Fall is making its debut in a couple weeks and that means one thing: It’s peak apple season. Here’s a small sampling of New Jersey farms and orchards that have implemented guidelines to keep apple picking a safe activity in the age of Covid-19.
Demarest Farms, Hillsdale
In order to pick your own apples at Demarest Farms, you have to make a reservation in advance as no tickets will be sold on site. Within your one hour time limit in the fields, you can pick pumpkins, peaches and apples, and stop at the farmer’s market to purchase more fall inspired treats. Through October 31, stay and enjoy the farm’s drive-in movie theater, playing a different film almost every night of the week. Demarest Farms is open every day from 8am–5pm. You can buy apple bags and book your time slot online. $5 per person and free for children under 2.
Demarest Farms, 244 Wiermus Road, Hillsdale; 201-666-0472
Alstede Farms, Chester Township
With over 20 kinds of apples to choose from, Alstede Farms provides a ripening schedule for apple-pickers to check when their favorites will be available. Not only can you enjoy picking apples, you can graze through the beautiful sunflower field and find your way out of a corn maze. Time slots are available every 15 minutes from 9am–5pm. Make sure to stay safe, as eating the produce while picking is strictly prohibited. Tickets must be purchased online before arriving at the farm.
Alstede Farms, 1 Alstede Farms Lane, Chester; 908-879-7189
Battleview Orchards, Freehold
This family-owned and operated farm grows a range of seasonal produce, including apples, sour cherries, pumpkins and more. On your way out, stop by the country store for warm apple cider donuts, fresh baked pies, and sweet jams and jellies. Make sure to call ahead to confirm your time of picking and check out their website for ways to turn your fresh apples into delicious desserts. Open daily from 9am–6pm, closed Tuesdays.
Battleview Orchards, 91 Wemrock Road, Freehold; 732-462-0756
Terhune Orchards, Princeton
Enjoy a family activity that provides fresh air and tasty produce at Terhune Orchards. This 200-acre farm is open year round, selling fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade baked goods, apple cider and more out of their Farm Store. Their apples grow on shorter trees, so you don’t have to climb too high to get the best ones. Call ahead to let the farm know when you’ll be attending to pick your own. Open Monday–Friday from 9am–6pm and Saturday-Sunday 9am–5pm.
Terhune Orchards, 330 Cold Soil Road, Princeton; 609-924-2310
Duffield’s Farm Market, Sewell
This South Jersey farm has changed its regular rules and guidelines to keep visitors safe when apple and pumpkin picking. Guests are required to wear a mask while on the hayride, which is the only way to get to the orchard. The hayride will pick you up every half hour, and you can enjoy the scenery of the farm on the way to and from the orchard. Pick up an apple cider slushie, fresh salsas, and more at their farm market, which is open year round. Tickets must be pre-purchased online and will be available for sale only one day in advance. Open Monday–Saturday, 9am–6pm, closed Sundays.
Duffield’s Farm Market, 280 Chapel Heights Road, Sewell; 856-589-7090
Hills Creek Farms, Mullica Hill
Make a day out of your trip to Hills Creek Farm, which includes a farmer’s market and wine garden along with an orchard to pick your own apples. Their wine garden menu offers charcuterie, salads, truffle fries, and more. The farm encourages visitors to bring blankets, chairs, and picnic baskets to enjoy a quiet spot in the orchard, all while socially distanced, of course. Open Fridays for general admission, 8:30am–5:30pm. Saturdays and Sundays, 8am–5:30pm, reservations only.
Hills Creek Farms, 1631 State Highway 45, Mullica Hill; 856-223-0028