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Apple Picking - Fall Weekend Activity
Apple Picking - Fall Weekend Activity
As fall officially started a couple weeks ago, I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite fall activities - Apple Picking at the local orchard. I have gone apple picking every fall since I could remember and I have pictures to prove it. It is a great daytime activity as a child, parent, or even with just a group of friends.
There are apple orchards and farms throughout the country and if you can't find one, a trip to the northeast is well worth it! They are much more accessible than most people realize, so find your local orchard and go have some fun!
Here are my favorite activities to do while apple picking:
1) Hay Ride
This is the usually the first and last experience one has when apple picking. The ride is generally a few minutes long and it normally brings you to the area of the orchard where they are harvesting the apples that weekend. Different areas of orchards mature at different times of the fall season, so this great activity is also a brilliant way for the farm to regulate where people go apple picking. Disappointingly, the hay ride is normally quite short, but they instantly make you feel miles from any city and that is half the alure of apple picking! The amount of fun on a hay ride skyrockets when at least one of two things happen: you have an experienced driver who gives you local knowledge and insights (even better if they are funny) or you go with a young child. While a seemingly simple activity, it is truly amazing when you go with a kid who ends up having more fun on the hay ride than the actual apple picking!
Once you get to the orchard after the hay ride to start picking some apples, it is hard to resist the temptation to start chomping on some apples right as you get there. After searching the first tree or two, you pick the plumpest, juiciest looking apple and dig in. Even if you think your local grocery has the best apples on the planet, there is nothing quite like tasting an apple directly from the tree.
Many orchards have different types of apple trees in the same area. I like to pick apples from each tree and compare. This especially helps when you are deciding how many apples to bring back home and which kinds you like best.
3) Apple contests
There are many apple contests you can have when at an apple orchard. The easiest contests are the throwing contests. For this contest, it is very important to make sure that there is enough distance between you and any other apple pickers! Contests include the long distance throw, speed-eating, the largest single bite, apple bobbed, the apple basket toss, and my personal favorite - eating an apple while it's still on the tree. All you need is some creativity and there could be an endless number of contests.
4) Apple Cider and the Farm Marketplace
Let's face it, Apple Cider always tastes better at the apple orchard than from the grocery store! Many orchards have general stores where they sell a variety of local foods - and of course, most of the food/drinks are based from apples! I have had everything from apple pie, to apple donuts, and apple strudel to candy apples and other delicacies. In addition to your baskets full of apples, be sure to stop by the general store to pick up lots of goodies. If you aren't a apple person, there are usually plenty of other delicious treats to choose from.
If you have recommendations for orchards, I want to hear about it! Just list and discuss them in the comment section below.
Be sure to return to your local apple orchard for pumpkin season, fall folliage or just another reason to get away from the city! Now go enjoy those apples!