Having lived in the Midwest for most of my childhood, I was accustomed to the different seasons. Autumn meant beautifully changing leaves, cooler temperatures and eating savory comfort foods. One tradition that is common in the Mid-western states is going to visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch and getting to pick your own apples and gourds. You’d usually enjoy a hayride and then sip fresh apple cider, leaving with a large sack of various delicious apples to make pie with.
Last week, as the temperatures reached the upper nineties in my Los Angeles neighborhood, I most certainly did not get that brisk-air, fall feeling. Instead, I turned on my AC and made some ice tea to cool off.
Then, I get an email from my Detroit native friend with the subject line “It’s time to pick some apples!” She organized a fun-filled day at the 5-mile long orchards in Oak Glen full off pumpkin picking, apple picking, cider sipping and dare I say it, apple-wine tasting!
Located just over an hour from downtown LA, this is the perfect family fun day for Mid-westerners who are in need of that fall-fix.
I never knew this place existed! It’s definitely a fun, fall mini-getaway but here are some tips to keep in mind before you go:
1. Bring a sack lunch. Though there are a handful of (high priced) diner-type restaurants scattered around the 5-mile stretch, they are really full on weekends and the wait-time for a table can be a little ridiculous (1+ hours) around lunch-time. There are also quick snack shacks, but your kids will need more than sweets, hotdogs and nachos to sustain them for the day. Smart family’s brought picnic baskets and saved time and money.
2. Keep the group to a minimum. There is no cell reception up on this large hill so don’t even think about trying to meet up with friends. We had a caravan of cars, which worked fine, but it was difficult (even with a designated meeting place) to meet up with other latecomers because we couldn’t call them.