A trip to the berry patch is one of our family’s sweetest summer traditions. It’s a wonderful activity that appeals to a wide range of ages and can lead to fun memories in the kitchen as you experiment with recipes for your fresh haul. Plan ahead for berry farms to open for strawberry picking around mid-June; the season is fleeting however, and can fold up as early as the first couple weeks of July. It’s always essential to call the berry farm ahead of time and confirm picking hours and availability to avoid a carload of disappointed would-be berry pickers.
Should you miss out on strawberry season, take heart. For more pick-your-own produce ideas including summer raspberries, fall apple orchards and pumpkin patches, click HERE.
Afton Apple Orchard | Hastings, MN | (651) 436-8385
Picking: Strawberries mid-June to mid-July, fall raspberries & apples begin in early August. Don’t miss feeding the goats near the summer strawberry patch.
More family fun: LOTS of activities and entertainment at this orchard (particularly in the fall) so plan to make a day of it. There is no admission fee to pick berries during the summer; come fall the orchard charges a fee $4-$5/pp which includes most of the activities.
Berry Hill Farm | Anoka | 763-753-5891
Picking: Strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb during the summer season starting mid-June.
More family fun: Coming or going during the summer months, stop in at Elm Creek Park Reserve for a gigantic playground, nature center and sand-bottomed swimming beach.
D Round Barn Berries | St Michael | 612-237-8443
Picking: Exclusively strawberries.
Lorence’s Berry Farm | Northfield | 507-645-9749
Picking: Come out and pick your own strawberries (cash or check only).
Natura Farms | Marine St Croix, MN | (651) 433-5850
Picking: U-pick strawberries in June, fall raspberries, plus more varieties of berries and fruits.
More family fun: This farm is literally five minutes away from a wide sandy beach on Big Marine Lake. We’ve included Big Marine in our 20 Best Twin Cities Beaches & Playgrounds.
Pleasant Valley Orchard | Shafer, MN | (651) 257-9159
Picking: Strawberries in June thru early July, apples and pumpkins plus harvest activities in the fall.
More family fun: The orchard is only 10 minutes away from Taylors Falls, one of our favorite day trip destinations from the Twin Cities. We’ve included Pleasant Valley on our list of Top Things To Do With Kids in Taylors Falls.
Pine Tree Orchard | White Bear Lake, MN | (651) 429-7202
Picking: Strawberries in June. Fall apples are pre-picked but come out to explore the grounds and the apple barn.
More family fun: Fall weekends offer hayrides, a corn maze, and live entertainment.
Rod’s Berry Farm | North Branch
Picking: Rod’s is open longer (8am-8pm) than many berry farms and if mobility is an issue, they provide transportation into the patch. Accepts cash or credit cards.
Sam Kedem Nursery & Garden | Hastings, MN | (651) 437-7516
Picking: Strawberries are picked in June; when that crop expires there are also currents, raspberries, blueberries and gooseberries to pick. My children loved the chickens that wander around the barnyard!
The Berry Patch | Forest Lake, MN | (651) 433-3448
Picking: Strawberries in June, raspberries & blueberries in July. You can get hours of operation and prices on their website.
More family fun: The farm is right down the road from Natura Farms and is also super close to a great sandy beach on Big Marine Lake. Perfect for a picnic with all your fresh berries!
Wyatt’s Strawberries | Hastings | (651) 437-8479
Picking: Pick your own strawberries starting in June, cash or check only.
Tips for berry picking with kids
- We’ve been picking berries for years with kids that range in age from toddlers to teens and it never fails that some of them want to make a massive snack time out of the outing. It always helps to remind the kids ahead of time that the berries need to be purchased before it’s OK to snack.
- Also ahead of time, counsel the kids on picking etiquette: what the ripest berries look like as well as what they want to avoid. This helps cut down on waste in the field. Typically a field hand will assign you a berry “lane” to pick along; make sure the kids understand where the boundaries are.
- Bring your sun hats along. Patches are always out in wide open, unshaded fields. The sun can feel really strong really quick. Also, sunscreen (of course).
- Also bring a water bottle. A walk back to the car from the field can mean a decent trek.
- If possible, request pint containers from the berry field hands to distribute among the kids. Most berry patches provide these.
Recipes with fresh strawberries