Fall is nearly upon us, and that means that it’s peak season for apple harvesting. In the next few weeks, orchards all around the country will begin to sell some of the best-tasting apples that will be available this year. And while your kids may be heading back to school soon, you can still make some time after school or on the weekends to share the joy of apple season with them. Whether you want your kids to better appreciate where their food comes from, or just want to have them enjoy a farm-fresh Pippin or Macoun, planning a trip to a local apple orchard can be a lot of fun.
But what to bring on your apple picking excursion? That will vary depending on weather and the size of the orchard, but generally speaking, here are some of the items you should bring along when you go apple-picking with your kids:
1. Sturdy, waterproof shoes– Chances are, fall in your area is a bit chilly or damp. If you and your children are gonna be running around an apple orchard all afternoon, you’ll want to make sure that you are all wearing comfortable shoes that are waterproof (or at least water-resistant). Turning an ankle or suffering with wet feet is a surefire way to ruin your apple-picking trip. Plus, some apple orchards offer horse-drawn hayrides, and so you’ll want to wear sturdy shoes in case you happen to step in any you-know-what.
2. Your own container/carrying bag– Most orchards will provide you with a paper sack for collecting your apples, but a sturdier (and more eco-friendly) option is to bring a canvas tote from home. Most orchards are okay with you bringing your own bag from home, but make sure to call ahead first and make sure. You may also want to bring some tea towels or crumpled paper to place throughout your bag as you pick your apples, in order to prevent bruising.
3. Water– Even though the temperatures have cooled, it’s still important for you and your kids to stay hydrated while walking around the orchard.
4. Cash- Depending on how large the operation is, the orchard may not accept personal checks or credit/debit cards. Having plenty of cash on hand ensures that paying for your delicious bounty of apples will be a smooth, painless process.