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The best apple picking near Chicago

Take the kids to the suburbs and exurbs to enjoy the best apple picking near Chicago in beautiful orchards

Courtesy of Heinz Orchard
Heinz Orchard

Don't weep too hard at the passing of summer—focus on all of the fun fall brings, like apple picking near Chicago in a picturesque orchard, visiting pumpkin patches, enjoying Halloween candy and going on hayrides. And yes, you can do all that within a short drive of the city. Now you just need to figure out what to do with the giant peck of apples you lug home.

RECOMMENDED: Your guide to fall in Chicago

 

Where to find the best apple picking near Chicago

Apple Holler

This orchard offers no shortage of activity. The dwarf trees in the U-pick area require no ladders for picking. After you gather your apples, check out the restaurant, a theater for musical productions, mazes and puppet shows.

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Wisconsin

Heinz Orchard

This no-frills apple orchard is only 37 miles away, one of the closest to the city. You won't find much hoopla here, just gorgeous fields of apples. Strollers and wagons are allowed, but prepare your little ones that this is all about apple picking—there are no hayrides or corn mazes to be found. Varieties usually include golden delicious, empire, McIntosh and more.

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Suburbs

County Line Orchard

Forty acres of U-pick apples await at this Northwest Indiana orchard, but there's a lot more to do here too. Visit the petting zoo or run through the corn maze. You'll find plenty of sweet treats to buy in the bakery, including fresh baked doughnuts, or take a snack outside to the campfire to make your own hot dogs or s'mores. Local artists call the orchard home on weekends during barnyard jams.

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Northwest Indiana

Royal Oak Farm

Royal Oak has more than 12,000 trees and 26 varieties of apples, plus late-summer raspberries. The orchard provides containers for pick-your-own types, and the store features doughnuts, caramel apples, pies and a Royal Oak specialty: apple-cider slushees.

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Northwest Suburbs

Jonamac Apple Orchard

Apple cider, fresh doughnuts and 35 varieties of apples are what you'll find at Jonamac. Little ones will love the mix of activities, from duck races to apple cannons and even a petting zoo.

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West Suburbs

Kuipers Family Farm

Take a hayride to the orchard, where visitors fill bushel baskets with more than 20 varieties of apples, including McIntosh, Jonathan and Granny Smith. The return trip drops you at the general store stocked with pies, caramel apples and cider doughnuts.

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West Suburbs

Plank Road Orchard

Located minutes from Elgin, this low-key spot offers plenty of U-Pick apples, cider and, on the weekends, yummy apple pie and other baked goods. You'll have access to a porta-potty at the orchard but nothing else, so plan accordingly. Season starts the end of August and runs through the end of October or early November depending on the weather.

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Wicker Park

All Seasons Apple Orchard

Visitors are greeted by chickens, billy goats and llamas at the free petting zoo. Head to the vast orchards for picking (one of the few places you can pick Honeycrisp apples!), enjoy the variety of barnyard activities from the cow train to the giant jumping pillow, and indulge in the new dessert bar with taffy apples and made-to-order desserts.

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Northwest Suburbs

Honey Hill Orchard

This orchard is worth the 90-minute drive (and it's not too far from Shabbona Lake State Park if you want to make a day of it). There are more than a dozen types of apples avaiable for U-Pick and in the country store. Kids will love the petting zoo and getting dirty climbing on bales of hay. Take a break and grab cider doughnuts in the Feeding Trough Kitchen and take a pie home for later.

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Ziegler's Orchard

This orchard is only open to the public on weekends, but the variety of apples and the bakery make it a worthy stop. Trees are small enough for kids to grab some apples on their own. Picking lasts into November (as supplies last), which gives this orchard a more extended season than others nearby.

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Suburbs

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