One of our family fall traditions is to go apple picking. Around the Chicagoland area there are several orchards, the only problem is that some of them aren't sure if they want to be orchards or amusement parks. Now I have nothing wrong with amusement parks, I quite enjoy them actually, but when I think about picking apples I'm not really wanting rides or concerts. I personally believe apple picking should be simple: a pretty setting, a wagon, and my family. What about you? Do like to keep apple picking simple or do you prefer to make an event out of it?
So we are very glad we stumbled upon Prairie Sky Orchard by accident. This year we had picked out an orchard in Woodstock to visit but when I was checking details the night before, I found out they were out of u-pick apples for the week. A few google searches led us to Prairie Sky, and since it was actually twenty minutes closer to our home we figured we'd give it try.
We are so glad that we did. We're pretty certain this will be our new go-to orchard. The day that we went they only had Gala's for u-pick, but were selling Honey Crisps and Cortlands in their store. It's a newer/small orchard but there were plenty of apples. The people who own it were really friendly and welcoming. It actually reminded me of picking apples as a kid in Iowa. It's their home, their house is on the property and their store is in a small barn/large shed. They don't offer amusements but they do their best to make sure the apple picking is enjoyable. The property is beautiful and well cared for. They also provide wagons, at no cost, and a washing station to shine up your apples.
Jeremy picked Big Buddy up to get some high apples and then of course he had to pick Mini Man and Little Lady up too.
When Little Lady gets to talking she tends to get more and more animated and dramatic as she goes. It doesn't matter what she's talking about she just gets herself excited - she cracks us all up.
There was an apple washing machine in the store which all the kids found very fascinating.
In addition to apples, they also sell some apple products like frozen pie, donuts, and butter. They also sell some local jam, honey, maple syrup, and flowers.
They only extra kid-drawing attraction they have is some stacked hay-bales. It's surrounded by some chairs so adults can sit and relax and enjoy the scenery why the kids burn off some extra energy.
Big Buddy brought a spear he had purchased (with his own money!) a couple weeks ago and spent a lot of time standing guard over the orchard.
If you live in the Chicagoland/Fox Valley area and are looking for a simple apple picking experience, we would definitely recommend checking out Prairie Sky Orchard.
Big Buddy still guarding...check out the serious face :)