As the temperature cools and the leaves start to change, a fun, family-friendly activity to keep in mind is a day at a pick-your-own apple orchard. Three top destinations in Connecticut to check out are Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Silverman’s Farm in Easton, and Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford.
Silverman’s Farm is hands-down the best orchard to take young children to. In addition to their country store and pick-your-own orchard with complimentary tractor rides, Silverman’s Farm also features a petting zoo with animals such as goats, llamas, emus, and peacocks. Currently available for picking are Macoun, MacIntosh, Cortland, Empire, and Honey Crisp apples. Orchard and store hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the fall. Silverman’s Farm is easily accessible from the Merritt Parkway and 1-95. Directions and more information can be found on their website: http://www.silvermansfarm.com/directions.html.
Another great option, but one closer to those in Middlesex County, is Lyman Orchards. Currently, Lyman has the most options for pick-your-own treats, featuring apples, pears, peaches, and pumpkins. The picking seasons for both apples and pumpkins extend through the end of October for anyone who may not be able to make it in early fall. Lyman Orchards also offers a themed corn maze each year, which is certain to be a popular activity for energetic young children. In the summer, Lyman Orchards also offers a sunflower maze — a summery alternative to the fall fun and certainly something to look forward to next year. They are open seven days a week — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during September and October and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. the rest of the year. More information, directions, and a daily picking calendar are available on their website: http://www.lymanorchards.com.
Bishop’s Orchard in Guilford, Connecticut, is the largest, most commercial orchard of the bunch. Bishop’s is also the most difficult to get to, as the pick-your-own orchards are far away from the large country store and hard to find. However, they make available numerous varieties of apples to pick, and this is the only orchard on the list to offer raspberries. Bishop’s also offers hot kettle corn and cold cider by the orchard in case you don’t want to make the long trek to the country store after picking just to try some of their delicious, homegrown treats. Although it is the most commercialized, Bishop’s staff is friendly and creates an enjoyable experience. More details are available at http://www.bishopsorchards.com.