It’s nearly fall y’all! Can you believe how quickly summer just flew by?? It feels like it was just yesterday that Peyton was getting out of the school and we were packing up the car to head to Wisconsin Dells. But yet, here we are, in school and starting to winterize the yard. I cannot believe how quickly the summer flew by! But with fall comes all the fun fall activities, festivals, and APPLES! Now it’s time to hop in the car and head to the orchards!
We love fall for visiting the local farms and picking apples. Heck, we love visiting the farms year-round and picking our own fruit. But fall is especially fun because you can find apple donuts, apple pies, apple cider and so much more, but it’s all apples! It’s a fun activity Peyton and I can do together plus an apple orchard makes for some amazing photos. So be sure to dress your family in cute clothes and bring your camera when you go.
Here are 5 farms you can visit this fall. Pick some apples, buy some treats and take some photos!
Edwards Apple Orchard West
Located in Winnebago, IL, Edwards Apple Orchard West is a great destination for families to come and experience the sites and smells of fall. They have 18 varieties of apples to chose from, so you are bound to find a new favorite or two to bring home. You can find baking apples, eating apples and even some winemaking apples. There are also tractor rides! Now, it does depend on the weather if the tractor rides are happening so be sure to pick a sunny day to go.
Edwards Apple Orchard West has more than apples, you can also pick your own pumpkins. Pictures in a pumpkin field look amazing. So be sure to bring that camera. Even if you don’t buy a pumpkin be sure to walk through and explore the pumpkin patch.
Apple picking starts September 6th and there is a link to check to see what apples are available for picking. You can also pick up some apple donuts while there or do a little shopping in their 100-year-old renovated dairy barn which they have filled wonderful gift items for purchase.
Curranʼs Orchard is a smaller family-run destination orchard located in the rolling hills of northern Illinois near Rockford. They are known for their award-winning cider, apple donuts, ginormous caramel apples, and most all, for the way they don’t spray our apples.
After you’ve spent some time in the orchard and picked out the perfect apples to bring home you can spend some time picking out some treats too. They have several to choose from like apple donuts, apple pie, apple cider, caramel apples and more, plus there’s a gift shop filled with cute, adorable crafty items for sale as well.
And on top of all that there are even some attractions or activities for the littles. From hay wagon rides to the farm animal corral your little one will have a blast. This can easily be an all afternoon or even all-day event! Head out mid-morning and wear those little ones out before it’s nap time. All that fresh air and running around will have the kids sleeping well.
Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard
Yes, I know this orchard is in Iowa but it’s right on the border making it a fun day trip for those looking for an orchard with immense variety. Gravert’s Apple Basket Orchard is a must-do day trip. The views are stunning as they are nestled in the hills of the Mississippi River Valley looking down on the river. Another fabulous place to take family photos!
They have over 20 varieties of apples available throughout the apple season! Talk about choices!! It’s a lot to choose from and not all apples grow at the same rate so be sure to check out their apple chart if you want a specific variety to make sure it is ready for picking when you go. They keep their website updated with what varieties are being picked or available for purchase so be sure to check it out. And make room in the car to bring home some fresh eats, from their award-winning apple pies to relishes and pickles you’ll need the space.
Another family-run orchard with over 5,000 apple trees sprawling over 35 acres in Cherry Valley, Illinois. They have options to pick your own or purchase the freshly picked apples from their store. It’s a great option if you are running short on time but would like to bring home fresh apples.
They also have fresh rhubarb and strawberries throughout the year as well. It’s more than an apple farm. During the summer you can pick blueberries, cherries, red, white and black currants, and blackberries. It’s a farm you can come back to for a variety of eats throughout the year.
One thing they have those other orchards to do not have are slurpees! Yes, you read that correctly, they make apple cider slurpees. They also have yummy cider donuts, delectable apple pies, really good cinnamon bread, scrumptious caramel apples and to die for fudge. Their store offers many fall decorations, linens, candles, and other unique items for your home. You will find a variety of jams, jellies, salsas, honey, squash, pumpkins, gourds, and much, much more.
Edwards Apple Orchard
This family-run apple orchard is open season from September to November each year. The goal fo Edwards Apple Orchard is to bring the family farm experience to as many families as possible. This is a smaller farm with the focus of education, it’s a fun experience and one where your children will be learning about agriculture while having a wonderful time.
They have a smaller selection of eats and treats than the other orchards but you can still find apple donuts and apple cider! Plus, they have an adorable collection of fall crafts for purchase.
These are just a few of the Apple Orchards around Freemont, Illinois that you can take your family to enjoy. All are within an hour to two, so perfect for a day trip!