Since different apples ripen at different times of the fall, check each orchard for their ripening schedules. Do you know what kinds of apples are the best? It depends on how you are going to use them. If you aren’t sure, check out this great website with a chart to give you the apple info.
Most of these farms have wonderful activities for the kids, hay rides, and other produce too!
The classic choice is Eckert’s Farms. Eckert’s has locations in Belleville, Millstadt, and Grafton, IL. One of the advantages to Eckert’s Farms is that they are open daily, so if you have a week day off, avoid the crowds and head out. Apple Fest begins this weekend and they have all the above listed activities and a few more: wagon rides, live entertainment, festival foods, and pony and goat feeding. Haunted hayrides at Millstadt begin this weekend as well.
Centennial Farms, located in Augusta, MO is family owned and has been in operation since 1854! I think they know how to grow tasty produce. They grow 24 kinds of apples that are available through October. At the end of September, they will open their Pumpkin Fantasy Land, complete with field mazes, observational forts, climbing walls, hayrides, and other fun activities.
Thierbach Orchards is in Marthasville, MO. They added bounce houses to their property for additional kid fun and are currently open for some weekend apple picking.
Mills Apple Farm in Marine, IL is ready for the picking season! Make sure that you stop by their bakery for the confections before you leave. Follow them on Twitter for the latest updates: @MillsAppleFarm.
Not crazy about apples but are partial to the pumpkin or corn maze? Check out the list of pumpkin patches and other fall festivities at pumpkinpatchesandmore.
Want to make a family day of it all? Need a suggestion? I would call the multi-family road trip to Augusta. Yes, the great multiple mini-van or SUV family and friend vehicle parade. Pack a big cooler full of sandwiches, snacks, and beverages. I would hit Centennial Farms for apples, Aholt Family Farms for pumpkins, and then Noboleis Vineyards for some adult beverage time. They have great wine, music, and a huge yard where the kids can run and play without bothering the adults. Feed the kids the apples you bought, the sandwiches you packed, and drink some wine while they run amuck. Then pack them back into the car and they will be asleep in 10 minutes.
Sounds like a great weekend plan to me. Hope you enjoy the wonders of Fall!
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