The best blog for busy Moms picking time to create “core” memories.
They say that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” As the old adage leaves us thinking, it also marks the time in autumn that the leaves start changing and the temperatures start dropping, so it's time to swap out those flip-flops for some cozy sweaters and head to the apple orchard to kick off the fall season with some good old-fashioned fun.
And when it comes to apple picking, there's no better place to do it than Stades Family Farm in McHenry, Illinois, where picking apples is just the beginning of the autumn activities they offer. From carnival rides to hayrides, this farm has it all, making it the perfect spot for a day of family fun. The drive is a picturesque fifty or so minutes outside of downtown Chicago. With hours on the weekends, or during the day if you feel like playing hooky, Stades has apples in season all the way through October.
First things first: let's talk about apple picking. Stades family farm has more than ten different varieties of apples to choose from, so the only problem you'll have is deciding which ones to pick. Whether you prefer a sweet Golden Delicious or a tart Honeycrisp, there's an apple for everyone at this farm. Not sure how to pick the perfect apple? No worries. The kid-friendly staff at Stades are always happy to help and provide tips for finding the ripest, juiciest apples on the trees. The orchard is clearly marked with signage of the “pick of the day,” and if walking or chasing around the kids becomes too much with a heavy peck of apples in tow, you can always take the complimentary hayride to a more distant and less-picked area of the orchard to get a better selection. Don’t forget, part of the fun of apple picking is being able to taste test apples before you pick them.
A note of caution, Mommas, please watch out for these September and October bees that seem to hone in on the apples that have fallen to the ground underneath the trees. If you have allergies in your family, come equipped with your medications, because these guys know the season of frost and snow are upon them and they can be unpredictable and a little aggressive. Stades does a nice job of trying to keep the bees at bay, but they try to cultivate a more organic growing environment for their orchard, so it becomes a little difficult.
Once you've loaded up your baskets with apples, it's time to head to the carnival rides. With a Ferris wheel, carousel, and other classic rides, you and your kids will have a blast riding and playing carnival games. And don't forget about the kid-friendly hayrides! Hop aboard one of the tractor-drawn wagons and take a leisurely ride through the farm's cornfields, enjoying the sights and smells of the season.
But what about all of those apples you just picked? Time to put them to good use with some delicious apple recipes. Whether you're in the mood for a classic apple pie or something a little more adventurous like apple cider donuts, Stades Family Farm has got you covered. Check out their on-site bakery, where they whip up all kinds of apple treats that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. These kid-approved snacks are sure to appease the most grumbly tummy.
Finally, let's talk about autumn with kids. With school back in session and everyone's schedules getting busier, it's easy to forget to take some time to just enjoy the season. But a day trip to Stades Family Farm is a perfect way to do just that. With fun activities for all ages and plenty of opportunities to make memories with your family, a day spent on the farm is one that your kids will remember for years to come.
So, if you're looking for a fun fall activity that the whole family will enjoy, Stades Family Farm in McHenry, Illinois is the place to be. From apple picking to carnival rides to hayrides, there's something for everyone at this farm. And with so many delicious apple recipes to try, you can enjoy your day's bounty long after you've left the farm. Once those apples are picked, it’s time for some pumpkins in their patch, too! So grab your baskets and head to Stades Family Farm for a day of fall fun!
Amenities at Stades Family Farm in McHenry, Illinois:
Kid-friendly, age-appropriate crafts and cuisine
Kid-friendly carnival rides
Kid-friendly special events
Kid Approved by KFV
Clean family-friendly restrooms