How 'bout dem apples?
Fill up on the season's abundant fruit fresh - straight from the trees
Last updated 9/7/2022 at 3:58pm | View PDF
September is prime apple-picking season, and Hinsdaleans willing to drive about an hour or so can find some great spots for this family friendly activity. Here are a few to, well, pick from.
Kuipers Family Farm
Pick your own apples at this Maple Park orchard through October, or purchase them fresh from the orchard at the Orchard Shop by the half-peck or peck bag.
Gala, Golden Supreme and Jonathan varieties are ripe for picking now, with more than 20 more types expected to be ready soon. A presentation on properly picking apples is provided to guests, and staff at the Apple Bar can offer samples and make suggestions to help you purchase the best variety for your taste and use.
The Orchard Bakery sells apple cider doughnuts, home-baked pies, cream and butter fudge, and apple cider. And watch a caramel apple hand spun just for you. Food trucks and other concessions are available select weekends.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays; apple picking may be available weekdays depending on the crop.
Admission is $10.99 per person online, $12.99 at the gate, and includes a quarter-peck bag of apples. Children age 2 and younger are admitted free but don't receive a bag.
In addition, starting Sept. 17 the pumpkin farm across the street will welcome families to enjoy rides and activities for a separate admission fee.
The orchard is located at 1N313 Watson Road, Maple Park, about 44 miles from Hinsdale.
Visit https://www.kuipersfamilyfarm.com or call the apple info hot line at (815) 827-5200, Ext. 1, to hear apple varieties available in the orchards and in the shop.
County Line Orchard
More than 10,000 trees and over 30 varieties of u-pick apples are available at this 40-acre orchard in Hobart, Ind.
Varieties typically available in mid-September include Cortland, Grimes Golden, Honeycrisp, McIntosh and Wolf River. The bakery sells doughnuts, pies, breads, fudge and cookies, with gourmet foods available at the gift shop.
Food is available at the Orchard Kitchen and the Country Grill as well as food trucks on site. Enjoy live music between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
U-pick hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Oct. 30.
General admission is $2, and u-pick apples are $2 a pound. Get access to additional Big Barn activities, including the kids farm, maze, Moo-Choo Train, tractor rides and picnic area, with passes ranging from $6 to $12.
The orchard is located at 200 S. County Line Road in Hobart, about 52 miles from Hinsdale.
All Seasons Orchard
Head to Woodstock for apple picking through Oct. 30.
Apples that should be ready for picking mid-September are Honeycrisp, Cortland, Liberty and Golden Delicious.
The cost is $17 per person and includes a half-peck bag of apples (up to 6 pounds). Children 12 and younger are admitted for $11, which includes a quarter-peck bag. Honeycrisp prices are $20 for adults, $15 for children.
The bakery, Cider Mill and Farm Market sell apples in half-peck and one peck quantities, along with caramel made from scratch, apple pies, apple butter, honey and kettle corn. Food also can be purchased at the Country Concession and Country Kitchen.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends and Columbus Day. The last entry to the orchard is 60 minutes prior to closing.
Barnyard activities such as the corn maze, giant swings, pedal karts and more are available for a separate admission fee.
The orchard is at 14510 Route 176 in Woodstock, about 55 miles
For more information visit https://www.allseasonsorchard.com.
Jonamac offers apple picking seven days a week through late October at its site in Malta.
The orchard features 20 acres of u-pick trees and 40 different varieties. Gala, Jonamac and Jonathan apples currently are available for picking and for sale, with other varieties expected to be ready mid-September.
The Country Store Bakery sells apple doughnuts, breads, pies, caramel apples, apple pizzas, fudge and apple butter. Cider House is home to the orchard's cider pressing operation and tasting room for its apple wines and hard ciders.
Food trucks will be on site weekends starting Sept. 9, and Kettle Barn Concessions is the place for kettle corn, donut sundaes, slushies and ice cream. A corn maze and barnyard activities are available for additional fees.
Apple picking is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Strollers and wagons are permitted in the orchard to make it easier for little ones; wagons are available on site.
Pick-your-own prices are $15 for a half-peck bag (about 5 1/2 apounds) plus the cost of apple picking bags. Weekdays, excluding holidays, admission to the orchard is free after purchasing a bag; on weekends and holidays, guests must also buy a general admission wristband for $7 to enter the orchard.
The orchard is at 19412 Shabbona Road in Malta, about 58 miles from Hinsdale.
Visit https://www.jonamacorchard.com for more information.
- by Ken Knutson