13 apple orchards worth checking out this season

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We all know the drill by now: Every business operates a little differently, and that includes our apple orchards. But there are still plenty of places worthy of a full fall day, with apple picking, pumpkins, corn mazes, and cider donuts. Here are a few in the metro area – just be sure to call ahead or check websites before you go, as Mother Nature and COVID can quickly change availability and restrictions.

Aamodt apple farm

The orchard / vineyard / cider extravaganza is open seven days a week for the remainder of the season. Apple lovers can pick their own Monday through Friday (check the website for apple availability and calendar updates) and purchase a variety of Minnesota apples (yes, including Honeycrisp) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily inside the barn. Cart rides are suspended this year due to COVID, but the goat farm, gift and treat shop, cider house and winery are still open for a full day of fall fun. 6428 Manning Avenue, Stillwater, 651-439-3127, aamodtsapplefarm.com

Apple orchards

Delano’s Apple Jack Orchards is back in full force this year. Pick your own bushel (the team lists availability online daily) or let the pros do it for you and buy a pre-picked bag at the Apple Market. The whole family can make it a day out exploring the corn maze, playing in the corn pit and jumping pad, checking the apple cannon, riding the cow train or carts (weekends only ), selecting a pumpkin in the square, shopping in the gift shop, and stopping for lunch on site – no outdoor food is allowed, but Apple Jack has expanded its outdoor seating options to allow fully social distancing on busy fall days. 4875 37th street, Delano, 763-972-6673, applejackorchards.com

Deardorff orchards

In Waconia, Deardorff Orchards and Parley Lake Winery are open Fridays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (no picking on Fridays) and weekends (pick and pre-pick available) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You thirst to explore the 125 acres from the orchard? Stop in the tasting room for local sips and a chance to see its new art gallery. To verify parlylakewinery.com for food truck and live music programs. 8282 Parley Lake Road, Waconia, deardorfforchards.com

Deer Lake Orchard

Sure, you can pick your own apples (and / or buy some pre-picked apples) in Deer Lake, outside of Buffalo, but your fall day doesn’t end there – stay for wagon rides on. weekend, four acre corn maze, playgrounds, apple slingshot (apples can fly How? ‘Or’ What far ?!), plots of pumpkins and squash, plenty of animals to visit, live music, and dining options (music and food weekends only). Check the website for current U-pick options for their 28+ apple varieties. Want the apple party to continue? Grab a take out pie or apple crumble and your house will smell like fall all evening. 1903 SW 10th St., Buffalo, 763-682-4284, deerlakeorchard.com

Emma Krumbee’s

At this perfect spot, ride a cart to the orchard to pick your own (depending on availability and Mother Nature’s fickle schedule, you may be able to choose from up to 10 varieties). While you’re at it, choose your own pumpkin or gourd, attend the scarecrow festival, and munch on apple treats. Don’t forget to bring home a pie, crispy or freshly baked bread. 311 Enterprise Dr. E., Belle Plaine, 952-873-3006, emmakrumbees.com

Orchard and gardens by the fire

You might not be able to pick your own apples at Fireside near Northfield, but it’s still an idyllic setting for a sunny fall day. Shop for pre-picked apples (27 varieties throughout the season), explore the rose garden and fish pond, play lawn games, snack on donuts and more. Can’t you smell the crowds? Pre-order apples and curb them all season long, or meet the Fireside team at the Minneapolis Farmers Market if a trip to Northfield isn’t on the cards this year. 2225, boulevard Lonsdale E., Northfield, 507-663-1376, Firesideorchard.com

LuceLine Orchard

This Watertown gem is open Wednesday through Sunday for Picked and Pre-picked apples (featuring varieties like Honeycrisp, Haralson, Keepsake, and Snow Sweet) and Insta-classic fall activities like a 30 Corn Maze (! !) acres, apple slingin ‘(pretty much what it sounds like), hay rides, kids’ train rides, pumpkin picking, treat and gift shopping, face painting, farm animal watching and more Again. Food, cider, beer, wine and the famous apple fritters from the orchard are available when hungry. Check the website for live music schedules and Apple-y updates. 2755 Rose Ave., Watertown, 612-817-6229, lucelineorchard.com

Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard

Are you looking for unique varieties? Minnesota Harvest has over two dozen apple breeds available to pick and buy in advance, depending on what time of season you show up. Plus, visit their farm animals, get lost in a corn maze, take a tree walk, and sip home-made cider (er, orchard-made) on the patio. 8251 Old road. 169 Blvd., Jordan, 952-492-2785, minnesotaharvest.net

Minnetonka Orchards

Under a new owner this year, one of the area’s most popular orchards (and the one closest to the metro) is back with its full list of attractions this year: U-pick and bagged apples, hot cider, pumpkins, hay rides, food and treats including the famous cider donuts, live music, animal petting, activities for the kids and more. (Note that admission is free Wednesday through Friday, then increases to $ 10 / adult and $ 7 / child on weekends. 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, 763-325-4024, minnetonkaorchardmn.com

Montgomery Orchard

The Montgomery U-Pick Experience and Pre-Pick Bags are back this year, with a dozen different kinds of apples available throughout the season (and two kinds of pears, hello). The six-acre corn maze is back this year, with shorter, more difficult options, but hay walks are on hold for 2021 due to COVID. However, you can still make a day of travel with nature walks, live music, food trucks, ciders, and home-made wines. 15953 State Hwy. 99, Montgomery, 952-221-1051, montgomeryorchard.com

Apple orchard with pine trees

Another option close to the metro, White Bear Lake’s favorite orchard grows over 20 varieties of apples for purchase pre-picked. When you stop to grab a bag or two, take a stroll through the corn maze, select your perfect pumpkin from the square, and find a local treat or gift in the shop. 450 Apple Orchard Road, White Bear Lake, 651-429-7202, pinetreeappleorchard.com

Sweetland Orchard

Crowded tastings inside the barn resume in 2021, but the Sweetland team has a sweet alternative: at least 12 hours before you arrive, shop online for apple and / or cider tasting kits and boxes of apples overflowing with your selection (plus cards to explain what you taste, and a cutting board and knife for the apple kits) will be ready for you once you’re there. Bring your own picnic or shop for local meats and cheeses once you arrive, then bring your bounty to the picnic tables dotted around the orchard. Find a new favorite? Buy bags of apples or bottles of cider on the way out, and don’t forget to say hello to the pigs and chickens. 26205 Fairlawn Avenue, Webster, 651-252-4337, sweetlandorchard.com

Whistling Well Farm

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Whistling Well offers pick-your-own and pre-baked apples, as well as moms, pumpkins, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, cider and freebies, including a series of books for children on the farm. dog, Emmy. Depending on the day, the orchard also hosts live music and food trucks (check the website for updates). 8973 rue Sainte-Croix S., Hastings, 651-998-0301, Whistlingwellfarm.com


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