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The best apple picking near Chicago

Load up a bag with some freshly-picked fruit—and don't forget to snag a box of apple cider doughnuts on your way out!

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Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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Once summer in Chicago begins to fade, it's time to turn your attention to the first fall-centric activity of the season: apple picking. Lucky for us, the Chicago suburbs and surrounding countryside are full of top-notch orchards where you can pick pounds upon pounds of the crisp fruit (and don't miss out on the apple-filled sweets available at many of these orchard's bakeries, either). Looking for even more fall fun? You'll also find some of the best pumpkin patches near Chicago, plus corn mazes and hayrides, at a handful of the farms on our list. Plan a perfect autumn day trip with our list of the best apple picking spots near Chicago. 

RECOMMENDED: The best Chicago attractions

The best apple picking near Chicago

  • Things to do

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half 

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. FYI: U-pick is only available on Saturdays and Sundays and quantities are limited, so check for updates on Facebook before you make the trek. 

  • Kids

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

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, though you're required to purchase a picking bag to enter the orchard. 

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  • Kids
  • price 1 of 4

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half 

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, apple cider slushies and pumpkin patches.

  • Kids
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Driving time from Chicago: About an hour

Forty acres of U-pick apples await you 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 are all available on site.

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  • Kids
  • price 1 of 4

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

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.

  • Things to do

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and 20 minutes

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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  • Kids
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour

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. (This year's harvest is expected to be smaller than usual, so it's especially important to check ahead before visiting.) 

  • Things to do
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

This long-running farm in far suburban McHenry has offered apple picking since 2017, after its owners planted and studied 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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  • Kids
  • price 1 of 4

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

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 (only available for picking on the weekends), hay rides and Christmas trees, plus an orchard shop and bakery for snagging sweet treats. You can even get married on the picturesque grounds.

  • Kids
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Driving time from Chicago: About an hour and a half

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 lost in a 10-acre corn maze. Starting in mid-September, you can return to walk through the 10-acre pumpkin patch and munch on hand-dipped caramel apples.

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  • Kids
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From Chicago: About an hour and 45 minutes

Royal Oak boasts more than 20,000 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—honeycrisp sparkling cider.

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