Plan Your Fall Family Apple Harvest Getaway

092513-AppleHarvest-mainWhen you’re a kid, there’s nothing quite like climbing a ladder and perching yourself near a tree branch that’s full of crisp, sweet Fall Apples that you get to pick yourself.

Taking your kids on a family trip to a local orchard or farm is not only a great way to get out of the city, but it's a trip that will also imprint a lifetime of memories for your entire family. Teaching your kids about the health benefits of farm fresh produce is a great way to set them on the right path to healthy eating patterns too, especially since childhood obesity in America is now almost at epidemic levels.

I grew up in the San Francisco East Bay region so we were fortunate to have lots of agriculture surrounding us in the more rural areas. One of my favourite childhood memories was hopping into the car with my entire family to drive out and pick our own fruit right off the tree. These days I live in Southern California, so I’ll use the City of Julian, California as an example of how to begin planning your own Fall Family Harvest getaway trip.

Julian, California is a historical town that’s famous for it’s Apple Picking Season which runs from approximately August to November. The town goes all out with many music festivals, apple pie contests, crafts markets and they even have their own version of a traditional German Oktoberfest. Apples are serious business in the town of Julian and that's why every year the whole town loves to celebrate Apple Harvest Season with lots of fun activities.

To help you get started finding local farms or orchards in your own region that feature U-pick farm produce, try searching the words “U-pick produce” online and add your city’s name to your search to learn where U-pick produce picking is available in your area.

Read Books with Your Kids about Harvest Season

Before your trip, spend some time reading about harvest season with your kids to help them learn the value of fresh produce and to also help get them excited about going apple picking. Apples, Apples Everywhere is a fun book that will teach your kids about apple orchards and how apples are picked and stored.

Make a DIY Apple Basket Decorating Project with Your Kids

Collect several baskets or buckets for your apple harvesting trip and if you do this far enough ahead of time, you can make a family project of helping your kids decorate their own basket prior to going on your trip.

So now that I’ve given you a couple ideas for how to plan a Family Apple Harvest trip, what are you waiting for? It doesn't really matter if it's a day trip or a full weekend away, pack up a picnic lunch, load everyone into the car and have fun exploring some local U-pick produce farms in your region.