Come fall, my girls love to go apple picking. Who doesn’t. The crispness in the air, roaming in and out of orchards, eating fresh, newly picked apples right off the tree…there’s nothing more quintessential “fall” than going apple picking. On a recent day off from school – one of those cloudless, deep blue September days – I decided to take the girls early and get a head start. I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t one of these big attraction type farms, with all the bells and whistles, and with big crowds. I wasn’t in the mood for crowds. After doing a search, I settled on Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm, in Yorktown Heights, NY.
A half hour away from our home (about an hour north of New York City), this scenic farm is located in Westchester County, NY. Upon entering I could tell it was just the type of place we wanted. No swarms of cars and people and craziness like some of the other farms. Wilkens was just the size we were looking for, not too big and not too small. No wait to get into the orchards, and when we were wandering around, no feverish scattering about to try and find trees where other people weren’t already picking.
I’m sure it was partially like this because we were there on a week day and not a weekend, but it was a school holiday after all, so not your typical week day. The girls and I filled up our half-bushel bag and enjoyed the scenery (cornfields and hills looming in the distance) while walking around and, of course, eating apples. The farm also offers hay rides to orchards a bit further away, for those that want that option.
When the girls got hungry, we headed back to the farm markets, of which there is three, to buy some apple cider donuts and other baked goods. This is the part I will say was a bit zooish. The line for the bakery was so long that we never got their famous donuts; we couldn’t wait that long. I will say, however, we got in line at 12:30 – smack in the middle of lunch hour – when we could have gone an hour and a half earlier, when there was no line. Bad planning on my part. Apart from that, everything else was smooth riding. We stocked up on some food and snacks at one of their other markets, cruised around their gift shop, and played on some of their kid-friendly props outside, all relatively crowd free.
Wilkens also offers peach picking in August, pumpkin picking in October and “Choose-n-cut Christmas tress” after Thanksgiving. Love discovering new Christmas tree farms! This is a sweet little spot that I thought deserved a post. For a stress-free and not overwhelming experience, head to Wilkens. It may not have bouncy castles and haunted houses, and you may not leave with your child’s face painted like a ghost or goblin, but you will leave with some of the best apples around.
1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598