Story by James Warden
Fall is approaching—and with it, apple-picking season. Several local spots offer a choice to pick your own apples or chose from some pre-picked produce. Many of the locations below have additional activities available in addition to apple orchards.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's AppleHouse offers a wide variety of apples, including University of Minnesota introductions. Plus, fresh produce, University of Minnesota ice cream, garden tools and more are available. Call the AppleHouse Hotline for updates on current varieties available. A portion of proceeds benefits the University of Minnesota apple research program.
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily Sept. 1 through Nov. 4. (The closing time is 4 p.m. after Oct. 31.)
- Address: At the intersection of Rolling Acres Road and Highway 5 in Victoria (just 1.5 miles west of the Arboretum entrance)
- Contact: 952-443-1409
You can pick your own apples at Minnetonka Orchards. The orchard is open now. The Fall Harvest Kick Off event takes place Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. There will be cider brats, hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and apple donuts—in addition to apple picking. There will live music, kids face painting, apple express cart ride, hayrides and goats. Picking is available throughout the season. The type of apples available depend on the weekend. “Even if there is no u-pick open on a specific day or weekend you will still be able to purchase apples in the retail barn,” according to Minnetonka Orchards website. Other events available, according to the website, at the include hayrides, barn shopping, hay mountain, Owen’s barnyard, corn maze and more.
- Hours: Call for hours
- Address: 6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista
- Contact: 763-479-6530
If you’re looking for a full day of fun, Apple Jack Orchard in Delano is a good spot. This family owned orchard, which opened in 1983, has oodles of activities for kids of all ages. Wagon rides, corn maze, petting zoo and a gift shop are just a few of the unique things customers will find.
- Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday. The orchards open for the season Aug. 6, with Adventure Farm activities starting Labor Day weekend.
- Address: 4875 37th Street SE, Delano.
- Directions: Take Highway 55 west through Rockford, turn left on Wright County Road. (Signs are posted along the way)
- Contact: 763-972-6673
Honey Crisp, Haralson and Honey Gold are just a few of the apple varieties available at Knapton’s in Greenfield. You can pick your own or decide on pre-picked varieties. In addition to apples, raspberries, strawberries and other are available in the fall as well. Apples should be available starting in September.
- Hours: Pick your own hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.
- Address: 5775 State Highway 55, Greenfield
- Directions: Located on the south side of Highway 55, 11.5 miles west of I-494 in western Hennepin County at the intersection of Lake Sarah Heights Drive.
- Contact: 763-479-1184
Pies, crisp and 28 varieties of apples are available at Deer lake Orchard in Buffalo that you can pick and purchase. The orchard opened Aug. 17 this year. Make sure to call ahead for apple availability. Other family-friendly activities include wagon rides ($3 per rider), corn maze, kids play area and more.
- Hours: Call for hours
- Address: 1903 10th St SW, Buffalo
- Contact: 763-682-4284