Fall is Here: Time for Apple Orchards, Corn Mazes, Cider Mills, and Pumpkin Patches
A classic fall activity for me is always visiting the apple orchard and of course finishing our trip with an donut and glass of cider. Last year we also added a trip to the corn maze into our fall activities.
I have compiled information on several of the local apple orchards, corn mazes, and cider mills. If I missed someplace, let me know in the comments or by email.
Our favorite orchard to visit is Wasem Fruit Farm which offers a number of varieties of apples for u-pick. They also offer pumpkins later in the fall and raspberries early in the fall. They serve donuts and cider (which is also available by the gallon. I recommend arriving early and getting your donut and cider first as the lines get long. One of our favorite purchases there is also popcorn by the gallon (also available in smaller jugs). My husband loves popcorn. Last year we bought a gallon when we went apple picking and it was almost half gone by the time we went pumpkin picking. Wasem Fruit Farm is located on Judd Rd in Milan. Before going, be sure to bring cash or a check. According to their Facebook page they are having an issue with accepting credit/debit cards and are cash/check only. Also according to their Facebook page, today is a good day to stop by since they made too many donuts yesterday.
|Apple Picking at Wasem Fruit Farm|
Conveniently located next door to Wasem Fruit Farm is Talladay Corn Maze. They offer two mazes which open for the 2014 season this weekend (Friday, September 19). A third haunted maze will open in October. I recommend the haunted maze for tweens and teens, and not for young ones. In addition tot he corn mazes, they offer the Kids Corner for kids ages 8 and under. The Kids Corner is a very reasonable $2/child including one barre train ride and unlimited time on each activity (giant spider web, straw bale maze, straw pile, and games). Last year’s visit to Talladay Farms Corn Maze was our first corn maze and we visited twice – once in the daytime and once in the evening. We had a lot of fun and hope to return to a corn maze again this year. In past years, I have found Groupon deals for Talladay Corn Maze, but I have not seen any yet this year. If I find any I will be sure to let you know.
|Ready for Talladay Farms Corn Maze|
Spicer Orchards in Fenton is another farm where we have picked both apples and cherries in the past. They are the best location for cherries offering both sweet and tart (pie) cherries typically in July. We don’t typically pick apples there since they are further from our house. They also offer a lot of other activities such as inflatables, playground, animals, hayrides, train rides, face painting, sand art, and more. Many of the extra activities have an added cost. They also offer a winery and a few indoor tables to enjoy your cider and donuts away from the yellow jackets.
Wiard’s Orchard and Country Fair combines u-pick fruit with the activities of a country fair. In addition to offering u-pick apples, they also offer family fun with corn maze, playgrounds, slides, inflatables, mini-golf and more. The downside is the admission price ($9.25/person Wednesday-Friday and $14.75/person Saturday & Sunday. Babies under 2 are always free) that is required even to pick apples or pumpkins. We have only visited the market at Wiard’s (once), and never their orchard or Country Fair, largely due to the cost. It was around lunchtime on a Sunday and the parking lot was crowded for the Orchard and Country Fair. Wiard’s also operates Night Terrors on Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays beginning on Friday, September 26. I recommend Night Terrors for tweens, teens, and adults.
A word of warning, Plymouth Orchards does not offer u-pick apples. They offer apples for sale in their market and “pumpkin picking” via hay ride. Their pumpkins are pre-picked and placed in a field that you take a hay ride to. This was the farm we visited with my daughter when she was a baby/toddler. The pre-picked field was great for a little one learning to walk since there were no vines to trip over.
Dexter Cider Mill is located just a few blocks from Downtown Dexter on the Huron River. It is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. They offer fresh cider and donuts and also have a winery. The Dexter Cider Mill is a nice place to stop for a donut and cider, but does not offer much in the way of entertainment. We visited two years ago after school and the kids enjoyed skipping rocks into the river.
|Silly Pose at Dexter Cider Mill|
Coleman’s Corn Maze in Saline is also offering u-pick apples this year. They also offer a pumpkin patch, hay pile climb, barrel train rides, and animals. I love that I can combine apple or pumpkin picking with our corn maze trip. They have a $1/adult admission coupon available on their website.
My daughter was reading over my shoulder as I started typing this. She told me she loves picking apples and that the lack of vines at Plymouth Orchard is good for kids even a little older. She remembers tripping over vines at age 4 and getting her boot stuck in Wasem’s Pumpkin Patch.
|Wasem’s Pumpkin Patch – The trip she lost her boot|
As I mentioned, our favorite orchard/cider mill to visit is Wasem Fruit Farm. When I am headed to the farm, my goal is to pick apples and have a donut and cider so I prefer the simple atmosphere (with a corn maze next door that you can easily walk to).
Have I missed any apple orchards, cider mills, or corn mazes in the Ann Arbor area? Which is your favorite?
Updates with recommendations from readers:
- “Three Cedars is a favorite of ours. Free activities for kids such as a playground, corn box and toy tractors. They sell cider and donuts, have a hay ride, corn maze, pre-picked pumpkin field and bonfire fire pits. They also have a very cute gift shop. It’s an easy drive from Ann Arbor.” – Jennifer S
- “Apple Charlie’s in New Boston is a favorite for us! It’s near Detroit Metro Airport, about 25 minutes from Ann Arbor. Parking and admission are FREE. The offer U-Pick apples, cider and donuts, pre-picked pumpkin patch (with a beautiful barn in the background. Great for photos!) large market with other goodies, and a petting farm. I grew up visiting Apple Charlie’s and highly recommend it! ” – Janette
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