Pies and pastries, jellies and jams, cider and crisps, is there any dish that a juicy apple can’t improve upon? While the old adage about an apple a day may not be entirely true, the transforming powers of the ripe red, green or golden fruit are undeniable. The season for apple picking is soon upon us. Celebrate at one of these six orchards hosting apple festivals in and around New York City.
Sherwood Jayne Farm | Long Island Apple Festival | September 25 | East Setauket
Set on the historic and verdant grounds of the Sherwood-Jayne House, the Long Island Apple Festival is a gala for the gala, among other varieties of apple. Sack races, apple relay races and a tour of the 18th century house will result in a new appreciation for the culture and cuisine existing out in Suffolk County. A pie baking contest will yield best-looking pie and best-tasting pie awards, re-affirming that apple-based foods are in a delicious league of their own. Tickets are $7, $5 children and seniors.
How to get there: Take the LIRR to Huntington. East Setauket is a five-minute taxi or bike ride from there.
Dubois Farms | Apple Daze Festival | October 1st & 2nd| Highland
While you might leave in a daze after noshing on too many apples, cobblers and cakes, there is no confusion that Dubois Farms’ Apple Daze Festival is two days of family fun, all in honor of Fall’s favorite fruit. Pick your own fruits and vegetables, from apples to nectarines to tomatoes, and catch a tractor-powered wagon ride around the grounds, or take in the fall foliage at a canter, courtesy of the farm’s three friendly ponies. While the kids visit with the farm’s animals, sit back, sip cider, and enjoy Autumn in Ulster County.
How to get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson line to Poughkeepsie. The Farms are only a 30-minute bike ride or 10 minute taxi ride away.
Queens County Farm | Kick Off to Fall Festival | October 1 | Floral Park
For layer upon layer of flaky, apple-filled goodness, head to Queens County Farm’s Kick Off fest from 11am-4pm. Arrive early and enjoy bites of donuts, apples, and award-winning apple pie, and wash it down with a glass of Queens County Farm’s fresh-pressed cider. With free admission, activities and apples, all you need to bring is your appetite.
How to get there: Take the Q46 bus from Port Authority to Union TP- 248th Street.
Warwick Farms | Applefest | October 2 | Warwick
Warwick holds a long legacy of apple festivals, with the approaching October 14th edition marking the 24th anniversary of the celebrated Applefest. From 10am to 5pm, hundreds of craft vendors, six stages of music and entertainment, an apple pie contest and more overtake the Hudson Valley hotspot for a massive party that is all about the apple. Named one of the top 100 events to attend in the country, support the great Empire State and stop into the vibrant valley to take a bite out of the acclaimed Applefest.
How to get there: Take the Metro-North to Tuxedo on the Port Jervis line and catch a taxi to the festival or take bus 196 or 197 to Warwick. The bus will drop off in a park and ride 3/4 mile from the festival.
Cairo Farms | Apple Harvest Festival | October 8-9 | Cairo
The annual Apple Harvest Festival has something for everyone, and with a line-up of activities that spans from a book sale to a 5K to kite flying, there is no arguing that visitors of all ages will spend a fun-filled day honoring Cairo’s local orchards and farms. Plant yourself in Angelo Canna Park on Columbus Day weekend and enjoy live music, farm fresh food and take a snapshot or two of the changing scenery of Cairo in Fall. Visit the pie contest or help out at the scarecrow contest to conjure up fear in the heart of any apple-loving animals.
How to get there: Consult oM’s guide to renting a hybrid car in Manhattan.
Weed Orchards | Apple Festival | TBD | Marlboro
Weed Orchards finds apples so nice, they’re celebrating them thrice, with three days of apple-oriented festivities at the Apple Harvest Festival. Join KISS FM DJ Krista Jones for a game of Apple Toss or Ring Around the Apple at an orchard that takes the celebration of their apples as seriously as the preparation. Reap the benefits of Weed Orchard’s dedication to this fruit and bite into an apple cider donut, muffin or more for a sweet and savory treat, honoring the Orchard’s successful harvest with every bite.
How to get there: Take Metro-North to Poughkeepsie and then take a waiting taxi the 20 minute ride to the Orchards.
Photos: Carol Munro, wayneandwax