Time:2 - 3 Hours
Apple picking is the quintessential Autumn experience! Something about the way that the hot summer weather turns crisp, the days shorten and the leaves on the trees begin to turn brilliant colors, makes us all feel warm and comforted. And there’s nothing that brings back the nostalgia of childhood than heading out to a lovely orchard on a cool Fall day to pick buckets of apples!
The essence of this date is enjoying the feeling of being outdoors, in beautiful scenery, doing something very simple and very fun together. Pick one bucket of apples or four, run around the orchards, visit the pumpkin patch, take photos and go home to make pies, jellies, breads or cakes. However you want to spend the day, you and your partner are both bound to feel great at the end of it!
Note: If you and/or your partner has children and you’re at the point of introducing them to each other, then this is a wonderful “family” date to take them on. They’ll run ahead and have a blast, while you and your partner can relax and stroll the tree-lined lanes.
- Fair weather
- Warm clothing
- Comfortable shoes (sneakers, trainers or boots)
- Camera (optional)
- Bags or pails (optional)
- Go at the right time. Early September to mid-October is the peak picking season through most of the northern US, Canada and the UK. Choose a day with cool to warm temperatures, sunshine and low humidity.
- Find an orchard. If you don’t know of a pick your own apple orchard near you, look online to find one. Any will do, but if there’s one in a particularly beautiful area, then of course opt for the best scenery possible!
- Prepare. This is an easy date, the only thing you need to bring is cash (most family orchards don’t accept credit card payment), in small bills, if possible. Wear warm, comfortable layers and shoes that are good for walking in soggy fields and on tree branches!
- Have fun! Have a ball! Many orchards have pumpkin and gourd patches attached, so consider visiting them before you leave.
Make sure to follow orchard rules concerning things like not climbing the trees (or at least make sure you’re not caught!).
* Not all apples are created equal. Below is a quick guide to the best apple varieties for cooking, baking and eating.
Fresh Eating Apples: Pink Lady, Gala Fuji, Honey Crisp, Red Delicious, McIntosh
Apple Pie: Cortland, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Honey Crisp
Apple Butter: Cortland, Golden Delicious
Applesauce: McIntosh, Cortland, Gravenstein, Golden Delicious, Jongold
Cider: Gala, Gravenstein