Once the fall weather rolls around, that can only mean one thing: It’s apple picking season. We’ve rounded up the best apple picking spots near Des Moines to enjoy with friends and family this fall season.
Center Grove Orchard
The 20-acre apple orchard at Center Grove has almost three dozen types of delicious, home-grown apples appearing throughout the season. Experience apple picking the way it’s meant to be enjoyed. Just choose a u-pick bag, and fill it up with ripe, juicy apples.
Once arriving, take the hayride to the orchard, get your bag, and start picking. Choose from apples like Gala, McIntosh, Jonamac, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious, Fuji, and Braeburn. While you’re there, visit the farmyard and explore the corn maze, or say hello to the friendly farm animals. There are goats, horses, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, and sheep.
From September through mid-October, the orchard opens up for u-pick apples on weekends. Picking is weather, and availability, permitting, so it’s a good idea to stay in touch on social media to see if the orchard is open for picking.
Early-season apples include Blondee, Gala, and Honeycrisp, while later-in-the-season apples include Ida Red, Pink Lady, and Braeburn. Go by the ½ peck, peck, ½ bushel, or a full bushel. Enjoy time with family and friends, learn about growing apples, and talk to the staff if you have any apple-related inquiries. They’ll be happy to assist you!
Wills Family Orchard
Stop by this farm, just 20 minutes outside of the Des Moines metro area. There are pre-picked organic apples available, ready to go in the farm store. However, if you prefer to pick your own apples, stay up to date with the apple-picking availability.
The five-acre orchard is the largest and oldest certified organic apple orchard in all of Iowa. Harvest begins in August each year, running through October. Find Pristine, Williams Pride, and Redfree apples earlier in the picking season. Return in September for Freedom, Snowsweet, and Liberty. Then, wrap things up by visiting in October for Enterprise and Gold Rush varieties.
Enjoy a Fall Tradition!
Make it a special apple picking season right here in Iowa. Pick your own apples to enjoy as a snack, turn them into pies, or share your bounty with friends and family! These are truly the best apple picking spots near Des Moines.