Fall is a magical time for many families- and for good reason. The world explodes with color. The sometimes suffocating heat and humidity of summer gives way to the crisp, cool days of autumn. There are more than a enough festivals to keep people celebrating the season through November. Autumn is the season of traditions. A large part of those traditions for many families in the United States center around going to pumpkin patches and apple orchards.
Although my family has a tradition of going to a pumpkin patch every year, we’ve never had the idea to go apple picking. That changed in August when we drove through Champaign, Illinois and stopped at Curtis Orchard. We missed the apple picking season by a few days but we vowed that we would find another apple orchard to pick apples.
After a few recommendations from friends and my own online research, we decided to try Apple Holler in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. D had the day off of work one day in late September so we made the hour-long drive to the orchard.
We all had a great time despite the chill in the air. Even Buddy was able to get in on the fun. Have you ever seen an infant try to eat a whole apple by himself? It’s pretty funny, especially knowing how protective he is of his food. Ladybug had a blast running through the rows of apple tress telling me which ones to pick. And we were able to eat as many apples as we wanted, which was a nice perk.
But that’s not all. Guests at Apple Holler can also peruse the store and farm grounds before or after making the trek out to the orchards- making a trip to the orchard last all day long.
Things to know about Apple Holler
Apple Holler is a family-run farm and apple orchard located in Sturtevant, Wisconsin. Apple picking season begins the end of August and runs through the end of October. The first thing you see when exiting the parking lot is the farm store. Tickets for the orchard can be purchased inside. You can also buy pastries and apple cider and other goodies as well as sourvenirs to commemorate your experience at Apple Holler. For an even greater treat, you can also eat lunch at the restaurant inside, if you choose.
Housed on 70 acres of land, you get your pick of more than 30,000 apple trees. You can either walk out to the orchard or, if you have little ones or don’t wish to walk, you can wait for the tractor wagon to take you. Although it is a good idea to use the restroom before going out to the orchard, there is an outhouse a little ways from the trees in the event of an emergency.
After picking apples (or before if you wish) make sure to check out the activities for the kids. Take a walk through the corn maze or see the goats and other farm animals. We didn’t have too much time to explore the farmyard since we arrived in the afternoon near closing time, but we learned that next year, we will definitely allow ourselves more time for the other activities.
Things We Enjoy About Apple Holler
Apple Cider doughnuts- I realize that Apple Holler does not have a monopoly on doughnuts. But the doughnuts at Apple Holler are amazing. D would have me say that going apple picking was worth it just for the doughnuts. That’s an exaggeration as there were many things that made our trip to the orchard fun. But I will say that you should not go to Apple Holler without trying one of the cider doughnuts.
Tractor wagon- The wagon is a long, multi- car wagon pulled by a tractor. It actually reminded me more of a train than a wagon. We originally planned to walk out to the orchard with the stroller but when Ladybug saw the wagon, she begged us to take a ride. The ride was bumpy and noisy but a fun way to see the orchard. The driver, who has worked at the orchard for decades, is very knowledgable of all the different types of apples. We enjoyed talking to him about the varieties of apples and getting his opinion on which ones to try.
Eating the apples- I love that we were not only allowed, but encouraged to try a type of apple before filling up our bags. That way, we knew we liked the type of apple before bringing it home. This meant we were able to get our fill of apples in our bags and in our bellies. Let me tell you, when both of your kids’ favorite fruits are apples, this is a huge advantage. We didn’t have to worry about filling the diaper bag up with snacks because between the doughnuts and the endless supply of apples, we were set.
We are big supporters of family farms. Ladybug was fascinated by the goats. They were interested in her, too but I suspect it was because they expected her to feed them. (Which she didn’t since she still only likes animals from afar.) My favorite part of the farm yard was seeing chickens wandering about completely cage free. It was fun watching Ladybug chase them around the farm yard and then seeing them come back for more.
We had a great time at Apple Holler. This was a great year to start a new autumn tradition. We’ll see you next year, Apple Holler!
Does your family go apple picking? Tell me about it in the comments!
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