If you’re reading this, you’re probably getting excited for the crisp air of the changing season and wondering where a visit to the apple orchard may fit into your family’s fall weekend plans. As always, we’re primed to offer our suggestion of apple orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area – jump over to our ultimate GUIDE TO TWIN CITIES APPLE ORCHARDS for all the juicy details!
Content is brought to you in partnership with the Renaissance Festival 2023.
The Best Apple Orchards in Minneapolis-St Paul West Metro
4875 37th St SE, Delano, MN 55328
Apple Jack Orchards in Delano, Minnesota, could be easily called one of those day-long fall destinations. There’s just that much going on out 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 at this orchard, too. One note of caution: it was noticeably 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 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.
Hours: Daily fall hours are 10am-5pm starting August 14, 2023. U-pick apples start Labor Day weekend. Farm Fun opens September 2. As always, call ahead (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 in advance of picking.
Prices: Admission to Fun Farm is $10/wristband Mon-Thurs with a selection of activities available including u-pick apples. Weekend admission offers two options ($10 or $20 wristbands) These include activities such as wagon rides to the apples, pick-your-own in the orchard, corn box play, the apple cannon, corn maze, zip line, cow train and a few others.
6480 County Rd 26, Minnetrista, MN 55364
Family owned and operated since 1976, Minnetonka Orchards has blossomed into a beautiful orchard destination. Gianna has visited twice with many years in between and each time she was happily surprised at what she found. The orchard is now under new ownership and celebrated its grand opening over Labor Day weekend 2022. Here are some notes on what awaits orchard-goers when they visit this fall:
- The orchard is open every day from 10am-6pm starting September 9, 2023.
- Free admission weekdays, $7-$10/pp weekends covers all activities including hayrides, lawn games, live music, kids play areas and more. Season passes are available!
- Orchard admission includes unlimited hayrides and all attractions including pick-your-own apples and others detailed below.
- The playground, petting zoo – Owen’s Barnyard – hay mountain, giant sandbox and corn crib slide are sites your kids won’t want to miss.
- The orchard’s apple donuts are famous. Don’t leave without a taste.
345 County Rd 30 SE, Montrose, MN 55363
Our family was delighted to learn that though the orchard’s original patriarch passed away a few years ago, 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 may 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, has us willing to spend 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: Orchard is open Thurs-Sun, 10am-6pm starting August 26, 2023.
Picking: Pick-your-own apples are available. Call ahead to see what’s ripe and ready for picking.
8282 Parley Lake Rd, Waconia, MN 55387
At this lovely apple orchard out west of Minneapolis-St Paul, take a tractor ride to pick-your-own apples, let kids burn off energy in their own play space with hay bales and farm animals, stock up on goodies in the Apple Barn and (parents) stop in at the Parley Lake Winery tasting room. Food is often available onsite for purchase and it’s highly likely live entertainment has been scheduled for the weekend.
Picking: U-pick apples Saturday & Sunday, pumpkins come October.
Pricing: Free admission, free family activities. Wagon rides complimentary with purchase of apples.
Apple Tree-O – CLOSED IN 2023
5667 Franklin Township Rd, Delano, MN 55328
Hours: Open weekends; always a smart idea to call before heading out or check their Facebook page.
Picking: Pick-your-own apples option is available weekends. Visit the website to see what’s ripe when you’re ready to head out.
More activities: In our experience, activities at this orchard are not guaranteed so make sure to call ahead or check the website before visiting. (This is not to say we haven’t had a great time out here!)
2755 Rose Ave, Watertown, MN 55388
This beautiful orchard is a personal favorite of ours. LuceLine, which sits directly on the LuceLine State Trail in Watertown, put down its roots in 2004. Special activities at this orchard are always cropping up weekends including Concerts in the Country every Saturday and other special entertainment scheduled. There are plenty of FREE kids activities at this orchard (think a playground, corn pit, nature trail, sunflower field), some activities you can pay individually for (pony rides, archery, hayrides and corn maze) and a few that require a wristband (jumping pillow and kiddie train).
Hours: Wed – Fri, 10-5 & weekend until 6 starting August 26, 2023.
Picking: Apple picking is available while supplies last. You’ll need to purchase a LuceLine bag prior to picking.