Nestled in the Fraser Valley, this family-run orchard and farm is all about giving their visitors a taste of the country. Each fall, the Taves open the doors to their beloved Applebarn Pumpkin Farm to celebrate all that autumn has to offer. In addition to apple picking and a pumpkin patch, they have pony and hayrides, petal carts, corn maze and much more. Be sure to visit the on-site country store for cider, fresh produce, honey, preserves and homemade pies. Apple offerings include widespread favourites, like Galas and Fujis, as well as seven other varieties.
333 Gladwin Rd., Abbotsford, 604-853-3108
Photo: @tavesfarms via Instagram
This orchard has long been a favourite among Greater Toronto Area families – and it’s no surprise why. With a straw maze and a giant kids’ climbing area (complete with four slides, a rope swing, nature trail, pony rides and barn animals you can feed), this farm has everything you need for a day of fresh air and fun. Apple season begins mid-August and offers 23 varieties ripe for the picking, including the crisp and juicy Sunrise, shiny red Empire, sweet and tart Russet and plenty of others. Stop by the farm’s bakery where you’ll find all kinds of sweet treats.
9528 Highway 25, Halton Hills. 905-878-2725
Photo: @chudleighsfarm via Instagram
Currently closed for the 2016 garden season.
This U-pick farm offers chemical-free produce, and it’s a great place to spend the afternoon with your family. Bring your own lunch and enjoy it in the picnic area as the kids have fun in the outdoor playground or bounce on the trampoline. In addition to apples, Happy Acres also offers a variety of vegetables – from beans and beets, to squash and turnips – and other fruit, like currants and Saskatoon berries. Visitors can also choose pumpkins right from the patch. Be sure to pick up an ice cream cone before you leave.
Range Road 273, Spruce Grove. 780-968-0099
Photo: Happy Acres via Facebook
While the Prairies are not known for their extended apple-growing season, the crisp conditions make for excellent pickings each fall. Like most Saskatchewan orchards, Symmetree is a young operation that grows apples bred with help from university apple-development programs in the province. With more than 20 kinds available, like Autumn Delight and Misty Rose, as well as plenty of varieties that are unique to the Prairies, this west-Saskatchewan orchard has an apple for every taste, ripening from the end of August to the last days of September.
Highway 771, near Luseland. 306-372-4954
Photo: Symmetree Orchard
This long-standing farming operation was originally called Linden’s BB Farm before a new family took over in 2009. Manitoba has never been known for its ideal apple-growing conditions, but Riverbend’s well-established orchards are situated on 20 acres of river-bottom soil, making it incredibly fertile and ideal for growing Goodland and Norkent apples, as well as Saskatoon berries, gooseberries and more. This unique property is also a nature-lover’s paradise, as it’s a perfect place to enjoy the views of George Lake and the many bird species that frequent it.
100 Old Bridge Rd., Portage la Prairie. 204-870-1140
Photo: Riverband Orchards
This magical property dates back to 1808 and is known for the clear water spring that flows from the hill and supplies the entire site with clean, fresh water. Due to their ideal apple-growing conditions, this orchard offers a long picking season, from late August to mid-October. Apple varieties include Almata and Autumn Gold. Everyone will enjoy the apple donuts and other baked goods fresh from the farm’s ovens.
1019 Route 202, Franklin Centre. 450-827-2565
This island orchard’s location on the west shore of Malpeque Bay means more than just picturesque views; the shallow bay’s warm ocean breezes help protect the region from winter’s harsh effects, which result in ideal apple-growing conditions. Not only does this family-owned farm grow more than 27 different types of apples (including rare local flavours like island-favourite Red Astrachan and Joyce), it also offers wagon rides every weekend, and a corn maze. Join them on September 27 as they open the orchard for their annual Shriner’s Scarecrow Festival, a popular fundraising event that features family- friendly autumn activities.
1309 Route 131, Arlington. 902-831-2965
This farm has got more than a dozen apple varieties (from Crimson Beauty in mid-August to Northern Spy in October) in their U-pick orchards. Kids will love visiting with the barn animals, and a picnic area set against North Mountain makes this site the perfect country escape for an autumn afternoon. For something extra sweet, they’ve got 400 honey-producing beehives on-site. Purchase unpasteurized, preservative-free liquid and creamed honey in a variety of sizes, or bring your own jar or container to fill. Plus, see the honey-collecting and extracting process first-hand.
1972 Woodville Rd., Woodville. 902-678-4371
This farm offers all kinds of produce throughout the fall months, but if it’s apples you’re after, don’t miss the annual Apple Days festival, which falls on the last two weekends in September. The event is free and features a playground, cider slushies, orchard hayrides, a barn full of animals to pet and, of course, plenty of U-pick apples and pumpkins. Estimated harvest dates for apples begin in autumn. Delicious Jonagold and Ambrosia can be picked in the middle of September. The farm also holds Pumpkin Daze every weekend in October.
288 McCallum Rd., Abbotsford. 604-854-8710
Photo: Courtesy of Willow View Farms
Experience four-dimensional fun with a quad of unique activity stations. Pack a picnic and eat your lunch by the large play structure and enjoy all kinds of games (think bocce ball, oversized checkers and painting) at station one. The second station offers paddle boating and birdwatching around the farm’s pond. Animal lovers will adore learning about the sheep, miniature goats and calves in the third quad’s petting zoo, and everyone will love station four, with an ice cream stand, freshly baked goodies, preserves and cool drinks to enjoy in the shade. The farm’s U-pick is not limited to apples; they also grow other fruit, such as pears, raspberries, cherries, grapes, plums, and more, plus a variety of vegetables, too.
#4 Highway, Cadillac. 306-785-4602
Established in 1932, the majority of Mountain Orchard’s nearly 10,000 trees are direct descendants of the original McIntosh Red apple tree discovered in the early 1800s by John McIntosh in Dundela, Ont. In addition to this famous variety, visitors can also pick tart Lobos and juicy Honeycrisps. The farm is also the site of two well-loved corn mazes (one is designed especially for young kids), a straw play area, wagon rides and, of course, their ever-popular apple-cider donuts, served up fresh every weekend.
10175 Clark Rd., Mountain. 613-989-5601
Photo: Mountain Orchards
Kids ages two to 10 will love running wild in the Crazy Cow Kids Corral and blowing off some steam in the large outdoor play area. The farm’s market also offers several types of fresh-picked apples, and there's an Apple Harvest Festival every weekend in September. When you get back from the orchards, wander through Farmer Bob’s antique tractor collection, say hello to Salsa the donkey and dig into a fresh lunch (followed by apple pie!) at Auntie May’s Deep Dish Café. If you have a little one, they offer Toddler Tour Tuesdays, which is family apple picking modified for the young kids.
3111 Davison Rd., Vernon, BC. 250-549-3266
Photo: Davison Orchards Country Village via Facebook
All aboard the apple train! Why walk to and from the orchard when you can catch a ride on this half-scale replica of an 1850 L-Train? It runs every weekend for the public and during the week for school groups. Pick your fill of apples – the engineer will point out the various varieties, from tart Granny Smith to tangy Spartan and a dozen others – without worrying about the long haul back to the barn, where fresh pie and other treats are available for purchase (order in advance to ensure you don’t miss out). Be sure to check out the friendly barn animals, sand mountain and two corn mazes: a stroller- and wagon-friendly one and one made especially for toddlers.
329 Richmond St., RR#2, Thorndale. 519-268-7794
Photo: Apple Land Station
This Brantford farm offers a variety of apples and tons of other fresh pickings straight from the fields, as well as plenty of fresh produce, meat and preserves from nearby farms. Plus, get ready for a fun-filled October with Brantwood’s Fall Festival Weekends, which take place every weekend that month (including Thanksgiving Monday). Activities include face painting, an obstacle course and tons of pumpkin-related games. Be sure to sample some of the farm’s delicious food.
251 Powerline Rd., Brantford. 519-759-4383
Don’t just pick apples – learn about them, too. This Ottawa-area orchard hosts guided tours of their museum on weekends so you can get a glimpse of old farming practices, and even try them out yourself. Race laps around the track in the farm’s pedal cars (it’s not as easy as it looks) or get lost in one of the many mazes – they’ve got small mazes for kids in the play area and larger ones out in the field. Pick your own Paula Red, Lobo, McIntosh, Cortland, Spartan or Empire apples, or purchase other varieties at the market.
1480 County Road 32, Crysler. 613-448-3633
This orchard overlooking the Rideau Canal isn’t just about producing great apples and wonderful family experiences – it’s about sustainable farming, too. The farm is filled with trees young and old – there are even six McIntosh trees from the 1940s. The staff is constantly planting young trees to replace older ones that are no longer healthy to make for a booming crop year after year. They currently offer more than 15 varieties of apples, like the traditional McIntosh, and they have invested in unique heritage varieties that are tough to find, such as the Melba.
1345 Washburn Rd., Kingston. 613-546-1690
Photo: Waddell Apples
For many Port Elgin families, this scenic orchard and produce market is a fall tradition. With a huge straw fort and corn maze to explore, and plenty of picture-perfect photo-ops, this orchard has tons of activities for families – and that doesn’t even include the apples. This farm is home to about 6,000 apple trees, most of which have low-hanging branches for easy picking. Pick-your-own season begins in early September with the arrival of the Ginger Gold variety, and closes in mid- to late October with the Northern Spy, with 10 kinds to choose from, plus a few others available at their on-site store.
470 The River Rd., RR#3, Port Elgin. 519-832-3051
Photo: Smiths' Apples and Farm Market
From Ambrosia to Honeycrisp and plenty in between, this Leamington orchard offers plenty of fresh apples in their U-pick fields. Kids will also love the bouncy castle, corn maze, swings, slides, climbing area and face painting. Refuel with a hot dog, fresh apple cider or a caramel apple, or bring your own snacks to enjoy in the picnic area.
400 Talbot Rd. E., Leamington. 519-326-5282
Photo: Thiessen Orchards
This farm has been in the Johnson family for six generations, and they’ve made it into a country paradise. Choose from Gravenstein, McIntosh and Cortland apples in the U-pick orchard. Enjoy a picnic lunch, check out the red-and-white horse barn to see all kinds of antique horse-drawn vehicles (some of which are more than 100 years old) and, if you’re lucky, a local vintage car show might be in town. Visit the critters (including Gary the goat, Trooper the miniature donkey and a bunch of other barn animals). The Willowbank maze is perfect for young families, too.
100 Starr’s Point Loop, Port Williams. 902-542-9153
Photo: Willowbank U-Pick Farm
Don’t let the name fool you: This 220-acre farm also has plenty of fresh apples and other produce, as well as tons of family fun. Though apples aren’t available for the picking (they’re sold at the on-site market), kids can spend more time racing up Strawberry Mountain and exploring the giant tree fort. You can also jump to new heights in the barn bounce structure, get lost in the corn maze and so much more.
8100 Steeles Ave. E., Markham. 905-294-3275
Photo: Wittamore's Berry Farm
Choose from 20 different apple species and more than 20 varieties of pumpkins. Drop into the farm shop, which sells every apple product under the sun – dried apples, apple jelly, butter, pie, crisp, and their famous muffins. Take a tractor ride, and trek through one of the orchard’s four corn mazes (they have one for every age group, so no one is left out).
2291 Boul. Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile Perrot. 514-453-5379
Photo: Le Verger Labonte
Get a million-dollar view (for free!) from the top of this orchard’s 20-metre-high lookout tower. Trek up to the top and take in the sights of the orchard, rich countryside and mountains. After the big climb, visit the resident horses, sheep, goats and other farm animals – you might even find the alpaca! Sit back and relax on the miniature train on your way out to the orchards, where you’ll find a variety of apples to pick.
6291 Route Louis S. St-Laurent, Compton. 819-835-9159
Photo: Verger La Pommalbonne
The children’s play yard features a straw castle, tire pyramid, old-fashioned water pump, duck races and a mini maze. Animal lovers will enjoy visiting the pigs, sheep, goats, and other farm friends – there’s even a llama! The pick-your-own orchard offers eight different kinds of apples, including Paula Red, Lobo and McIntosh.
2495 Boul. Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Ile-Perrot. 514-453-1510
Photo: Quinn Farm
At this family-run orchard, every apple has a story. After all, this farm has been around since 1792 (that’s eight generations!). Located just west of Fredericton, they offer 12 kinds of apples (including the rare Bishop Pippin, known as “the Christmas apple”) over seven acres of stroller-friendly land. It’s also got gorgeous views of the Keswick Islands.
3905 Route 102, Island View. 506-459-7406
Photo: Everett Family Orchard
Ever wish you had your very own apple tree? Try adopting one! Gagetown has a unique program, inspired by a local movement to encourage nearby residents to get their produce straight from the source. Choose the perfect tree, whether it’s a Paula Red, Jersey Mac, Lobo, McIntosh, Red Delicious or Cortland. Once the apples on your tree are ripe, you’ll get a call from the folks at the farm. The orchard offers a dozen varieties (and that number is growing.)
30 Courthouse Rd., Gagetown. 506-488-2286
Get more information at gagetownfruitfarm.com