***UPDATE: this post now reflects dates, hours, and prices for 2021***
It's officially apple picking season in Sioux City!! Autumn Grove Orchard just announced that they are opening for the 2021 season on Saturday, August 28th from noon to 4pm, and that they should have Macintosh, Gala, and Honeycrisp apples ready!
What is Autumn Grove Orchard?Autumn Grove Orchard is Sioux City's only pick-your-own apple orchard. Autumn Grove is locally owned by a Sioux City family and grows 9+ varieties of apples, which are available to pick as they ripen throughout the fall. They also offer honey from a local beekeeper, and a variety of baked goods and crafts for sale, and even some pumpkins near the end of the season!
Where is Autumn Grove Orchard?Autumn Grove Orchard is at 1658 180th Street in Sioux City, just a few minutes past the Lakeport Commons shopping area and Fleet Farm. There is free parking at the orchard. If the parking area is full, just pull over along the road!
When is Autumn Grove Orchard Open?Starting 8/28/2021, Autumn Grove Orchard will be open on weekends in September and October, or until they're out of apples, from noon-4pm on both Saturdays and Sundays, rain or shine, unless there is lightning or otherwise actually dangerous weather. Always check their Facebook page before heading out though, because nature is unpredictable! Depending on the weather, there could be many varieties ripe some weeks and hardly any other weeks, and longer or shorter hours and/or a longer or season for them could be the result. While they can't control the weather, they do keep their Facebook page well updated, so I definitely recommend checking it before planning a trip to the Orchard.
What you do at Autumn Grove OrchardMy kids and I first went to Autumn Grove Orchard when they first opened in 2013, and went back again in 2019 and it was so fun to go back and see how much it had grown. Basically there are rows and rows of apple trees, and you pay and then walk around and gather your apples! It is very kid friendly, and most of the rows are stroller and wheelchair accessible, but it is grass and dirt, so I recommend a jogging stroller or baby carrier to maximize your ability to get to all of the trees if you have someone with you who needs carried.
|Picking apples in 2013...the trees and the boy are both much taller now!|
The biggest update I noticed between my 2013 and 2019 visits other than taller, fuller trees, was lots of cute benches and decorations that made for adorable photo opps!
|I love this "How Tall This Fall" sign!|
One of the really fun things about Autumn Grove Orchard is that many of their trees have apples at a height that is easy for kids to pick them off themselves. I also loved how clean it was. I had expected lots of rotting apples around the bases and then flies and wasps eating them, and there was none of that. They kept it cleared so well! Like any pick-your-own orchard, you do need to anticipate the apples might be more "ugly" than grocery store apples. When we went, we didn't see any rot, but there were lots of dimples on some of our apples, which aren't a problem at all for food safety, flavor, or texture, but could be surprising if it's your first time picking your own apples. The owners are really nice and if you have questions about which apples are good, don't be afraid to ask.
Their apples have amazing flavor, and I recommend them for snacking and/or pie. When my family went before, we got several varieties and my kids thought it was really fun trying slices of different types and noticing how different types of apples vary in sweetness and tartness and how crisp or mealy they are. We also loved the pie I made with some of our apples from Autumn Grove Orchard!
|It looks burnt, but I was just overenthusiastic with the cinnamon!|
Special Events at Autumn Grove OrchardThroughout the fall, Autumn Grove Orchard occasionally hosts special events like a nighttime apple picking with flashlights, kids day with face painting, etc. I will update here if they announce special events for fall 2021!
How much does it cost to go to Autumn Grove Orchard?There is no charge to go to Autumn Grove Orchard; just pay for the apples you pick and any other treats you choose to buy. Autumn Grove Apple Orchard charges by volume, not weight, and their 2021 prices are:
- While honeycrisps are available: $15 for a half peck, $25 for a full peck, and $40 for a half bushel.
- After the honeycrisps are gone: $14 for a half peck, $23 for a full peck, and $36 for a half bushel.
The internet says that a peck is about 2 dry gallons or 10 pounds of apples and a half bushel is about 4 dry gallons or 20 pounds--but is measured by volume and not weight and will not be exactly those amounts, just however much fits in your bags. The orchard accepts credit and debit cards and cash.
For more info on Autumn Grove OrchardYou can find out more about Autumn Grove Apple Orchard on their Facebook page and you can contact them through Facebook, by e-mailing AutumnGroveOrchard@gmail.com or by calling (712)204-5951.
Other Midwest Apple Orchards
Looking for more apple orchards? Here are some posts you might love from other Midwest bloggers: