As fall descends upon the region, that means it’s time for pumpkin spice and everything nice. In New York, that includes apple-picking adventures in September and October.
Even for city-dwellers, this classic autumn activity is more accessible than you may think. Check out one of these nearby farms or orchards to stock up for a baking day or to simply enjoy the foliage with friends and family while partaking in a traditional fall pastime.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm
This family-operated farm, which was established in 1828, offers more than a dozen varieties of apples for you to pick, depending on the month. Located at 62 Granite Springs Road, Stuart’s Fruit Farm is only about an hour from the city. The farm also features a pumpkin patch and hayrides on the weekends. Before leaving, stop by the bakery for apple cider doughnuts, pies and other baked goods.
Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard
Located in North Salem, and accessible via Metro-North, Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard offers a variety of family friendly activities, including apple picking, a pumpkin patch, hayrides, pony rides, games and live music. Some activities are only available on weekends, but you can pick apples weekdays, as well. Vendors serve up kettle corn, local French cakes, lemonade, Italian cheeses and sausages, funnel cakes and more. The store also sells apple cider and doughnuts.
Love Apple Farm
Braeburn, Honey Crisp, Empire, Macoun, Zestar – Love Apple Farm has a wide variety of pick-your-own apples. Make sure to check out a schedule to see which variety is available when. This farm, at 1421 State Route 9H in Ghent, is open seven days per week. Besides apple picking, families also can enjoy a petting zoo, playground, art exhibition and lunch at the café, which offers authentic, homemade Mexican specialties.
Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm
At Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm, in Yorktown Heights, you park your car and take a hay wagon or walk to the designated picking orchard (the location changes weekly as different varieties ripen). Even more varieties of apples are available for purchase in the Apple Farm Market. In October, you can also pick your own pumpkin. Additionally, Wilkens operates a bakery featuring lunch foods, homemade baked goods and candy, and the country market, where you can purchase country-themed gifts and local crafts.
Dr. Davies Farm
Featuring more than 4,000 trees on 55 acres, Dr. Davies Farm on 306 Route 304 in Congers is a lovely spot to visit with family and friends. The farm even allows pickers to bring along their dogs. Other fun activities to enhance your apple picking experience include a pumpkin patch and a corn maze decorated with festive fall items.
As pointed out in this blog post from Mommy Poppins, many popular farms start getting sparse by the end of September, so don’t wait too long to partake in the fun. Be sure to contact a farm or orchard ahead of time to verify availability and hours of operation.