Fall Family Apple Picking
Fall conjures up thoughts of crisp, red apples and spiced apple cider. For kids, there's something special about biting into a juicy apple that has just been picked off the tree. During the autumn months, many farms encourage families to come out and pick their own fruit, choose pumpkins still out in the fields, and sample fresh apple cider.
For families in the Boston area, the Belkin Family Lookout Farm in South Natick, Massachusetts is a fun place to spend an autumn day. Dating back to 1651, the Belkin Family Lookout Farm is the oldest working farm in the country. This farm makes apple picking easy, letting families ride to the fields on a colorful train. The farm also offers a children's play area, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a farmer's market. For more information, visit their at www.lookoutfarm.com.
Other apple picking destinations include:
* Maple Lane Farms in Preston, Connecticut. Children will enjoy picking their own apples and taking a hayride on the weekends during the fall apple and pumpkin picking seasons.
* Masker Orchards in Warwick, New York. Pick your own apples at this 200 acre orchard and let the kids enjoy the barnyard animals, pony rides and wagon rides.
* Terhune Orchards in Princeton, New Jersey. Terhune Orchards offers apple picking, pumpkin picking, walking trails, hayrides, and a variety of other farm activities.
* Jonamac Orchard in Malta, Illinois. Families can pick their own apples from the orchard's 5,000 trees, pick pumpkins from the farm's pumpkin patch, take a hayride on the weekends, explore a 10-acre corn maze with 3 miles of pathways and 2 bridges, and let the kids have fun in the Barn Yard activity area.
* Apple Annie's Orchard in Willcox, Arizona. Apple Annie's is a good destination for family fun, with apple and pumpkin picking on selected weekends during the fall months.
Good online resources for finding nearby apple picking location include:
Apple Picking Guide: Provides a list of locations to pick apples in the New England area.
Virginia Apples - Guide to Pick-Your-Own This site provides information on Virginia apple picking locations, as well as apple fairs and festivals throughout the Virginia region.
Apple Picking in the Hudson River Valley Suggestions for apple picking sites in New York.
Apple Picking on Long Island This page provides a list of where to pick apples in the Long Island, New York area.
Pick Your Own Apples - Apple Picking Orchards Hayrides Pumpkin Carving New England Fall Festivals: Apple picking and festivals in the New England area.
Remember - apple picking is not always easy work. If you go apple picking, wear comfortable clothes and shoes that can get dirty. In addition, while it's tempting to eat some of the apples you're picking, apples are often sprayed with pesticides while on the trees. Since you know your kids will want to take a bite, make sure to bring along some water to wash off the apples before eating them.