It’s that time of year… apple picking! Taste the season by stopping at one of the plentiful area orchards for a pick-your-own adventure. Just imagine all the pies and dumplings you can make with your sweet haul!

Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Kuipers Family Farm

1N318 Watson Road
Maple Park, IL
(815) 827-5200
Tuesdays – Sundays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
September – October
www.kuipersfamilyfarm.com

Celebrate all things fall at Kuipers Family Farm, where over 20 varieties of apples await. Grab a wagon or hop onto the tractor-pulled hayride and lose yourself in the extensive orchards. Not to be missed are a sack of the farm’s famed apple cider donuts, sold at the gift shop. Be sure to check out the corn maze—a challenging race through twists and turns carved into the farm’s cornfield—can you find your way out?

Photo Credit: Jeff T. Green/Getty Images

More Than Delicious Orchard

9905 W. Thompson Road
Woodstock, IL
815-575-9650
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
September – October
Morethandelicious.com

Charming Woodstock, Illinois, is home to the family-owned More Than Delicious Orchard. A wide range of distinct apples feature more unique varieties, such as the heirloom Blue Pearmain, an old American variety, and the Cox Orange Pippin, considered to be one of the best dessert apples available. More Than Delicious Orchard is for serious apple pickers looking to find that perfect apple to complete a cherished fall recipe. While you’re there, take a detour to downtown Woodstock’s picturesque Main Square, where you’ll find cafes, boutiques, and antique stores galore.

Photo Credit: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

Fruit Acres Farm

3390 Friday Rd.,
Coloma, Michigan (I-94 at Coloma Exit #39)
(269) 208-3591
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
July – September
fruitacresfarms.com

Take a day trip and head out to nearby southwest Michigan, where the fruit is fresh and fall beauty abounds. The same family has owned Fruit Acres Farm in Coloma since 1846. Set out into the wide orchards and pick a bushel or two of your favorite, in-season apple varieties. Since the trees are all dwarf varieties, no ladders are needed and even the littlest members of your family can help gather the harvest. Free hay wagon rides will carry you to your favorite varieties, from Golden Delicious to Macintosh.

In late September, the nearby town of Three Oaks, Michigan, hosts the annual Apple Cider Century Bicycle Tour, a bicycling event that offers apple-arrow- marked routes from 15 to 100 miles long. Children 12 and younger are welcome when accompanied by a registered rider. You’ll travel through the colorful countryside dotted with apple orchards and peddle past picturesque streams and farms. Bicycle rentals are available at the Dewey Cannon Trading Company, located inside the old train depot in downtown Three Oaks.

Amy Bocchetta is a writer, a teacher, and a mom to two kids. She lives in the city and blogs at TiramisuMom.com.
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