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apple picking
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The best apple picking near Chicago

Apple picking near Chicago is plentiful at these easy-to-reach farms, where you can enjoy the best of fall

By Morgan Olsen and Emma Krupp
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The transition from summer to fall can be a bittersweet one, but apple orchards are here to ease some of your seasonal woes. Head to the suburbs and surrounding countryside for crisp early fall air and tons of apple orchards brimming with more varieties of the classic fruit than you'll find even in the fanciest city grocery store. Couple that with the fact that many of the orchards are also home to corn mazes, hay rides and the best pumpkin patches near Chicago and you've got a recipe for a perfect autumn afternoon. Pick a bushel of fruit and don't forget to grab some apple cider doughnuts on the way out when you visit the best apple orchards near Chicago.

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The best apple picking near Chicago

apple picking near philadelphia
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1. Prairie Sky Orchard

Things to do

From Chicago: 60 miles northwest

Open daily, this orchard specializes in apples (15 varieties) and Asian pears. Expect to walk away with at least one peck, a 10-pound bag of apples, the minimum haul for a group of one to four. Before you start picking, stop by the farm's Koffee Kiosk for hot chocolate and apple cider doughnuts.

apple orchard
Photograph: Shutterstock

2. Honey Hill Orchard

Kids

From Chicago: 65 miles west

This orchard is worth the drive—and it's not too far from Shabbona Lake State Park if you want to make a day of it. You'll find more than a dozen types of apples available for U-Pick and in the country store. Youngsters will love the petting zoo and straw maze, while parents will dig the fact that the orchard doesn't charge admission. That's right: Entry is free, and so are all of the activities.

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Apple Holler is one of the best spots for apple picking near Chicago.
Photograph: Scott Curty

3. Apple Holler

Kids

From Chicago: 65 miles north

You'll want to clear an entire afternoon to wander around this massive Wisconsin orchard. Beyond the obvious (trees filled with apples), the property is home to a restaurant, bakery, gift shop and family farm—which means there's no shortage of family-friendly activities. Come fall, be sure to check out the hayrides and pumpkin patches.

apple picking
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4. County Line Orchard

Kids

From Chicago: 40 miles southeast

Forty acres of U-pick apples await at this beautiful orchard in Hobart, Indiana, but there's a lot more happening behind the scenes. Get lost in a corn maze, explore the bee yurts, feed the goats or roast marshmallows over a campfire. You won't have to go far for food when the kids get cranky: Find fresh-baked doughnuts, bread, pies and cookies all available on site.

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apple picking
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5. Jonamac Apple Orchard

Kids

From Chicago: 70 miles west

This family-owned property boasts 105 acres and more than 20,000 apple trees. Check the interactive website to find out what's ripe for the picking and how to use each apple variety. Make a day of it by checking out the corn maze or booking a private campfire site for your group. Before you pack up the car, wander around the Cider House, where you'll find an impressive selection of apple wine and hard cider to take home.

apple picking
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6. Goebbert's Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard

Things to do

From Chicago: 50 miles northwest

It's right there in the name: In the fall, Goebbert's is a one-stop shop for apple and pumpkin picking, plus tons of other themed attractions like a straw maze, giant pumpkin slide, haunted house and more. Head to the orchard early in the season to catch Honeycrisp, Zestar and Gala apple varieties. 

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Heinz Orchard
Photograph: Anthony DeMoon

7. Heinz Orchard

Kids Suburbs

From Chicago: 40 miles north

There's no hoopla at this small family-run orchard, so don't expect hayrides, hot cider and a sprawling corn maze for the youngsters. You're here for the apples, after all, and there are plenty of those. A word to the wise: Be sure to check the farm's website before you visit for upcoming hours and possible closures.

apple picking
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8. Stade's Farm and Market

Things to do Suburbs

From Chicago: 60 miles northwest

This farm in far suburban McHenry has offered apple picking since 2017, after planting and studying thousands of dwarf apple trees over the course of several years. There's no fee to enter the farm, but each person over the age of two years will have to purchase at least $10 worth of apples. 

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apple picking
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9. Kuipers Family Farm

Kids

From Chicago: 55 miles west

Back in 1998, Wade and Kim Kuipers opened their pumpkin patch to the public with a simple mission—to share the pleasures of spending the day on their farm. Today, the operation has grown to include apples, hay rides and Christmas trees. You can even get married on their picturesque grounds.

All Seasons Orchard
Photograph: Courtesy All Seasons Orchard

10. All Seasons Apple Orchard

Kids

From Chicago: 65 miles northwest

Surround yourself with more than 15,000 apple and pear trees at this family-run orchard in Woodstock, Illinois. You can head straight to the fields for picking, play corn hole with the family or get your thrills on the mini zip line. Return in September to walk through the 10-acre pumpkin patch and munch on hand-dipped caramel apples.

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apple picking
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11. Royal Oak Farm

Kids

From Chicago: 80 miles northwest

Royal Oak boasts more than 17,000 trees and 30-plus varieties of apples, so lace up your walking shoes. The orchard provides containers for pick-your-own types, and the store features doughnuts, caramel apples, pies and a Royal Oak specialty—apple-cider slushies.

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