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apple picking
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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!

Morgan Olsen
Emma Krupp
Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Emma Krupp
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It’s always bittersweet to bid farewell to summer, but don’t let yourself get too down in the dumps—apple picking season is here to usher you into the sunny start of fall in Chicago. The city’s suburbs and surrounding countryside are full of bountiful orchards where you can pick pounds upon pounds of the fruit to take home for snacking or baking (speaking of baking, many of these farms feature bakeries stocked with homemade, apple-filled treats). And that’s not all: Come October, 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. Take a look through our roundup of the best apple orchards near Chicago and get excited for all the autumnal fun still to come.

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—as that’s the minimum haul for a group of one to four (for details about which varieties are available for picking, visit the Prairie Sky website). Before you start picking, stop by the farm's Koffee Kiosk for hot chocolate and apple cider doughnuts, and swing by the bar store before you leave to snag charming fall decorations. Open Monday–Friday 10am–4pm and Saturday–Sunday 10am–5pm beginning September 3

  • 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 two dozen types of apples available for u-Pick and in the country store, which also stocks apple cider, doughnuts and other fresh-baked treats. Got kiddos at home? They’ll love the orchard’s petting zoo, play area and straw maze. Visit the Honey Hill website for a full list of fall events, including food truck stops and horse-drawn wagon rides. Open 9am–1pm early season (September 3, 5 and 6); open daily 9am–5:30pm September 8–October 31

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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. Open daily for u-pick 9am–4pm

  • Kids
  • price 1 of 4

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 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. Open daily 9am–6pm beginning August 31

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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—if you’re curious about where to start, check out the farm’s interactive website to find out what's ripe for the picking and how to use each apple variety. Make a day of it by taking a walk through the corn maze or booking a private campfire site for your group. Before you pack up the car, wander around the Cider House, which boasts an impressive selection of apple wine and hard cider to take home. Open daily 9am–5pm beginning August 29

  • 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 annual Fall Festival 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. Note that you’ll need to pay a separate entrance fee for Fall Festival in addition to u-pick pricing. Open daily 9am-6pm August 27–October 31

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  • Kids
  • Suburbs

Driving time from Chicago: About an hour

There's no hoopla at this small family-run orchard in Lake County, 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 or Facebook page before you visit for upcoming hours and possible closures. Anticipated opening in mid-September

  • 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. Visitors can reap the benefits of that research via the farm’s bountiful u-pick options, including varieties like Sansa, Orange Cox Pippin, Winecrisp and Goldrush spread throughout the harvest season. Open daily 9am–5pm, weather permitting

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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, hay rides and Christmas trees, plus an orchard shop and bakery for snagging sweet treats. You can even get married on the picturesque grounds. Open Monday–Saturday 9am–6pm and Sunday 10am–6pm August 27–October 30

  • 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. Head straight to the fields for picking, play corn hole with the family or get lost in a 10-acre corn maze; then, starting in late September, walk through the 10-acre pumpkin patch and munch on hand-dipped caramel apples. Open Monday–Friday 10am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday and holidays 10am–6pm from August 27–October 30

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  • Kids
  • price 1 of 4

Driving time 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 cider. Don’t leave without checking out the farm’s enticing spread of activities—including train rides and a carousel—as well as a Royal Oak specialty: a full-fledged apple tree maze. Open Monday–Thursday 10am–5pm and Friday–Sunday 10am–6pm from August 20–October 31

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