September marks the beginning of apple season in the Garden State, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with a trip to the farm to pick your own.

Though it’s usually easy to keep your distance from others in the orchards, because of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, it’s a good idea to go at an off-peak time, if you can. Some farms have implemented new procedures, such as asking customers to reserve time slots, limiting group size and asking that people only touch the fruit that they plan to pick and buy.

Despite these changes, apple picking (and, soon, pumpkin picking) remains one of the best things you can do outdoors during the fall season.

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Below, some of our favorite pick-your own farms.

Alstede Farms in Chester: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Buy your tickets online up to a day in advance. Visit their Facebook page here.

Battleview Orchards in Freehold: Call 732-462-0756 for that day’s schedule before visiting.

Giamarese Farms & Orchard in East Brunswick: Open Wednesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Along with apple picking, they offer hayrides, pumpkin picking and a corn maze.

HillView Farms in Gillette: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Bring a mask so you can shop in their General Store for fresh produce, eggs and honey.

Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick: Call 908-439-2318 for that day’s schedule before visiting. They also have a grass maze, a cider mill, farm animals to visit and wagon rides.

Wightman Farms in Morristown: Open weekends from 9 a.m to 5:30 p.m. While you’re there, stop in their shop for farm-fresh treats like homemade pies and apple cider, or order online for curbside pickup.

For a larger list, visit www.findjerseyfresh.com.

More on NJ Flavor:

New Jersey Date Night: These Spots Pour it on with Flights

Simple Strategies for No-Fuss, No-Cook Summer Meals

Beat the Heat with Boozy White Sangria Granita, an Adults-Only Snow Cone

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