I saw two trees today whose leaves had begun to change colors, signaling to me that autumn is on its way. That means Saturday I will be packing up the family and heading to our favorite apple orchard to pick a bushel of apples. Here are the top reasons to make this an annual tradition:
1. It’s exciting to research and plan, and an adventure to get there.
2. Apple cider donuts and fresh apple cider for breakfast.
3. Free tastings out in the orchard.
4. Kids learn a lot about apples…when an apple is ready to pick, how to find apples low and high on the trees, how different apples taste and look, and how heavy carrying a bag of apples can be (Note- it’s best to bring a wagon or stroller for the bag.).
5. Kids report that the apples they picked are the best they have ever eaten in their lives!
Someday I will travel the 75 minutes to Woodstock, IL, and visit a few of their many orchards, but this weekend, I will opt for a closer one from the list below:
Apple Holler (60 min. north)- www.appleholler.com
5006 S. Sylvania Ave., Sturtevant, WI 53177, 262-884-7100
Great because it is right off of the highway (no back roads to navigate or get lost on!)
This has a ton of kids activities, a restaurant, and a huge farm store with too many good things to list.
Heinz Orchard (35 min. north)- firstname.lastname@example.org
1050 Crest Road (corner of Crest & Atkinson), Green Oaks, IL 60048. Phone: 847-770-3449.
Payment: Cash, only. I haven’t been here yet but will definitely be stopping by as it is so close!
Didier Farms (35 minutes north)- www.didierfarms.com
Apple and pumpkin picking plus a nice gift shop and a few other kids activities.
16678 West Aptakisic Road, Prairie View, IL 60069. Phone: 847-634-3291; 847-634-3295.
Goebbert’s Pumpkin Patch – www.goebbertspumpkinpatch.com 42W813 Reinking Road
Hampshire, IL 60140 (1 hour away) or 40 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington, IL 60010 (45 minutes away).
Pick pumpkins instead of apples and enjoy many kids activities at their Fall Festival. This is a popular spot for school field trips.
I hope you can schedule in family time for apple picking this fall. As my kids’ little hands can pick apples quite rapidly, we end up bringing a very large bag of apples home (not to mention all of the other goodies we buy from the farm store). Don’t let the amount of apples intimidate you- let the family fun and learning continue at home after you read next week’s blog, “What to do with all of those apples?”