Apples abound in the Evergreen State, and September is prime picking season!
As soon as September 1 hits, it’s all about apples. Dreaming about apple pie, sipping hot apple cider, your favorite apple recipes, and, of course, picking apples at an orchard. For decades, apples have been synonymous with the Pacific Northwest. And apple picking has offered a joyful experience for families, students on field trips and visitors who seek a taste of this local fruit. It’s no wonder, then, that farms throughout the Pacific Northwest offer U-pick opportunities, along with other attractions, fairs and festivals for the whole family. As the seasonal harvest approaches in late September and October, here’s where to pick apples and celebrate one of the region’s biggest, most well-known exports.
Did you know that Washington State is the country’s Apple Capital?
Tips for apple-picking with kids:
Scroll through to discover great places to pick (or taste) apples and celebrate the apple bounty in Washington State this fall. Head to Eastern Washington if you want to turn apple-picking into a fall weekend getaway, or stay close to home and make it an apple-picking day trip.
- Find family-friendly spots. Many U-pick orchards are kid-friendly (click through to the pages that follow for recommendations). Some keep small trees that offer low-hanging fruit so that kids can reach the apples without assistance, and others have small step ladders (make sure you help little ones up onto them and stay close by).
- Time it right. Apples are usually ready for picking from September through the end of October, with the peak picking time varying from location to location, but some farms start as early as August.
- Call or check online to make sure the orchard you want to visit has U-pick open that day (hours and days can change based on the availability of crops). Facebook pages often give more up-to-date information than websites.
- Bring along your own bags, baskets or boxes in case the farm has run out of them.
- Pack rubber boots because the orchards may be muddy, and consider bringing a wagon to tote kids.
- Think about how many pounds of apples you want to end up with before you start picking. You might want a few pounds for the kids’ lunch boxes, and several more for baking and preserving.
- Check on the pet policy before bringing your pooch. Many farms have a no-pet policy for the safety and comfort of farm animals.
- Are the apples organic? While few U-pick apple orchards in the region have gone through the process of having their orchards certified organic, many of them implement organic and natural growing practices in their orchards. If this is important to you, feel free to call ahead and ask about their practices.
Beck’s Harvest House Is Located In The Heart Of Green Bluff
Enjoy all of your favorite fall activities in one place during the Fall Harvest Festival at Beck’s Harvest House! Wander through our a-maze-ing Giant Corn Maze, presented by Papé, browse Pumpkin Land for your picture-perfect pumpkin, enjoy one of our World Famous Pumpkin Donuts and a glass of fresh-pressed apple cider, and admire the autumn views of scenic Green Bluff.
FIRST, make your reservation for the date of your visit and your estimated arrival time. Once you select a date, choose an arrival time of either 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm, or 2pm-6pm. This is just an arrival time to let us know when to expect you, not how long you are able to stay at the festival, so please enjoy the festival as long as you’d like! ONE $5 ticket serves as a reservation for a full carload! Please note, this does not include entry to the Friendly Family Farm Funland, which is where you’ll find out Giant Corn Maze. Funland/Maze tickets must be purchased separately, per person entering. Without a Funland ticket, you will still be able to enjoy live music, delicious food, Pumpkin Land, and more!
Once you select your reservation date and time, you will be able to add-on wristbands for our Friendly Family Farm Funland, which includes our Papé Giant Corn Maze and access to all additional fall activities like Tire Mountain and the Jump Pad! Will you be able to track-tor down the exit to our corn-fusing, John Deere-themed maze? Get your tickets now to find out! Make your reservation. HERE
Johnson Orchards is a family-owned and -operated orchard in Yakima that has been in business since 1904. They grow several varieties of cherries, peaches, apricots, pears, nectarines, pears, plums and of course — apples. Starting in August, you can pick your own apples at Johnson Orchards and Honeycrisp apples should be ready by September. Check their website or call before you go for updated hours and information as the season progresses.
Wenatchee has historically been known as the Apple Capital of the World, and it’s easy to see why. Every spring, this city of nearly 34,000 hosts the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival, the second-oldest festival in Washington state. In addition, Wenatchee is home to the Apple Capital Loop Trail, an 11-mile paved hiking and cycling path along the Columbia River. Even the local summertime baseball team is named the AppleSox.
Stutzman Ranch in Wenatchee is a haven for you-pick fruit during the summer and fall. In the summer, pick your own nectarines, peaches, cherries and grapes, and return in the fall for pears and apples. Varieties include Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious and more. Stutzman Ranch is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. but checktheir websiteand Facebook page for hours and availability as the season goes on! There is a $5 you-pick minimum charge for all pickers over the age of 12.
With an enormous 55-acre pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a petting farm, wagon rides and more, The Farm at Swan’s Trail is packed with fall-themed fun! Not to mention, they have a full acre of delicious Honeycrisp and Jonagold apples ready for picking. Walk through their massive pick-your-own orchard to select your apples of choice — and you can even sample a few along the way! Check their Facebook page for you-pick availability and other updates throughout the season.