The boys have been talking about apple picking for a full year without pause. Ever since we went last year, it has come up at least once a week... and finally the day arrived! We went apple picking at Minnesota Harvest in Jordan, MN, and I would highly recommend this orchard to everyone. It had everything we wanted (tractor-pulled wagon, you-pick apples, super affordable and gorgeous pumpkins) and loads of things we didn't know we needed (a sunflower maze, kiddie train, petting zoo, live music with Cactus Willie) that were offered free of charge. It was large and well-run, but it still had the feel of a family-owned orchard.
Max spent most of the day up in the trees helping Paul find the very best apples, Lucian found sticks and brandished them like swords as we hiked through the apple tree jungle, and Audrey got her paws on an apple and wouldn't put it down. The kids were all thrilled to have my mom join us for the day, and we ended up being there for almost four hours. They had wagons sitting around the grounds for anyone to use as needed, so we claimed two of them for the later part of the day as little legs started getting tired. (Remind me to add a wagon to my Christmas list... SO awesome!) The kids got pulled from the pumpkins to the petting zoo to the old tractors to the playground, munching apples all the while.
I mentioned to my mom that sometimes the best part of outings with children is the memories, because the actual event can be super stressful. Not so with this orchard; it was a child's dream come true. No hushing, no corralling, they were free to roam and explore, while we were free to relax and enjoy. And we did!