Category - Apple Orchards

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FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities
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Twin Cities September Family Events & Activities Guide
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Free Twin Cities September Family Events & Activities
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: 4 Picks in the West Metro
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Pickings in the North Metro
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Go West, Young Man (and Women)
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Southern Hospitality
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Eastern Metro
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Twin Cities Apple Orchards — Southeastern Fun
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Family Fun Twin Cities Guide to Apple Orchards

FFTC’s Guide to Fall Fun in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities families, it’s that glorious time of colored leaves. Of apple orchards and fall festivals and corn mazes. Oh, and pumpkin patches, too!

The fall season is a perfect time for families to explore all kinds of different things to do across the metro area and beyond into greater Minnesota.

Take a morning or an afternoon and spend time together in an apple orchard. The Twin Cities are FULL of orchards to the north, south, east and west. Some are free to enter with a la carte fees for activities that interest you. Others have an entrance fee that includes many of the activities.

Do your kids enjoy carving pumpkins or making pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars made from fresh pumpkin? And what is more iconic than spending a night in a pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

The Twin Cities is home to many, many corn mazes — if you seek agri-tainment, these are definitely for you.  Check out the different options your family can enjoy together.

Because we live in one of the most beautiful settings for fall, it seems only fair that we have a plethora of fall festivals. I remember when I was a kid we enjoyed our weekends in the fall going to an annual fall festival in Sisseton, SD.  But you don’t need to go that far to find a fantastic festival; we have plenty right here in the Twin Cities.


Twin Cities September Family Events & Activities Guide

September Family Events

It is our hope that you can use our September Family Events & Activities Guide page as a convenient way to find our traditional Free & Budget lists along with all the special themed activities each month brings. In September we are highlighting our favorite apple orchards, pumpkin patches and corn mazes across the Twin Cities Metro as well as keeping up with the harvest of fall festivals cropping up. As always, we hope to be inspiration in planning your family time together!

– Anne, Gianna & Joy
Family Fun Twin Cities

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Free Twin Cities September Family Events & Activities

Free Twin Cities September

 

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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: 4 Picks in the West Metro

West Metro Apple Orchards

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES WEST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Apple Jack Orchards | Delano

Apple Jack Orchards in Delano, Minnesota, could be one of those day-long fall destinations. There’s just that much going on there. And perhaps that’s what you’re looking for – an orchard packed with activities to appeal to every age in your family. Or, if slipping away from the hubbub and wandering among the apple trees sounds more up your alley, we’ve had that experience there, too. Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Pickings in the North Metro

North Metro Apple Orchards

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES NORTH METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

The pickings are decidedly slimmer in the North Metro: a handful of orchards offer apples for sale, but you might invite disappointment if the kids have their hearts set on harvesting their own. I’ll list the orchards below that do not offer U-pick (because we feel some are worth a stop for some fresh produce or a chance to get outside) along with the lovely Sunrise River Farm that welcomes you to pick.

Sunrise River Farm | Wyoming

We were completely charmed by the atmosphere at Sunrise River Farm on the outskirts of Wyoming, Minnesota. We loved that even on a weekend, the orchard never felt crowded, that we could wander through the apple trees and pick without bumping into fellow harvesters, and the kids adored visiting with all the farm critters. Prepare to spend lots of time wandering the barn stalls and meeting the resident donkeys, chickens, pigs and more. Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Go West, Young Man (and Women)

Apple Orchards Go West

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES WEST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Apple Jack Orchards | Delano

apple jack orchards

Apple Jack Orchards in Delano, Minnesota, could be one of those day-long fall destinations. There’s just that much going on there. And perhaps that’s what you’re looking for – an orchard packed with activities to appeal to every age in your family. Or, if slipping away from the hubbub and wandering among the apple trees sounds more up your alley, we’ve had that experience there, too. Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Southern Hospitality

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES SOUTH METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest | Jordan

Driving into Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard is driving into Apple Land. I know there is no such place as Apple Land, but I just created it in my head.

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Twin Cities Apple Orchards: Eastern Metro

Apple Orchards East Metro

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES EAST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Our first installment of the Family Fun Twin Cities Apple Orchard Guide looks to the East. There are some heavy hitters out there: Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater has been open close to 70 years. Pine Tree Apple Orchard of White Bear Lake is well-known for its bakery menu. And Afton Apple Orchard of Hastings sprawls over 190 acres into the pastoral country. Read on to find out how they stack up – and why visiting an apple orchard is one of my family’s favorite ways to spend a fall day.

afton apple orchardAamodt’s Apple Farm

Choosing to head to Aamodt’s on a gorgeous fall weekend is also agreeing to spend that day shouldered up against half the Metro. Plus a bus tour or three. At least, this was our experience a few years ago. Part of the popularity of the orchard is due to the winery on property. Personally, I would have loved to explore St. Croix Vineyards, but the children in the party had other ideas. They made a break for the toddler-sized John Deere trikes and giant hay bales. But wait! Don’t forget to bring cash for the activities: Aamodt’s charges small fees for the trikes, hay maze, a tractor-pulled kiddie train, and hayrides into the orchard. (The fees don’t seem quite so small when you’ve got a larger-than-average family, however.) Admission to the orchard itself is free as is the small goat petting farm. Read More

Twin Cities Apple Orchards — Southeastern Fun

Southeast Metro Apple Orchard

For a list of orchards spanning the four corners of the Twin Cities metro area, visit our FFTC Guide to Twin Cities Apple Orchards.

TWIN CITIES SOUTHEAST METRO APPLE ORCHARDS

Whistling Well Farm | Hastings

Southeast Metro Apple OrchardThis is a quaint orchard that welcomes you to enjoy farm life. Named for the whistling well on their property, Whistling Well Farm is run by Charlie and Carol Johnson — and sons Chad and Neal. With no entrance fee, you are welcome to roam around the farm at your leisure.

Whistling Well Farm has all the basic amenities of a typical orchard: gift barn, food barn, and animals. They have a donkey and a goat. While the animals didn’t do much when we were there, they were still fun for the kids to see.

Whistling Well Farm is maintained with the help of a springer spaniel named Emmy. In fact, she has her own picture book for sale (written by Charlie). They also sell small stuffed replicas of her.

But the best part of Whistling Well Farms? The chickens!

I can guarantee that your children will spend the rest of your visit in the chicken coop coaxing the non-hungry chickens into eating more corn from their hands. I must admit, it was lots of fun to have the chickens actually eat out of your hands!

Or, if your children have no interest in actually feeding the chickens, they may take corn kernel by corn kernel out of the cob and make a pile of feed for the chickens.

For its unique farm experience, I recommend Whistling Well Farm.  It is worth the drive.

Orchard notes
Open: Picking season begins around Labor Day, check their website or call to confirm.
Hours: Daily, 9am-6pm
Cost: Free admission and limited children’s activities
Picking & details: Stop by the farm and pick up some apples, visit with the goats and chickens, and make a wish at the whistling well with all donations going to local charities. The orchard’s Apple Festival runs the first three weekends in October.

Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard | Hastings

Open: Mid-Sept-Oct
Hours: Tues-Sun, 9:30am-5pm
Cost: Free admission, fees for additional activities
Picking & details: Enjoy the fall season at this beautiful orchard on the St. Croix River. Pick-your-own apples and pumpkins and, for more family fun, take a tractor pulled wagon ride to the corn maze (weekends only) mid-September to October. Straw Mountain and the Apple Express are popular with kids and all ages will enjoy a visit to the barnyard. The Food Wagon is open on weekends, from late September through late October. Catch the Annual Apple Festival with fun family activities running the first two weekends of October.

McDougall’s Apple Junction | Hastings

Please note: This orchard is now permanently closed.

This is the perfect Mom-and-Pop apple orchard. It’s a fairly sizable orchard with more than fifteen varieties of apples, and admission into the orchard is free on weekdays!

As you drive into the property, a fun atmosphere welcomes you. The Apple House and Outdoor Market supply you with many different opportunities for purchasing their own honey roasted peanut butter, apple paraphernalia, already picked apples, pumpkins, chrysanthemums,  and the ultimate favorite for everyone in our family: Pick Your Own Apples. While we were visiting, the Haralson apples and Honeygold were available for PYO.

The apple trees at McDougall’s are well tended. They are small which makes it possible for you to reach almost all the way to the top. And full of apples. They are pruned for maximum fruit bearing.

The Apple Junction Playland at the back of the yard has a $3 admission fee for kids. There is also a suggested 50 cent donation to climb the newly constructed Observation tower just outside the playland.

The playland is intended for children ages 10 and under and contains a children’s maze, all terrain trikes, slides, swings, a climbing wall, sand box, a thirty-two foot wooden train, milking a (pretend) cow, and a small prize.

Apple Junction also has a goat mountain (read: goat pen that has a mountain of straw for the goats to play on!), a straw mountain for humans to play on, new duck races, a calf named Cupcake, and some bunnies. There are also plenty of picture stops.

If you want to, you can take a wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and come back with pumpkins for the season. Each fall they host a Pumpkin Festival and an Apple Festival. This is a dynamite orchard and is definitely worth the trip!

Orchard Notes
Location:
14325 110th St S., Hastings, MN, 55033
Hours:
Open daily from 10am – 6pm
Picking:
Click here for an update on what varieties are currently being picked in the orchard.

Orchard Notes
Location:
8973 St. Croix Trail South, Hastings, MN 55033
Hours: Open daily 9am – 6pm through November.
Picking: Click here to see what’s currently pickin’ at Whistling Well Farm.


Family Fun Twin Cities Guide to Apple Orchards

Family Fun Twin Cities Guide to Apple Orchards

Twin Cities-area apple orchards have already begun throwing their doors open to usher in the picking season! Find an old favorite or a new destination to spend a fall day from our Guide below.

Come join us at our 3rd Annual Orchard Crawl, hosted by Fischer’s Croix Farm Orchard, on Sunday, September 24, 2017!

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