Take Your Pick

Central Indiana orchards have all the makings of an apple-picking adventure.
Step off, pumpkin spice. Nothing smells more like fall than fresh apple pie warm from the oven, redolent with cinnamon and begging for a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wait for a sunny fall afternoon and pile the family into the car for a kid-friendly jaunt to a local orchard, where you can pick your own fruit to stock up for the season.
Family-owned for three generations, Beasley’s Orchard  (2304 E. Main St., Danville, 317-745-4876) hosts its yearly Heartland Apple Festival the first two full weekends in October, but you can stop by for U-picking fun any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday all month long. Grab a few pumpkins, sample some award-winning cider, and check out the corn maze and backyard bonanza attractions while you’re there.

A trip to Tuttle Orchards (5717 N. 300 W., Greenfield, 317-326-2278) is an autumn tradition for many central Indiana families. Load up on Red and Golden Delicious, Jonathans, and Cortlands, then let the kids burn off some steam in the expanded Tractor Town play area. Wind down with a narrated hayride and an apple cider slushy before hitting the road back home.
Stuckey Farm (19975 Hamilton Boone Rd., Sheridan, 317-769-4636) grows 27 different apple varieties throughout the season between July and October. Themed Harvest Festival weekends run now through October 22, upping the ante with pig races, an apple cannon, a corn maze, wagon rides and a 60-foot slide. And don’t even think about leaving without sampling the apple cider donuts.

Mooresville’s hometown apple go-to, Anderson Orchard (369 E. Greencastle Rd., Mooresville, 317-831-4181), offers u-pick opportunities for apples, pumpkins, raspberries, and chestnuts in season. To keep your strength up, the concessions stand sells elephant ears, fried biscuits with apple butter, and adorable single-serving apple pies. Mark your calendar to attend the Apple Festival and Craft Fair September 30 and October. 1.
Can’t cut it as a farmer? Through October 31, the Apple Store at Conner Prairie (13400 Allisonville Rd., Fishers, 317-776-6000) serves up fruit sourced from local orchards, no hard labor required. The fresh apples are the healthiest choice, but it’s darn near impossible to pass up the hand-dipped salted caramel and toffee varieties. There’s no admission required to shop. Better yet, tack on a visit during your annual Headless Horseman trip.
How ya like them apples?