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Apple Picking Orchards, Recipes, and Activities

Apple Picking Orchards, Recipes, and Activities

Apple Picking season is here. Wonder where you can go apple picking nearby? Having grown up in the land of the Gravensteins, and participating in our local apple parades and yearly apple traditions, I have a fondness for all things apple.

Here are Trekaroo’s lists of apple orchards where you can go to pick apples as a family and some of our favorite apple recipes and activities.

Apple Orchards: Where to Go Apple Picking 

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Apple orchards that welcome families to celebrate the apple harvest are plentiful.  There is nothing pulling a crisp apple right off the tree and putting it right between your teeth.

Find a farm for apple picking near you:

California Apple Orchards: Near San Diego and Julian | Near Los Angeles  | Near San Francisco and Sacramento

USA: Connecticut | Massachusetts | Central Massachusetts | Maryland | Near Pittsburg, PA | Near Columbus, OH | Near Cleveland, OH | Minnesota | Wisconsin | Illinois | North Georgia | Near Seattle, WA | Near Portland, OR | Utah

Canada: Near Toronto

Tips on apple picking, including how not to bruise your apples and possible questions to ask the farmer, are offered at Premeditated Leftovers.

Apple Crafts and Activities

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Let’s get excited about apples! How? Apple printing is always a good start. Cut an apple in half, slab on some red paint, and start printing. No Time For Flash Cards suggests printing on butcher paper, cutting each one out, and making a wreath. I love the idea of yarn apple favors. Twisting yarn around cardboard and then securing with a pipe cleaner. This apple activity by Makes and Takes might be a possible activity to do in the car while driving to the apple farm. After the apples are picked, the book How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World would make a great read. It might inspire your young traveler to make their own apple concoction. (We are a kid’s travel site; we will always encourage a book on traveling!)


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Irresistible Apple Recipes

There is nothing more classic than making an Apple pie. And Smitten Kitchen has a wonderfully simple rustic recipe. Apple sauce made in a slow cooker is an easy recipe at Mommy Makes It Better.

Do you see the theme? EASY. Now, how about HEALTHY? I love a good green apple, brie, and ham sandwich while traveling, but even easier (and divides better), is this chicken salad wrap with apples and grapes by Serving Up Southern. Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, the Happy Healthy Mama’s Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Cups are a simple, easy, and can be made the night before and in the morning just pop into the oven, and take them on the road.

Lastly, when it comes to ultimate apple food, anyone who has been to LEGOLAND should know about the Apple Fries. Around My Table figured out the perfect copy-cat recipe for this decadent dessert. They may not be easy (I’m never good with a fryer), and probably not healthy, but they are deeeeeelicious.

Another food adventure (for the parents) is hard apple cider tasting rooms popping up at the local apple farm. Snow Line Orchards in Oak Glen, CA offers the kiddos a sampling of raspberry-infused apple cider, while mom and pop can try the cider, wine, and other delicious out-of-the-box apple items.

Recipes for Apples that Travel Well

You’ve picked these delicious apples, now what to do with them? If you are slicing the apples before a trip, be sure to soak them in lemon water and then quickly seal them in an air-tight bag to keep them from browning. We know snacks in the car can leave a mess, so here are a few ideas for apples to have on hand while traveling to your next family-friendly destination.

Keep an old store-bought apple squeezer container and refill with the freshly stewed apple sauce for a no-mess travel snack. (Unless your kid is a squeezer, and that just can’t be helped.) Passion For Savings uses the oven to make Easy Oven Dried Apple Chips. Remember the ol’ fruit leathers in your lunch? Baked by Rachel has a delicious recipe for an Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather. Make it even easier by using a dehydrator.

Apple Decor

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I love putting our apple produce in a bowl and using them as a centerpiece on the table. Since apples don’t need to be refrigerated, the bowl is a reminder to enjoy a healthy snack when walking by. Design Mom shared her adaptation of the DIY apple votive, a perfect compliment for fall decor. Hosting a party? Try Apple Anchors (or tablecloth weights) courtesy of Oregon Live. Get the apple printing material out again, The Artful Parent shares different ways to make a garland or apple bunting with burlap or pages of an old book to string around the house.


The Big Apple

We can’t talk about apples, without talking about the BIG Apple: New York. As a family-friendly travel site, we’ve got you covered when traveling to the city known for being the biggest of all apples. Start off with our Top 10 Things to do in New York City with Kids. First time? Go to A First Timer’s Guide to New York City for Families. And if you’re like me, you’ll want to know about the Free Activities in New York City.

Do you have more ideas on what to do with those lovely apples you will be picking this season? Let us know in the comments!