McDougall’s Apple Junction 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!
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.
Special Events: The 2014 Apple Festival will be held the weekend of October 5-6. The Pumpkin Festival will be celebrated October 26-27.
This 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.
But the best part of Whistling Well Farms?
As you walk into the farm, there is an information booth set up. The greeter gives you direction on what they have to offer and where everything is. She will also offer you feed corn and invite you into the chicken coop to feed 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.
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.