You may still be in denial, but summer is over and it's time to get something sweet on our minds (other than pumpkin spice lattes). That's right, families of kids young and old are getting ready to pack up the crew and head out for an apple-solutely fun family day. Apple picking season is upon us, and it's the ideal fall activity to enjoy the crisp air and even more crisp fruit. These super juicy apple picking spots in and around Bergen County should be at the top of your fall activity list – they’re awesome to the core.
In Bergen County:
Demarest Farms (244 Wierimus Road, Hillsdale, 201-666-0472)
Home to 14 varieties of apples, this 130-year-old farm provides a beautiful setting for spending the day picking and shopping for other farm-fresh goodies including their homemade donuts and soups. Plan your trip through October 9 to enjoy picking plus their drive-through Halloween Light Show, which opens Saturday September 23. (Reservations required. Weekends and holidays 8 am-5 pm, Thursdays and Fridays 10 am-4 pm. Pumpkin picking starts September 23, Thursdays-Sundays 8 am to 5 pm).
In Rockland County:
Dr. Davies Farm (306 Route 304, Congers, NY, 845-268-7020)
Wander through their 55-acre farm filled with 4,000-plus trees where apples with 19 varieties abound and gorgeous vistas are at every turn. Visit their roadside farm stand for fresh fruits and vegetables, including their own sweet corn, sweet tomatoes, and fresh-pressed cider. This year, no reservations are required, so you can pick at your own convenience. (Apple picking open every day, weather permitting, from 10 am to 4 pm through November 9. No reservations required).
The Orchards of Concklin (2 South Mountain Rd, Pomona, NY, 845-354-0369)
This place has been a staple in Rockland County for 10 generations, and the owners take special care of their orchards, encouraging visitors to be kind to the trees when picking, and to only touch what you plan to buy. While you’re there, be sure to stop in their retail store for fresh produce and baked goods including pies, cookies, pastries and quiche. (Apple picking open September 9 through October 22, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to 4 pm).
Wightman Farms (1111 Mt. Kemble Avenue, Morristown, 973-425-9819)
This large family farm offer 29 varieties of apples plus a number of fun activities on the weekends from hayrides to mazes. Stop in and grab yourself some goodies from the bake shop, plus salads, sandwiches, fresh ice cream, cider and more gourmet foods for a perfect picnic on the farm. Plus, you can enjoy the farm's fall festival, which includes a hayride, corn maze entry, pick your own entrance, and even more fun. (Apple picking open Saturdays and Sundays, 9 am to 5 pm).
Pennings Orchard (169 State Route 94 S, Warwick, 845-986-7080)
Just a short drive north, get a true taste of apple picking season at Pennings, which offers varieties including ginger gold apples, honey crisps, McIntosh, and gala apples, plus a beer garden and cidery, farm market with fresh-baked goods, kiddie maze, and visits with the animals (including new mini cows in the dairy barn!) (Apple picking open daily, 9 am-5 pm. Check website for apple variety availability throughout the season).
Alstede Farms (1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester, 908-258-6245)
From Gala to Ginger Gold, new varieties are popping up every week at Alstede (check their website for the growing schedule and picking conditions). Plus, enjoy their other farm activities like a petting zoo, hayrides, corn pit, and cut-your-own sunflowers. (Apple picking open through November 14, picking every day 9 am to 6 pm, hours subject to change throughout the season. Container purchase required with PYO admission.)
Stony Hill Farms (8 East Mill Road, Chester, 908-879-2696)
The picking for little ones is easier with Stony Hill’s dwarf apple trees with up to 20 different varieties of apples to choose from. While you're there, check out their fall fun that include a maze fun park, hayrides, huge board games, and more, and spend time in the farm market for Jersey-fresh produce. (Picking season open through mid-October, pumpkin patch is open at the end of September through October. Open daily 10 to 5. Tickets can be purchased in advance.)
Hurds Family Farm (2187 State Route 32, Modena, NY, 845-883-7825)
Every weekend brings family activities to the parm including a two-acre maze, hayrides, games, obstale courses, pony rides and more, all available to include with your PYO ticket. Right now, apple varieties include Paula red, ginger gold, McIntosh, and gala, with new options introduced throughout the season. Visit their Barn Café and Market Cart for fresh, delicious meals, apple cider donuts, and apple cider slushies. Stay and enjoy a cider or beer from the farm bar, and sip on their outdoor patio with views of Mohonk Mountain. (Picking runs until October 30. Open Fridays-Mondays, 9 am-5 pm. Pumpkins available starting end of September.)
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery (114 Little York Road, Warwick, NY, 845-258-4858)
Take a break after picking on the weekends and enjoy a glass of wine or hard cider while listening to live music on the patio at this picturesque orchard, which features more than 65 different apple varieties. Purchase a ½ bushel bag for $35 (it holds about 20-25 lbs. of apples) and receive a complementary tractor ride for up to four people (additional tractor rides are $3). Tractor rides are available on the weekends only. (Apple picking open daily through October 31, subject to availability 11 am to 5 pm).
Johnson’s Corner Farm (133 Church Rd, Medford, 609-654-8643)
Apple picking hayrides begin September 9 at one of the largest “pick your own” farms in southern Jersey. Visit the animal farm and discovery center to see the baby goats; enjoy fall festival weekends with live music, a corn maze and gem mining; or stop in the bakery and ice cream shop for delicious treats. Visit in November to pick sweet potatoes and popping corn. (Open daily starting September 9 through October 9 for apple picking, with the harvest festival continuing through October,10 am-5 pm weekdays and 9:30 am-5 pm weekends).
Riamede Farm (122 Oakdale Road, Chester, 908-879-7762)
The OG of the Jersey PYO scene, this old school farm spans 68 acres of vintage apple trees. The orchard offers 40 varieties of apples from Galas to Greenings, each one ripening at various times throughout the season so be sure to check their farm map page before you go. Admission gets you entry to pick your own fields, an apple picking bag, and unlimited wagon rides. Donuts and cider are available for purchase, plus pumpkins on the vine. (Open daily for picking, 9 am to 4:30 pm, advanced purchase recommended to ensure availability).
Silverman’s Farm (451 Sport Hill Road, Easton, CT, 203-261-3306)
Dozens of varieties of apples are ripe for the picking at Silverman’s, a trek from Bergen to Connecticut, but take the day and make the trip. With a farmer’s market and a pumpkin patch as well as an animal farm, everyone will be kept busy. And be sure to snap some Insta-worthy pics in front of their fall foliage displays. (Open daily 9 am to 5 pm, through early November. See website for further details).
Even More Apple Treats:
Still craving some apple-inspired treats for fall, but don't have the time for a full-on visit to a farm? Then head to one of these Bergen County restaurants, cafes, and bake shops serving up the sweetest treats with an autumn twist. Even better? If you become a member of Bergen Mama Insider today you can gain access to amazing offerings at the places below, and more, that pays for itself.
Guzzo's Bake House (149 Terrace Street, Haworth, 201-685-5360)
There's a total apple takeover at this brunch and lunch spot that has indulgent sweets (think: cannoli pancakes). Guzzo's is embracing all things fall with its apple-themed treats, now available. Look for seasonal goodies like apple caramel bread pudding, apple crumb cheesecake, apple crumb cronut, apple pie, apple strudel, and apple turnovers to satisfy your taste buds.
D'Ercole Donuts (489 Tappan Road, Northvale, 201-768-0360)
This peanut- and tree nut-free place is known for its ultra-decadent donuts, so it's no surprise that it's celebrating the change of season by offering fresh apple cider donuts. Grab the classic fall dessert along with another tasty seasonal cake donuts like caramel apple and apple crumb, or a must-try flavor like cookies n cream and strawberry cheesecake.
Alt Eats Cafe (622 North Maple Avenue, Ho-Ho-Kus, 201-444-1300)
The vegan, gluten-free, organic restaurant that always has the freshest ingredients and dishes is working apple-themed options into its autumn menu. Find an apple crumble danish, apple pie overnight oats, and a frozen apple cider smoothie for a warm-weather version of the seasonal staple drink. And while you're there, enjoy more savory meals like truffle mac n cheese, chia bowls, and avocado toast.
Cafe Anello (11 Madison Avenue, Westwood, 201-786-8137)
Dining at this family-owned restaurant means enjoying authentic Italian dishes including homemade pasta like ravioli carbonara, slow rise Siciilian flatbread pizza like the meatball or margherita, and meat and fish entrees. But be sure to save room for their apple-inspired options being offered throughout the fall like the apple crumb cheesecake, which you can wash down with a caramel appletini.