This is not a sponsored post and I did not receive complimentary tickets.
One of our favorite fall family activities is apple picking. But, not all apple orchards are created equal…I mean we’re not just looking for apple picking people we want total fall family fun! That’s why we packed all of the kids in the car this past weekend and headed out of the city to Woodstock, Il (in McHenry), to visit All Seasons Apple Orchard. To say that Big was grumpy about going apple picking, an activity that he clearly felt he had outgrown at 13, would be an understatement. But as soon as we pulled into All Season’s Orchard about an hour later, he was all smiles. It’s such a happy place with tons of activities, and kids running around, that you can’t help but have a good time. As I waited on line to buy tickets, their dad took them into the farm market to sample homemade cider donuts. The donuts were beyond awesome. Soon we had tickets and apple picking bags in hand, and off we went.
When you walk in, you’re standing in the midst of a festival of sorts! Honestly, there is so much to do we almost forget there were apples to be picked….until you see the powerful apple cannons roaring in the distance…but more on that later. Big forgot all about his “being too grown up” and jumped right in on the fun. Take a look at all of the laughter we had even before we picked the first apple:
Giant Jumping Pillow: We had never seen anything quite like this massive inflatable pillow. They kids all loved it and spent 20+ minutes jumping.
Barrel Roll: What a hoot this was! Big and Middle were able to maneuver it by themselves, and Little just needed a push here and there.
Pedal Karts: The kids loved taking a turn on the track. There are two different sized bikes so everyone could participate.
Petting Zoo: They have a nice assortment of animals and the kids loved feeding them. (Food is sold in the petting zoo area)
Giant Corn Maze: Over 10 acres of corn at All Seasons is transformed into a corn maze with 3+ miles of pathways. There are 2 paths: a shorter one for youngsters and a more challenging one for maze enthusiasts. (Note that the longer maze can take 40+ minutes). Since we had already been there for 2 hours and hadn’t even picked our first apple, we chose the shorter path. Little took the lead.
Tire Jump Zone: Such a simple activity but oodles of fun. They had large tractor tires piled up for the kids to jump on.
Ziplines: This took everyone by surprise..a happy surprise. Lets just say that this was another 30 minutes!
Pony Rides: When Big asked to go on a pony ride (twice) I knew we had him. He won’t let me post a picture but trust me he went!
They also have a cool shooting gallery where you can shoot pumpkins and apples through cannons and try and hit targets. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also a cow train, inflatables, horseshoes and tube slides to keep the kids having fun. On the weekends, they also have pig races and magic shows.
When you’re ready to pick apples, you can catch a ride out to the orchard on the hay ride. We chose to pick Honeycrisp apples, which are our favorite, but do come at an additional charge. (Check their apple calendar for what varieties are available). Last weekend, they also had Gala and McIntosh available for picking. They do limit which rows of apples are open for picking so you’ll definitely want to head to the back of the rows for the best fruit especially if you’re there later in the day.
The boys really got into it and were determined to get the very best looking apples.
It was a memorable day, and we cannot recommend it enough. It’s just what a fun family fall outing should be.
Tips for a successful trip:
- Skip the lines and save a little $$ by purchasing your ticket online. (We didn’t do this which is why we were standing in line).
- If you’re there in the afternoon and think that you want to purchase cider donuts to take home make sure to get them when you arrive and put them in your car. When we were leaving after 5pm, they had run out of donuts.
- When your kids get hungry head into the Country Kitchen. They have your standard fair food like pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers and surprisingly good french fries.
- Take a look at the combo ticket packs which include apple picking and the barnyard activities. Pony Rides and Pumpkin Cannons require additional tickets. Make sure you purchase everything either online or at the ticket window when you first arrive because otherwise you’ll have to walk all the way back for additional tickets.