One of the most popular activities for families and groups alike is apple picking or pumpkin picking, or personally harvesting some other delicious crop such as berries, corn, tomatoes, etc.
Pick-Your-Own (PYO) orchards and farms vary in the activities they offer, from the farm that grows strawberries only to those that feature a wide range of PYO produce. Some have petting zoos, and many farms and orchards offer hayrides. Some offer special events such as puppet shows and other great activities.
Most farms also operate a stand or a market, so even if you can't pick it you can buy it. The full range of produce grown on the farm is usually featured, often along with other goodies such as home-made pies, preserves, cider, candies, and the like.
Obviously, picking fruit and vegetables is a seasonal activity. The picking seasons are often short, and those wanting to pick say, apples, are advised to go at the beginning of the season. When they're gone they're gone until next year. The same goes for any other fruit or vegetable, including the famous pumpkin.
Prices vary widely with market value. Most places will offer a group discount. Individuals and groups should always call ahead to confirm ripening dates and availability, and get your travel directions when you do. Also ask whether you need to bring containers for the fruit. Finally, some of these places do not have restroom facilities, so plan ahead!
Ripening Dates for Fruits and Vegetables
Please note that actual dates may vary by as much as several weeks due to weather conditions, geographical location of the farm, and other factors. It is always advisable to call a farm earlier than the expected beginning of a season to check on the status of the product you are interested in.