For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.
TWIN CITIES WEST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS
Apple Jack Orchards | Delano
Apple Jack Orchards in Delano, Minnesota, could be one of those day-long fall destinations. There’s just that much going on there. And perhaps that’s what you’re looking for – an orchard packed with activities to appeal to every age in your family. Or, if slipping away from the hubbub and wandering among the apple trees sounds more up your alley, we’ve had that experience there, too.
One note of caution: it was easier to empty our wallet at this orchard than at any of the others we’ve visited over the past few years. Much of this has to do with the size of our family: four riders on the kiddie cow train, four little sets of legs wanting to bounce skyward on the jumping pillow, four launches of the apple cannon. This was all before the four little harvesters were set loose in the apple orchard and the raspberry patch. We made sure to take stock of the available activities and set limits ahead of time.
Take heart; Apple Jack has a nice little play area with slides and hay bales, a barnyard of animals and a small maze – all free, plus there is no admission charged to enter the orchard. You could skip the a la carte activities and easily make an afternoon of hunting for that perfect peck of Honeycrisp. (I should also mention that it’s do-able to walk to the orchard portion of the farm instead buying a ride on the tractor wagon. Free carts were available for toting small children and loads of apples!). Live music is scheduled each weekend through the fall; find the complete lineup here.
Hours: Daily fall hours are 10 am – 6 pm. As always, call (763-972-6673) or check the website for the latest information.
Picking: PYO apples are available on fall weekends only and availability depends on what’s currently ripe. Always check the website or call ahead before coming to pick! A bag is purchased ahead of picking. Fall raspberries are also ripening, always call for conditions – 763-972-6673.
Prices: Admission to the orchard to enjoy the live music, kids play area and petting farm is free. Activities that charge a fee are as follows: wagon rides to the orchard ($3 per person, ages 4 & under ride free), corn box play ($3), jumping pillow ($3), apple cannon & slingshot ($3), pony rides ($4), corn maze ($6) and an extensive menu of apple treats and lunch items available in the barn.
Minnetonka Orchards | Minnetrista
Family owned and operated, beginning as Apple Farm in 1976, Minnetonka Orchards, near Minnetrista, has grown into a beautiful orchard destination. Gianna has visited two times with many years in between and each time, she was happily surprised at what awaited.
- The orchard is open every day from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
- Admission is free weekdays, $7/pp weekends
- Hayrides are $3/pp weekdays, included on weekends
- On weekends, the grill is open and the orchard does not allow outside food to be brought in.
- The playground, petting zoo–Owen’s Barnyard–the Hay mountain, giant sandbox and the corn crib slide are sites the kids won’t want to miss.
- There are walking trails throughout the orchard and it’s a beautiful self paced tour.
- Their apple donuts are famous. Don’t leave without a taste.
Hours: Open daily 10am – 7pm
Picking: Call ahead (763-479-6530) so see what varieties are available for pick-your-own.
Prices: Admission is free; hayrides cost $3/pp.
FFTC Orchard Crawl Special: With your Orchard Crawl ticket, you can enjoy hayrides, live music, face painting, a ride on the Apple Express (for kids) and a scavenger hunt. Bring your completed scavenger hunt to the Retail Barn and if you completed it correctly, you’ll receive a free dozen of their delicious apple donuts (limit one per party). There is no entry fee to Minnetokna Orchards with your Orchard Crawl ticket! [This special applies to FFTC’s 2015 Orchard Crawl and has expired.]
Fall Harvest Orchard | Montrose
Our family was delighted to learn that though the original patriarch of Fall Harvest Orchard passed away, the farm was purchased by a family eager to keep the orchard in business! It’s such a warm, welcoming place and never has it given off the commercialized vibe you often feel at the larger orchards. There is no admission charge at the gate and nearly all the down-on-the-farm activities are free — which, frankly, had us willing to spend more filling our buckets in the orchard.
Aside from scouting those Zestars, our kids love the animal encounters best. As Fall Harvest is a working farm, there are coops, pens and fields filled with animals to get up close to. Feed the goats and cows, handle the baby kids, check for chicken eggs — and see if you can spy an elusive peacock!
As if the kids needed any more than all that fresh air to wear them out, Fall Harvest has those alluring corn pits and stacks of tractor tires to play in, a field for tetherball and disc golf, and, for a small fee, wagon rides, train rides and a corn maze.
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm
Picking: Pick-Your-Own apples are available in limited quantities. Call ahead (763-972-3894) or check here to see what’s ripe and ready.
Deardorff Orchards & Vineyard | Waconia
Open: Aug 19-Oct, 2017
Hours: Orchard, Tues-Sun, 10am-6pm & Winery Tasting Room, Winery hours. Friday 12-6, Saturday 11-6, Sunday 12-6
Cost: Free admission, free family activities
Picking & details: At Deardorf Orchards, take a tractor wagon ride out to pick-your-own apples, let the kids burn off energy in their own place space with hay bales and farm animals, stock up on goodies in the Apple Barn, and stop in at the Parley Lake Winery Tasting Room! Food is available onsite for purchase. Come out for Apple Pickin’ Days Aug 26-27, 2017, for live music, scarecrow-making and other activities.
Apple Tree-O | Delano
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, 11am-5pm
Picking: Pick-your-own apples available on the weekends. Click here to see what’s ripe!
FFTC Orchard Crawl Special: Apple Tree-O’s activities change weekly. Past activities have included an apple press and blacksmithing. Enjoy some delicious food and just relax on the farm.
LuceLine Orchard | Watertown
LuceLine, which sits directly on the Luce Line State Trail in Watertown, put its roots in during 2004. Special activities at this orchard include weekend hayrides, a corn maze ($6), hay mountain to climb, kiddie train ($3), a corn box and farm animals.
Hours: Open Thursday-Sunday, 10am-6pm.
Picking: Due to a summer tornado in 2015, there will be no pick-your-own apples. Pre-picked apples are available for purchase.
FFTC Orchard Crawl Special: With your Orchard Crawl ticket, you’ll get half-off admission for their hayride and corn maze, plus a $5 coupon off a peck of apples. And kid-rock favorites, The Bazillions, will take the stage at 1:00 pm! [This special applies to FFTC’s 2015 Orchard Crawl and has expired.]