Milburn Orchards is the quintessential Fall fun destination. Hayrides, apple picking, pumpkins, apple cider, corn maze, bonfires and MUCH more. Visiting the orchard is a must-do bucket list item.
Milburn has various “U-Pick” fruits all Summer long, so you don’t have to limit your trips to the Fall. We definitely plan on going back for cherry picking next June! Apple picking is great for all ages, even my 2 year old loved it.
When you arrive to Milburn’s, follow the signs for U-Pick parking. A tractor pulling a wagon will take you to the location within the orchard where the apples are ripest. Each variety matures at different ages, which works out perfectly so there is something new coming on each week from September through October. Don’t be surprised if there is a line to get on the ride, as it is SUPER popular. We were given an expert tip to arrive earlier than the 10am opening time before a line forms and the parking areas fill up. We got there at 9:40am and it was perfect timing. We got on the second wagon out and when we came back, the parking lots were jam packed.
You will also need to take $$ with you to the orchard, as you pay out there before they bring you back. A word of caution: the weight of the apples add up fast and before you know it, you will have $60 worth of apples in about 2 minutes. If your kids are anything like mine, they will be pulling apples off left and right so it might be a good idea to set a # that each of them can pull before you get there so you don’t go broke before you even get to the store to buy your apple cider doughnuts.
When I saw the “How an Apple Grows” sign while we were picking, I was so excited because it creates the perfect opportunity to talk to your kids about pollination and how important bees are to our food supply. We love watching busy bees work in our garden and when D asks what they are doing, I always tell him they are gathering nectar to make honey, but I haven’t really touched on the more important job they are doing: POLLINATION! All too often, I see kids being terrified of bees, grouping them with other creepy crawlies like spiders, flies, ants, etc. Bees are actually some of the coolest insects out there and should be respected and admired by our kids for the work that they do! I found this awesome little video on YouTube that is a great intro to pollination for your kiddos:
Knowing where their food comes from and how it is grown is such a valuable life lesson to start teaching at a young age. Visiting a U-Pick farm is the perfect way to do that. Additionally, having their own small garden at home will provide some hands on experience. They can watch as the flowers turn in to the fruits of their labor, and even see pollination in progress. Start planning now to incorporate some veggies in to your garden in the Spring.
When you’re done talking about pollination in the orchard, hop back on the wagon and drop your apples off at the car on your way to the store and Fall fest across the road. The smell of apple cider doughnuts is intoxicating and irresistible. I recommend grabbing them on your way out so that you don’t eat them all while the kids play!
It costs $10 per person (under 2 is free) to go in the Fall fest area. There is SO MUCH to do! There’s a petting zoo, sand box, giant spiderweb, bouncy house, groundhog hill with tunnels to crawl through, pumpkins galore and more. Just about everything is included in the ticket price. The only exclusions are food (for you and the goats) and the things listed on this sign:
There are no public restrooms, just porta potties so plan ahead for that. They do however have sinks with soap for washing hands, a diaper changing station and rocking chair for feeding your baby which was truly impressive to me!
We were big fans of the petting zoo, complete with goat playground that towered high above our heads. Feed can be delivered to the top of the structure to the hungry goat waiting with his mouth open via a pulley system. Or, you can do it the old fashioned way and feed from your hand.
D especially loved groundhog hill which is an ingenious idea for older kids. 4+ is best, otherwise you might end up crawling in after a little one that gets lost, scared or stuck. Or, you could always employ one of the older kids to help them. Tunnels are buried underground and go every which way inside the mound of dirt. It took us a minute to figure out where he would pop out after he went in.
We rounded out the trip with several dozen apple cider doughnuts and some apple cider. I was thoroughly impressed with how smoothly everything is run, how nice everyone was, and how well thought out everything is. We can’t wait to go back!
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