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  • Writer's pictureThe West End Mom

The Best Apple Orchards around RVA

Updated: Feb 7

Wondering where to pick apples this fall in central Virginia? I've got you covered with my 2023 guide to the best apple orchards around Richmond, Virginia. My family has visited each one of these apple and peach orchards with our children while they were under 6 years old - this is a fun experience for children of all ages.

To make it even easier for your family to enjoy apple picking around RVA, I've rounded up all my tips and tricks for visiting these central Virginia farms! I've also given each one a superlative, so you know exactly which one will work for your family this year.

Apple season is mid-August through mid-December, so you don't have to rush to the orchard in September (unless you want to!). You can pick them with peaches, pumpkins or while you're grabbing a Christmas tree.

*Follow @thewestendmom on Instagram for things to do with kids in Richmond and around Virginia!

Here are the best pick your own apple orchards for families around Richmond, Virginia!

1. Market at Grelen: Europe in Virginia & The Closet to Richmond

Located in Sumerset, this 1000 acre tree nursery has PYO fields, a gift shop, 5 miles of trails, and a casual cafe with outdoor seating. Don't miss their ice cream flights! Throughout the year, you can pick-your-own blueberries, blackberries, peaches, plums & apples. There is no admission fee, so you only pay for the fruit you pick. Market at Grelen is about an hour from Richmond, making it an easy day trip option for families!

I call this one the "Europe in Virginia" because it feels like an upscale market and cafe while still being a family friendly, pick your own apple orchard. I love Market at Grelen because it is so beautiful, and there are so many hidden areas to explore. The café is delicious and kid friendly. My littles love the grilled cheese and ice cream flights. They serve adult beverages, too. We also really enjoy the hiking trails!

This is also an easy farm to visit with children because there is a parking area right next to the peach and apple orchards. There's very little walking, and the ground is mostly flat. We usually park at the cafe and enjoy the space around the market, and then drive our car right next to the orchard.

2. Chiles Peach Orchard: The Prettiest Valley Views & Stroller Friendly

Located in Crozet, Chiles Peach Orchard is about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Short Pump. This orchard has a restaurant, an outdoor patio and open air store. At the orchard, you can pick your own peaches, blueberries, strawberries, and apples. They also host a bunch of family friendly events, including live music on Saturdays and Sundays. This from mid-May through October 29. The annual Fall into Fun festival is on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17th.

Chiles Peach Orchard requires tickets for popular October weekends for everyone 12 years old and older. Each ticket is $8, and you have access to PYO apple orchards and pumpkin patches.Tickets do not include fruit or pumpkins - you pay for what you pick.

Tickets are needed on: 10/7-10/8, 10/14-10/15, 10/21-10/22, 10/28-10/29

While this orchard doesn't have a play area, I love it because it's so easy to walk with kids, and strollers/wagons work. It's in the valley, so most of the terrain is flat - this makes apple picking with kids so much easier! There's also a large picnic area with a large covered picnic shelter, and it has so much room to spread out! Their frozen peach lemonade is my favorite, too.

3. Fruit Hill Orchard: The Easiest with Little Kids & The Least Amount of Walking

Located in Palmyra, this family owned orchard has over 2,000 fruit trees & thousands of vegetables. You can pick your own apples, explore the orchards, take pictures in front of the seasonally themed LOVE sign, or play with the yard games. Fruit Hill Orchard also has an apple museum - it's a small cabin filled with artifacts from their family. My kids loved this "play house" - they didn't want to leave this area! Fruit Hill Orchard also does not require tickets or reservations this fall, making it an easy option to drop in when it fits your schedule.

I like this apple orchard because it is very close to Richmond. If you live in the Midlothian area, it is just about an hour away. It also has flat ground and very little walking - the parking lot is by store and the orchards. This lay out make apple picking very easy with little kids. You won't need to bring a stroller with your preschoolers, but if you want to, it will work all over the farm and orchard. This is a huge plus especially with babies & new walkers!

Fruit Hill Orchard also has fresh cut Christmas trees and decor in late November and December.

4. Carter Mountain Orchard: The Most Popular

Located in Charlottesville, Carter Mountain Orchard is one of the most popular orchards in central Virginia for apple picking. It’s easily a full day adventure - you can purchase food, like the famous apple cider donuts, eat on the lawn with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoy Bold Rock Mountain brewery & pick your own apples.

Because Carter's Mountain is such a popular destination, they are continuing to require tickets for peak season visits, which are most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays this fall. Tickets cost around $8 for everyone 12 years old and older. This does not include fruit - fruit is pay for what you pick.

Tickets are needed on: 9/16-9/17, 9/23-9/24, 9/29-10/1, 10/6-10/9, 10/13-10/15, 10/20-10/22, 10/27-10/29, 11/4-11/5.

I like Carter Mountain because of its location - the views from the mountain are gorgeous. Since they started requiring tickets last year, we only visit this orchard during the week. If you do this, you don't have to pay the ticket price, you can drop in when it fits your schedule, and the crowd is very small. We also visit at the beginning of the season because the picking rows are closest to the open air barn (shorter walk than other times!).

Heads up: Depending on which rows are currently open, you could be doing a lot of walking to get to the apple trees.

5. Henley's Orchard: The Most Fall Events

Located in Crozet, the Henley family opened this farm in 1932, and they grow nectarines, peaches & apples. Check here for what's in season right now. Every Saturday & Sunday in October, the orchard hosts Henley Fest with hayrides, a petting zoo, pony rides, and live music. They also have pumpkins! 

There are two parking lots, which can be confusing. We checked in at the main lot with the store and petting zoo. After visiting with the animals and eating, we drove across the street to the other lot with the orchard and hayride.

I like this Virginia apple orchard because they do not require tickets or reservations. They also have special events every weekend in October, so it works for most families to visit. Our all terrain stroller also worked from the parking lot to the orchard & the hayride field.

6. Critzer Family Farm: Located Next to a Brewery & Stroller Friendly

Located in Afton, Critzer Family Farm has pumpkins, strawberries, peaches and apples. This PYO farm is free to visit - no admission cost, only pay for what you pick. The farm serves homemade ice cream, has a large picnic area & play space. The play area has trucks, a slide, seesaw, picnic tables & ducks! Porta potties are next to the play area. This farm is stroller friendly & easy to navigate with little kids!

Critzer Family Farm is located across the street from Blue Mountain Brewery, a family friendly brewery and restaurant. Blue Mountain Brewery has a large green space with plenty of room for children to run around.

Quick Tips & Facts:

1) When we visit pick your own farms around Richmond, I always bring our sunscreen, bug spray, hats and snacks. You just never know when the market will be closed or if it will be extra sunny that day! Almost all produce grows in full sun, too.

2) Almost every Virginia farm and orchard has uneven terrain - vines in the patches & the field. Strollers usually don't work. Bring a baby carrier or plan on using your stroller as a "home base." Fruit Hill Orchard is very stroller friendly, though.

3) These are working farms. Dress accordingly. We always wear closed toed shoes.

4) Most PYO farms do not allow backpacks or large bags in the fields. Because we use a backpack as a diaper bag and we need it all the time, I've had our backpack checked before.

5) If it has rained recently, the farms, including the parking lot, fields & play areas will be very wet and muddy.

6) The picking supply can change at anytime. Make sure to contact the local farm or check its Facebook page for the most up to date information!

Tags: apple picking, fall in central Virginia, apple orchards in Virginia, picking apples with kids, the best apple orchards in Virginia, the best things to do with kids in Richmond

Did your favorite Virginia pick your own apple orchard make my list? If it didn't, send me an email at , so we can check it out!

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