Autumn glory is upon us, and it's time for many families' most beloved Fall tradition - apple picking! Who doesn't love the crisp air, changing leaves, and a big juicy apple to enjoy? Here are some area apple orchards to visit this year, and what you'll find there.
5006 S. Sylvania Ave., Sturtevant, WI 53177
At Apple Holler, you can pick many varieties of apples. Your kids can also explore the Farm Park, including a corn maze, an animal feeding area, pony rides, tractor tours, and a giant slide. Pumpkins are available in October.
Awe’s Apple Orchard
8081 S. 100th St., Franklin, WI 53132
To the south of the city, nestled on a little pond along Highway 100 in the city of Franklin, you'll spot Awe's Apple Orchard. Even the gravel path leading to th
e main orchard area is lined with beautiful apple trees to entice you. You'll drive past the quaint pond, enormous old trees, and fall-themed scarecrows. Adjacent to the parking lot, you'll spot the store and the white tent where you purchase your apple picking bags.
Awe's Orchard is not huge, but it's smaller size contributes to its charm. When I visited, we picked McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp apples, and we got excited for Halloween seeing their sizable pumpkin patch. But perhaps the best part of our visit to Awe's was trying their homemade cider donuts. They are fried and crispy on the outside, and perfectly soft on the inside. It's the perfect way to reward yourself for all that rigorous apple picking you did.
Visit the apple house for fresh picked apples, Apple Cider, Apple Cider Donuts, Apple Crisp Mix, Jam's, Jellies, and gifts.
Barthel Fruit Farm
12246 N. Farmdale Rd., Mequon, WI 53097
Far from strip malls and city life, Barthel Fruit Farm is expansive, and their apple-picking process is a well-oiled machine. You'll veer right to visit the store located inside the farm, and you'll go left to pick your own.
The drive-by attendant will provide you with all the information you need, as well as the bags for picking. Pay on the way out at their drive-through register. If you want to pick up a caramel apple to end the experience, you can park off to the right before you exit and visit the store.
The highlight of our trip to Barthel's was their magical plum orchard. You'll feel as though you're walking through a fairy tale as you roam through rows of plum trees bursting with blue and purple ripened plums ready for the picking.
Barthel Fruit Farm offers pumpkins later in the season, too.
Basse’s Country Delight
S70W16050 Janesville Rd., Muskego, WI 53150
Enjoy sweet corn, apples, pumpkins, a petting zoo, and Pumpkin Fest.
1545 Main St., Mukwonago, WI 53149
Check out their Harvest Festival on weekends in September and October. You can pick a variety of apples and pumpkins, too. Enjoy hayrides, train rides, a corn maze, and of course, their cider donuts.
9932 Pioneer Rd., Cedarburg, WI 53012
The Old Red Barn is rustic and filled with Neiman Orchards' own products, such as their delicious homemade cider. Inside the Barn, you purchase your picking bags. They look small, but they are deceptive. You can fit more apples than you can eat inside even the smallest bag. But if you're an apple enthusiast or baker, it may be fun to use one of their vintage wooden baskets to collect your fruit.
Behind the farm, an old fashioned wagon is waiting for you and your family to climb aboard. They'll take you on a short ride out to the orchard, sans seat belts, doors, or anything else that might prevent a lawsuit. It feels old-fashioned and authentic.
At 4 p.m. on the day we visited, the sun was low and it lit up the fields. My son and nephew were entranced with the bright red apples they saw dangling off the trees on the way to our picking destination. We were given no rules and no limits. We were just told to "pick what looks good.” We wandered around the rows and rows of apple trees, seeing nothing else in any direction. When we were finished, the wagon took us back to the barn.
Neiman Orchards also offers pick-your-own pumpkins in September and October.
Peck & Bushel Fruit Company (Organic)
5472 County Road Q, Colgate, WI 53017
It may be a bit of a drive from Milwaukee, but a visit to Wisconsin’s only organic apple orchard is worth it. You will never eat a honey crisp apple that tastes better than the ones they grow here. Check their website for pick-your-own dates and times.