Apple and pumpkin picking is a must in the fall when you live in Southeastern Wisconsin. There are lots of apple orchards in the Milwaukee area and it’s hard to pick which one is best. Miltown Moms actually has a really great apple picking guide with all of the different locations.
Our personal favorite is Elegant Farmer. Chris and I have been going there every year – since well before we even had Noah. Elegant Farmer holds their annual Harvest Fest each year from early September to late October. The 2018 event runs Saturday and Sundays from September 2nd through October 21st. Their Harvest Fest is a fun family event with apple picking, pumpkin picking, hay rides, pony rides and a corn maze. Admission and parking is free.
You can visit their website each week to see what types of apples they are picking for any given weekend during their Harvest Fest.
Today was a picture perfect Sunday afternoon: 64-degrees and sunny. We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our journey to the orchard.
When you first arrive you pay for your activities right at the entrance. The hayride out to the orchard is $5 for adults and $3 for kids age 3 and older. The corn maze is $6 per person. Then, you grab your apple picking baskets and get in line for the hayride out to the orchard. You’ll pay for apples after you pick, based on the size of your basket.
Once you’re out in the orchard, you’ll see that there are little ribbons tied to each tree. The ribbons indicate which kind of tree it is – Cortland, McIntosh, Ida, etc. There are also really helpful signs that explain what each type is and it’s use.
Then, you wander around picking apples and tasting all of the different kinds. Noah loved eating all of the apples while we were picking. I’m going to go ahead and guess that 75% of the apples he pulled off the tree ended up straight in his mouth.
When you’re walking around the orchard one of the other things that Noah love to do was climb the trees.
One of things that I really love about Elegant Farmer is that they encourage climbing the trees and having fun. They even put out little ladders for the kids to climb up higher. But, as always, climb at your own risk – and watch your kids. Duh.
We had a blast in the orchard and picked more apples than I know what to do with.
We were ready to get back in line for the hay ride and make our way over to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, by mid-morning, the line for the hay ride can get a little long. You have to wait a little while to hop back on to ride to the pumpkin patch. Use the opportunity for a little rest and water break. They also have a little kettle corn stand if you need a snack.
While you wait in line, you can also get your kids their sugar cookie.
What’s the sugar cookie, you ask? While you’re out picking apples, your kids can help clean up the orchard by picking up 25 ground apples and putting them in the little brown crates (as seen below). If they pick up 25 then they get awarded by the tractor drivers with a sugar cookie. Most of the kids were very excited about this. It’s a fun little game while picking apples, too.
Then, on to the pumpkin patch.
We suspect that we were a little early in the season for the pumpkin picking because there weren’t as many pumpkins out in the field as previous years. But, we managed to find perfect ones for our family! Noah even found a cute little one that he could carry.
Before you leave the pumpkin patch, it’s a must to get a picture on the Elegant Farmer measurement sign. It’s a fun annual tradition so you can see how much your kid has grown from year to year. They paint over the year at the top of the sign so you have a cute memory picture in front of the pumpkin.
Don’t forget to take the picture when you’re up at the pumpkin patch because if you get back to the front entrance there will be a huge line for the other one. The pumpkin patch one never has a line!
As always, we had another great year visiting Elegant Farmer’s orchard for our apples and pumpkins. We had a ton of fun and are all set for our Fall apple making and pumpkin carving. See you next year!