Where’s the best apple picking in 2020 near me? Check out our top 5 favorite spots for the best apple picking in 2020 – many within just an hour drive from Ridgewood and the NW Bergen County NJ area. Also, these orchards are an easy day-trip from NYC.
We’ve been lucky with the weather in the northeast this year with plenty of sunshine and timely rains. As a result, this season’s crop of apples is amazing and abundant.
Apple picking is a great family activity – especially during this unique 2020 season. Whether you have younger or older kids, the apple picking day-trip is a great way to make some fun memories. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to capture some Instagram-able moments.
Here are our top 5 favorite locations for the best apple picking in 2020:
1. Masker Orchards in Warwick, NY
Masker Orchards is great for social distancing because you can just drive right up to any one of their 10,000 trees. Unfortunately due to COVID 19, the Family Fun Area activities are closed this season (no pony rides, maze, music, haunted house).
Visitors are encouraged to bring their own picnic because the Maskers Country Store is closed. However, Maskers is providing a shopping list on their website to preorder and prepay for your favorite Country Store items. Then you can pick them up at an outside service counter.
Don’t forget to save some room for ice cream after your visit to the Masker Orchards. Just down the road from Maskers is Bellvale Farms Creamery. Bellvale Farms Creamery has been rated by TripAdvisor as one of the top ice cream shops in the US!
2. Pennings Farm in Warwick, NY
For the 2020 apple picking season, Pennings Farm has two pick-your-own-apples operations – a no reservation option and another option requiring reservations. Pennings can get very busy on weekends, so they encourage you to plan ahead and make reservations for weekends and holidays.
The no reservation option is apple picking at Pennings Orchard (169 State Route 94S, Warwick, NY) which will be very busy on weekends.
The reservation required apple picking option is at The Cidery Orchard (on Pennings Farm at 4 Warwick Turnpike in Warwick, NY). You can make reservations for The Cidery Orchard online at penningsfarmmarket.com. An Apple Picking Reservation for The Cidery Orchard will guarantee you parking and admittance and two peck bags for the apples. After apple picking, you can shop in the Pennings Farm Market and stay for for lunch or dinner at the Pennings Farm Cidery.
After you fill your bags with apples, head over to enjoy the beautiful views and a drink or two at Pennings Farm Cidery. The Cidery offers a variety of dry, semi sweet, hopped and other flavored ciders made on the farm from their own apples, hops and other fruits. They also offer a variety of craft beer and wine.
3. Warwick Valley Winery & Doc’s Orchard in Warwick, NY
For a very civilized apple picking experience, take a trip up to the Warwick Valley Winery and Doc’s Orchard. This location offers some of the most beautiful views of the Hudson Valley. They grow over 60 different types of apple trees, so there are many varieties to enjoy.
When you arrive, you can purchase an apple bag from the outside bar or inside the Warwick Valley Winery tasting room. With the purchase of the bag (which holds about 20lbs of apples), you receive a complementary tractor ride for 4 people up to the orchard for some great apple picking. The views are spectacular!
After filling up the half bushel apple bag, head back down to enjoy some live music (on weekends), great food and the award winning Doc’s Cider, a glass of wine, sangria or cocktail.
4. Weed Orchards & Winery in Marlboro, NY
Weed Orchards and Winery is another pick-your-own-farm and winery that is definitely worth the trip – although a little further. It’s located in the beautiful hills of the Hudson Valley and offers many amazing views and photo opportunities for the whole family.
No reservations are required at Weed Orchards and Winery, however they are charging a $3 per person admission fee in the attempt reduce capacity on weekends and holidays.
Weeds Orchards and Winery is a great place to enjoy an afternoon with outdoor dining, drinks and live music from talented local artists (on weekends).
5. Demarest Farms in Hillsdale, NJ
We can’t talk about apple picking without mentioning Demarest Farms right here in Hillsdale, NJ. – a favorite Bergen County institution. We all love their freshly-made apple cider doughnuts, pies and many other fall treats. If you want a quick, local apple picking adventure, Demarest Farms is your place.
Due to the popularity of Demarest Farms this Fall, they have established a very organized reservation system. You must make a reservation for a specific date and time to visit, and don’t forget to purchase the apple bags when you make your reservation. Unfortunately, tickets aren’t available for purchase at the farm market for “pick-your-own”. Therefore, you must purchase the tickets and bags before you arrive.
The visits will be limited to your reservation time frame. When you arrive for your apple picking appointment, a Demarest Farms employee will give you the bags you pre-purchased to hold the fruit you pick. Remember that backpacks, pocketbooks and outside strollers are not allowed in the orchard. Unfortunately, there will be no hayrides this year.
All the best to you and your families this Fall of 2020.
Be well and Happy Picking!!
Amazing cover photo of an orchard at the top of the article by Michael Weidner