Are you planning an apple-picking trip with the kids and wondering how to haul everyone to the orchard, get the apples and still have fun? Fall will be here before we know it and you may be planning an apple-picking trip with your family. Use these tips to make your apple-picking adventure a fun and memorable day for everyone!
Let your expectations for “perfect” be low and your expectations for “enjoyable” be high.
For suggestions of local orchards that allow you to pick apples, see our list of u-pick apple orchards near Columbia.
Tips for Apple Picking with Kids:
Prep the Kids in Advance
Find the Right Orchard
Choose the Time Wisely
Bring a Friend
Keep it Fun
How to Make Apple Picking Fun
One of our family’s favorite fall traditions is heading to an orchard and picking apples together. Plucking your food from a real live tree is no longer a daily experience for most of us. And, it’s just simply amazing what kids will be willing to eat if they have procured it for themselves.
Remember – you want the adventure to be fun and memorable. Let your expectations for “perfect” be low and your expectations for “enjoyable” be high.
Here are five tips we’ve learned over the years to help make your actual apple-picking experience be as cute and fun as those Instagram photos might make it look.
Prep your kids ahead of time for apple picking
For toddlers and preschool children, visit the library and check out books about apples.
For elementary-aged kids, look through cookbooks and Pinterest for apple-inspired recipes. Pick a few apple-heavy dishes and plan to bake them together after your trip. (Call Grandma or their Aunt Sharon over to help. It’s an easy way to keep the fun going.)
Do a little research before you go
With so many choices, decide what you want most from your apple-picking adventure. Do you want great views? A hayride? A particular apple variety? Do you want to bring your dog? Are you craving the famed warm apple cider doughnuts? A delectable apple slush?
Also, consider details such as cash only. Nothing can spoil a good apple picking day like finding out you can’t use your credit card to buy your thirteen hard-earned bushels of apples when you realize you only have $2 in your wallet.
Our fall list of apple orchards near Columbia, SC is a great place to start your research!
Choose your time wisely
If your household cannot bear to skip the precious afternoon nap time for the tinies at your home, get out of bed and get to those shiny red apples first thing in the morning.
It is wise to avoid weekends if you can. The orchards naturally become very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Your best bet is mid-week if you can wrangle it.
Maybe a mid-morning option is best for you and yours. Pack a picnic for after you’ve filled your belly and your baskets with apples. A pb&j never tastes as good at home as it does in a picturesque orchard, with fresh, cold apple cider to wash it down, an apple to go with it, and an apple donut for dessert.
All things apple – am I right?
Invite a friend to join you to pick apples
Sometimes it is just good to have company.
A good buddy can wait with some kids while other kids inevitably have to use the bathroom as soon as you arrive. (And, that good friend can snap a picture that you are actually in with your children to prove that mom, in fact, does go fun places with her children.)
Let apple picking be fun
Yes, take cute pictures.
Yes, pick apples.
But, for goodness sake, have fun.
Let your kids have fun.
If you find out that you somehow didn’t actually pick enough apples while in the orchard, just buy the apples already picked in the shop. (Often the price is not all that different, sometimes pre-picked apples are actually cheaper.)
On the other hand, if you find out that you picked too many apples with your exuberant pickers, buy them anyway. Share them with your friends and your family. Give a bag to the mailman or your child’s school teacher. Who doesn’t love the gift of local apples happily harvested?
Do you have a tip on making apple picking with kiddos fun to add to our list?
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