Where to Go Apple Picking in New Jersey This Fall

At the risk of sounding basic.

At the risk of sounding basic, we love fall—and it has nothing to do with PSL season. And one of our favorite things to do during New Jersey’s most beautiful time of year is of course, throw on our favorite autumnal sweaters, grab our best pals, and head to the apple orchard.

If that’s not daydream material, we don’t know what is. And luckily for East Coasters and autumn loving New Yorkers, there’s no shortage of farms and orchards in New Jersey offering pick-your-own apple experiences. Ahead, you’ll find 13 spots where you can tick “apple-picking”—and then some with hayrides and family-friendly celebrations—off of your fall activity list.

If you’ve never been apple picking before, Eastmont Orchards is a great place to start. Not only do they have instructional videos on their website on how to perfectly pick an apple without damaging it (something that actually does take a little bit of know-how), but they also have an impressive variety of apples (from Crispin to Arkansas Black). If visiting on a weekend, expect to possibly keep up your strength with a food truck or two.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car
Cost: No entry fee to the farm, but apples will be charged by the pound. Call 732-542-5404 for current pricing.

Apple cider doughnuts, pies, cookies, breads, muffins—this farm knows how to work their produce into some baked good magic. When you’re done picking your own apples (the season starts August 25 and ends October 31), head to the bakery to load up on treats for the quick road trip home. And FYI: Each visitor gets a free apple cider sample if they visit during the cider season.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car
Cost: No entry fee or reservation required for visiting the farm, but expect to pay for your picked apples by the pound. Call 973-764-4732 for current pricing.

Donaldson Farms

Hackettstown

Head to Northern New Jersey where you can pick fruit every day of the week. Donaldson Farms is open daily from 9 am-6 pm (except on Sundays, when they close things down at 5pm) and doesn’t require a fee to enter. There are 23 different apple varieties grown on-site, from Winesap and Mutsu to Ida Red and Jonagold. You can also catch the family-friendly Fall Harvest Weekends, when visitors are invited to enjoy hayrides, corn picking, the 9-acre corn maze, visits with the farm’s ponies, the corn cannon, and more.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car
Cost: No entry fee. Apple bags are available to purchase at the farm and all self-picked fruit is charged by the pound. Call for current pricing 908-852-9122.

There are more than 50 apple varieties at Alstede Farms throughout the fall season. The best thing to do is to book a picking reservation online before your visit; each ticket comes with a timed entry. Your entry ticket also grants you access to hay rides, the corn maze, an evergreen maze, the hay pyramid, and the sunflower maze. The farm also hosts regular events and festivals, which you can read up on here.
Distance from NYC: One hour and 15 minutes by car
Cost: You’ve got options: Each apple picker will need to purchase an entry ticket, but reservations for access to the orchards must also be made.

Battleview Orchards posts frequent updates on pick-your-own hours and varieties on their Facebook page as the seasons progress. The farm requests that visitors call to check in on picking hours, but the Country Store is open from 9 am-6 pm every day (except Tuesdays), so you can always purchase produce, fresh-pressed cider, and other goods if you miss out on the open picking time. But the best part is that Battleview offers up some apple recipe recommendations for the produce picked on their farm (think: slow-cooked baked apples, apple pie, and apple crisp).
Distance from NYC: One hour and 15 minutes by car, two and a half hours by bus.
Cost: There is no entrance fee for apple picking. But the farm only accepts cash at the picking areas—expect to pay for apples by the pound and call 732-462-0756 for current pricing.

Demarest Farm

Hillsdale

Before you head to Demarest Farms for some apple picking (which kicks off on September 4!), make sure and book an online reservation. This is required to get you into the orchard for your own apple picking. If looking to make a day of it, plan a trip on one of Demarest’s movie nights. There’s also a shop at the farm that sells baked goods made onsite, flowers, produce, and more.
Distance from NYC: Forty-five minutes by car
Cost: $7 per person (age two and older—children under 2 are free). This includes parking and entrance to the orchard. Each apple bag costs $14 and holds 10-12 lbs.

Giamarese Farm & Orchards updates its website to share the apple varieties that are prime for picking, so check in before venturing over. Aside from apple picking, visit the greenhouse and market for plants and baked goods, hop on a hay ride on Saturdays and Sundays in October, or check out the corn maze. Discover a wide variety of apples, depending on when you visit: Autumn Gala, Blushing Golden, Cameo, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Jonathan, Macoun, Mollies Delicious, Nittany, Red Delicious, Royal Gala, Stayman Winesap, and Suncrisp.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car
Cost: Admission to the farm is free, some pick-your-own varieties will require a minimum fee. Expect to pay for apples by the bag.

The 53-acre Hillview Farms is open for apple picking come September. With the daily Farm Market (open 9 am-6 pm) and more apple cider donuts than you could eat in an entire season, it’s a great spot to take in the fall scenes. This working farm has been in the same family for five generations and it’s pretty hard to believe it’s only 20 miles from NYC. On the weekends in October, catch a ride on a tractor tour between the apple orchard and pumpkin patch.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car
Cost: Self-picking costs $10, which includes one pound of apples.

Apple picking kicks off in early September at Johnson’s Corner Farm, which is known for its family friendly attractions and events. There are ten different apple varieties grown at this orchard throughout the season: Early Fuji, Empire, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Staymen, Fuji, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Cameo, and Gold Rush. When you’ve done your share of apple picking, check out the gem mining station, corn maze, or try an apple cider slush. Reservations for self-picking are required—book a ticket on the Johnson’s Corner Farm website.
Distance from NYC: One hour and thirty minutes by car
Cost: Entry fees vary ($5 per picker on weekdays and $6 on the weekends). Apples are charged by the pound.

As opposed to other farms that host guests for fruit picking year-round, Longmeadow Farm focuses on apples, sweet corn, berries, and pumpkins. With 15 varieties of apples, the farm is open for picking on Saturdays and Sundays in September and October. There are often events held on the property, as well, which you can read more about on Longmeadow Farm’s Facebook page.
Distance from NYC: One hour and ten minutes by car
Cost: No admission fee or reservations required for entry and the farm offers free parking. Expect to pay for your self-picked apples by the pound.

As the largest apple orchard in New Jersey, Melick’s Town Farm truly delivers on fall flavors: not only can you pick your own apples (be sure to book a reservation online first!), but visitors can also sip homemade apple wine on your visit. In addition to hard cider, purchase non-alcoholic apple cider made on the farm. Apple picking kicks off in early September and runs through the second week of November.
Distance from NYC: One hour and five minutes by car
Cost: Reservations required on the website prior to visit, which will cost $2.99 per apple picker. Expect to pay for apples by the bag. Prices vary season to season, but call 908-832-2905 for current pricing.

The same family has been growing produce on this land since 1922. Way back when, you’d be buying your fruits and vegetables from a table across the street from what is now the market and cider mill. Today, visitors can pick their own apples Friday through Sunday. Wightman Farms does not take advance reservations, but a ticket is required—which can be purchased on-site—before entering the orchards. There’s also a picnic area, and a farm market if in need of al fresco snacks.
Distance from NYC: One hour by car
Cost: Each apple-picker above the age of 3 requires a membership card that can be purchased for $10. The membership grants you access to the self-picking spaces (June through October) and a reusable tote bag. All picked fruit is weighed and charged by the pound.

Every weekend between September 18 and October 31, Von Thun’s hosts Fall Fun events. During this time, visitors will be able to check out the apple orchard, pumpkin patch, and activity area which includes hay rides, pumpkin bowling, corn hole, barnyard basketball and pedal carts. Tickets to explore the corn maze are also available and in short, this great farm is especially ideal for families with kids. There are two Von Thun’s locations, so make sure to check out the farm at Monmouth Junction, which also offers apple picking. The Washington farm grows five types of apples: Autumn Crisp, Wonder Fuji, Candy Crisp, Stayman, and Super Red Fuji.
Distance from NYC: One hour and 10 minutes by car
Cost: All apple pickers over the age of 3 will need to purchase a $3 Picking Pass. Expect to pay for apples by the pound.

Erika Owen is a contributor for Thrillist.