How You Like Them Apples? A Guide to Apple Picking
Planning to go apple picking this fall? Me too. As a matter of fact, going to an apple orchard and all the hoopla that comes along with it is one of my favorite “cliched” family activities of the year. For my money, you just can’t beat the combination of beautiful fall weather, apple cider donuts, and the chance to take tons of pictures of your family! Now, my child isn’t actually old enough to really enjoy all that the apple orchard has to offer, but it’s important enough to me that I dress my family in flannel and head out to the orchards for fall fun! Whether it is your favorite activity or something that you feel you have to do, here are a few tips to help you make the most out of the trip:
It will be busy
Most likely, you will be one of the many joining the throngs of people who visit these farms in the fall. Be aware that farms get busier later in the day, and the days get busier the closer you are to Halloween! Go early in the day and in the season to get the best pick – literally – and avoid the rush.
Farms are dirty
Between fall storms, a desire to put your kids in the orchard and/or pumpkin patch for photos, and any farm animals that may be there, be prepared for mess. You will likely want some extra clothes if it seems especially muddy, and definitely enough wipes to clean those little hands before eating!
Beware! Even though it’s autumn, apples, cider, and kids running around eating sweet treats often leads to an exciting place for bees to hang out. No need to panic, but bee sure you are prepared – especially if anyone in your family has allergies!
Understand the costs
Is there an entry fee? Do they have food for sale? Are there a whole bunch of rides and extra things that your kids are going to beg you for once you get there? Do they take credit cards? Be sure to check these things before you get there so you are ready for anything!
No stroller zone
Many orchards go over rolling hills or have a long distance from the entrance to where you actually pick apples. Be prepared to cover some distance, and likely without a stroller. Make sure you have some good walking (hiking?) shoes, a carrier for those small enough, and a good bag or two for all the great apples you’ll pick!
Don’t miss the extras
Apple cider donuts (did I mention donuts yet?), apple butter, fresh apple cider, apple cider donuts (did I mention donuts yet?) – the array of delicious, fall-themed goodness is endless! Be sure you figure in the need to grab a few favorites to bring home.
Go with the flow
When you combine the great outdoors with kids, it is bound to turn out differently than you expected. You may not get that perfect photo, your kid may fall face-first into the mud, or who knows what else. If you are how I was last year, you will try to grab the best photo you can, even if your kid is asleep, and then head on your way!
Get ready for some cooking
So, you picked a peck of apples. What will you do now? My family almost never eats all of the apples in their original form, so we are left to do something more creative with them. Apple sauce, apple cider, apple bread, apple pie, and of course caramel apples are just a few of the delicious fall treats you can make with the spoils of your day.
Hopefully with these tips and some perfect fall weather, you’ll be lucky enough to score some delicious treats. No matter what, as long as you grab an apple cider donut (did I mention donuts yet?), you are sure to have a day that the whole family will enjoy. You can then appreciate that experience as you devour apple-filled treats for days to come! What tips do you have for a fantastic fall outing?