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Family & Pets

Top Places To Go Apple Picking Near Philadelphia

September 13, 2013 7:00 AM

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(Credit: Chelsea Karnash/CBSPhilly.com)

(Credit: Chelsea Karnash/CBSPhilly.com)

basketofapples Top Places To Go Apple Picking Near Philadelphia

(credit: Thinkstock)

As summer’s heat fades and autumn takes center stage again, the area’s apple orchards promise one-of-a-kind family fun. Fill container after container with juicy fruit, and pick up a pie or two as well. While you’re at it, pet a few farm animals, take a pony ride, or even go fishing at orchards and farms that are perfect for the whole family.

Brecknock Orchard
390 Orchard Road
Mohnton, PA 19540
(717) 445-5704
www.brecknockorchard.com

Click here for prices.

This Lancaster County standout is only about 60 miles from Philadelphia and offers ample apple varieties ripe and ready for picking–including Jonamac, McIntosh and Gala –through mid-October. A flower field also awaits. Plus, every Saturday from Sept. 28 through Oct. 26, Brecknock hosts its popular Fall Festival, featuring hayrides, orchard tours, children’s crafts, a straw maze and make-your-own caramel apples, as well as soap- and applesauce-making demonstrations.

Linvilla Orchards
137 W. Knowlton Road
Media, PA 19063
(610) 876-8796
www.linvilla.com

Price: $1.99 per pound

This Philly favorite pick-your-own destination sits on 300 acres and is known for its dedication to entertainment, agriculture and education. Though it offers other fruits and vegetables, when it comes to apples, no one does it better than Linvilla. The apple season runs from mid-September through late October and there are 20 varieties growing on 20 acres. You also won’t want to miss this year’s Apple Festival, running Sept. 28 and 29, which features hayrides, a pie-eating contest, pony rides and face painting. While you’re there, be sure to get in some fishing, feed a few farm animals, and pick up scrumptious baked goods and freshly picked produce.

Solebury Orchards
3325 Creamery Road
New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 297-8079
www.soleburyorchards.com

Price: $1.25 per pound

Less than an hour from Philadelphia, 70-acre Solebury Orchards boasts an apple season that runs from Aug. 23 to Nov. 4. Seventeen pick-your-own varieties are available, including popular Honey Crisp, Cortland and Keepsake, a Solebury specialty. On September and October weekends, wagons take visitors out to the orchards rain or shine, so come with umbrella in hand. Be sure to also head to the cutting garden and pick a pretty take-home bouquet. Then stop by the market for some freshly picked produce, just-pressed apple cider and applesauce, or cooling cider ice.

Related: Plan a Staycation to Remember

Johnson’s Farm
133 Church Rd
Medford, NJ
www.johnsonsfarm.com
(609) 654-8643Price: $1.87 per pound

Medford’s Johnson’s Farm kicks off an apple picking season that runs from September 7 through October 14. Gala apples are the first to show up in trees, but there are six other varieties later in the season to pick from, including Empire, Red Delicious and Granny Smith. Don’t forget to stop at the Farm Market before you leave for fresh-baked apple pies, cider donuts, caramel apples and a farm favorite, Apple Cider Slushes.

Strawberry Hill Farm
3 Waln Rd
Chesterfield Township
www.strawberryhillfarm.org
(609) 298-0823Price: $0.85 per pound

This northern Burlington County farm is owned by second generation farmers Ross and Tara Kiesling, who offer a more laidback picking experience. There are no corn mazes or hayrides here, just lots and lots of delicious apples, including Gala, Macintosh, Golden Delicious and even Asian pears. Strawberry Hill is open seven days a week, and the apple-picking season runs from mid-August through last October.

Duffield’s Farm Market
Greentree & Chapel Heights Rd
Sewell, NJ
www.duffieldsfarm.com
(856) 589-7090The Duffield family has been farming for more than 80 years, and they don’t intend to stop anytime soon. This South Jersey farm raises more than 50 varieties of veggies and fruit and offers pick-your-own peas, strawberries, apples and pumpkins. Picking season depends on that year’s harvest, so call ahead before you make your way over. After you’ve got your basket of apples, stop by the bakery for some of their delicious apple cake or fresh cider donuts.

Hill Creek Farms
Harrison, NJ
www.hillcreekfarms.com
(856) 223-0028Hill Creek Farms uses a special “vertical axis apple planting” that originated in France and was used to grow dwarf apples. Their trees are evenly spaced and maintained in a pyramid shape, and they grow no higher than 12 feet at maturity. Offering eleven varieties of apples for the picking, this Gloucester County farm keeps visitors coming back year after year. In 2012, they started producing their own cider and offered u-pick Asian pears for the first time. The apple-picking season began Aug. 28 with Jonagolds and runs into November, when the last of the Fujis are harvested.

Strawberry Acres
1767 Clearview Road
Coplay, PA 18037
(610) 261-2323
www.strawberryacres.comPick-your-own is a specialty at this family owned, 100-acre farm, and the staff here makes it easy for visitors by providing containers and easy-to-reach dwarf apple trees. Eleven varieties are available, including Royal Gala, Honey Crisp, and great-for-baking Idareds. Already picked fruit is also available in the marketplace, along with baked items, preserves and fruit butters. On weekends, activities include games, pony rides, a treasure hunt, even a Noah’s Ark Animal Workshop in which kids may make their own stuffed animal on September and October Saturdays. All of this (and a life-sized carving of Johnny Appleseed) await less than 90 minutes from Philadelphia!

Weaver’s Orchard
40 Fruit Lane
Morgantown, PA 19543
(610) 856-7300
www.weaversorchard.com

Click here for prices.

This fourth-generation family farm is about one hour from Philadelphia and boasts 18,000 apple trees on its 35 acres, offering pick-your own at its best. Find more than 25 varieties grown here, including Star Gala, a new variety discovered here; all-purpose Golden Supremes; and crunchy Crimson Crisps–all grown on dwarf trees for easy reaching. Enjoy a market filled with baked goods, sandwiches and free-range meats, too. Family Fun Days on Saturdays during September and October feature live entertainment, good eats, hayrides, farm animal visits and face painting.

Related: Guide to Philadelphia’s Farmers’ Markets

Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and examiner.com contributor. Her work can be found here

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