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I’m sure you have seen all the memes, the anticipation of the #PSL (personally, I am not a fan) and friends rushing off to Trader Joe’s for all things pumpkin!
Then there are folks like me, who love the heat. And summer. Days spent at the beach and pool. For me fall, is trying to hang on to an extension of my favorite season. Hoping for that warm weather to continue way into October. In fact, #SeptemberIsStillSummer is one of my favorite hashtags!
But one “fall” activity that I do dig is apple picking! It’s one of my favorite yearly traditions. And I say, “fall” in quotes because honestly if you wait too late into September, all the apples will be gone!
Since moving to Long Island, our favorite place to pick is Lewin Farms. And since I have also seen so many “What are the best places to pick apples on Long Island” posts, I figured I’d answer that question and help many families start some new traditions of their own!
APPLE PICKING AT LEWIN FARMS
Lewin Farms is located in Wading River. This is probably one of the first reasons we love Lewin, it is only about an hour drive from our house. Their orchard is located on the East End of Long Island, so no bridges or city traffic to deal with (for us at least).
Lewin Farms is a full farm, with a large stand/store in addition to many pick your own options. Click HERE to find the full seasonal list. Today, I am going to talk only about the apple picking, although it is worth mentioning that if come December you are looking to cut down your own Christmas tree, Lewin Farms offers this!
For any PICK YOUR OWN trips, its is ALWAYS recommended to call the morning of to confirm picking times and availability.
The Lewin Farms stand is located at 812 Sound Avenue in Calverton. You can use this address in your GPS and then stop in to ask directions to the orchard (its about a mile or two away).
When you arrive at the apple picking site, you will park along the street and walk to the entrance of the orchard. Here you can buy plastic bags (I think they were 10 cents each last year) or bring your own. At the orchard entrance there are porta-potties and a small concession stand selling chips and drinks. Nothing fancy.
No matter what bag you use to collect your apples, the fruit you picked will be weighed and you pay per pound. Last year we filled 3 or 4 big bags and paid about $40. Sounds like a lot but we ate all of them! We didn’t even make a pie or anything, my kids just ate at least one apple a day, and they were gone before we could try a new recipe!
2017 UPDATE: THEY NOW CHARGE A SMALL FEE TO ENTER THE ORCHARD, MONEY WHICH IS THEN APPLIED TO WHAT YOU PICK. FOR THREE ADULTS AND TWO KIDS IT COSTS $24 TO ENTER.
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MY FAVORITE APPLE ACCESSORY.
Each year, the apples from Lewin Farms are always so good. They grow several varieties, so I recommend hitting up various parts of the orchard and picking different kinds of apples. The attendants will direct you when you come in as to which area has plenty of fruit and what different types you can expect to find.
Location, price, quality, those are definitely some of the reasons we always pick at Lewin Farms. But my favorite thing about this orchard – the trees are the perfect height so little kids can pick right off the trees! I think they are called dwarf trees. I do love that every year we have visited, our little ones have been able to actually reach the fruit!
It usually takes us a little over an hour to pick. After paying and exiting the orchard, we will then get in our car and drive back to the farm stand!
The inside of the farm stand sells a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs. But you will also see folks lining up just outside the store – that’s for the farm’s concession stand. Here they sell the best apple cider donuts, fresh baked potatoes and ears of roasted corn. All three of which are always so delicious! We wait all year for these treats!
After enjoying our snacks, we always finish the trip with a gander through the corn maze. Now this isn’t just any corn maze – this is the most intense corn maze I have ever been through! And they change it every year so it’s always a new adventure.
This corn maze is a little pricy (I think its about $5 a person) BUT it will take you 30-45 minutes to complete. It’s so big, there are usually 5 or 6 checkpoints along the way to keep you moving in the right direction.
EDITORS NOTE: In 2016, it took us over an hour to complete the maze, we got stuck right at the end and missed one of the paths. It was pretty frustrating, but super fun, the kids loved it!
I know apple picking is an activity usually associated with fall, but late summer is the best time to go. Last year we went on Columbus Day and there were only apples way in the back corner of the orchard. Mid-September is probably the ideal time to go.
I can’t wait to go to Lewin Farms this week! To bite into a delicious, freshly picked apple, and to finish the day with donuts and a corn maze! Hopefully we wont get too lost this year!
APPLE PICKING TIPS:
- Bring your own bags, they will be much sturdier than the plastic ones you can buy.
- Orchards are large, and Lewin’s is not a drive-up to the trees orchard. I highly recommend using a soft structured carrier to transport your little ones (like a Baby Bjorn or Ergo), or many families will bring a wagon to wheel the kids around. The terrain is probably too uneven for most strollers.
- Bright and sunny day, much time outdoors – it might be a fall activity but don’t forget your sunscreen!
- Arrive early to avoid the crowds!
- I HIGHLY recommend this apple slicer – we use it EVERY day! It’s dishwasher safe and super easy to use.
- If you have time after apple picking and corn maze navigating, head up the road to Bedell Cellars for an afternoon of wine tasting and relaxing in the vineyards!
- 2017 UPDATE: DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH PICKING. WE PICKED OVER 50 POUNDS AND AT $1.75/POUND THOSE BABIES ADD UP!
Not local to the Long Island area? No problem, find your closest orchard HERE
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What are you favorite places to apple pick? Do you just eat the apples or do you cook them? Share your favorite apple recipes below!
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