Many people are sad to see the end of summer, but the arrival of September and October symbolize the beginning of another beautiful time of year: apple picking season. Apples are one of America’s favorite fruits and can be used in a million different ways, from baking pies, tarts, and donuts to mixing up an apple sauce, cider, or ice cream. Buying apples at the store is a perfectly fine option, but picking your own is so much more fun and offers a great way for families and groups of friends to spend a little time outdoors.
Apple picking is commonly associated with areas like New England and New York State, but there are lots of great apple orchards and apple picking farms to find all around the United States, including near the city of Chicago. Fall in Chicago is a beautiful time of year and plenty of orchards are located just short drives outside of the Windy City, offering a lot of apple varieties from Honeycrisp and Fuji to Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Many of these apple picking locations also offer additional activities like farm stores, petting zoos, corn mazes, and hay rides.
Best Apple Orchards Near Chicago
Chicago residents and tourists have a lot of options to choose from when apple picking season comes along. There are plenty of great orchards to be found within an hour of the city itself, so you don’t even need to go too far to enjoy some super apple picking fun. Here are some contact details and overviews of the best apple orchards around Chicago.
2.Prairie Sky Orchard
Situated about an hour's drive outside of Chicago, Prairie Sky Orchard is one of the top apple picking locations in the area, offering more than a dozen different varieties. Shinko and Korean Giant Asian pears can also be picked at this relaxing location. Some of the apple varieties you can find at Prairie Sky Orchard include Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, Empire, Golden Delicious, and Jonagold. This orchard also runs its own little coffee stand and general store, selling unique home-made products like pies, jams, jellies, apple donuts, cider, honey, and more.
4914 N Union Rd, Union, IL 60180, Phone: 815-923-4834
If apple picking is all you want, without any of the extra activities and attractions that tend to draw in the big crowds, Heinz Orchard is the place to be. A simple, family-run apple orchard, Heinz is just 37 miles outside of downtown Chicago, so it's actually one of the closest apple orchards to the big city. This location has been serving the Northern Illinois area for several decades now and keeps things simple, offering pure apple picking for all visitors and a quiet, calm environment for everyone to enjoy. Some of the varieties you can find here include Jonathan, Empire, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. As a small, family-run operation, opening hours and picking times can vary at this location, so be sure to check out the website and call the number before driving out there.
1050 Crest Rd, Libertyville, IL 60048, Phone: 847-770-3449
4.Kuipers Family Farm
At the opposite end of the spectrum to a place like Heinz Orchard, Kuipers Family Farm has much more to offer than simple apple picking. Spread out across 230 acres of land, this family farm location was opened back in 1998 and is situated a little over an hour west of Chicago. More than 20 different kinds of apples can be picked on site, including Granny Smith and McIntosh, and this location also runs pumpkin picking for Halloween and Christmas trees in December. Special events and activities are always being organized at Kuipers Family Farm and the cider sold at the farm store is very highly rated.
1N318 Watson Rd, Maple Park, IL 60151, Phone: 815-827-5200
This apple orchard offers much more than simple apple picking. At Apple Holler, which is located around 60 miles north of Chicago, you can enjoy a full day of family fun and activities include hay rides, sleigh rides, barnyard animals, a full restaurant, and all kinds of special events. Apple Holler is open all-year long for fruit picking and other activities, with apple season running from late August through to the end of October. With more than 20,000 trees spread out across the orchard, there's room for everyone and more than two dozen different varieties.
5006 S Sylvania Ave, Sturtevant, WI 5317, Phone: 262-884-7100
Apple Orchards Near Chicago