Feel that nip in the air? Fall is here, and that means that it’s time to dig out your coziest sweaters, warmest socks and best-loved hoodies, and start indulging in your favorite fall treats, like cinnamon, pumpkin spice and freshly picked apples.
September and October are the prime months for apple picking in Indiana because that’s when the apples are at their ripest, sweetest best. Whether you love apple cider, apple pies, caramel apples or any other apple-y delight, this is when the “getting is good.” All you have to do is take a trip to one of the area’s best apple orchards and pick your fill.
Whether you’re heading out on your own or you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive way to spend an afternoon with the kids, here are some of the top apple groves in the state you can visit:
Tuttle Orchards and Farm – Greenfield
Tuttle’s has been an Indiana family favorite for decades because there’s a lot to do when you’re there and always something new to explore. The u-pick apple orchards are open this year starting Sept. 19, but the season is only expected to run for a couple of weeks, at most — so don’t delay your visit if you plan to go! The apples, which include Golden Delicious, Jonathan and Cortland varieties, are also in short supply this year thanks to a late spring freeze.
Also, please note: Tuttle Orchards is only open Tuesdays through Saturdays each week, and reservations are required this year if you want to visit on the weekend. Space is also limited. While you’re there, however, don’t forget to visit their farm store and pick up some farm-fresh produce and local artisan items, like sweet clover honey and hand-pressed apple cider.
Adrian Orchards – Indianapolis
You don’t have to go far to find a great spot to pick up some great apples — as long as you don’t mind picking them out of bushels baskets. Adrian Orchards is located just a short distance from downtown Indy. Jonathans and McIntosh apples are already in the Orchard’s store, along with an ever-growing variety of seasonal gourds, apple cider and other goodies for sale.
This family-owned farm has been delighting area residents with freshly picked apples, peaches and other produce items for more than 90 years. It also has the distinction of being the site where the Guinness World Record for “fastest apple picker” was established back in 1980.
McClure’s Orchard and Winery – Peru
Apple season is in full gear at McClure’s, and that not only means pick-your-own apples but also apple cider slushies, apple pie and boozy apple cider floats (among other tasty treats). The farm is home to more than seven thousand apple trees and 150 kinds of apples — including Ginger Golds, Honeycrisps and Paula Reds. If you can’t find the apple you’re looking for here, you probably can’t find it anywhere.
While you’re visiting, you can also take a look at the u-pick pumpkin patch, take the kids to the petting zoo, try out the corn maze, take a horse ride and visit their gift shop for some early holiday shopping. If the kids aren’t around, you may want to check out the wine and hard cider tasting bar — or maybe just buy a few bottles to take home.
Phil’s U-Pick Apple Orchard – Huntington
This could be the u-pick apple orchard of your dreams. Looking for Honeycrisp apples? Want some Ozark Golds or Galas? Maybe you’d rather have Golden Supremes or Ruby Jons? Whatever your preference, you’re likely to find it here. Phil’s is home to 36 different varieties of apples and the picking season started on Sept. 11.
Phil’s is open every day from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., and you can also find plenty of vegetables and other local produce for sale in their storefront. While you’re there, make sure you pick up some sweet corn, some heirloom tomatoes and a gallon of delicious apple cider to take home.
Stuckey Farm Orchard and Cider Mill – Sheridan
This 40-acre farm has 37 varieties of apples ready to be picked from July through October — but that’s not all. No visit to Stuckey Farm is complete unless you pick up a few of their apple cider donuts and a gallon or two of its famous apple cider.
Your kids will also enjoy the play areas that are designed for their use on the “Adventure Acres,” which includes things like a corn maze and a 60-foot tube slide that’s bound to delight! Meanwhile, you can take a wagon ride to check out the orchard’s scenery or go shopping in the on-site Country Market for all kinds of fresh goodies.
Anderson Orchard – Mooresville
Anderson Orchards is home to all kinds of u-pick produce, including raspberries, blue plums, pumpkins, chestnuts and (naturally) apples. Whether you like Fujis, Ira Reds or Pink Lady apples, you’re bound to find a variety here that suits you.
When you visit, your kids can also enjoy the hayrides, the big straw pile that’s ready to be climbed, the playground and the education center. No visit is complete, however, until you check out the Apple Barn. The concession stand sells all kinds of delicious farm-fresh treats, including caramel apple fondue, elephant ears and fried biscuits with apple butter.
Nothing beats the sights, smells and tastes that go along with the fall season, especially in Indiana. Just remember: Mother Nature can be fickle. It pays to plan ahead, check the weather conditions and check each orchard’s website for updates before you head out.