There's no shortage of apple-related treats available for purchase at Hidden Valley Fruit Farm. (Source: Facebook)
Photo: HANDOUT
Photo: HANDOUT

Where to pick apples near Dayton

It's been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor way. Well, why not treat your body and your soul this fall?  

Apple picking is an exceptionally delightful way to spend your Saturday or Sunday, and it can be fun for the whole family, too. Nothing is more rewarding than picking your own produce, and then going home, baking it into a delicious apple pie, and eating the whole thing.

We’ve compiled an all-inclusive guide for your apple-picking pleasure. As a word of advice, it’s always a good idea to call your orchard or farm of choice ahead of time.  There’s a plethora of conditions that can affect apple picking, and calling ahead is the best way to know which varieties will be available. 

Tükens Farm 

Location: 15725 Eaton Pike, West Alexandria.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cost: $1.99 per pound.

Varieties of apples: Tükens Farm boasts 2,800 low-hanging apple trees with over 40 different varieties of apples. Be sure to reference their apple chart, to get a better idea of when certain kinds will be ready for picking. They generally have six or seven different varieties available at any given time.  Currently they offer a selection that ranges from old favorites like the Honeycrisp and Gala, to a Japanese apple called the Mutsu, which is similar to Granny Smith but more tangy than sour.  The orchard was specially designed for patrons to pick their own apples; the trees are shorter and heavy fruiting. Tükens Farm is a great destination for anyone, but since all of the fruit hangs low to the ground, it’s especially suitable for kids and is even handicapped-accessible. “If you can pick an apple off a shelf [in a grocery store], you can pick an apple at Tükens,” said Mary Hora, co-owner of Tükens Farm.

Best time to go: Anytime between now and through the end of October into November.

Tasty treats: Tükens Farm also includes an upscale farm market that offers gourmet foods, fresh fruit, homemade cider, ice cream and fresh honey.

Insider tip: You can bring your own bags or purchase bags cheaply. The orchard offers wagons to make carrying your apples a little easier.

Other activities: Tüken’s has a petting zoo complete with pigs, llamas, sheep and goats. There also is a pumpkin patch for you to pick your own. This year they have added a 3 acre corn maze that will cost $5 per person and children under 3 are free.

Don’t have time to pick your own? In addition to their on-site market, you can also purchase their products at Dorothy Lane Market.

More info: Website | 937-687-3848 | Facebook

McBreezy Acres Fruit Farm 

For a unique birthday party that your kid is sure to love, plan a pick-your-own apple party at McBreezy Acres Fruit Farm.  (Source: Facebook)

Location: 3470 Waynesville Jamestown Road, Xenia.

Hours: Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: $1.25 per pound, $25 for half bushel

Varieties of apples: This farm has 20 different varieties of apple, but some of the most notable kinds are Red delicious, Cortland, Gala, Fuji, Jonathon.

Best time to go: Anytime between now and the second weekend of October.

Insider tip: Wear comfortable shoes, but leave perfume or body fragrances off.  There’s a bee apiary closeby.  It’s a great place to bring the whole family, as they offer special accommodations for the disabled and elderly. There's a wheelchair ramp into the store, and golf cart rides to the orchard are possible.

Tasty treats: McBreezy Acres also sells apple butter and pumpkins. 

Other activities: Kick back and relax on a hayride around the orchard.  If you’ve been searching for a unique birthday party idea for your child, then look no further. McBreezy Acres Fruit Farm can make an apple-picking themed birthday party possible, and the farm also will give you access to plenty of picnic tables, ice and coolers.

Don’t have time to pick your own? You can still purchase McBreezy Acres’ apples pre-picked if you call in and order ahead.

More info: 937-372-3549 |  Facebook 

Hidden Valley Fruit Farm 

Location: 5474 N. State Route 48, Lebanon.

Hours: Sunday – Wednesday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. -7 p.m.

Cost: $20 a peck, about $41.99 per half bushel (25lbs.) and $79.99 for the full bushels (50lbs.). These prices do not include honey-crisp or jonagold apples.

Varieties of apples: Right now Hidden Valley Fruit Farm offers McIntosh, Red Delicious, Melrose varieties for picking. As the season progresses, they will offer other varieties so be sure to call ahead or check Facebook.

Best time to go: September and early October.

Insider tip: The front part of the market was built before 1813, so that alone is quite the site to see. Now, they utilize the market to sell everything from jams, jellies and salsas, to antiques, jewelry, even homemade soaps and candles. In the back room of their store, they have an ice cream store and on the weekends they offer a country lunch.

Tasty treats: There is no shortage of apple-related treats at Hidden Valley Fruit Farm. They have homemade apple pie, 100-percent pure apple cider, apple butter, homemade apple dumplings, and even apple cider donuts.  If you thought caramel apples were decadent, think again. In addition to the original, they also offer a “Thriller apple.” They take the largest homegrown apples they can find, dip them in caramel, then chocolate, it’s rolled in peanuts and finally drizzled with three more chocolates. Depending on the temperature, the farm serves apple cider slushies when it’s hot and warm caramel apple cider when it’s chilly.

Other activities: On the weekends, the farm offers hayrides. There’s also a pick-your-own pumpkin patch and barnyard petting zoo. They have a few big festivals coming up in October, including the Apple Days Festival and Ohio Cider Festival, but most weekends they have activities going on.

Don’t have time to pick your own? Their products are sold at their own market, as well as the Loveland farmer’s market on select Thursdays. 

More info: Website | (513) 932-1869 | Facebook 

Louden Family Orchard 

At Louden Family Orchard, the trees are low enough for even the littlest of apple pickers.  (Source: Facebook)

Location: 576 N. State Route 560, Urbana.

Hours: Daily 10 a.m. -5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sunday

Cost: $12 half bushel$23 for bushel 

Varieties of apples: They are just beginning to pick Cortland, Jonathon and Smoothie (a yellow apple, that’s similar to Yellow Delicious) varieties. Later in the season, they will have Jona Gold Red, Jona Gold, Jona Red, Granny Smith, Red and Yellow Delicious available for picking.

Best time to go: If the weather is moderate, the best time to go is between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.  If it’s warm, come between 3 p.m. – 4 or 5 (depending on the day).  Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the Orchard.  If you come just before closing, then you’ll have to rush and that’s no fun.

Insider tip: Louden Family Orchard provides you with bags, and the trees are low, so there’s no need for ladders. Parents with small children should be exceedingly careful not to damage the trees or hurt themselves. It’s advised to gently lift or twist the apple, set it in the bag, and move on.  The morning dew can make things a little slippery, so be mindful. 

Tasty treats: They sell honey from their own beehives and homemade cider.

Other activities: Louden Family Orchard does not offer activities other than apple picking. 

Don’t have time to pick your own? Apple varieties like Mutsu and Winesap might not be available for “u-pick” but can be purchased in their storefront. 

More info: 937-653-4558  

Monnin’s Fruit Farm 

Location: 8201 Frederick Pike, Dayton

Hours: Apple picking is available Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  Regular store hours are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cost: $15 per half bushel, $25 per bushel

Varieties of apples: Right now the McIntosh, Cortland, Jonathon, Honeycrisp, Melrose, Red and Yellow Delicious varieties are available for picking.  In a few more weeks, they’ll start with Wine Saps and Fuji’s.

Insider tip: Smaller trees mean easy picking. You won’t need a ladder at Monnin’s Fruit Farm. 

Tasty treats: They offer homemade apple cider, as well as Amish baked goods, cheese, jams, jellies and pumpkins. If you’re on the hunt for festive fall décor, look no further. Monnin’s has an assortment of fall decorations.

Other activities: Monnin’s Fruit Farm specializes in apple picking, but you can always take your time in their farm market.

Don’t have time to pick your own? All of the apples available for picking are also available pre-picked in their farm market.  

More info: (937) 890-4536 | Facebook 

Steven’s Bakery and Orchard 

Who can resist the aroma of fresh baked pie?  Stevens Bakery and Orchard is licensed homemade and it's baker's choice.  (Source: Facebook)
Photo: David W. Liggett / Dave Liggett

Location: 7344 Thackery Road, Springfield.

Hours: Designated weekends on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday noon – 4 p.m.  The last wagon ride goes out to the orchard a half-hour before closing time. 

Cost: $14 for half bushel. Payment must be made in cash or check, as they do not accept credit cards.

Varieties of apples: They have Jonathon and Cortland, then Red and Golden Delicious, after that will be Jona Gold and Melrose.
Best time to go: Oct. 8 and 9 and every weekend after until the end of Oct.  

Insider tip: If you bring a picnic basket and you can enjoy lunch at the orchard. No pets!

Tasty treats: Who can resist the aroma of fresh baked pie? Steven’s is complete with a licensed homemade bakery, which serves a variety of different fruit pies. It’s baker’s choice, so you might be in for a surprise, but we hear that it’s rare to leave empty-handed. They also have an assortment of jams, jelly available for purchase in their store.  They sell honey from their own beehive, and pure maple syrup.  In a couple of weeks, they expect to have apple cider.

Other activities: Steven’s provides wagon rides to and from the orchard during their you-pick weekends.

Don’t have time to pick your own? You can get their products at their store during their business hours.

More info: Website | Facebook 

Wesler Orchards 

Location: 9319 Wesler Road, New Paris.

Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. 

Cost: $10 for a half bushel, $20 for a full bushel.

Varieties of apples: They offer about 25 different varieties and their selection changes each day.  Some of the more notable apples include Red Delicious, Cortland, Golden Delicious, and Jona Gold. Expect to see Winesap, Fuji and Melrose by the end of September and early October. Granny Smiths are the last to become ripe, so if that’s your favorite you won’t want go picking until late October.

Best time to go: Picking begins Labor Day weekend and goes until the end of October or until the apples have all been picked.

Insider tip: You can walk or even drive up to the trees, but either way, dress according to the weather. 

Tasty treats: They offer apple dumplings and caramel apples for snacking as well as apple cider slushies to drink.

Other activities: Wesler Orchards also has a small petting zoo, so kids can experience real farm animals.  The petting zoo consists of two donkeys, two goats, a llama and alpaca.  

Don’t have time to pick your own? You can get their products from Fulton Farms in Troy and Dorothy Lane Markets.

More info:  Website | 937-437-8921 | Facebook

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