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5 of the Best Apple-Picking Spots in the GTA

Fall is on its way, and that means Ontario apples are ready to bring home

Pair of hands holding three red and green apples

Picking your own apples is a great way to get outside with the family this fall. Plus, you’ll end up with fresh ingredients for a home-baked pie or a batch of applesauce. Here’s where to find some of the best apple-picking spots in the GTA.

Archibald’s Orchard and Estate Winery, Bowmanville

A row of apple trees with ripe red apples

Just an hour’s drive east of Toronto, the Archibald estate has been growing apples since 1967. (This year, it will be closed from September 14 to 20 to let them ripen.) This 40-acre orchard offers 11 varieties over 10,000 trees, with yellow flags planted to identify the best picking for the day. Plus, there’s an on-site market with everything from fritters, crisps and dumplings to fresh-pressed cider.

Admission: Free

Chudleigh’s, Milton

Two apples hanging from the branch of an apple tree

Find 19 varieties of pick-your-own apples at this orchard or on grocers’ shelves in the GTA. Its licensed Farm Kitchen and Silo Bar serves up signature barnboard pizzas and Apple Blossom pastries, and new this year is the Wood Shed BBQ, featuring burgers and hot dogs. There’s also a children’s play area with giant slides and pony rides.

Admission: $15 for adults and $13 for kids ages four to 13.

Carl Laidlaw Orchards, Brampton

Hands holding a fresh apple pie

This orchard has 20 apple varieties on 100 acres along the scenic Credit River. A wagon will take you to the best picking spots, and kids (and adults!) can jump in the hay barn, toast hot dogs and sip apple cider. If you need pre-Thanksgiving practice, you can even make your own apple pie on site.

Admission: $5.75 for kids and $7.75 for adults.

Smiths’ Orchard, Port Elgin

A young child carefully picking an apple from a low-hanging branch

It’s easy for kids to pick apples at this orchard, thanks to low-to-the-ground trees, before heading to the Outback Play Area, complete with corn maze, tube slide, straw fort and hay-wagon rides. A craft bakery turns out homemade apple pie, apple crisp and apple cider doughnuts, and the market is stocked with jams, chutneys, honey, mustard and pickles.

Admission: Free

Dixie Orchards, Caledon

People walking past a barn decorated with pumpkins and hay

You can pick up 20 varieties of apples—along with plums, pears, pumpkins and hazelnuts—at this family-owned farm. While there, ride a wagon through the orchards and explore the corn maze. The on-site market has apple pie, jam, honey, preserves and apple cider, plus seasonal decor to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit.

Admission: $10 for ages 10 and over.

Looking for more family activities for fall?

These five hiking trails are just a short drive from Toronto.

Plus, here are six easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal this fall.

Image credit: Natalie Grainger/Unsplash, courtesy of Archibald’s, courtesy of Carl Laidlaw Orchards and courtesy of Dixie Orchards