Day Trip: Apple Picking With The Kids
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Image via Cannelle et Vanille
October is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the cool fresh air, and plan a day trip with the family. You don’t have to go far to find seasonal fun—apple orchards are one of the most exciting, heart-warming, and memorable places you can go with the kids. There’s just something special about walking down aisles of trees with the smell of fresh crisp apples and dried autumn leaves blowing in the wind. Not sure how to find an orchard near you? What to pack for the trip? How to keep the kids happy and entertained on the drive? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
1. Seek out orchards in your area. Believe it or not, apple farms are available across the globe for visiting and picking, and for most of you they’re just a short car ride from home. Plan your trip using pickyourown.org or orangepippin.com. Both of these sites list all of the available orchards within your state and country. If bringing the kids along (which we hope you do), look for one that has some added fun, like hayrides, games, music, corn mazes, and other family entertainment. If you’ve never been before, here’s a handy list of apple picking tips, along with a guide for picking the perfect apple.
2. Pack a travel bag for your day trip. You will most likely be gone for several hours. Sometimes the drive to the closest orchard can be an hour away, or more. Be prepared by stocking a good size bag full of car-appropriate toys, games, healthy snacks, and plenty of water and other drinks to entertain the little ones while on the road. Don’t forget a change of clothes (just incase), and some comfy walking shoes or boots. Bring along a few baskets or buckets for everyone to store their apples in while picking. Also, have cash handy for rides, games, and any extra items you may find at the orchard that you can’t live without (hello, apple butter)!
3. Photo opp! Bring a good camera along for the trip. We guarantee you’re going to want to capture all of the Kodak-moments with the family amongst the picking, hay riding, face-painting, and game-playing. You’ll most likely end up with some beautiful family photos, maybe even one you can use for an upcoming holiday card. (Check that one off your list!)
4. Plan a picnic. Grab a couple of blankets and have the family gather for lunch or an early dinner under the apple trees. Think simple—sandwiches or wraps, veggies and hummus, a big thermos full of hot soup for sharing, crackers, and a potato salad or fresh fruit. If it’s allowed, bring a bottle of wine for the adults and some sparkling cider for the kids. Picnicking early in the trip will give the kids plenty of energy for picking.
5. Bring ’em home. Take your collected apples back home to eat a la carte or try incorporating them into a sweet or savory dishes, such as Harvest Butternut Apple Bisque, Apple Crumb Cake, Linguini with Celery Root Cream, Apples, and Pancetta, Apple Donuts, Butternut Squash-Brussel Sprout-Bread Stuffing with Apples, Old Fashioned Apple Pie, and of course, Spiced Apple Cider. A shot of smooth whiskey goes along nicely with some hot apple cider—just sayin’!
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