What says “fall” more than throwing on a light jacket on a crisp day and going apple picking? Not much. And, since most orchards are family-owned, every experience is different. Many orchards have markets or kid spaces; some have live music or other activities. Pick your orchard from this list, then go pick your apples!
CherryHawk Farm, open Fridays through Sundays in Marysville, describes their farm as “Apple picking the way it used to be.” Fall brings the usual Delicious and Granny Smith apples, but also lesser-known varieties like Green Mystery, WineCrisp, and Mutsu.
The Orchard & Co., in Plain City, lists upcoming U-pick days on their website. If you visit on a weekend, take the kids to their Farm Yard afterward for the animal barn, ziplining, diggers, wagon rides, and more. (The Farm Yard has an admission fee.)
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The 45-minute drive to Utica and Branstool Orchards is worth the time. Picking is available most days, unless fruit needs time to ripen, and October features at least 17 apple varieties. Leashed, friendly dogs are welcome in this orchard, too!
Also in Utica, Legend Hills Orchard has been growing apples for over 90 years. They’re also open seven days a week. You’ll want to get to this one soon, though, or check Facebook for updates; their listed varieties run through mid-October only.
Lynd Fruit Farm is open Wednesdays through Sundays in Pataskala and offers fall treats like Winesap and the fabulously-named Ludacrisp. On weekends, visit their nearby “7 Seas” corn maze and treasure hunt, or take a wagon ride through the orchard for a small fee.
Looking to get a little further out of town? The Apple Hill Orchards locations, in Mansfield and Fredericktown, offer at least 10 varieties in October and early November, including Pink Lady. Take a hayride and meet some of the farm’s animals on weekends, or visit during the week.
Lawrence Orchards, just outside of Marion, is celebrating its centennial year. Visit Monday through Friday, or make a day of it and join them for Harvest Saturdays in October, with special activities in addition to their five popular apple varieties for picking.
In Yellow Springs, Pfeifer Orchards offers U-pick on most Saturdays and Sundays, while supplies last. With 11 varieties—such as Late Fuji and Goldrush—ripening in October, they’re a great choice to include in a day trip.
Only a few apple varieties are ripe at any given time—sometimes, only one. If a particular apple variety is important to you, watch closely or call the orchard to verify exact picking dates.
If you like this, read: Weird Columbus: Four secret spots to explore this Halloween