apple hill with kids

The Ultimate Guide to Apple Hill with Kids

One of our favorite fall things to do includes heading to Apple Hill with kids. Apple Hill is located in Placerville, California, and is home to over 50 local family farms. From apple ranches and  wineries to flower gardens and even a day spa, there is something in Apple Hill for everyone in the family.

With so many options for adventure, how do you know which ones you should head to? We’re sharing the ultimate guide to Apple Hill with kids – because let’s be real, it’s not always an easy task, so we’re here to make the traveling easier.

apple hill with kids


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Visiting Apple Hill With Kids

Most farms are open 5-7 days a week, however, due to their popularity – you’ll find that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the most active in terms of activities.

We recommend Fridays, as it will definitely be quieter than the weekend. If you head down during the other weekdays, even better – but note that some farms may have different hours.

Best Times To Visit

When it comes to times – be the first there and leave before it gets dark! The roads to Apple Hill are winding and often not well-lit.

Be some of the first there, but give yourself enough time to head back before it gets dark. If it’s your first time, you’ll realize as your driving that leaving while it’s still light out is best!

Know Before You Go

Before you leave, there are a few things you should take into consideration. First, check the weather! Although it’s usually pretty warm up at the farms, any nearby fires will make your experience a little smokey – which is not ideal for allergies!

Print out the Apple Hill map or download the app. It will make your visit less stressful – trust us! Oh and don’t forget to pack some of these essentials.

What to Pack

Whether you’re headed to Apple Hill with kids for the day or you’re enjoying a weekend getaway, there are some essential items you should be packing. Plus, our friends over at Apple Hill even gave us some recommendations to include:

  • Stroller | There is some walking involved and trust us – those little ones will not want to walk. Plus, a stroller will is perfect for carrying all of the goodies you’ll be taking home.
  • Baby Carrier | If you’re out and about, sometimes babywearing is a good idea. (Babywearing in Las Vegas, Babywearing in Reno)
  • Water | Stay hydrated! So simple, yet often overlooked. Plus, you’ll save $$.
  • Pack a Picnic | If you’d rather spend money on crafts, activities, and some goodies to take home, pack a picnic that’s easy to eat.
  • Activities for the car ride l Kids get bored and you don’t want to hear “are we there yet” 30 times; pack an activity book, a Halloween movie, or just a few small toys to keep them busy.  
  • Camera | Whether you have a high-end camera or your phone, take some photos and remember the memories.
  • Sunscreen | Depending on what time of your you visit you might want to bring along sunscreen with you if you plan on being there all day 
  • Cooler | If you are stocking up on goodies, it is a great idea to bring a cooler with you to store your food purchases. 

*EXCLUSIVE TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE HILL ON WHAT TO PACK*

  • High Protein Snacks | Battle the sugar rush before and after the donuts, caramel apples, and other sweets! Perfect to give your little ones on the car ride there and back.
  • Extra Pair of Kids Clothes | Remember, you’re visiting a bunch of farms and at the end of the day, red dirt is bound to get around. Don’t track the dirt in your car and instead swap out the kids clothes.

Be sure to check out our Bonus Tips at the bottom of this post.

apple hill with kids

Best Kid-Friendly Farms

Looking for the best kid-friendly farms? We’ve got you covered. The farms listed below are from all seasons, just in case you decide to go during spring or summer as well.

Plus, we’ve labeled them by number so you can find them on your map. Those marked with an ** are the Nevada Moms personal favorites.

high hill ranch

** #1 | High Hill Ranch

Season: August 12 – December 24

Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat & Sun 8am-6pm

Activities: Hay Rides, Face Painting, Fishing Pond, Pony Rides

#5 | Delfino Farms

Season: September 1- November 19

Hours: Fri – Mon 10am-5pm 

Activities: Pumpkin Patch, Corn Maze, Farm Animals (sheep)

#9 | Larsen Apple Barn

Season: September 3 – November 26

Hours: Sun – Fri, 8 to 5, closed Saturdays

Activities: Larsen Museum, Park

** #10 | Rainbow Orchards

Season: Sept 9-Oct 29th; Oct 30–Nov 26th, Dec 1 & 2nd

Hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm

Activities: Hay Bale Hop-a-Crooked-Mile, Pumpkins, Popcorn, Fresh Cider Mill, Orchard Play Area

denver dans apple patch in apple hill

** #14 | Denver Dan’s Apple Patch

Season: September 1 – December 15

Hours: Daily, 9am-5pm

Activities: Cookin’ Kids, Tours for kids, Picnic area

#18 O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch

Season: September 2 – December 10

Hours: Daily, 10am – 4pm

Activities: You-Pick Pumpkins, Sunflowers & Christmas Trees, Indian Corn, Johnny Appleseed Tree, Nature Trail

#20 | Apple Ridge Farms

Season: August 26 – December 4

Hours: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, Sunday 9am-6pm

Activities: Hay Maze, Nature Trail, Gemstone Mining, Face Painting (weekends only)

** #38 | Abel’s Apple Acres

Season: August 31 – November 30  

Hours: Daily, 8:30am – 5:30pm; Thanksgiving 10am – Noon, Christmas Eve 9am-3pm, weather permitting

Activities: Apple Barn, Bake Shop, Frozen Pies, Craft Fair, Candy Counter, Apple Pantry, Gifts & Books, Dining Deck, Terri’s Country Cuisine & BBQ, Maze & Animal Rides

apple hill with kids

**#40 | Fudge Factory Farm

Season: September 1 – December 17

Hours: Weekdays 10-5 and weekends 9-5

Activities: Kids Play Area, Alpacas, Face Painter, Balloon Artist, Fudge Sampling

drew bean farms

#68 | Drew Bean Farms

Season: September 2 – December 23

Hours: Thurs-Sun 10-5

Activities: Apples Bake Shop (Fresh and frozen), Gluten Free Items, Lunch (7 days a week), Picnic Area, Corn Hole

#84 | Harris Tree Farm

Season: May 25 – Dec 24, Thursday – Sunday (and Monday holidays)

Hours: Thurs – Sun, 9:00am – 4:30pm

Activities: Nature Trail, Scavenger Hunt, You-Pick Berries, Pumpkins & Apples, Santa Visits during Christmas Season

apple hill with kids

** Boa Vista Orchards

Season: Open Year Round

Hours: Daily, 7:30am – 6pm

Activities: Although not a part of the Apple Hill Growers, Boa Vista is one of our favorite spots. Fresh Produce, Delicious Baked Goods, Crisp Apple Ciders, Flavorful Wines. It is like a market!

 

Bonus Apple Hill With Kids Tips

Head to Apple Hill early

It’s inevitable, you’re going to hit traffic and there are going to be a TON of people. Just be prepared for the crowds and that way you won’t be surprised when you get up there!  You can still have a blast even if it is busy.

We recommend trying to be one of the first visitors to your top choice farm and in order to do this you have to get an early start. Parking can also get crazy, so beware.

Download the Official Apple Hill App

If you’re not into the whole paper map thing, or maybe you want to do both, download the Official Apple Hill app. The app showcases all of the farms, what they offer, and their hours of business.

The app is a great way to map out your day ahead of time. But note – sometimes you can lose service here and there, so definitely get a hang of the app before you go on your adventure.
apple hill with kids

Consider the Shuttle

If you have a lot of kid supplies to pack around self-parking is most likely for you.  But, if your kids are older then consider taking the shuttle. During the peak season, El Dorado County provides a free shuttle bus to 12 of the local farms. The shuttle bus map shows which Farms they are currently providing service to.

The shuttle bus runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and runs approximately every 15-20 minutes.  They also are limited on space for riders so if you are considering using the shuttle bus, another reason you’ll want to get an early start.

Stay Overnight

If you can on your way back stay in South Lake Tahoe! It’s perfect after a day of activities and fun.  Grab some dinner from the village before snuggling up in the hotel for the night.  

Enjoy Yourself

We know outings with kids can be a little crazy, I mean why else would we need a blog to prepare for it? But once you’ve taken all of these tips into consideration all that’s left to do is make the trip.

We are hoping that this guide takes the stress out of planning so you can enjoy Apple Hill with kids and friends. Don’t forget to take pictures and enjoy these moments. And go ahead and eat that apple donut, you deserve it!

Have you been to Apple Hill?

Headed to Apple Hill with kids? What was your experience? We love your pictures, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram!

Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.

Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.

Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.

Co-Founder

Kacey Queen is a co-founder of Nevada Moms

Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.

She serves on the hospital board for Northern Nevada Health Systems and is passionate about her community.

Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, traveling, working out, coffee, and dessert!