Today we had absolutely GORGEOUS fall weather. Whenever the weather is nice, I like to take Daniel to do things outside. We have an apple orchard called Allen's Orchard about 5 minutes from our house. Today my friend and neighbor Julie and I took Daniel and her two daughters Aubrey and Addison to pick apples. It was SO much fun. If you live in the Cedar Rapids area, I highly recommend visiting Allen's.
Allens is an adorable orchard with 29 varieties of apples, including the popular Honeycrisp! They also have several pear trees, and sometimes blackberries and raspberries (although this year they were hit hard by Japanese Beetles that ate most of their berries).
You can pick your own apples or you can buy pre-picked apples in their store. They also sell fresh baked apple and cherry turnovers, apple cake, apple blossoms, apple dunkers, apple cookies, and apple cider slushies! Also in the store they sell a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables along with apple butters, squash, and preserves!
They also have some absolutely adorable goats to entertain the kids!
The staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable about their crop and they tell you exactly what is ready for picking and in which areas those trees are located. They also give you a short tutorial on how to pick an apple so as to preserve as much of the growth for next year's crop. They offer group tours and programs as well.
Apple picking is a great way to promote healthy snacking. Daniel loves to pick apples and in fact, for the past two years we have been going apple picking, he has picked an apple and eaten it right off the tree. I think kids find it more fun to eat things they have either grown or picked themselves! Plus, it gets the whole family outdoors and moving around! What a great way to spend a couple of hours!
If you'd like to visit Allen's Orchard, they are located at 5801 N. 10th Street in Marion, Iowa. Their phone number is (319) 377-1408 and their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.