***UPDATE: this post now reflects dates, hours, and prices for 2019***
It's officially apple picking season in Sioux City!! Autumn Grove Orchard just announced that they are opening for the 2019 season on Saturday, September 7th 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.
When is Autumn Grove Orchard Open?Starting 9/7/2019, Autumn Grove Orchard will be open on weekends in September and October, or until they're out of apples, from noon-4pm, 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 went to Autumn Grove Orchard a few years ago (they opened in 2013), and I can't wait to come back sometime and see how much it has 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.
|Picking apples in 2013...the trees and the boy are both much taller now!|
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 schedules a variety of fun special events. So far for 2019 they have announced several, including:
- Flashlight Apple Picking
- Friday, October 18th from 7-9pm
- Hot cocoa will be provided!
- Kids Day
- Sunday, October 20th from noon to 4pm
- Will feature face painting, food trucks, and more!