Happy Apple Farm
1190 1st St.
Penrose, CO 81240
Price: Admission and tractor ride is free, pay for only what you take home.
Happy Apple Farm is a wonderful place to bring the whole family for a day of apple picking and other farm-time fun. Early in the season, you can find Jonathan and Gala apples, while Red and Golden Delicious come a bit later. Hop on the free tractor ride, grab a few free boxes for picking, and have a blast finding fresh apples and delicious fruit. While you are there, be sure to check out the Country Store with fresh apple pie and blackberry cobbler, or take home some local honey or fresh pressed apple cider. If you head up on a weekend, you must check out the Happy Apple Farm Barbeque with apple smoked barbeque beef brisket, smoked turkey legs, and fresh roasted peppers by the bushel or bag. And if you head up in September, be sure to join in the 12th Annual Pumpkin Festival on September 15 and 16 to get your own farm fresh pumpkin.
614 Ute Highway
Longmont, CO 80503
Ya Ya Farm and Orchard is a bit closer to Denver, and also offers great apple picking and fun for the whole family. Ya Ya specializes in heirloom apples and they do require reservations to head up. They suggest that you plan about an hour for picking apples, meeting the animals, and enjoying apple cider donuts and fresh cider. At Ya Ya Farm, there are also lots of great events and celebrations all year round. On October 16th, check out the Fall Celebration with hay rides, cider pressing demonstrations, barbeque chicken and pork, and plenty of apple cider donuts. If you have a large group, be sure to check out the Nighttime Hay Ride and Camp Fire event. For $15 per adult or $10 per child, you can enjoy a hayride, campfire, apple cider and apple cider donuts under the stars for an unforgettable event that the whole family will enjoy.
Blackbridge Winery and Orchard Valley Farms
15836 Black Bridge Road
Paonia, CO 81428
Price: Pay for what you pick
At Orchard Valley Farms you can head out and pick plenty of your own fruits and vegetables in a wonderful river valley farm. Bring the whole family and everyone will have a great time wandering the farm, picking apples fresh off the tree and enjoying the beautiful Colorado sunshine. Or, if you aren’t a big fan of getting your hands dirty, you can buy the fresh picked apples and just enjoy take a stroll and enjoy the gardens. The freshest apples and pears will be available for picking in September, while blackberries and pumpkins hit in late September and October. And for the adults, Blackbridge Winery is also located in the same place, so you can head up without the kids and visit the tasting room for some of Colorado’s best local wines.
Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.