South Metro Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Southern Hospitality

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

Renaissance Festival



Whistling Well Farm

8973 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033
This is a quaint orchard that welcomes you to enjoy farm life. Named for the whistling well on their property, Whistling Well Farm is run by the Johnson family. With no entrance fee, you are welcome to roam around the farm at your leisure.

Whistling Well Farm has all the basic amenities of a typical orchard: gift barn, food barn, and animals. They have a donkey and a goat. While the animals didn’t do much when we were there, they were still fun for the kids to see.

Southeast Metro Apple OrchardWhistling Well Farm is maintained with the help of a springer spaniel named Emmy. In fact, she has her own picture book for sale (written by Charlie). They also sell small stuffed replicas of her.

But the best part of Whistling Well Farms? The chickens! I can guarantee that your children will spend the rest of your visit in the chicken coop coaxing the non-hungry chickens into eating more corn from their hands. I must admit, it was lots of fun to have the chickens actually eat out of your hands! Or, if your children have no interest in actually feeding the chickens, they may take corn kernel by corn kernel out of the cob and make a pile of feed for the chickens.

For its unique farm experience, I recommend Whistling Well Farm. It is worth the drive.

Orchard Notes:

Open: Daily, 9am-6pm starting September 1, 2023.
Cost: Free admission and limited children’s activities
Picking & details: Stop by the farm and pick up some apples, pumpkins and mums, visit with the goats and chickens, and make a wish at the whistling well with all donations going to local charities. 

Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard

12971 St Croix Trail S, Hastings, MN 55033

Orchard Notes:

Open: Closed in 2022. Check back in 2023.
Cost: Free admission, fees for additional activities
Picking & details: Enjoy the fall season at this pretty orchard on the St. Croix River. Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and, for more family fun, take a tractor pulled wagon ride to the corn maze ($3/ticket, weekends only) mid-September to October. Straw Mountain and the Apple Express are popular with kids and all ages will enjoy a visit to the barnyard. The Food Wagon is open on weekends, from late September through late October. Catch the Annual Apple Festival with fun family activities running the first two weekends of October.

Ferguson’s Minnesota Harvest

8251 Old Hwy 169 Blvd, Jordan, MN 55352
Driving into Ferguson’s (f/k/a Sponsel’s) Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard is driving into Apple Land. I know there is no such place as Apple Land, but I just created it in my head.

Located just a couple miles southwest of Jordan just off Highway 169, Minnesota Harvest is the iconic orchard. Driving up to a big old barn on your right, you make an immediate left and drive through a canopy of trees lining the driveway. Purchase tickets ($15 ages 2+) and your Pick-Your-Own bag ($12.50 holds approx. 10 lbs) online prior to visiting. Family fun activities include: wagon rides, a corn maze, pedal tractors, corn pit, straw bale pyramid, gem mining, apple cannons, a cow train, sports activities, duck races, jump pad and a playground.

We took a free wagon ride out to the orchards and back. When the driver stopped, he called out the type of apples we could find in that particular section. The drivers were friendly and helpful and very patient.

The Apple Lodge is a big building where you can find face painting and the Dickens Village Shoppes and a goodie or two to enjoy.

I liked that the orchard  was tucked away from the busy road, that there was a big barn, and that you were surrounded by the quintessential apple orchard atmosphere. The orchard took my breath away. As we drove in, I knew immediately that this was a “perfect” orchard.

Orchard Notes:

Open: Open daily, 10am – 6pm starting August 18, 2023.
Cost: Admission to Apple Blossom Park & the orchard is $15/pp.

Picking: Apples & pumpkins – admission required for orchard, pumpkin patch is free.

Emma Krumbee’s – closed in 2023

311 E Enterprise Dr, Belle Plaine, MN 56011
Located on a frontage road just off of 169 in Belle Plaine, Emma Krumbee’s looks big and commercial from the road. Emma Krumbee’s big fall event is the Scarecrow Festival. Anyone can register to participate in creating unique scarecrows to win cash prizes. There is also the option to just pick your own apples and enjoy the general store without participating in the festival.

However, if you bring any little ones with you, I can assure you that they will be lured by all the fun activities of the festival. And for that reason, I am going to label this orchard as All Inclusive–because of the entrance fee to the activities.

The Festival includes:

  • barrel train rides & tractor rides
  • waterpump duck races
  • rope & tile mazes
  • playground that includes a hill slide, tire horses, and a pirate ship
  • tractor trike paths
  • giant hay pile
  • petting farm (with goats)

Emma Krumbee’s has Pick-Your-Own apples. While we were there, Haralsons were available. Also you can pick your own raspberries.

They had a “market” in the Apple Orchard Barn with all kinds of fresh produce including different varieties of apples and other items:  jams, breads, candy, cookbooks, popcorn, knickknacks, etc.

We didn’t make it into the General Store to check out what they had available since my kids were melting down. From what we did experience in the hour we were there, I was glad for the variety of things to do and for the choice to pick your own apples without needing to go into the Festival. I didn’t like the commercial feeling of it or the steep admission price.

Orchard Notes:

Hours: Open daily, 10am – 6pm.
Picking: Find a chart of what should be ripe in the orchard. When in doubt, call the hotline at 952-873-3654.

Applewood Orchard

Applewood Orchard

22702 Hamburg Ave, Lakeville, MN 55044
This little haven is one of the few places to pick-your-own apples in Dakota County. To read more about the orchard in detail, try this outing review here.

Orchard Notes:

Hours: Open daily, 9am-6pm starting September 2, 2023.
Picking: Find the apple-picking chart here. Raspberries and pumpkins are also available; be sure to call 952-985-5425 before coming out.
More activities: Applewood Orchard’s 10-acre corn maze usually opens daily starting mid-September, 10am-6pm. Wagon rides are available on weekends and kids will delight at the hedge maze, pedal tractors and playground equipment.

Twin Cities South Metro Apple Orchards that do NOT offer u-pick apples

Jim’s Apple Farm

20430 Johnson Memorial Dr, Jordan, MN 55352
Hours: Open daily 9am – 7pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends; mid-May through mid-November
Offering: Better known as Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, you’ll find pre-picked apples from the orchard and fresh-baked apple pies among the candy store offerings at this giant candy store on a farm. You won’t get a “farm” experience the way you will at most other Twin Cities orchards, but we think the shop is worth a visit, even just to gawk at all the amazing murals, dioramas and other fun attractions the family has installed.

Jim’s Apple Farm – Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store

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