Two more orchards to consider down south of the Metro. Make a day of it at Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest in Jordan, Emma Krumbee’s between Jordan and Belle Plaine, or Applewood Orchard in Lakeville.
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.
Located just a couple miles southwest of Jordan just off Highway 169, Minnesota Harvest is the iconic orchard. Driving up to a big old barn on your right, you make an immediate left and drive through a canopy of trees lining the driveway. As you drive into the parking lot, you are greeted personally by a ticket vendor. On the weekends, it cost $2 per person but those under age 3 are free. Admission includes:
- wagon rides
- kiddie train
- hay jumping castle
- live music
- petting zoo
- corn maze
Attractions that cost extra:
- vintage horse & carriage rides – $3/pp
- Apple Launcher – $1 per launch
- face painting – $3/cheek, $5/full face
- pony rides
During the week, admission to the orchard is free.
At Minnesota Harvest, you pick a peck. They don’t do 1/2 pecks. And a full peck costs $20 which ends up being less than $2/lb. At the time we went, we could choose from Haralson, Cortland, and Honey Gold. We took a free wagon ride out to the orchards and back. When the driver stopped, he called out the type of apples we could find in that particular section. The drivers were friendly and helpful and very patient.
The Apple Lodge is a big dimly lit building where you can find face painting and the Dicken’s Village Shoppes and a goodie or two to enjoy. This is where you purchase your bag for apple picking, pay for extra attractions, pick up apples already picked, and grab lunch.
I liked that Sponsel’s Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard was tucked away from the busy road, that there was a big barn, and that you were surrounded by the quintessential apple orchard atmosphere. The orchard took my breath away. As we drove in, I knew immediately that this was a “perfect” orchard.
Location: 8251 Old Highway 169 at Lovers Lane, Jordan, MN, 55352
Hours: Open Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm. Weekends 9am – 6pm.
Picking: Click here for the 2014 apple picking schedule.
Located on a frontage road just off of 169 in Belle Plaine, Emma Krumbee’s looks big and commercial from the road. Emma Krumbee’s big fall event is the Scarecrow Festival. Anyone can register to participate in creating unique scarecrows to win cash prizes.
This year, the Scarecrow Festival will be open daily from September 12 – October 30, 2015 from 10am-6pm. The Festival costs $5.50/pp plus tax for anyone who is three years and older. There is also the option to just pick your own apples for the price of $15.95 per peck and enjoy the general store without participating in the festival.
However, if you bring any little ones with you, I can assure you that they will be lured by all the fun activities of the festival. And for that reason, I am going to label this orchard as All Inclusive–because of the entrance fee to the activities.
- barrel train rides
- waterpump duck races
- rope maze
- playground that includes a hill slide & tire horses
- tractor trike paths
- giant hay pile
- Play areas like the wooden pirate ship and monster truck
- petting farm (with goats)
- tile maze
- live music
- tractor ride through the orchard
They had a “market” in the Apple Orchard Barn with all kinds of fresh produce including different varieties of apples and other items: jams, breads, candy, cookbooks, popcorn, knickknacks, etc.
We didn’t make it into the restaurant or the General Store to check out what they had available since my kids were melting down. From what we did experience in the hour we were there, I was glad for the variety of things to do and for the choice to pick your own apples without needing to go into the Festival. I didn’t like the commercial feeling of it or the steep price to go into the festival.
I am glad we experienced Emma Krumbee’s Apple Orchard. I don’t know if we will make the 56 mile trip in future years, but it was fun.
Location: 351 Enterprise Drive E., Belle Plaine, 56011
Hours: Open daily 10am – 6pm.
Picking: Click here for a chart of what should be ripe in the orchard. When in doubt, call the hotline at 952-873-3654.
This little haven is one of the few places to pick-your-own apples in Dakota County. To read more about the orchard in detail, try this outing review here.
Location: 22702 Hamburg Ave, Lakeville, 55044
Hours: Open daily 10am-6pm during apple season.
Picking: Click here for the apple-picking chart. Raspberries are also available for $4 per pint, be sure to call 952-985-5425 before coming out.
Special Events: Applewood Orchard’s 10-acre corn maze will be open September 12-November 1, daily 10am-6pm. Cost is $7/pp ages 16+ and $5/pp ages 6-15. Weekend hayrides are available for a small fee.