As the summer sun begins to fade away, it can only mean one thing: fall has arrived, bringing with it a slight chill in the air, the changing colors of the leaves, and all kinds of unique activities. One of the most popular things for people to do in fall is apple picking. Despite being a very old pastime, apple picking is still hugely popular, especially with families and young children. There’s nothing quite like walking around a fruit farm or orchard, plucking some ripe apples right from the trees and placing them in your boxes and bags, just thinking of all the delicious deserts and other recipes you’ll be able to cook up when you get home. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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Despite being known as the dairy state, Wisconsin is actually a great place to do apple picking. The state has a rich history of agriculture, with a lot of fruit farms all around. Many of Wisconsin’s apple orchards open up during apple picking season, which typically runs from late summer though to the end of fall or even early winter. These locations are a lot of fun to visit, allowing visitors to take home huge amounts of apples for very low prices, as well as having the chance of purchasing all kinds of homemade goods like pies, ciders, donuts, and more.

Best Apple Picking Spots in Wisconsin

Choosing an apple picking location in Wisconsin can be quite overwhelming as there’s a long list of fruit farms and orchards to be found all around the state. In order to help narrow down your search, we’ve taken a look through that long list and highlighted some of the very best Wisconsin apple orchards. Read on for some key contact details, addresses, and overviews of the dairy state’s top apple picking locations.

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2.Apple Holler

Apple Holler
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As the name suggests, Apple Holler is all about apples. This Wisconsin apple picking location is situated in the southeastern part of the state near the banks of Lake Michigan. The site doubles up as a family restaurant and orchard, with a whole bunch of fun activities for families to enjoy like tractor rides, pony rides, face painting, special harvest festival events, campfires, and more.

There's a really family-oriented, country-style atmosphere around Apple Holler, and both apples and peaches can be picked here, with more than 25 different kinds of apples in total. Crowds can gather at Apple Holler as it's quite a popular spot with the local community, but there are over 20,000 trees and more than 75 acres of land to explore, so there's always plenty of space for everybody.

5006 S Sylvania Ave, Sturtevant, WI 53177, Phone: 262-884-7100

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3.Apple Barn Orchard & Winery

Apple Barn Orchard & Winery
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With fall festivals being held every weekend and a lot of other special events to enjoy too, Apple Barn Orchard and Winery is one of Wisconsin's liveliest apple picking locations and has proven hugely popular with the local communities over the years. Established way back in 1846, this is one of the most historic sites in the state and offers a lot of fun for both kids and grown-ups.

Youngsters will love walking around the orchard and plucking all those fresh apples from the trees, while also learning more about apple growing from the friendly staff, while adults will be able to relax and savor some of the winery's delicious products like strawberry wine, apple wine, peach wine, and more. If you like the Apple Barn wines enough, you might even decide to sign up for membership of the wine club and receive regular shipments of the farm’s finest creations on a quarterly basis.

W6384 Sugar Creek Rd, Elkhorn, WI 53121, Phone: 262-728-3266

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4.Ecker's Apple Farm

Ecker's Apple Farm
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Many of Wisconsin's apple picking locations are found near Lake Michigan, but Ecker's Apple Farm is much further inland, serving the western side of the state. This highly rated, family-friendly fruit farm provides twenty different kinds of apples to be picked including Ginger Gold, Riverbelle, Snow Sweet, Paula Red, State Fair, Gala, and Ari Gold.

There's also a bakery on site, selling a wide range of apple-based products and other tasty treats straight from the oven, and an annual Honeycrisp Hootenanny event is held on the site every year for guests of all ages to enjoy. Ecker's Apple Farm also has its own scenic beer garden, offering a wide variety of unique craft beers from the local area and further afield.

W27062 WI-54, Trempealeau, WI 54661, Phone: 608-539-2652

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Best Apple Picking in Wisconsin

Attraction Spotlight: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

The Olbrich Botanical Gardens are made possible by a partnership with the City of Madison Parks Division and are dedicated to the conservation and interpretation of plants native to the American Midwest as well as those of the world’s tropical forests. The gardens offer education and enjoyment for all visitors. Admission to the outdoor garden is free.

Over 20 gardens cover the 16-acre park. In the Outdoor Garden area, visitors are encouraged to see the Thai Pavilion and Garden; the pavilion was a gift to the University of Wisconsin–Madison from the Thai government and is an ornate outdoor pavilion representing those found on palace grounds in Thailand, surrounded by a garden. The Sunken Garden is a formal English-style garden incorporating terraces made from locally sourced limestone, which offer visitors a place to sit and enjoy the 80-foot-long reflecting pool. The Perennial Garden covers 2 acres and offers an informal arrangement of perennials chosen for year-round enjoyment. Plants include bulbs, trees, and shrubbery. The Rose Garden, also spanning 2 acres, showcases a variety of roses among ornamental trees and grasses and offers a variety of fountains surrounding a 30-foot Prairie-style rustic tower built from regional stone. Prairie-style architecture, which is characterized by simple geometric designs in harmony with nature, was developed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is considered the first American form of architecture. Shrub roses highlight breeds that thrive in the American Midwest and make the garden enjoyable all year round. A herb garden offers touch and smell gardens, designed as smaller gardens within the herb garden area. The Bolz Conservatory engages visitors with a year-round tropical paradise. This 10,000-square-foot glass pyramid encloses an indoor garden with over 650 plants, a waterfall, and free-flying birds and butterflies. Plants in the conservatory are native to sub-tropical climates and favorites include orchids, hibiscus, and bromeliads.

History: Michael B. Olbrich, a 1905 graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Law, envisioned a grand park and flower garden near the shores of Lake Monona as early as 1916. In 1921 this vision was realized when he purchased 3,500 square feet of land and enlisted the landscape design services of O.C. Simonds, a Prairie School designer. The City of Madison took title of the land and the Madison Parks Foundation was formed to raise funds for the project in 1922. In 1929, when Michael Olbrich passed, the city voted to name the park in his honor. Plans progressed over the years, and a master plan for the botanical garden was completed in 1935. In 1952 the Madison Park Commission allocated the necessary funds to begin construction of the Olbrich Park Gardens. A second master plan was adopted in 1975, which included the plan for the Great Lawn. The Bolz Conservatory was completed in 1991. A third master plan was developed in 1993 and soon after, in 1995, 22 additional acres were acquired for expansion. The gardens celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2002.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The Olbrich Gardens offer both guided and self-guided group tours. Expert garden staff lead guided tours of the indoor garden at the Bolz Conservatory as well as 45-minute tours of the outdoor gardens. Tours vary seasonally. As tours are based on docent availability, groups are encouraged to make reservations at least 2 weeks in advance. The gardens are host to a variety of classes and workshops for children, families, and adults. Pre-registration is required. Garden and conservatory walks include the Summer Solstice Herb Walk, the To Bee or Not To Bee Lecture and Walk, and the Autumn Trees and Shrub Walk. Wellness Events at the Garden include hatha yoga classes, offered as a 6–8 week course, tai chi classes, and a family meditation and movement class. Classes and Workshops for adults range from Chinese brush painting classes to vegetable gardening workshops and troubleshooting, to the Gardening for Pollinators class. Family programming includes the Toddler Story and Stroll, Little Sprouts Gardening workshops for children ages 2–5, and All About Owls for children ages 5–8. There is an extensive list of programming available at the Olbrich Gardens Website.

3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704, Phone: 608-246-4550

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Attraction Spotlight: Wisconsin Science Museum

The Wisconsin Science Museum in Madison is a place where the town comes together. It is a celebration of the innovative and creative scientists from Madison and from across the globe. The museum aims to act as a beacon, shining a light onto the rich history of scientific study that was born in Wisconsin and has since travelled the world. They don’t want to simply display past accolades, however, they’re looking to inspire the next generation and build up the research and biotech industry into Madison’s main export. They want to stoke the flames of pride in what has already been achieved and in so doing create a blaze that sweeps across the county towards further glory.

Through a mixture of private and public investment, Wisconsin and in particular Madison has grown to be an important contributor in the scientific sector, specifically in regards to biotechnology. The museum is a landmark that not only highlights and delves into this history but also paves the road to its future through interactive exhibitions and by engaging and entertaining the young minds that will comprise the next generation of scientists.

The goals of the museum are numerous, while the main focus is on energizing and cultivating the local community towards the development of its scientific heritage. They also champion programs that reach out to and nurture underrepresented audiences within the field, such as minorities or girls and women. The exhibits themselves educate and engage and tell the story of the past and future of the area’s contribution to the sciences, while highlighting the achievements and connecting with the public. They are hoping to inspire the next generation and strengthen local support.


Currently, the museum has around seven full-time exhibitions as well as four or five rotating temporary displays.

The permanent exhibits include the Hall of Fame, which looks into the history of Wisconsin’s contribution to the scientific community and shines a spotlight on notable breakthroughs and people of note.

The Imaging of Our World exhibit takes the visitor on a journey of ever-increasing magnitude, starting at the subatomic level and then gaining size until they reach the galactic scope.

Luminous Scores explores the work of Floor van de Velde and is as much art gallery as it is scientific intrigue.

The Wonders of Lasers, as you may have guessed, looks into the science and the various uses of the laser, specifically in engineering, art, medicine, entertainment, and technological applications.

Robotics and Makers Playground lets the public play, build, repair, tinker and generally immerse themselves in the world of engineering and robotics. Any budding gearhead will never want to leave this immersive and interactive exhibition.

Biotech in Wisconsin is an interesting highlight and provides an in-depth look into the myriad advancements made within this field by scientists from the local area.

Timeline is an exhibit that is dotted throughout the museum. It features interesting to-scale timelines that chart the history of the Earth through many different measurements.


6th Floor, 211 N. Carroll, Madison, WI 53703, Phone: 608-216-5496

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Attraction Spotlight: Wisconsin Historical Museum

The Wisconsin Historical Museum, located on Madison’s Capitol Square, tells the history of Wisconsin from the native peoples to the early settlers and immigrants, and features Wisconsin’s political history as well. Exhibits are organized by the timeline of Wisconsin’s story.

The museum houses four floors of permanent exhibits, representing artifacts collected by the Wisconsin Historical Society. The People of the Woodlands exhibit displays a Native American home from approximately 1200 AD as well as artifacts and items from life at that time, including beaded clothing, animal pelts, and items used for trade with early European settlers. The Frontier Wisconsin exhibit tells the story of immigrants who came to Wisconsin to farm, the beginnings of the railroad industry in the late 1800s, and the rise of the mining industry. The Immigrant State exhibit displays the items immigrants chose to bring with them to their new home, and is representative of the many different cultures that arrived in Wisconsin. Artifacts which demonstrate the way of life in the early 1900s are also represented, such as a 1908 washing machine. The Making a Living exhibit explores the industry of early 20th-century Wisconsin and celebrates Wisconsin’s role in burgeoning American industries. The exhibit includes artifacts and photographs from the lumber industry, the automobile industry, and the agricultural machinery industry. The Political Arena exhibit highlights Madison’s role as the capitol of Wisconsin and educates visitors about political history in the state and its influence in the story of America. The Wisconsin capitol building can be seen clearly from the museum’s 4th floor view.

History: The Wisconsin Historical Museum is one of 12 museums and historical sites maintained by the Wisconsin Historical Society. The museum is operated by the Historical Society’s Division of Museums and Historic Sites, whose mission is to display and interpret for the public artifacts collected by the Museum Archaeology Program (MAP). The Historical Society was founded in 1846 and is the oldest historical society in America to have received continuous public funding since its inception. The museum’s future was briefly threatened in 2004 due to budget cuts, but was spared by Governor Jim Doyle, who restored funding to the museum, citing its important role in preserving the history of Wisconsin. The Historical Society is simultaneously a state agency and private membership organization. In addition to operating the museum, it operates 11 historical sites, also open to the public.

Ongoing Programs and Education: The museum offers a range of educational programming materials to assist teachers and schools with teaching the history of Wisconsin. Guided tours of the museum are offered daily to take visitors through the exhibits and give additional facts and stories about the items on display. The museum is host to many special events for both children and adults. Ongoing events for children include Story Saturdays, an event for young children that partners artifacts and features of the museum with story-time. Kids Create at the Top of the State is a hands-on educational experience offered each Friday throughout the summer months. Events for adults include author appearances. Recently, author Steven D. Schmitt appeared to give a talk on the history of baseball at the University of Wisconsin, and Professor David Hoeveler spoke on John Bascom’s legacy as president of the University of Wisconsin and the foundations of the “Wisconsin Idea.”

Past and Future Exhibits: In addition to the permanent displays, the museum is host to a wide range of temporary exhibits. Past exhibits have included a display on malted milk, first produced in Wisconsin, as well as the display of the “Big Boy” statue, rescued from the famous hamburger chain when it closed in 1985. In 100 Years of Wisconsin History, the story of Wisconsin’s agricultural history was brought to life with a series of 14 large-scale murals, originally displayed at the 1948 Wisconsin State Fair. Icon Wisconsin explored Wisconsin’s cultural icons and their history, including the story of the University of Wisconsin badger. In 2003, a special panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Milwaukee Braves founding was on display, with artifacts from the beloved baseball team. In 2006, the Skating for Gold exhibit told the story of Wisconsin’s Olympic speed skaters, and the 13 Olympic medals won between 1976 and 2002.

What’s Nearby: The Wisconsin Historical Museum is located on Capitol Square. Both the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and the Overture Arts Center are nearby, as are the Madison Children’s Museum and Science Museum.

30 N Carroll St, Madison, WI 53703, Phone: 608-264-6555

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