each farm offers, my kids always go home so thrilled. They also each so proudly take apples to school that next week disclaiming that they picked the apples themselves. I can never deny myself an apple cider donut. YUM! Here is a list of some of the most popular and recommended farms near NYC.
Harvest Moon was the farm you all responded the most about. Located just north of NYC in North Salem, this family owned farm kicks off their apple picking season every year on August 31st with Fall festivals every weekend of September and October. Festival activities include hayrides, apple cannons, bouncy castles, pony rides, face painting, and so much more. Don’t worry about bringing your own lunch! Harvest Moon has bbq food, brick oven pizza, apple cider donuts, and kettle corn just to name a few. For those traveling by train take the Metro North line from Grand Central Station to Croton Falls.
New Jersey has some of the best apple picking farms in the tri-state area and Alstede Farms is a great example. A family run farm that grows just about it all. No matter the time of year this property and the Alstede family is nourishing the land that feeds them . The farm offers apple picking, corn mazes, a fully stocked farm store, homemade fudge and ice cream, local honey, farm animals, even a summer farm camp! Located in Chester New Jersey, the Alstede farm is definitely worth the 1 hour & 30 minute trip!
Don’t be fooled by its name, Love Apple Farm doesn’t just farm apples. Also farmed on this property are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, cherries, gooseberries, and peaches. Originally purchased in 1969 by an actor and his supermodel wife as a place to raise their growing family outside of the city, who still run the farm today. It is said they chose this farm as opposed to others because of its sweet name. This property also includes a café and a bakery. With so many berries being grown on the land you’d hope they’d have a bakery. This apple season the orchard includes 6 different varieties. This farm is further north on your way to Albany but came highly recommended and would make a great pit stop for any fall road trip up north.
Harbes Family Farm is one of the very best options for a family fun filled day. Its almost as if this land was designed for the fall season and fall family festivals. With a giant new playground, tons of farm animals for their petting zoo, jumbo jumpers, a gnome maze, a sports zone, a bunnyville, and SO much more, when I say they have it all Im not joking. Even though its a 2 hour drive out east on the north tail of Long Island this farm is totally worth every mile. Its location in wine country also makes it perfect for a vineyard, which it is! Whether you take home apples, apple cider, or a bottle of wine, this farm is at the very top of my personal list of musts every fall season!
2 hours north of the city in Duchess County is the charming town of Fishkill NY. Fishkill Farms which was originally founded in 1913, is a treasure within this beautiful county. This farm offers apple picking, hayrides, live music, apple cider donuts, and a hard cider garden. Yum! Their popular pumpkin patch will also be opening up to visitors on September 21st. A great place to pick apples and pick out some halloween pumpkins. This is the great location for a weekend getaway from the city and what a wonderful time of year to take it all in.
Also in the Hudson Valley is Wilkens Farm. This farm is a great holiday go to! With apples, pumpkins and Christmas tress all grown on their land, you’re bound to fill all your holiday needs. Oh and a winery! Hehe! Also sometimes a holiday need. With a different variety of apple for every different week of the season, plan accordingly before making your visit to guarantee your favorite type. Like many apple farms and orchards Wilkens Farms has a bakery and produce shop. This farm is one of the closest to the city on our list making it a great option for a busier day.
Last but not least is my personal favorite farm out east, Milk Pail. We all know I love being out east during the summer but my love for the Hamptons is year round. Milk Pail is a beautiful orchard perfectly situation in Watermill. They grow over 20 different types of apples for this special season. While also offering a pumpkin patch for pumpkin picking off the vine. We make a trip to this farm every year and we’re all looking forward to it again this year.
*originally published 9/7/20