Taste an apple cider doughnut and the universe will immediately open to tell you all its secrets. That's the exact impression that I remember from childhood so I like bringing a piece of that to my own children . . . plus a trip to Oak Glen is about as "fall" as you can get in Southern California.
Apple season in Oak Glen starts in September, but who is thinking about apples when school just got back in session and I'm trying to get my life back in order from the lazy days of summer? By October I'm usually thinking about how can I knock out pumpkin patchin' and apple picking so a trip to Oak Glen knocks everything out at once.
Pro Tip: You may think you will get the perfect fall photo while you are our there, but it's still very Cali which means unpredictable weather! It may be cool and crisp or hot AF, so I bring an extra pair of shorts as well as hoodies for the kids because it can go from really warm to cool between midday and sunset.
Now let's get back to what to expect while you've ventured almost two hours away from Los Angeles. Pick an orchard you want to start at Snowline Orchard and plug it in because I always lose service once I get there and just kind of drive around after we hit up the first place. The places I've gone to are all off Oak Glen Road which is a scenic loop of apple orchards and farms. I try and stop at the one that also has a wine tasting rooms because it makes the rest of the day more enjoyable. You can't actually pick apples here, but you could always just grab apples pre-bagged and hang around for food, doughnuts, and u-pick raspberries.
The next three places are a toss up of where to go next. The first place I had ever looked up in Oak Glen was Riley's, but it's a little confusing as they own more than one property. Last time we went to Riley's Apple Farm without knowing to check out Riley's Los Rios Rancho across the street. This year we hung out at Riley's Los Rios Rancho for the better part of the day and it could have been the whole trip because there is that much for the kids to do.
The activity the kids liked the most was the U-Press Cider activity, but I will say it was exhausting since I didn't go with my husband this year. Somehow we got lucky because we did this at the end of the day, but at one point there was a huge line and almost gave up on doing this. This place had nature trails the kids "hiked", had a petting zoo with wagon rides, and all the BBQ and hot dogs you could eat with plenty of space for the kids to run around and get out all their cider sugar energy out. I heard there was also a corn maze, but I just watched a horror story on Netflix about one the night before so we skipped this one!
To actually pick apples, you may have to go across to Riley's Apple Farm depending on the day, but they were available when we went on Sunday. The one place we didn't get to go to this year was this place another mom today me about while we were in line for doughnuts at Snowline Orchard. Stone Soup Farm & Heritage Orchard has apple picking, but also kids crafts and gemstone panning. Both kids have really been into gemstone books so I really wanted to do that activity, but I couldn't find it since I didn't have a signal once I was out on the Oak Glen Road loop. I guess this will be the first stop on the agenda next trip and I'll just BYOB wine in case I can't find my way back to Snowline's Wine Tasting room!