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Omaha Magazine

How Do You Like Them Apples? Six Apple Orchards to Pick Near Omaha

Sep 30, 2020 12:34PM ● By Patrick McGee
six photos of apple orchards

Ripe, red apples hanging on heavy branches are a symbol of fall in Nebraska. Apple picking, like pumpkin carving and hayrack rides, is a safe, family-friendly outdoor activity perfect for appreciating the season. Many prospective apple pickers will first think of Nebraska City’s Arbor Day Farm, but there are other options to enjoy.

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch
12102 S. 180th St., Gretna, Ne
402.332.4200 |

Vala’s is a family favorite complete with pumpkins, hayrack rides, and haunted houses. Those who have fired apples out of Vala’s apple cannons or drunk their delicious hot apple cider might wonder where all these apples come from. The answer is that Vala’s has been home to an apple orchard and cider mill since 2014. The farm includes a total of 30 acres of apple trees producing 45 varieties. They began a pick-your-own-apples business in 2017 to complement their ever-popular pumpkin-picking business.

Fontanelle Orchard
26982 N.E. Highway 91, Nickerson, Ne

Fontanelle Orchard is a family-owned orchard with nearly 500 apple trees. Apple pickers can harvest many varieties, including the crowd favorite Jonathan. Harvested apples are gathered and weighed on the big scale in front of the old apple barn. Inside the barn, guests will find a niche store with pumpkins and home-canned items for sale. The pies—made on site—are a local favorite. Fontanelle has been operating for nearly 30 years.

3 Bee Farms
14922 535th St., Griswold, Ia
712.778.4256 |

This family-owned business began in 1993 with an emphasis on bees and honey production. Since that time, it has expanded its operation to include an apple orchard that welcomes apple pickers. Other fall activities offered at 3 Bee Farms include a pumpkin patch to peruse, corn maze to wander through, and hayrides. The farm is about 45 miles east of downtown Omaha and will provide a more remote experience for apple picking.

Super Bee Orchard
4571 U.S. Highway 75, Fort Calhoun, NE
402.468.5265 |

Guests of Super Bee will enjoy the mom-and-pop atmosphere. Visitors can expect to harvest many different varieties of apples in the fall. Super Bee also offers pony rides for young visitors. Those hoping to pick apples should be aware that Super Bee closes around the weekend before Thanksgiving.

Ditmar’s Orchard and Vineyard
19475 225th St., Council Bluffs, Ia
712.256.7053 |

Ditmar’s boasts autumn activities such as apple picking, a hayrack ride, a corn maze, and, of course, a pumpkin patch. The orchard offers over 20 varieties of apples (they are not all ripe at the same time, so serious pickers will need to take multiple trips in the season in order to try them all). Guests can ride the tractor-pulled wagon to the orchard and back. Ditmar’s is also home to a vineyard and produces their own wine as well as other homemade goodies.

Trees, Shrubs, and More
3803 Cornhusker Road, Bellevue, Ne
402.291.9374 |

Trees, Shrubs, and More is a multifaceted landscape and garden center, and it is also home to TS&M Orchard Inc. The orchard contains approximately 3,000 dwarf apple trees planted in a combined length of nearly five miles of tree rows. Guests can harvest 13 varieties of apples with distinct flavors. TS&M also has rows of pear and peach trees. The orchard boasts clean, manicured lawns between each row for ease of access.

This article was printed in the October 2020 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.