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September marks the start of my favorite season of the year, fall! Fall is the season for jumping into piles of colorful leaves, grabbing a cozy sweater for a brisk autumn walk, and picking apples from the trees.
My family loves apple picking in New Jersey! Apple picking is by far our favorite fall activity. There is nothing quite like going to a New Jersey apple orchard and gathering your own crop of apples. My kids love running through the rows of trees, filling our baskets with apples. They love eating apples right from the tree and all the yummy things you can make with apples.
Apple picking also provides plenty of exercise. It’s a time to enjoy the great outdoors and also it can be a great learning experience. When my preschooler and I picked apples we like to count our apples as we drop them into the basket- instant math lesson!
Older kids can guess the weights or compare and contrast the different apples they collect. The great thing about living in New Jersey is that we have so many different apple orchards to choose from.
We’ve created this list of great farms for apple picking in New Jersey where you can pick your own apples and tips for picking apples. Take a look and find the perfect farm for pick your own apples. Hopefully one of these farms will be the perfect place for you to enjoy some “Jersey Family Fun” this fall.
If you do visit one of the farms from the list make sure to tell them that you heard about them from Jersey Family Fun. We would love if you post a picture of your family’s apples on our Facebook page and tell us where you got it!
New Jersey apple picking orchards can receive a complimentary listing or an upgraded featured listing by contacting Jennifer Auer, publisher at Jenniferauer@jerseyfamilyfun.com.
Things You Need to Know BEFORE Picking Apples in NJ
Before going out to pick apples there are many facts people like to know. These include when the best time for picking is, how to store them, and more. Read on to find out all of this information as well as where to pick apples in NJ, where NJ apple festivals are this year and some fun facts about apples.
In addition to our tips for picking apples and where to go for pick your own apples in New Jersey, I’m also sharing Amazon affiliate links. These links will help you find the items you need and that I recommend quickly. We do participate in Amazon’s affiliate program. When you make a purchase using one of our links we earn a small commission.
What month is best for apple picking in NJ?
Apple Picking Season for New Jersey starts in late August and goes all the way until October 31st. Peak times for apple picking are from the beginning of September until October 15th. September is usually the best time of the year to pick apples because while they do ripen at different times depending on the variety of apples you’re choosing, early fall is the most reliable time to pick apples.
When does the apple picking season generally start in NJ?
Apple picking season generally starts in New Jersey at around July 15th, with the season really picking up in September and October.
The weather patterns can cause a delay or increase in the production of apples yearly, which is why there tends to be a window of a few months to pick. However, most people prefer to pick their apples in September as that, generally speaking, has produced some of the best and most ripened apples throughout the previous apple-growing seasons.
How long does apple picking season last in NJ?
Apple picking season lasts until early October during the prime picking season, but many orchards still have apple picking until the end of October.
One of the most significant factors to consider when picking apples is that the season can end shorter than the actual “climate” season due to orchards running out of apples. Most apple orchards will update their status online to keep customers informed if they still have apples left to pick. However, it’s a good idea to check the situation before heading out the door.
Some people may decide to pick each month during the apple picking season to get the best and more ripened apples. However, since apples need a lot of sunlight during the growing season, one little tip to keep in mind is that the apples on the outside of the tree usually tend to ripen quicker than those growing on the inside. This means that you may be able to bump up your apple-picking time of the year by picking those apples first.
When are the best days to pick apples during the season?
The best days to pick apples during the season are when it’s warm and sunny but not too hot, as apple picking can be a bit labor-intensive!
The climate zone of where you live also is an indicator of the best time to pick, as is the type of apples that you’re choosing. Certain apples tend to grow at different times, so contacting the orchard and finding out the variety of apples that they produce can help you know the best time or days to pick apples.
When is the best time of day to pick apples during the season?
The best time of day to pick your apples will be during the early morning before too many people fill up the orchards.
You can also pick apples at dusk as well to combat the hotter temperatures of the year. But, of course, weekdays offer the flexibility to beat the crowds during any time of the day most times, too.
What do you wear while apple picking?
The most important thing to wear is proper footwear. Make sure you and the apple pickers in your family wear comfortable footwear like sneakers or work shoes. Closed-toe shoes are better because it can be muddy or sandy between rows of trees. Additionally, you may be climbing and reaching higher to reach apples in the trees.
If it’s sunny then a hat would be very helpful. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a little dirty. You’ll also want to wear clothing that’s comfortable enough to allow you to stretch towards those high up apples.
Check out these cute apple-picking t-shirts.
- Apple Picking Crew – Orchard Autumn Youth T-Shirt
- Let’s Pick Apples Apple Picking Season T-Shirt
- SpiritForged Apparel Apple Picking Crew Toddler 3/4 Raglan Shirt
- Apple Pickin’ Princess Girl Apple Picking T Shirts
While not needed, gardening gloves can help keep your hands from getting sticky or dirty. Here are a few we’ve discovered on Amazon.
How much does it cost to pick your own apples?
The price per pound for apples will vary depending on the type of apple and the time of year. New in the season, you can expect to pay close to $2.00 per pound or more for picking fresh and ripe apples.
At the end of the season, you’ll find better deals that will usually cost less and be more in line with the pricing of $1.50 per pound or less.
Do you need to bring your own container for apples?
It’s always a good idea to check with the orchard to see what their rules are. Most will have bags that you can use but are always open to people bringing in their own containers for all their picked apples.
Some apple orchards have 5-gallon buckets that you can use to gather up your apples, but the buckets must be emptied and returned before leaving the orchard.
If bringing your own bag or basket for picking apples, make sure the bag/basket is strong and sturdy. Unlike berries or other pick your own fruits, apples can be quite heavy, especially when picking several.
Here are a few fun and cute and sturdy bags and baskets for bringing home all those apples you and your family picked.
- LIOOBO Seagrass Basket
- Cornucopia Wicker Basket with Handles
- Round Wooden Half Peck Baskets – Set of 2
- SSWBasics One Peck Basket – Set of 3
Check out this apple picking apron bag. It lets you pick apples without having to hold a basket in your hands.
How long does it take to pick apples?
When the apple orchards are in full production, it can take less than 10 minutes to fill a gallon basket. As the season progresses, it takes more time to fill a basket.
Tips for Picking Apples at NJ farms
Before picking apples in New Jersey follow these helpful tips.
Call ahead of time for picking availability.
We have many of the picking times at NJ apple orchards available in this article. Picking for any fruit or vegetable is dependent on how the crop is doing that season, time of the season, etc… Often farms may stop picking for some time to let fruits ripen as well. Call before going or check their social media pages to see what the picking status is for the farm.
How do you know when an apple is good to pick?
When deciding if an apple is ready to be picked, the easiest thing to do is to view it visually and feel the apples.
When you want to pick an apple off a tree, a ripe apple should easily come off the branch. Although you should never pull an apple directly from a tree, twisting the stem until the apple comes off the branch shouldn’t be difficult to do. If the apple is ripe, it should twist off easily and come apart from the branch of the tree.
You can also check if an apple is ripe and ready by giving it a gentle squeeze. If an apple is really soft, it’s overripe. An apple that is ready to be picked should be firm and not squishable in your hands.
Look at the coloring of the apple to decide if it’s ripe and ready to pick. Keep in mind that different types of apples will produce different types of color. For most apples, if the coloring is yellow or red, it is a visual indicator that they’re ripe and ready.
The other big tip to remember is that just because apples are lying on the ground doesn’t mean that all the apples on the tree are ripe and ready. Some apples will indeed break off and fall to the ground when they are ripe, but they also could have fallen for other reasons such as wind, storms, etc. Never base apples being ripe off the fact that some apples are lying around the tree’s base.
What’s the best way to pick apples from trees?
Picking apples from the tree by hand does require a soft touch so that you don’t damage the tree or the branch.
Please resist the urge to pull the apple from the branch and instead twist the apple in circles by holding it in the palm of your hand. The twisting will cause the apple to break free of the branch without causing any damage to future growth.
Holding the apple in the palm of your hand while twisting is crucial because it keeps the apples from getting damaged in the process. If you use your fingers, there is a good chance that you’ll be applying too much pressure without even realizing it and cause bruising all over the apple.
Show care to the farm
Be careful not to trample other plants as you move from apple tree to apple tree. But also don’t rush from one tree to the next. Pick all ripe apples from a tree before moving on to the next one. You may have to walk around the tree to find more apples ready for picking.
It’s usually a good thing to pick off any overripe apples. Ask the farmers what they prefer. Some may say toss them in the aisle or even feed them to animals on the farm. This way the overripe apples can’t spoil the next set.
Be sure to also check any Covid-19 guidelines for farms before going.
Since you or the kids might be at the same apple tree for a 5-10 minutes picking apples consider getting a stool that’s easy to carry. This gives you or the kids a steady surface to stand on while reaching up to pick apples. Just be careful not to position the stool on top of any plants or uneven ground.
Here are a few stools on Amazon that are easy to travel with.
What should I do after picking apples?
Once you pick your apples, you have a lot of great options! Take them home and store them in space at room temperature or make room and store them in the fridge.
You can also wash the apples and eat them fresh from the tree as well. If you’ve checked them for ripeness before picking, fresh apples from the orchard have an unbeatable flavor.
If you have any plans for using the apples in a pie, you can immediately peel your apples and prep for pies or even prep them for the canning process to be able to store and use later.
For apples that may not fully be ripened, understand that apples continue to ripen after being picked from the tree. The most significant difference is that while apples will ripen after they are picked, they typically won’t ripen to their full sweetness. They’ll still be delicious to eat but may not reach the full flavor of sweetness had they ripened entirely on the tree.
The Best New Jersey Apple Picking Orchards for Pick Your Own Apples
Please call these pick your own apples NJ farms first, before visiting, to ensure they have apples available for picking. Crop yields tend to vary from day to day, and some farms do need to close for apple picking to give the trees time to rest and yield more apples.
Best Pick Your Own Apple Orchards In North Jersey
The following apple orchards and New Jersey farms with apple picking are located in North Jersey.
Bergen County NJ Apple Orchards
Demarest Farms is located at 244 Wierimus Road in Hillsdale. (201) 666-0472.
- Season: Apple picking begins September 3
- Schedule: Apple picking is 8 Am to 5PM Saturday and Sunday, for 2021 reservations are required.
- Cost: $7/person general admission, includes activities and a hay ride. $14 for bag to hold the apples.
Morris County NJ Apple Orchards
Parks Farms is located at 525 Route 24 in Chester. (908) 879-5509.
- Season: Apple picking begins September 14, 2021.
- Schedule: 9:30 AM – 6 PM daily
- Cost: $1.75/pound
Hillview Farms is located at 223 Meyersville Road in Gillette. (908) 647-0957.
- Season: Apples available late August through October 2021.
- Schedule: Open daily 9 AM – 6 PM.
Alstede Farms is at 1 Alstede Farms Lane in Chester. (908) 528-8823.
- Season: Apple picking starts in late August and continues through the end of October.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open 7 days a week, 9 AM – 6 PM, for 2021 you must purchase a reservation time in advance.
- Cost: Pick your own includes the cost of a specific container
Riamede Farms is at 122 Oakdale Road in Chester. (908) 879-5353.
- Season: Apple picking 2021 starts the first week in September and lasts until the middle of October.
- Schedule: Apple picking is open daily from 9 AM to 4 PM.
- Cost: Farm passes are required for $6.00; advanced purchase is strongly recommended
Stony Hill Garden and Farmer’s Market is located at 8 Rt. 24 in Chester. (908) 879-2696.
- Season: Stony Hill opens for apple picking in early September and the season runs through mid-October.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, for 2021 tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Cost: There is a fee of $7.99 to enter the orchards. After you finish picking apples your family can enjoy the corn maze and other fall activities for an additional cost.
Sun High Orchard is located at 19 Canfield Avenue in Randolph. (973) 584-4734.
- Season: The apple orchards at Sun High open September 14, 2021.
- Schedule: Open weekdays only 10 AM – 5:30 PM
- Cost: Everyone 4 years and older must purchase a bag to enter the orchard. 1/4 peck -$7, 1/2 peck – $12, 1 peck -$22
Wightman’s Farm is located at 1111 Mount Kemble Ave in Morristown. (973) 425-9819.
- Season: Apple picking starts in August and goes through October 2021. Call for more information.
- Schedule: Friday 10AM-4PM, Saturday and Sunday 9 AM – 5:30 PM, for 2021 advanced registration is strongly recommended.
- Cost: $25.00 per person for the entire season (children under 3 are free) includes mazeland and hayrides. You also receive a reusable souvenir tote bag to carry your haul. The fruit is weighed and priced per pound when you exit.
Passaic County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Sussex County NJ Apple Orchards
Beemerville Orchard is located at 73 Lusscroft Road in Sussex, New Jersey. (973) 875-1029
- Season: Apple picking starts September 7, 2021 and runs through October.
- Schedule: The farm is open Monday- Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Cost: Entrance to the pick your own field is free. $27 for a half bushel bag, cash only.
Hillcrest Farm and Dairy Orchard are located at 2 Davies Road in Frankford. (973) 703-5148.
- Season: The apple orchard opens in the middle of September 2021 and stays open through October.
- Schedule: They are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 4 PM.
- Cost: Entrance to apple picking and hayride is free. Apples are $1.90/pound
Pochuck Valley Farm is located at 962 Rt. 517 in Glenwood. (973) 764-4732
- Season: Pochuck starts picking apples in August 2021 and continues through October 31.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open daily from 7 AM to 4 PM
- Cost: Prices are for 4 people $30.00 1/2 bushel =20 pounds or for 2 people $20.00 for a peck =10 pounds fruit
Warren County NJ Apple Orchards
Longmeadow Farm is located at 561 Blairstown Road in Hope. (908) 459-5351
- Season: Longmeadow is open for apple picking in September and October 2021
- Schedule: They are open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Cost: Entrance to the orchard is free. You only pay for what you pick.
Mackey’s Orchard is at 284B County Route 519 in Belvidere. (908) 475-1507
- Season: Mackey’s opens for picking September 7, 2021.
- Schedule: Mackey’s is open on weekends from 10 AM to 4:30 PM
- Cost: A $3 hayride is required to reach the orchard. The charge for the apples is by the bag. A half-peck bag (approx. 5 lbs.) is $10. A peck bag (approx. 10 lbs.) is $20 and a half-bushel bag (approx. 20 lbs.) is $30
Race Farm is located at 87 Belcher Road in Blairstown. (908) 362-8151
- Season: Race Farm starts picking apples in September 2021.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Cost: Entrance to the pick your own fields is free. You only pay for what you pick.
Stoneyfield Orchard is located at 5 Orchard Street in Belvidere. (908) 475-5209
- Season: The apple orchard at Stoneyfield is open from August to October 2021.
- Schedule: Stoneyfield’s hours are Saturday and Sunday 12 PM to 4 PM.
- Cost: Apples are $2/pound
Tree-Licious Orchards is located at 135 Karrville Road in Port Murray. (908) 689-2906
- Season: The apple orchard is open September and October.
- Schedule: Tree-Licious is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Cost: Pick your own admission is free. You only pay for what you pick. The cost for special events varies.
Von Thun Farms is located at 438 Route 57 West in Washington, (732) 986-6816
- Season: Apples are available September 18 through October 2021.
- Schedule: Saturday and Sunday 9AM-5PM
- Cost: Picking passes or General Admission tickets are required to enter the apple orchard. Picking passes are $5 and one must be purchased for each person entering the orchard. You will be credited $3 per pass to your final purchase.
Best Pick Your Own Apple Orchards in Central New Jersey
The following apple orchards and farms with apple picking in New Jersey are located in the central region of New Jersey.
Hunterdon County NJ Apple Orchards
Bonacorsi Family Farm is at 1137 Croton Road in Flemington.
- Season: Apple picking starts in late August and continues through the end of October 2021.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open Fridays from 10AM – 2PM and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM-4PM.
- Cost: $28/half bushel, and $18/peck
Melick’s Cider Mill & Orchard is located at 19 King Street in Oldwick. (908) 439-2318
- Season: Apple picking starts September 7 and continues into November 2021.
- Schedule: The pick your own fields are open 7 days a week from 9 AM to 6 PM, reservations are required
- Cost: Pay for what you pick.
Phillips Farm is located at 290 Church Road in Milford. (908) 995-0022
- Season: Apple picking starts in September and continues through the end of October 2021.
- Schedule: 9 AM – 6 PM Saturday and Sunday
- Cost: The cost for apples is $2.00 per pound, Honeycrisp variety is $3.29/lb.
Mercer County NJ Apple Orchards
Lee Turkey Farm is at 201 Hickory Corner Road in East Windsor. 609-448-0629
- Season: Apple picking is August-October 2021.
- Schedule: Monday through Saturday 9AM-6PM, Sunday 2PM-6PM
- Cost: Picking requires a $2 membership good all season as well as a $5 deposit refundable to your purchase. Pay for what you pick.
Terhune Orchards is at 330 Cold Soil Road in Princeton. 609-924-2310
- Season: Apple picking is September-October 2021.
- Schedule: Monday – Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM
- Cost: You must purchase a picking bag ($8-$26). Apple Days Harvest Festivals ($10 admission) are every weekend in September and October
Middlesex County NJ Apple Orchards
Giamarese Farm is located at 155 Fresh Ponds Road in East Brunswick. (732) 821-9494
- Season: Apples are early September to Columbus Day 2021.
- Schedule: Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM
- Cost: Ages 10 and up need a $7 picking pass.
Von Thun Farms is located at 519 Ridge Road in Monmouth Junction. (732) 329-8656
- Season: Opening for the season September 21 2021
- Schedule: Hours are Saturday and Sunday 9AM-5PM
- Cost: Admission fees vary by day; attractions are not available weekdays.
Monmouth County NJ Apple Orchards
Eastmont Orchards is located at 169 Country Rd 537 in Colts Neck. (732) 542-5404
- Season: Early September to late October 2021
- Schedule: Open Monday -Friday 9 AM – 5 PM, Saturday & Sunday 9 AM – 6 PM
- Cost: Cash and checks only, Apples are $1.99/pound
Battleview Orchards is located at 91 Wemlock Road in Freehold. (732) 462-0756
- Season: Early September to late October 2021
- Schedule: 9AM – 4PM
- Cost: Cash only, $1.69/pound
Somerset County NJ Apple Orchards
Ripple Hill Farm is located at 181 Mountain Road in Basking Ridge. 908-647-1300
- Season: Open September 19, 2021 through October
- Schedule: Sundays 12 PM – 4 PM.
- Cost: Entry fee of $5.00 per person (children under 10 are free) cash only
Best Pick Your Own Apple Orchards in South Jersey
The following apple orchards and New Jersey farms with apple picking are located in South Jersey.
Atlantic County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Burlington County NJ Apple Orchards
Strawberry Hill Farm is located at 3 Waln Road in Chesterfield. (609) 298-0823
- Season: Until late October 2021
- Schedule: Tuesday-Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM
- Cost: $1.25/pound
Johnson’s Corner Farm is located at 133 Church Road in Medford. (609) 654-8643.
- Season: Hayrides to apple picking (additional cost) operate from September 12 – October 14, 2021.
- Schedule: Hours for hayride are Monday – Friday 10 AM to 5 PM on the hour, Saturday and Sunday 9:30 AM to 5 PM continuous
- Cost: Apples are $1.99/pound, hayrides are $5/person
Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm is located at 2691 Monmouth Road in Jobstown. (609) 353-9000
- Season: September 3 to October 31, 2021.
- Schedule: 9AM – 3:45 PM
- Cost: Park and pick $11.95 per person; Apples are $5.50/ 1/4 peck; 1/2 peck $9; 1 peck/$15
Russo’s Fruit & Vegetable Farm annex is located at 299 Flyatt Road in Tabernacle. (609) 268-0239
- Schedule: 2021- Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM.
- Cost: Apples $1.49/pound, $3.50 wagon ride to the fields is required.
Cape May County NJ Apple Orchards
Stiles Farm is located at 172 South Delsea Drive in Cape May Court House. (609) 600-7939.
- Season: Late July – late October 2021
- Schedule: Weekends, 10 AM – 3 PM
- Cost: $2.50/pound
Camden County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Cumberland County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Gloucester County NJ Apple Orchards
Duffield’s Farm is located at 280 Chapel Heights Rd in Sewell. (856) 589-7090
- Season: Season begins in August 2021
- Schedule: 10 AM – 4 PM, for 2020 tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Cost: Hayride to the orchard is $5.00 per person and you purchase a small or large bag to fill. $10 bag holds about 10 lbs – roughly 20 apples, $20 bag holds about 20 lbs – roughly 40 apples
Hill Creek Farms is located at 1631 NJ-45 in Mullica Hill. (856) 223-0028
- Season: September 2021
- Schedule: Friday 8:45AM – 5PM, Saturday and Sunday 8AM – 5PM.
- Cost: $5 admission in advance, $7 at the farm; $1.95 lb for Gala Apples and Ruby Queens
Heritage Vineyards is located at 480 Mullica Hill Rd in Mullica Hill. (856) 589-4474 Season: Heritage Vineyards opens for apple picking August 14. Schedule: Every day 10 AM – 4 PM Cost: Apples are $1.99/pound
Mood’s Farm Market is located at 901 Bridgeton Pike in Mullica Hill. (856) 478-2500
- Season: End of August until Thanksgiving 2021
- Schedule: 8 AM – 5 PM Monday-Saturday
- Cost: $1.50/pound
Ocean County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Salem County NJ Apple Orchards
- None that we are aware of
Do you love apple picking in New Jersey? Did we include your favorite NJ apple orchard? Let us know in the comments below.
With so many NJ farms nearby to choose from, your family is bound to pick apples that will last months!
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