Where to Find Apple Orchards in the Des Moines Area This Fall

  • Take advantage of fall by heading to a farm outside of Des Moines to pick apples and berries.
  • Some farms offer corn mazes, pumpkins, apple cider donuts and more.

There’s no place like fall in the Midwest, and eight local apple orchards in the metro area have left their mark on families in central Iowa for generations with fresh fruit and family-friendly activities. accessible.

During fall in the greater Des Moines area, find simple settings for family photos like Cambridge’s Center Grove Orchard Farm, plus a hyper-focus on fall farming at Upstream Gardens & Orchard in Altoona. Here’s a look at eight central Iowa apple orchards for fruit picking this fall.

Berry Patch Farm

The Henry family’s berry farm, which opened in Iowa in 1974, offers home-grown raspberries and apples through the fall. The farm’s website said it focused on no-frills farming by growing crops, like apples and berries, instead of paid rides and carnival foods like cotton candy.

Where: 62785 280th Street, Nevada

When: Open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact:515-382-5138; berrypatchfarm.com

Features:

  • Honeycrisp and Jonathan apples, blackberries, raspberries, aronia berries and goji berries

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Central Grove Orchard

Cambridge-based Center Grove Orchard offers nearly 35 varieties of homegrown apples on 20 acres of sprawling land. The farm features U-pick apples, barrel pumpkins, walking trails, a full-scale corn maze, animals, a corn puddle and a field of sunflowers. Center Grove Orchard offers a country farm shop with apple cider donuts, honey roasted peanut butter for dipping, home-style apple cider, and more.

Where: 32835 610th Avenue, Cambridge

When:Open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact: 515-383-4354; centergroveorchard.com

Admission:$16.95 Monday-Sunday, $59.95 for fall pass

Features:

  • 8 hectare orchard with 34 varieties of apples
  • Pick apples, pumpkins and more to buy from the campaign store
  • Sunflower meadow, blooming with sunflower varieties, open until mid-October

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Hinegardner orchard

The family business Hinegardner’s Orchard in Montour specializes in apples, berries and pumpkins. Oris and Jean Hinegardner planted the first 600 apple trees in May 1960, and now the farm offers over 20 varieties of apples from 3,000 trees. On October 9 from 1 to 5 p.m., the orchard holds its annual cider day, where community members collect apples from carts to make fresh apple cider. The U-pick orchard opens every weekend until October 2. Times and dates are listed below.

Where:1348 295th Street, Montour

When: Open Monday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. U-pick days Sept. 24-25 and Oct. 1-2, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact: 641-492-6353; hinegardnersorchard.com

Admission: Free

Features:

  • U-pick apples
  • Cider Festival in October

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Deal orchard

Chris Deal poses for a portrait at Deal's Orchard in Jefferson, Iowa

Deal’s Orchard in Jefferson has been a popular fall spot in the Des Moines metro area for decades. The farm, owned by the Deal family for over 100 years, makes hard cider and traditional cider on site, and U-pick pumpkins are available for purchase. A retail store, gift shop and various family activities are available on the farm.

Where: 1102 244th Street, Jefferson

When:Open Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact: 515-386-8279; dealsorchard.com

Admission:$11 for children 3 to 17, $9 for adults 65 and over and children up to 2 free

Features:

  • Playground featuring a 4-acre corn maze, sunflowers, corn box, petting zoo, giant slides, jumping pillow, apple slingshots and more
  • Apple and pumpkin picking
  • Retail store and gift shop
  • Baked goods including apple cider donuts, caramel apples, apple pies, and fudge
  • Cider and hard cider made on site

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Iowa Orchard Farm Market

A field of sunflowers blooms at the Iowa Orchard near Granger.  The two-acre field was a new addition to the orchard in 2020.

With a year-round bakery, central Iowans experience the magic of the Iowa Orchard Farmer’s Market 365 days a year, but fall brings family fun to the fore in the orchard. Urbandale. Iowa Orchard offers a pumpkin patch, homemade pies, u-pick strawberries and apples, a farm market store, family playground, and more.

Where:9875 Meredith Drive, Urbandale

When:Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact:515-276-0852; iowaorchard.com

Admission:$5 for ages 2 and up

Features:

  • 14 varieties of apples including Honeycrisp, Gala and Jonagold
  • Pick with a picot or a bushel

orchard of tales

StoryBook Orchard brings its products to the farmers market in downtown Des Moines.

Storybook Orchard in Story City features autumnal fairytale hues with pumpkins, self-picked fruits and vegetables, baked goods, caramel apples and cider. Pumpkins are available October 1, while tomatoes, cantaloupe, sweet corn, and watermelon are offered throughout the orchard season. The farm is open 7 days a week.

Where:12832 Royal Orchard Drive, Story City

When:Open Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact:515-708-0021; Facebook

Admission:Free

Features:

  • Varieties available include Honeycrisp, Fuji, Braeburn, Gala, Jonagold, Jonadel, Jonathan, Cortland and Zestar, plus others
  • fresh flowers
  • Self-picked and pre-picked apples

Gardens and orchards upstream

The Altoona Berry Field and Orchard includes a honey shop and pick-your-own fresh fruits and vegetables. Upstream Gardens & Orchard specializes in natural crops in a rural setting with no slides or rides.

Where:5987 NE 88th St., Altoona

When:Open Monday, Wednesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact:515-956-1303; amontjardins.com

Admission:Free

Features:

  • Natural cultivation practices
  • U-pick apples and pre-picked apples
  • Raspberries
  • Honey from farm hives

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Wills Family Orchard

Children stroll through the pumpkin patch at Wills Family Orchard, near Adel.  The orchard's Apple and Pumpkin Fest continues today and Sunday, and next weekend, October 11-12.  Festival weekends feature hay wagon rides, live music and a smoky BBQ.

Adel’s Wills Family Orchard is located on 60 acres approximately 30 minutes west of Des Moines. The farm includes a pumpkin patch, swaths of apple trees and a section for growing organic fruits and vegetables such as squash, strawberries and melons. The Wills Family Orchard’s Apple & Pumpkin Fest is family-hosted fall weekends through October 23. The festival features fresh food, pick-your-own apples, live music, barnyard animals, a corn maze, and more.

Where:33130 Panther Creek Road, Adel

When:Apple & Pumpkin Fest weekends 2022 run Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. until October 23.

Contact:515-321-1847; willsfamilyorchard.com

Admission:No entrance fee to visit the store, barnyard and pumpkin patch. Activity pass: $6 plus tax for adults, $8 plus tax for children, free for children 2 and under

Features:

  • Organic apples in 12 varieties
  • farm shop
  • Farmyard with chickens, goats and pigs
  • Pre-picked apples
  • U-pick apples

Jay Stahl is an entertainment reporter at the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Instagram, Twitteror contact [email protected]

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