Family Field Trip: Visit a Maryland Apple Orchard

A trip to the orchard offers great photo ops, delicious treats and lessons in where food comes from.

Think of an apple. What comes to mind? For me, it’s images of the Macy Day Parade, cozy sweaters, school, and crisp autumn days. For others it may rival a list similar to Bubba’s in Forrest Gump, just  replace shrimp with apples: apple pie, apple turnovers, applesauce, apple cake, apple pancakes, apple cider, baked apples... I think you get my point.

Apples are as American as, well, apples.

This fall, embrace the season of apples with a family field trip to an apple orchard. The kids will learn about where food really comes from, and you can weave in some great .

And let's not forget about health/science lessons too. Apples are filled with fiber, contain Vitamin C, photonutrients, boron, quercetin and even act as a toothbrush by cleaning teeth and killing baceteria. It's no wonder they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

What you need to know about heading to the orchard:

There are a some orchards nearby that let you pick your own fruit straight from the tree. Most are open on weekends and many have special weekend programs going on now through the fall season—everything from tractor rides to Johnny Appleseed festivals.

You’ll want to call ahead to see what’s available for picking that day. A recent call to one of the orchards said that there were two varieties ready with 14 more varieties to ripen.

Other things to consider:

  • Bees. This is the time of year when the bees start dying off and they can be more aggressive than usual. They can be attracted to fruit left on the ground. I would suggest wearing close-toed shoes.
  • Trees. Most orchards prune their apple trees so that fruit bearing branches remain low enough to reach, even for kids. Make sure kids stay out of trees. While they are tempting to climb, an orchard isn’t the best place for tree climbing.
  • Wagons. Some orchards provide everything you need to haul your apples, including wagons. I can tell you from experience that apples get heavy very quickly and wagons are a life saver. You may want to call ahead to see what the orchard provides.
  • Cameras. Make sure you bring along a camera to capture special memories from the day. You’ll be very happy you did.

Orchards To Visit

Baltimore County
Webers Cider Mill Farm
2526 Proctor Lane
approximately 30 minutes around Baltimore Beltway

Howard County
Larriland Farm
2415 Woodbine Road
approximately 30 minutes west on Interstate 70

Carroll County
Baugher’s Orchard & Farm
1236 Baugher Road
approximately one hour north on Interstate 795 North to Route 140 West

Can't make the trip to an orchard? Check out at Patapsco State Park.


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