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Apple & Pumpkin Picking Spot?

Apple & Pumpkin Picking Spot?
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  • Apple & Pumpkin Picking Spot?

    Post #1 - October 11th, 2007, 3:07 pm
    Post #1 - October 11th, 2007, 3:07 pm Post #1 - October 11th, 2007, 3:07 pm
    Anyone know of a good apple picking location that also has a pumpkin patch? I've got toddlers and I think they'd enjoy the experience. I've never been to one in this area and any recommendations would be appreciated.

    - Mike
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #2 - October 11th, 2007, 3:14 pm
    Post #2 - October 11th, 2007, 3:14 pm Post #2 - October 11th, 2007, 3:14 pm
    Hey, Mike,

    I've yet to add to this year's installment and I think with the warm weather you're running a bit late in the season (so call ahead), but check this thread here:
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5227

    -ramon
  • Post #3 - October 11th, 2007, 3:15 pm
    Post #3 - October 11th, 2007, 3:15 pm Post #3 - October 11th, 2007, 3:15 pm
    If you can handle the thinly-veiled religious bent, The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago, WI has both. That said, the place is no secret and I wouldn't exactly describe it as quaint, either. But we did have a very fun day there a few falls ago and I posted about my experience here (click)

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #4 - October 11th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Post #4 - October 11th, 2007, 3:17 pm Post #4 - October 11th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Ramon wrote:Hey, Mike,

    I've yet to add to this year's installment and I think with the warm weather you're running a bit late in the season (so call ahead), but check this thread here:
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5227

    -ramon

    Yes, the wet August (and weather in general) seems to have pushed the apple crop up by a few weeks this year. In some places, it's already completely harvested.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #5 - October 11th, 2007, 3:23 pm
    Post #5 - October 11th, 2007, 3:23 pm Post #5 - October 11th, 2007, 3:23 pm
    I'm always amazed by how quickly responses pour in. Thanks, all.

    That being said, I should have added that I'm not wed to the idea of apples. I guess it is pretty late in the season, huh? Although some hot cider in the morning hours would be nice...

    I'm mostly interested in a pumpkin patch that would be fun for kids. Somewhere I remember seeing one with farm animals and those assorted things. I'm off to check all these great links.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #6 - October 11th, 2007, 5:03 pm
    Post #6 - October 11th, 2007, 5:03 pm Post #6 - October 11th, 2007, 5:03 pm
    We go to Didier Farms for the pumpkin picking experience annually (the last 3 years), taking a kid at ages 2, 3, and 4. We prefer it because you buy tickets for what you want, but basically you can walk amongst the pumpkins for free. They also have WONDERFUL apple cider donuts and pumpkin donuts.

    They have pre picked pumpkins in the front, but you can ride the tractor out and commune with the great pumpkin

    Image

    Apple Holler is also good, and has a decent restaurant (like Cracker Barrel without being fake) but we haven't done the full pumpkin picking experience there.

    Both have farm animals and a petting zoo.

    Didier Farms
    Prairie View, IL


    Apple Holler
    Kenosha, WI


    edited to correct address
  • Post #7 - October 13th, 2007, 5:22 pm
    Post #7 - October 13th, 2007, 5:22 pm Post #7 - October 13th, 2007, 5:22 pm
    We went to Didier Farms today. They did in fact have pumpkins, and indeed their donuts were yummy, but it was too... well, it was just too much. The blow up Halloween figures, the rides, the ponies, the dog show - it was practically a circus. From Evanston the location wasn't so bad and, truth be told, The Dudes did have fun.

    Perhaps next year we'll venture forth for a Wisconsin pumpkin. I hear they're made of sausage and cheese.
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #8 - October 14th, 2007, 7:55 pm
    Post #8 - October 14th, 2007, 7:55 pm Post #8 - October 14th, 2007, 7:55 pm
    try the Apple Barn 2 miles north of Elkhorn Wis.About a 2.5 hour drive located on Sugar Creek Rd..Apples pumpkins and some decent fruit wines>Hayrides for the kids and cider donuts ,caramel apples and apple cider.I've been going there for 25 years and have had my grandchildren picking their own apples.
  • Post #9 - October 1st, 2008, 10:29 am
    Post #9 - October 1st, 2008, 10:29 am Post #9 - October 1st, 2008, 10:29 am
    It's that time again - any new recommendations on an Apple Picking spot? I am thinking of heading somewhere on Saturday or Sunday.

    Since I live in Lincoln Park it looks like I have a bit of a dilemma choosing between
    a) a drive of close to 2 hours to get to a quaint place like The Elegant Farmer

    b) a closer spot like Apple Holler or Kuiper's which will be crowded and more on the "agritainment" side

    I lean towards the latter because spending 4 hours in Chicago-area traffic could remove all the enjoyment from the excursion. County Line Orchard in Indiana seems like a nice compromise though.
  • Post #10 - October 1st, 2008, 10:45 am
    Post #10 - October 1st, 2008, 10:45 am Post #10 - October 1st, 2008, 10:45 am
    We just went to County Line yesterday (Rosh Hashanah is a school holiday in Evanston, or a free day off for us unwashed heathen- more on that soon) While I despise agritainment, I liked that it was pretty well separate from the actual picking-of-apples and pumpkins and I also didn't find it that offensive, the way I did at All Season Farm in Woodstock when we turned around and left after seeing what it was, and moved on to Woodstock County Orchard(pretty low-key, but small.) I noted, however, that many of the non-agritainment orchards are only open on weekends (which may or may not be an issue for you) and the lack of offensiveness may have been a weekday thing.

    I was originally going to try Apples on Oak in Joliet for the reasons you mention - but they're only open Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

    Most of the nearby apple spots are covered on the Farms & Orchards Google Map I created last year; you might find something closer in and more to your liking by exploring that and making a few phone calls.
  • Post #11 - October 1st, 2008, 11:17 am
    Post #11 - October 1st, 2008, 11:17 am Post #11 - October 1st, 2008, 11:17 am
    I posted this on the other thread, but maybe I should move or add it here...
    We went to Harvest time in Twin Lakes Wi this Year.
    (just over the state line from Antioch)
    They seem to be in the process of changing thir name to Oriole Springs.

    A nice selection of high quality apples at fair prices.
    $18 for 1/2 bushel,
    $10 for 1/4

    the farm are had a playground, animals,
    cider at $6/gallon, donuts, brats, hotdogs, etc.
    http://www.myharvesttime.com/

    Although they said their honeycrisp were picked out the weekend we were there,
    we did find some on the trees.
    We also got fabulous cortlands and galas. They were also picking Jonathons, but I preferred the cortlands.

    The only goofy thing was the entrance for the picking orchard is separate from the farmstand, and you "can't get there from here"
    We wanted to eat first so we had to drive completely thru the orchards and out , waiting for cars to pay in order to go get brats because it wasn't well marked that there was a different entrance for the smokehouse and farm store which was further down the road.

    We enjoyed the apples with honey for a sweet new year yesterday...
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #12 - October 1st, 2008, 11:25 am
    Post #12 - October 1st, 2008, 11:25 am Post #12 - October 1st, 2008, 11:25 am
    I would skip Kuipers, it's a absolute zoo with the paying line going out the front door. Although Kuipers is 10 minutes from me, we have been going to Jonamac off Rte. 38 in Malta, west of Dekalb. They can get a little crazy too, I would suggest going early (10-12) as they have live bands in the afternoon. Cute kid maze set up.

    http://www.jonamacorchard.com/
  • Post #13 - October 1st, 2008, 1:17 pm
  • Post #14 - October 1st, 2008, 1:55 pm
    Post #14 - October 1st, 2008, 1:55 pm Post #14 - October 1st, 2008, 1:55 pm
    I would also like to recommend that if you have the opportunity, no matter the cost, pick some fresh Honey Crisp apples. They completely changed my way of thinking of apples. I know, I know, it's just an apple (that's what I thought too) but you've never had a more delicious, perfect, crisp, and sweet taste. It's amazing.
    Models Eat too!!!
    www.bellaventresca.com
  • Post #15 - October 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    Post #15 - October 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm Post #15 - October 5th, 2008, 2:27 pm
    we really like Garwood Farms near LaPorte, IN. It's open during the week (they say they are going to be open on Columbus Day - a Monday) but also caution to call ahead just to be certain. They have no mazes or haunted houses or blow up things, just a nice selection of apples and pumpkins and you do go out on a wagon. They have a little market with doughnuts and pies and enough sorts of things to cobble together an impromptu picnic. They charge no entrance fee either. I plan on taking the boys on Columbus Day.

    My very favorite place to pick apples is actually up in Coloma, MI, so further than Garwood. It is called Fruit Acres and it is also just about the fruit. Their selection is sort of dizzying with lots of heirlooms. Last time I picked apples their basket of apples cost something like $9, it was wild. (I am sure that prices must have gone up. I hope so.) You go out on a simple tractor pulled wagon, and the driver takes you to whichever type you want. It doesn't seem to get too mobbed, probably since it is just about the fruit and there are no bells and whistles. The nice thing about Fruit Acres is it just up the road from a sweet spot called Grandpa's Cider Mill. After picking your own, you can watch them pressing cider and they too have doughnuts. We like the blueberry a lot. And if your kids really, really need the goofy corn maze petting zoo action, just a bit down the road is Jollay Family Farms. I highly recommend Jollay for cherry picking (next summer) but not necessarily for apple picking.

    Hope this helps!

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #16 - October 5th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    Post #16 - October 5th, 2008, 3:35 pm Post #16 - October 5th, 2008, 3:35 pm
    bjt, they've got a website that states they're open every day (though I always call first as well) Nice-looking place, good catch!
    http://www.garwoodorchard.com/
  • Post #17 - October 5th, 2008, 6:44 pm
    Post #17 - October 5th, 2008, 6:44 pm Post #17 - October 5th, 2008, 6:44 pm
    thanks Mhays, and sorry I didn't link to their website, I was kind of flying out the door with one hand doing the lthforum posting thing. (You know what I mean?)

    I also wanted to mention that they do have a basic shelter/picnic area at Garwood, in case you want to bring a meal. Last time we were there this huge Korean family gathering was eating very, very well under the shelter, the smells of garlic and ginger mingling with all the apple action, it was pretty inspiring.

    According to their website, Garwood is 70 miles from Chicago.

    If we do pick on the 13th, I will report back.

    Happy apple picking all . . .

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #18 - October 12th, 2008, 8:55 pm
    Post #18 - October 12th, 2008, 8:55 pm Post #18 - October 12th, 2008, 8:55 pm
    Today we went to Harvest Time in Twin Lakes, WI. Once we arrived, we learned that the next-door u-pick orchard was closed for the season as of yesterday. Ugh.

    There were apples to be purchased, which we did, as well as come hot dogs, brats, cider shakes, donuts and some cheese curds. It was a pretty disappointing experience, but I guess that's what you get for not calling first. The kids had fun and my three year old boys now believe that apples are picked not from trees, but from shelves in either peck or 1/2 peck bags. Kids are so cute...

    - Mike
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #19 - October 13th, 2008, 7:58 am
    Post #19 - October 13th, 2008, 7:58 am Post #19 - October 13th, 2008, 7:58 am
    :( It's worth mentioning here, though, that WI, Northern IL and North Central IL/Northern IN are in slightly different climate areas - so if you missed the season up north, you might still have a shot at picking near Joliet or Hammond. I'm curious about Apples on Oaks in Joliet...

    Of course, call first! :wink:
  • Post #20 - November 2nd, 2022, 3:35 pm
    Post #20 - November 2nd, 2022, 3:35 pm Post #20 - November 2nd, 2022, 3:35 pm
    kafein wrote:We go to Didier Farms for the pumpkin picking experience annually (the last 3 years), taking a kid at ages 2, 3, and 4. We prefer it because you buy tickets for what you want, but basically you can walk amongst the pumpkins for free. They also have WONDERFUL apple cider donuts and pumpkin donuts.

    They have pre picked pumpkins in the front, but you can ride the tractor out and commune with the great pumpkin

    Image

    Apple Holler is also good, and has a decent restaurant (like Cracker Barrel without being fake) but we haven't done the full pumpkin picking experience there.

    Both have farm animals and a petting zoo.

    Didier Farms
    Prairie View, IL


    Apple Holler
    Kenosha, WI


    edited to correct address

    Per their FB post = Didier Farms closed after Halloween. The commercial side of the business will continue.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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