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Visit an Apple Festival

Updated on August 30, 2017

Applejack Festival at the Home of Arbor Day

The third weekend in September is celebrated by Applejack Festival in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It is also the home of the Arbor Day Foundation, where Arbor Day was started in by J. Sterling Morton in 1972. Located in eastern Nebraska there are three large apple orchards which attract people from hundreds of miles away to the four day festival.

The Apple Jack Festival actually starts on Wednesday and continues through Sunday. Normally I go on Saturday to watch my kids high school band march in the parade. But, my youngest graduated last year and I didn't have anyone to watch. So my husband and I went on Sunday, to avoid the crowds.

We attended the car show, and I took lots of pictures of antique and classic cars, and I finally went to Arbor Day Farms. It was beautiful and although we got there late I had my apple cider, caramel apple, a glass of apple wine and walked through the orchards enjoying the harvest and sweet smell of apples.

Tour of the Apple Farm - Arbor Day Farms during the Apple Festival

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Vineyard at Arbor Day Farms, Nebraska CityFresh made apple ciderArbor Day Lodge, built in the late 1800'sApple trees in the orchardApples ready for saleApple wineApples on the treeApple press room for making apple ciderRed apples, they are full this year and bending over the branchesSunset over the apple orchardJonathan apples, one of the most versatile apples for eating and cookingNebraska City is the home of Arbor Day and where Arbor Day was foundedSolitary apple on a branch
Vineyard at Arbor Day Farms, Nebraska City
Vineyard at Arbor Day Farms, Nebraska City
Fresh made apple cider
Fresh made apple cider
Arbor Day Lodge, built in the late 1800's
Arbor Day Lodge, built in the late 1800's
Apple trees in the orchard
Apple trees in the orchard
Apples ready for sale
Apples ready for sale
Apple wine
Apple wine
Apples on the tree
Apples on the tree
Apple press room for making apple cider
Apple press room for making apple cider
Red apples, they are full this year and bending over the branches
Red apples, they are full this year and bending over the branches
Sunset over the apple orchard
Sunset over the apple orchard
Jonathan apples, one of the most versatile apples for eating and cooking
Jonathan apples, one of the most versatile apples for eating and cooking
Nebraska City is the home of Arbor Day and where Arbor Day was founded
Nebraska City is the home of Arbor Day and where Arbor Day was founded
Solitary apple on a branch
Solitary apple on a branch

The Best Apple Slicer - 16 Slices in One Step

My favorite way to eat apples is just slice and dip in caramel. Crunchy and sweet and a fall treat. Apples are nutritious, full of fiber and naturally sweet. I took home 5 lbs Honey Crisp apples that day and finished them that week.

Kids often don't like eating whole apples, their small mouths are often too small to bite into large apples. Myself, I loved eating whole apples as a kid. My son told me in Marine Boot camp they passed out apples during the crucible and it was like a gift from heaven. The recruits ate the whole apple, core and all.

Progressive International GPC-2700 16 Count Thin Apple Slicer and Corer
Progressive International GPC-2700 16 Count Thin Apple Slicer and Corer

This 16 slice apple divider makes cutting apples a piece of cake. The large plastic handles give you leverage to cut through the largest apples with ease.

Soak the slices in cold water with apple juice 1 TSP per cup and sliced apples will stay fresh and won't brown for up to a week.

Kids will enjoy cutting the apples too, and whose with a loose tooth won't lose it in the whole apple.

 
Apple, Apples and more apples
Apple, Apples and more apples

All Kinds of Apples

A Walk through the Apple Barn

As we walked into the first building at the apple farm I could smell the sweet smell of apples, it didn't take long before I saw the pallets of brown apple pulp and mash near the back door. I knew it was apple cider in the making. It was the first thing I told my husband I had to have. Since it was warm outside we choose the cold apple cider, instead of hot variety.

At the same time I bought a caramel apple, with nuts. We sat on the porch, people watched and enjoyed the fall day. After our treat we walked into the apple barns where the aroma from thousands of apples mingled together to make a sweet bouquet. You could watch them make apple cider, sort apples, buy apple pies, apple crafts, apple jam and everything you can think of that includes apples. Did I mention you could also buy apples?

What Do you Prefer? - Apple Festival or Pumpkin Festival?

Apples or Pumpkins?
Apples or Pumpkins?

Which Do You Like Best?

See results

Apples in Scripture - Send a Greeting Card

Greeting Card (click to order)
Greeting Card (click to order)

I love photography and I also love the Lord, so when you put the two together wondrous things can occur. During my stroll down the orchard with my camera I purposely composed photographs which would complement a greeting card design with a Bible verse.

Here is the result. "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver" Proverbs 25:11 NIV

My goal is to create a new scripture card every week in my CafePress store.

Apple Wine - Sweet and Fruity Wine

Wine Tasting at the Orchard
Wine Tasting at the Orchard

In addition to the traditional apple activities at the festival for kids (apple dunking, crafts, etc) there was also something for the adults. A wine tasting social. Nebraska, believe it or not, has quite a few vineyards and specialty wines.

Being we were at an apple festival I had to try the Apple Pie wine, and was very surprised at it's bouquet. It's a wine term, and I don't really know what it means, but it sounds sophisticated and fancy. I took home a bottle and we were able to take home the glasses as well.

Apple Wine Making Kits - Making Apple Wine

Now that I've had a taste of Apple Wine I kinda like it, maybe not enough to make it from scratch, but I know some people who would give it a try and have apple trees in their back yard. I'll can come over and sample their wine. Last year they made elderberry and mulberry wine and vodka. They might give apple wine a try.

Apple Drinks - Make Apple Based Drinks at Home

Several friends have apple trees and I normally harvest a couple of bushels of apples during the fall. Aside from caramel apples, apple pie, I also love apple cider. Of course caramel apple cider is the best, with whipped cream on top.

Cornucopia Fruit Wine Making Kit, White Green Apple Pinot Bianco, 17.5-Pound Box
Cornucopia Fruit Wine Making Kit, White Green Apple Pinot Bianco, 17.5-Pound Box

You can't call me a wine snob, I might prefer a boxed wine over a fine vintage. But the wine I like are sweet fruity wines. After tasting the apple wine at the apple festival I think I may be a convert.

A friend of mine makes her own flavored vodkas, I'll bet she would be up to making apple wine. This wine making kit would make a great birthday or Christmas present.

 
Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider, K-Cup Portion Count for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 24-Count (Packaging May Vary)
Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider, K-Cup Portion Count for Keurig K-Cup Brewers, 24-Count (Packaging May Vary)

I don't have a Keurig, but I can see the attraction to single serving sized portions of a variety of drinks right at your fingertips. Apple Cider, hot chocolate, a variety of teas, and of course coffee. These K-Cup portions fit with a variety of drink and coffee machines. Something for everyone.

 
Aspen Mulling Cider Spice 3 Pack - Original Spice Blend - Qty of 3, 5.65 oz. Cartons (Caramel Apple)
Aspen Mulling Cider Spice 3 Pack - Original Spice Blend - Qty of 3, 5.65 oz. Cartons (Caramel Apple)

I use this Mulling Cider spice to make a crock full of apple cider. My kids love it and wonder why we only have it during the fall. My answer why do we have a Christmas tree only during Christmas?

 

What Is Your Favorite Season - ....and Why

What is your favorite season of the year? Do you love Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall? Tell me why, convince me that Summer isn't my favorite? If you love the cool Autumn days tell everyone why.

What Is Your Favorite Season

Apple Games and Crafts - Apple Activites for Kids

My kids would have enjoyed the tree house at Arbor Day lodge, since we were late, we weren't able to explore the woods. Maybe when I have grand kids, did I really say that, I'll take them.

Mattel Apples to Apples Party Box The Game of Crazy Combinations
Mattel Apples to Apples Party Box The Game of Crazy Combinations

The popular game Apples to Apples fun for the whole family. My daughter even liked this in high school and my son played this at a Thanksgiving dinner when he was invited as a single Marine to a home for the holidays.

 
Appletters
Appletters

A variety on the Banagrams game of making words and scoring points. A little like scrabble, but compact in a fun apple shape.

 
Learning Resources Magnetic Apple Fractions
Learning Resources Magnetic Apple Fractions

Although these are meant for teachers, and home school families to teach fractions these would make really nice table decorations for fall, or a conversation piece on the coffee table. I'm ADD so I would play with them all the time.

 

If you enjoyed this article, tell me, let me know you were here, share with me your visit to a local apple festival or apple orchard, or a traditional fall trip you make every year.

Give Me Some Apple Love - Leave me a comment, tell me you were here

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    • Judith Nazarewicz profile image

      Judith Nazarewicz 3 years ago from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

      What a wonderful lens! I especially love this time of the year because of all the apples.

    • shauna1934 profile image

      shauna1934 3 years ago

      Glorious apples! My grandparents farmed an apple orchard for 40 years! Always looked forward to a box of fresh apples this time of year!