In the audio clip below, gardening guru Jim Fizzell, aka “Mr. Fizz,” tells WGN’s Steve Alexander about his plans to travel to Gays Mills, Wisconsin, for apple picking. That’s in the heart of the Kickapoo Valley, which happens to be where Orion “Big O” Samuelson was born and spent his boyhood. Jim says there are dozens of orchards on the rolling hills of southwest Wisconsin, but there are plenty of places much closer to Chicago where you can take the kids and pick some apples. Many orchards have other attractions, such as hay rides, corn mazes, petting zoos, food, etc., and some offer early pumpkin picking. The list below includes websites for each spot, which provide essential details like hours and directions. Some require reservations. If we missed any in the area, please note it in the “Suggest a Correction” box at the bottom of the page.


All Seasons Orchard, Woodstock, IL

Apples On Oak, Lockport, IL

Edwards Apple Orchard, Poplar Grove, IL

Garden Patch Farms, Homer Glen, IL

Heinz Orchard, Libertyville, IL

Homestead Orchard, Woodstock, IL

Honey Hill Orchard, Waterman, IL

Jonamac Orchard, Malta, IL

Kuipers Family Farm, Maple Park, IL

Prairie Sky Orchard, Union, IL  (815) 923-4834

Royal Oak Farm Orchard, Harvard, IL

Stade’s Farm & Market, McHenry, IL

SunBerry Orchard, Woodstock, IL

Valley Orchard, Cherry Valley, IL


County Line Orchard, Hobart, IN


Jollay Orchards, Berrien County, MI


Apple Holler, Sturtevant, WI