Strawberry picking season is upon us! While we start to get excited in early June, in Minnesota the first ripe strawberries tend to appear around the middle of June and last until the beginning of July, depending on factors, like weather, that impact crop availability.
The best u-Pick strawberries in the Twin Cities
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. We have great ideas for the best Twin Cities strawberry patches to pick Your own berries. 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 vegetables and apple orchards and pumpkin patches, SEE OUR PICK-YOUR-OWN PRODUCE CALENDAR.
Twin Cities North Metro Strawberry Farms
6510 185th Ave NW, Anoka, MN 55303
This family farm is owned by Cliff and Amy Rowe, who have been farming rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries and pumpkins since 1991.
Picking: Strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb during the summer season starting mid-June. 763-753-5891 or check the farm’s Facebook page for up-to-date picking information.
More family fun: Coming or going during the summer months, stop in at ELM CREEK PARK RESERVE in nearby Maple Grove for a gigantic playground, nature center and sand-bottomed swimming beach.
10456 192nd St, Forest Lake MN 55025
Open for picking from mid-June to mid August, The Berry Patch welcomes well-supervised children to their fields.
Picking: Strawberries in June, raspberries & blueberries in July. You can get hours of operation and prices on their website. 651-433-3448.
More family fun: The farm is super close to a great sandy beach on Big Marine Lake. Perfect for a picnic with all your fresh berries!
28624 Zodiac St. NE, North Branch, MN 55056
Rod’s Berry Farm has been in the family since the 1930s and now includes some of his children and grandchildren.
Picking: Rod’s is traditionally open longer (8am-8pm) than many berry farms and if mobility is an issue, they provide transportation into the patch or call ahead for ready-picked berries 651-674-4172. Accepts cash or credit cards.
Nowthen / Elk River
21121 Nowthen Blvd NW, Elk River, MN 55330
Thank you to our reader, Dan, for this recommendation. Nowthen Berries offers u-pick and pre-pick strawberries, or you can purchase their strawberries at Maple Grove Farmers Market.
Picking: Open 8am-8pm Monday through Saturday during the short Strawberry season. They also sell other berries, rhubarb, maple syrup, sweetcorn, farm fresh eggs and homemade jams. 763-843-5792 or 763-843-5793.
17325 Pleasant Valley Road, Shafer, Minnesota 55074
This family-owned orchard , owned by the husband and wife, Jim Birkholz and Judy Erickson, welcomes supervised children.
Picking: Strawberries in June thru early July, apples and pumpkins plus harvest activities in the fall. 651 257-9159.
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 and think this makes a great Sunday family drive.
2260 Jamison Avenue Northeast, Saint Michael, MN 55376
This local hobby farm is owned by the Dufner family, who only grow what they love.
Picking: Besides strawberries, this farm offers asparagus. 612-237-8443.
White Bear Lake
450 Apple Orchard Rd White Bear Lake, MN 55110
One of our favorite corn maze farms, Pine Tree Orchard also happens to have u-pick strawberries in June.
Picking: Strawberries in June. Fall apples are pre-picked but come out to explore the grounds and the apple barn. 651 429-7202
More family fun: Fall weekends offer hayrides, a corn maze, and live entertainment.
twin cities south metro strawberry patches
14421 South 90th Street, Hastings, MN 55033
Always family-friendly, Afton apple has restrooms with baby changing stations, activities and even a giant playground.
Picking: Strawberries mid-June to mid-July, fall raspberries & apples begin in early August. You can also order cherries, blueberries & peaches through Afton. Don’t miss feeding the goats near the summer strawberry patch. After picking stop by the Berry Barn for strawberry donuts, smoothies and more. 651-436-8385.
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.
10370 180th St E, Hastings, MN 55033
Family-friendly strawberry farm.
Picking: Pick your own strawberries starting in June, cash or check only. Call ahead for patch conditions. 651 437-8479.
28625 Foliage Ave., Northfield MN 55057-510
Picking: Pick your own strawberries and raspberries. You can also get pre-picked asparagus (cash or check only) or find their farmer’s market schedule here.
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 we need to purchase the berries, 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.
- Saturday and Sunday mornings are often the busiest time. If you want to avoid crowds, you may want to consider visiting on a weekday.
Kid-Friendly Recipes Using Fresh Strawberries