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As summer comes to a close, the apple orchards in Minnesota start to gear up for the fall season — or, apple picking season. Whether you’re looking for a romantic date or a fun family afternoon, you can find plenty of activities to fill a weekend at these seasonal spots, including hayrides, apple slingshots, jump pads, corn mazes and even pony rides for the kids.
Of course, the main draw is the wide variety of apples you can pick yourself, or you can purchase by the pound, peck or bushel. You can also find orchards with other fruits, baked goods, and freshly pressed apple cider for you to take home.
Pick a weekend or weeknight to check out these five orchards in Minnesota!
1. Afton Apple Orchard
The Afton Apple Orchard in Hastings has way more than apples; you’ll find more than a dozen varieties of the fall fruit there, like raspberries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and pumpkins. The concession stand also offers hot chocolate, cider, apple donuts and fritters, hot dogs, and chips.
The little ones will have plenty of options, too! There’s a giant corn maze, a train, a jump pad, and a petting zoo. Activities are $2 to $10 admission, and orchard admission is $4 to $5.
Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. mid-August through October 31
2. Apple Jack Orchards
Expect lots of family fun at Apple Jack Orchards in Delano, where you can pick your own apples or pumpkins, shop at the country store, and play on the farm. Little ones can ride the cow train, play on tractors or jump into the corn pit. There’s also a corn maze, a hay bale maze and pony rides. Most of the areas are free and open throughout the week, but weekends are when the Fun Farm is open. Cost of admission is $5 to $15.
Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily August through end of season
3. Fireside Orchard & Gardens
Since 1971, Fireside Orchard & Gardens has been growing apples in Northfield. The wide variety of apples includes Honeycrisp, Honeygold, SweeTango, and Fireside. Aside from the delicious apples, Fireside is also known for its lovely rose garden, Halloween pumpkins and vintage tractor collection. Reserve one of the apple, pecan, or pumpkin pies for the holidays, or just go to pick apples and enjoy the beauty of the orchard.
Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. mid-August to December 24
4. Minnetonka Orchards
If you’ve ever wanted to see how far an apple would fly using a giant slingshot, you can do that at Minnetonka Orchards in Minnetrista. Of course, you can buy apples in 12 different varieties and enjoy the hayrides, petting zoo, and live music. It’s also a pet-friendly orchard, so feel free to bring your furry friends.
Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily August through October 31
5. Pine Tree Apple Orchard
For the most varieties of apples, check out Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. With nearly two dozen types of apples, you’re sure to find the right ones for snacking and baking. The bakery is a great place to pick up pies for your holidays, and you can even buy apple gift baskets filled to the brim with apples, jams, jellies, nuts, cheeses, syrups, and spreads. Weekends are full of family entertainment, including wagon and pony rides, a corn maze, and a pumpkin patch.
Open mid-August through October (salesroom open through March); hours vary
Interested in a treat or a cup of coffee after a day of apple picking? Stop by our shop in Wayzata or Chanhassen!