U-pick apple orchards
The erratic weather couldn’t nip these apple farms.
There are no secondary attractions at this “no frills” orchard, so nothing will steal your kid’s attention from the apples—except perhaps the jars of natural, raw honey that’s harvested in-house. Opens in late August/early September. 1050 Crest Rd, Green Oaks (847-770-3449, heinzorchard.com). Cash only.
All Seasons Apple Orchard
This orchard has it all: a petting zoo, corn maze, wagon rides and a new zip-line park. If you still aren’t amazed, you can pick your own honeycrisp, a fairly new, coveted variety in the apple biz. Opens Sept 1. 14510 Rte 176, Woodstock (815-338-5637, allseasonsorchard.com).
Kuipers Family Farm
This bustling family-run farm boasts more than 20 varieties of apples. Take a break from the picking to munch on an apple-cider doughnut at the bakery or navigate the corn maze. Opens Sept 1. 1N318 Watson Rd, Maple Park (815-827-5200, kuipersfamilyfarm.com).
Honey Hill Orchards
After nearly 60 years in the business, this orchard offers more than just apples. Enjoy pumpkins, raspberries and organic honey, plus caramel-apple kits to make your picks even sweeter. Opens early/mid-September with limited u-pick. Call for availability. 11747 Waterman Rd, Waterman (815-264-3337, honeyhillorchards.com).
Garden Patch Farms and Orchard
Besides more than 4,000 apple trees, this farm has fresh berries and veggies—from cucumbers and peppers to eggplant—ripe for the pickin’. Browse the market for Amish jams, noodles and salsa while your kid bounces in the moonwalk. Opens Sept 1. 14154 W 159th St, Homer Glen (708-301-7720, gardenpatchfarms.com).—Amanda Sims