There’s something magical about any changing season, but fall is especially enchanting with it’s cool crisp air, warm spicy beverages and the promise of many feasts and gatherings to soon come. It’s the perfect marriage between snuggling inside and exploring outside and apple picking is a perfect reason to do both! Apple picking is a great activity that the whole family can enjoy together, however, including kids in any activity inevitably makes it more difficult. With that said, here are some tips for making apple picking the wonderful experience it’s meant to be for the whole family.
-DO YOUR RESEARCH
When choosing an orchard, consider what apples they offer, how much walking is involved and whether there are extras like a playground or snack bar, etc. You should also call ahead because crops vary from season to season and you will want to be sure that the orchard is open for picking on the day you want to go. Also, remember that some apples are better for applesauce while others are better for cider and still others are best for baking. Make sure you have a plan to use the apples that are in season.
-CHOOSE THE BEST TIME TO GO
Many people don’t think about apple picking until it starts getting cold out. If you choose to go in the beginning of the season ,you may find that there are fewer people picking and a greater variety of apples to choose from. Plus depending on where you live, picking season might end before the apple season does. Weekends are obviously busier for apple picking than the rest of the week, so you may want to go apple picking on a weekday when the orchard won’t be as busy. You can also consider the time of day. Orchards are usually busiest in the middle of the day. Going early or late might be a good way to avoid crowds.
-CHOOSE YOUR TIME WISELY
If your household cannot bear to skip the precious afternoon nap time for the tinies at your home, get out of bed and get to those shiny red apples first thing in the morning. It is wise to avoid weekends if you can. The orchards naturally become very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Your best bet is mid-week if you can wrangle it. Maybe a mid-morning option is best for you and yours. Pack a picnic for after you’ve filled your belly and your baskets with apples. A pb&j never tastes as good at home as it does in a picturesque orchard, with fresh, cold apple cider to wash it down, an apple to go with it and an apple donut for dessert.
-DISCUSS RULES BEFORE YOU GO
Before you even get into the car, talk about what you’ll do at the orchard and go over the rules. Some topics you may want to address are:
- BRING YOUR CAMERA!
Or cell phones. Take lots of pictures of the trip, including scenery, and enjoy the day!
Remember that trips like apple picking are opportunities to have fun – view them as an adventure (complete with unexpected twists and turns) and I promise you’ll have a great time!
A important 2020 apple picking tip: Don’t forget to pack your family’s masks! Due to COVID-19, many of the orchards are asking guests, along with staff, to wear masks and practice social distancing when in their farm stands. Also, some activities, such as jumping pillows, may be closed. For more information about orchards’ responses to COVID-19, we recommend giving the orchard a call or send them a Facebook message.
Posts written by the Team ELM family!