Which “You Pick” Apple Orchard Near Omaha is Best?

I know, I know.  Pumpkin Spice is where it’s all at in the fall nowadays, but I have a confession to admit.  To me, APPLE goods are my go-to Autumn treats.  (#SorryNotSorry!).

And while fall is absolutely the season to go my favorite Omaha Pumpkin Patches, I have to say that I am always on the lookout for the best Apple orchard near me as well during the September and October months to add to my autumn adventures.  Luckily, there are actually quite a few Omaha Apple Orchards to pick from (Pun included!).  From the Nebraska City Apple Orchard at the Arbor Day Farm to Vala’s Apple Orchard Pumpkin Patch, here are the 11 Apple Orchards Near Omaha to try out this season.

Covid Disclosures

  • As with any year, but especially in Covid times, please use the links provided in this Omaha area apple orchards guide to make sure you get the most up to date opening times and dates and if there are any Covid restrictions in place.
  • Due to the capacity limits currently mandated by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, many of the Orchards have to limit guests throughout the day.  Call ahead to see what each individual orchard’s procedures are so that you don’t face some very disappointed kiddos if you can not get in upon arrival.

Metro Omaha Apple Orchards

Vala’s

Omaha Vala's Apple Picking

Town: Gretna

We all know Vala’s for their fabulous Pumpkin Patch, but did you know that they also have Nebraska’s largest apple orchard!? And while picking apples here has been a thing for awhile, new for 2020 is something all of us adults can get on board with: Hard Apple Cider! And not just your typical cider, they’ve got the classic, a dry, a cherry fiz, and MORE!  What I also love about their cider (besides the hard cider itself!) is that it is ALL done right in house locally.  From the growing of the apples to the pressing of the cider, to the fermentation, all the way to the bottling and the labeling! Everything is done on site at the farm itself.

If you aren’t into hard cider, no worries.  You can always just get your own apples and decide what to do with them yourself.  With over 45 varieties of apples that they grow, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed on what to actually DO with the apples (besides just EAT them, of course).  Their apple guide helps give ideas on exactly what each type of apple is perfect for.  For example, if you get a Cortland, they recommend them as the perfect apple for salads (they brown slowly) or the Empires are ideal for those autumn caramel apples!

Vala’s also does a weekly Agriculture Live to help educate!  Here is just a taste (yup, pun intended!) of their Apple Ed

Activities to do at Vala’s:

  • Lost Pumpkin Mine
  • You Pick Apple Orchard
  • Fresh, homemade hard Apple Cider
  • Corn Maze
  • Pirate Maze
  • Storybook Barn
  • Spook Shed
  • Haunted Farmhouse
  • Haunted Trail and Graveyard
  • Old-Fashioned Hay Rack Ride
  • Barnyard Adventure Ride
  • Group Bonfires (costs extra)
  • More

Vala’s 2020 Pumpkin Patch Season: Sep 18-Nov 1 2020

Cost:
September
Monday- Thursday: $13.95 per person
Friday-Sunday: $17.95 per person

October
Monday- Thursday: $13.95
Friday-Sunday: $25.95

* Prices not include taxes.  Under 2=free

Address: 12102 S 180th St, Gretna, NE 68028
Phone:402-332-4200
Websitehttps://www.valaspumpkinpatch.com/

 

Trees, Shrubs & More Apple Orchard

 

Town: Bellevue

While the 3000 Dwarf Apple trees (coming in at just a “mere” 5 mile stretch!) might take the mainstage at TS&M, don’t think that that’s all they’ve got.  In addition to the Dwarf apples, they’ve got Gala, Honeycrrisp, Honeygold, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Jonathon, Delicious, Braeburn and Candycrisp apples just to name a few.

With that many varieties of apples, all ripening at different times, that means that you are sure to pick perfectly ripe, crisp, delicious apples no matter when you are visiting this fall.

In addition to the “You Pick Apple Orchard” you can also purchase pre-selected apples as well.

What I particularly really appreciate about Trees, Shrubs and More is that they also offer tours (by appointment).  You’ll learn how to find the best fruits to pick yourself and even sample some of the produce.  Since they are by appointment only, they do a phenomenal job of adjusting the tour to fit the needs and interest level of the group!

Activities to do at Trees, Shrubs & More:

  • Local apple picking right in the Omaha Metro
  • Self Pick or Buy Pre-Picked and selected
  • Take a customized tour of the orchard
  • Pears and Peaches also available in season

Cost: No admission.  Just pay what you pick

Address: 3803 Cornhusker Road, Bellevue, NE
Phone: (402) 291-9374
Website: https://www.treesshrubsandmore.com/orchard/

30 Minutes From Omaha

Fontanelle Orchard

Town: Nickerson (About 1 hour Northeast of Omaha/ 20 minutes North of Fremont)

Not to be confused with Fontanelle Forest, each year, Camp Fontanelle’s apple orchard, Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch is a fundraising opportunity started by the United Methodist church where families and groups can come to enjoy the beautiful nature, educational activities, and faith based programs.  But this is so much more than an Orchard.  It is a fall themed dream come true!  There are movie nights in October, 5k “races” in the wilderness and on September 20th come for the annual fundraising BBQ.  While many Pumpkin Patches in the area are now adding Orchards or other autumn delights, I love that Camp Fontanelle is like an all in one stop. What sets Camp Fontanelle apart from many of the Omaha Metro Apple Orchards (besides it’s religious affiliation) is that there are FREE bonfires!  So, come for the apples, grab some pumpkins, and then stay for your own bonfire! They also have separate child’s admission, which I really appreciate having younger kids!

Activities To Do At Camp Fontanelle

  • 9 Acre Corn Maze
  • 14 Varieties of pie to try!
  • Preservatives, butters and jams, and caramel apples to purchase
  • Apple Orchard
  • Roller racers
  • Two 60′ long dry super slide
  • Laser Tag
  • Jumping Air Pillows
  • Bounce Houses
  • Petting Barn
  • Hayrack Rides
  • 350 Foot Zip Lines!
  • Pedal Karts
  • Free Campfires
  • Nature Trails
  • More

Open:
Saturdays: 10am-7pm
Sundays: 1pm-6pm

Cost:
Children ages 3-11: $6.00
12 and Over/ Adults: $8.00

Address: 9677 Co Rd 3, Nickerson, NE
Phone402-478-4296
Websitehttp://www.campfontanelle.com/

Super Bee Orchards Ft Calhoun

Apple Orchards near Omaha

Town: Ft. Calhoun (Approx 25 minutes North of Omaha)

This family owned farm is a great place to bring the kids (stroller friendly!) for some great apple picking!  In addition to apples, enjoy local pollen and many different flavors of honey as well. (Pro Tip: If you are an allergy sufferer, like me (Damn you ragweed!) get local honey to eat daily to help decrease allergy symptoms!).

While caramel apples often aren’t hard to find at apple orchards, there is just something about Super Bee’s caramel apples, that will have you wanting more!

While the “Applefest” is typically an annual tradition full of amazing fun, activities, and festivities, it is currently canceled in 2020 due to Covid.

Activities to do at Super Bee Orchards:

  • Self Pick or Buy Pre-Picked and selected
  • Enjoy their “Famous” Caramel Apples
  • Peaches also available in season

Open: Daily Starting Sep 5th from 10am-6pm.  Call to see closing seasonal dates

Cost: Free admission to the orchard.  Pay by the pound for apples

Address: 4571 US-75, Fort Calhoun, NE 68023
Phone402-468-5265
Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/

Union Orchard

union nebraska apple orchard

Town: Union (approx 30 minutes South of Omaha)

COVID NOTICE: Union Orchard will not be open to You Pick Apples this year.  You can still come to the country store as well as buy a fresh, Pre- Picked bag.

Union Orchard is the complete “Autumn” package!  Growing up, I had always known Union to be one of the best apple orchards near me in the Omaha area.  With 18 varieties of delicious, locally grown apples, you know you are guaranteed that perfect, crisp apple if coming to the Union Orchard in the fall! And while everything Apple related is here (You pick apples, Cider, Hard Apple Cider, and more), you can also pick your own pumpkins here for a one stop fall shop.  You can also come for their many events, such as outdoor concerts to have an absolutely memorable fall, fun filled day.

Activities To Do At

  • Pick your own Apples *See notice above
  • Pick your own pumpkins
  • Attend a “Music Under the Stars” event
  • Shop at the Country Store for fresh baked pies, apple butter, pumpkin butter, and more
  • Take a barrel train ride for the kiddies
  • Sip on wine from the Union Vineyard

Cost: Free admission 

Address: 2405 South Hwy 75, Union
Phone: 402-263-4845
Websitehttps://www.unionorchard.com/

 

1 Hour From Omaha

 

Arbor Day Farm

Arbor Day Farm Apple Picking

Town: Nebraska City (Approx 45 min South of Omaha)

The Arbor Day Farm is no well kept secret from people doing day trips from Omaha- everyone knows how great it is!  There is SO much to do here and in the fall, the orchards and pumpkin patches are just another wonderful addition to what they have year-round.  Families love to make the You Pick Apples just a part of their day of fun activities when they go to Arbor Day Farm.

In fact, coming to Nebraska City for the annual AppleJack Festival is one of the “top 10 Fall Harvest Festivals in America” according to USA Today!  And while I absolutely think attending it should be on your “Nebraska Bucketlist” it has been known to draw up to 80,000 people, so it can be quite packed!
Note: This year (2020), the festival is still planning on happening.  However, instead of just doing one weekend, as usual, the festival will help over multiple weekends to lessen the crowds due to Covid.

  • Sep 19th & 20th
  • 26th and 27th
  • October 3 and 4
  • October 10 and 11

Activities To Do At Arbor Day Farm

  • Tree Top Village
  • AppleJack Festival
  • Wagon Discovery Ride through the farm (unavailable 2020 due to Covid)
  • Living History Weekends
  • Wine Tasting
  • Apple and Pumpkin Picking
  • Storytelling and S’mores over the campfire (weekends only)

Address: 2611 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City
Phone: 402-873-8717
Website: https://www.arbordayfarm.org/fall/

Martin’s Hillside

Apple picking near Omaha

Town: Ceresco (approx 1 hour SE of Omaha or 35 Minutes from Gretna)

Another great Apple Orchard/ Pumpkin Patch combo is Martin’s Hillside Orchard.  Get your apples, fresh cider, and U-pick pumpkins all in one spot here. This is a really fantastic family location with everything you would expect in an Autumn activity location like corn mazes and pumpkin field with a few more surprises like a butterfly garden, discovery trail, and more.

Activities To Do At Martin’s Hillside Orchard:

  • Climb the Tire Mountain
  • You Pick Apples
  • Kid sized corn maze
  • Corn pool
  • Walk through the Gourd Cave
  • Tractor Trike Track
  • More

Cost: $5 pp ($2 goes towards your U Pick Purchase!).  2/ Under Free

Address: 2024 Ashland Rd, Ceresco
Phone: 402-665-2140
Websitehttp://www.hillside-orchard.com/

Kimmel Orchard

Kimmel Orchard Nebraska Apple picking

Town: Nebraska City (Approx 45 min South of Omaha)

Like many of the other Orchards on this list, Kimmel’s has so much more than “just apple picking!” At Kimmel Orchard, of course, you can enjoy picking your own apples, but you can also go on a nature trail walk, kids will have a blast playing on the huge playground, and don’t forget to try the apple donuts!!!

Activities To Do At Kimmel Orchard:

  • You Pick Apples
  • Walk the nature trail
  • Enjoy a hay rack ride
  • Play on the Pollinator Playground
  • Take an educational tour
  • Attend an educational course

You Pick Hours: Saturday 9am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm

Cost:

  • Adults (13 & over): $5
  • Kids (4­–12): $3
  • Kids (3 & under): Free
  • Seniors (62 & over): $3
  • Military (active or retired): $3

Note: Due to Covid and encouraging social distancing, the orchard will be closed September 12th&13th, 19th&20th, 26th&27th, and October 3rd&4th 2020

Address: 5995 G Rd, Nebraska City, NE
Phone: (402)873-5293
Website:http://www.kimmelorchard.org/

Apple Orchards Near Omaha In Council Bluffs and Iowa

While we at WellTraveledNEBRASKAN are all about supporting our Nebraska farms, there are just too many great Orchards near Omaha, right across the river to ignore, some of them being even closer options than those listed above in Nebraska.

Ditmars Orchard

Ditmars Apple Orchard Council Bluffs near Omaha

Town: Council Bluffs, Iowa (Approx 20 minutes from Omaha)

While yes, this one is in Iowa, it is actually one of the closest apple orchards near Omaha being just across the river in Council bluffs.  If you are looking for all the fun and flair of the big apple orchards but close to home, this is a great option.  You can either choose to buy and activity pass where your kids can play for hours on the playground, the barrel carts, petting goats, and more.  Or, you can just do the orchard without all the activities as well.  If you haven’t tried their fried apple pies or their apple cider donuts, you are seriously missing out!  They are almost always adding new attractions as well and growing.

  • Barrel cart rides
  • Goat petting zoo
  • Corn maze
  • Play a game of horseshoes
  • Roll in the giant Zorb balls!
  • Live music and events on the weekends
  • Wine Tastings
  • Peaches also available in season

Open: Tues-Sat 10-6pm.  Sun 11-5pm

Cost:  You must choose one of the following:

  1. Activity Pass (which includes all of the activities at the farm as well as the You Pick Orchard)
    1. $6.95 weekdays. $10.95 weekends
  2. You Pick Bag (access to just the orchard)
    1. $12.50
  3. 3/under are free

Address: 19475 225th Street Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503
Phone: 712-256-7053
Website: http://www.ditmarsorchard.com/

Small’s Fruit Farm

Town: Mondamin (Approx 40 minutes North of Omaha)

It is sometimes hard to imagine that you are just a stone’s throw away from Omaha when you are in the beautiful Iowa Loess Hills.  Small’s Fruit Farm is a perfect example of this natural beauty, stretching out for 33 acres. Paired with their great offerings on their farm this would make for a perfect day trip with a hike in the Loess Hills!

While you can pick your own apples in the fall, this working farm produces quality produce all year along, like asparagus (if you’ve never had fresh picked asparagus, you are missing out), cherries, melons, peppers, and more.

Enjoy some of the fresh food and home made goodies in the Sampling Shed (you had me at samples!) or take some home for a treat later on!

NOTE:  The Fall Fest at Small’s Fruit Farm has been canceled for 2020 due to Covid

Address: 1844 194th St., Mondamin, Iowa
Phone712-646-2723
Website: http://www.smallsfruitfarm.com/

3 Bee Farms

Town: Griswold, Iowa (Approx 50 minutes East of Omaha)

While the original business focus was on honey and beeswax, when the family purchased the nearby Orchard, it was clear that people would love coming to the farm to pick their own apples and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.  3 Bee Farms has grown and families can enjoy a hayrack ride, playing in the corn pool, petting the barnyard animals, and more.

Activities To Do 3 Bee Farms:

  • You Pick Apples
  • Giant corn tub
  • Enjoy a hay rack ride
  • Try all the honey!
  • Purchase other fresh made goods and locally grown produce

Address:14922 535th Street, Griswold, IA
Phone712-778-4256
Website: http://www.3beefarms.com/

 

 

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