by Annie Monjar | September 27, 2012 1:46 pm
137 West Knowlton Road, Media
The artistic team at everyone’s favorite megafarm-meets-carnival spends all year planning and designing an enormous annual Halloween-and-harvest display (dubbed “Pumpkinland”), complete with giant burlap scarecrows, a Jack-o’-lantern exhibit, and enough mums to layer the Linc twice over. Also on hand: a bonfire with s’mores, and a costume parade that draws hundreds of people.
Go here for: Two words: Apple. Slingshot.
1000 Marshallton-Thorndale Road, West Chester
This orchard and farm covers all the autumn essentials—hayrides, pumpkin patches, and more than two dozen apple varieties—with a few happy extras, like the red raspberry patch that hits its prime this month, weekend “fall festivals” (check these out for delicious barbecue from Lancaster’s award-winning Tiny’s BBQ), and tours where families can hand-press their own cider.
Go here for: The most coveted cider doughnuts in Chester County, and a floor-to-ceiling shelf of fruit butters.
3325 Creamery Road, New Hope
Day trippers who prefer their seasonal outings free of candy-apple-wielding six-year-olds can wander just a mile or so off Route 263 to this blissfully bucolic oasis set on 80 acres of pure Bucks County beauty. Solebury’s wooden market house—packed with the orchard’s latest produce—opens to the cut-your-own flower garden, which owner Brian Smith says blooms well into October. After catching a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and rows of apple trees, grab a cup of the famous frozen cider, a year-round treat.
Go here for: Nostalgic, gimmick-free apple-picking.
Johnson’s Corner Farm
133 Church Road, Medford
The brightly painted signs, ice-cream stand and barnyard of bleating goats and pigs set the tone at this jolly “Jersey Fresh” farm and market. If the kids don’t run themselves ragged in the “Discovery Barnyard” play area (warning: there are pedal go-carts), you can hop a hayride to your standard apple trees and pumpkin patch—and also a harvest of sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. Don’t leave without taking a lap or two around Johnson’s market, which offers a full selection of locally grown produce, a wall of pickles and preserves, a deli and a bakery. Just don’t get too greedy with the free samples. (Trust us—you’ll be tempted.)
Go here for: Pre-dried ears of corn for popping, complete with instructions.
2 Mark Bird Lane, Elverson
The remains of an 18th-century iron plantation might not seem like fruit-bearing turf, but the sizeable orchard at this 850-acre national historic site straddling Berks and Chester counties (about an hour and a half from Center City) has more than 30 varieties of apples, including some conserved species you’d be hard-pressed to find at any large-scale outfit. Before leaving, tour the remains of the abandoned iron-making community. (The dilapidated anthracite furnace and the tombstones surrounding the local church are sufficiently eerie.)
Go here for: Obscure apple varietals.
Source URL: http://www.phillymag.com/articles/2012/09/27/apple-orchards-near-philadelphia/
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