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Blake's Cider Mill and Orchard: A Visitor's Guide
Five Star Rating for Blake's Farms
Blake Farms is a family owned and operated business that began in 1946. Over the years it has transformed into an amazing fall and winter stop for many in Macomb County, Michigan. In fact it is so popular that on a nice fall day, you will be among hundreds of people that are also there to enjoy the fall festivities.
Fall Fun at Blakes Cider Mill and Orchard
The cider mill in Armada is the largest of the farms owned by Blakes. Although there are a couple of other places to visit, this location will provide your family with the most activities to choose from and experience. There is an apple press that you can watch apples being squeezed for their juice to be processed into apple cider.
The fall fun center is a great attraction for families. For $10 a person you have access to a wagon ride out to the pumpkin patch, inflatable jumping area, corn maze, straw maze, saddle swings, the storybook barn, petting farm, and so much more. The entrance fee is per person whether you choose to do the activities or not so it can be pricey for large families. I will say though, the kids had a blast (and we did too!) This cost does not include the price of the pumpkins if you choose to pick one. They are sold by weight and the price changes each year.
Fall Fun at Blakes OrchardClick thumbnail to view full-size
There are candied apples, caramel apples, homemade fudge, hot and cold apple cider and lunch items for purchase in the store area. You can also purchase apple products such as apple butter and other seasonal foods like peppers, tomatoes, and berries that are grown on the property.
During the winter months there are wreaths, hot chocolate and much more to purchase. There is also a place for the kids to visit Santa and even see his reindeer!
And don't forget the donuts! Blakes has the BEST donuts around. The warm, freshly baked cake donut sprinkled with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar is the perfect end to any visit to the cider mill!
Blake's Cider Mill and Orchard
Blake's U-Cut Christmas Trees
Shortly after I got married, my husband and I started a tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree. My birthday falls at the beginning of December so we always go on the weekend closest to it. We have continued this tradition as our children were born and it is great time for all of us. Each year we return to Blakes for our Christmas tree for that year.
There are several varieties to choose from. There are Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, White Spruce, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, and Concolor Fir. The prices start at $39.95 and go up from there. You are provided with a hand saw to cut the tree when you give your license at the store. This ensures the return of the saw to Blakes.
Then you take a wagon ride out to the tree farm. This is where the big decision is made! Once you have made your choice and cut it down, you can roll it to the wagon with rolling carts that are provided for you. There, workers will tag your tree and haul it back to the main area of the farm. Trees are shaken on a machine to remove the excess and dead needles and then are wrapped in rope for easy transport. There are also fire pits around if you need to warm up while waiting for the next wagon to take you back to the main farm area.
Winter Fun at Blake's Orchard and Cider MillClick thumbnail to view full-size
Additional Suggestions for Your Visit to Blakes
Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather. Dress warmly for the winter and you may even need boots if there is snow or has rained because there may be mud. Plan to spend at least a couple of hours there with all of the activities that are available to do. Trust me, your kids will not want to leave! Many of the items are priced based on the type of growing season that it was so prices will vary. Most of all, have fun! It is a great place to visit.