Pure Michigan Cider Mills

One of Michigan’s most popular fall activities is attending cider mills.  Between the cider, doughnuts, apple picking, hayrides and corn mazes, cider mills are sure to provide a fun-filled fall day for you and your family.  Below we have featured five cider mills located throughout the state.  Grab your family and friends, and enjoy this Pure Michigan fall at one of the many Michigan cider mills or orchards.

For a complete list of Michigan cider mills, visit michigan.org.

Blake Farms – Armada  

Voted the number one apple orchard in Michigan by AAA authorities, Blake Farms was one of the very first “Pick Your Own” orchards in Michigan. Currently, Blakes has three locations that are comprised of 500 acres of orchard and farmland.  Whether you pick-your-own apples, sip on some of their award winning apple cider, enjoy a hayride, or wander their cornfield mazes, there is plenty of fall fun to be had at Blake Farms.

Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery – Grand Rapids

This Grand Rapid’s Apple Haus features apples, as well as peaches, nectarines and cherries. Fall attractions include a corn maze, horse-drawn hayrides, and u-pick apples. In addition to their apple haus, Robinette’s has a winery, a 5.25 biking trail, and cross-country skiing. There is something for every member of the family to enjoy at Robinette’s.

Uncle John’s Cider Mill – Saint Johns

Uncle John’s is well known for its cider mill, which serves fresh cider and doughnuts. Already picked apples are also available for purchase. Uncle John’s has many activities for families to take part in, such as a pumpkin patch, fruit fling, wagon rides, corn maze and even a mining company where visitors are able to mine their own gemstones.   

Friske Orchards – Ellsworth

In 2011, Friske Orchards was voted the number one “U-Pick” farm in Northern Michigan by Traverse Magazine.  While at Friske’s you can choose to pick your own fruit, shop the general store, or attend one of their many festive events such as the Apple Festival or Fall Fun Saturdays. Other activities include: guided wagon rides, orchard walks, farm animal petting zoo, large kids playground and an old-world bakery.

Yates Cider Mill – Rochester Hills

Yates Cider Mill, which is located in Rochester Hills, has been featured on the Food Network for its apple cider.  While at Yates, visitors can choose to visit the cider mill, ice cream shoppe, fudge shoppe, or all three! Family activities include pony rides, a petting zoo and river walk. Enjoy cider, donuts, caramel apples, homemade and jarred goods at Yates this fall.

Which Michigan cider mill is your favorite? Share with us below!

Michigan Apples a Family Tradition

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

An apple will keep a 15-month-old busy nearly the entire trip to the orchard!

Today’s guest blogger celebrates the changing of the seasons, and the Michigan apples that symbolize the advent of autumn for many of us.

Every time the weather blows in a new season, I count myself fortunate to live in Michigan, where we have four of them. The seasons give structure to my year, breathe new life into day-to-day routines, determine what I eat, and keep things fresh.

When the crisp air of fall is on the horizon, our family starts thinking about apples. We start talking about apple picking. We seek out the first apples at the Farmers’ Markets (in late summer) and relish every bite.

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

While waiting for the tractor to take you back to your vehicle, challenge family members to a throwing contest with the apples already on the ground.

But we really can’t wait for September when we finally head out to the farm, take a tractor to the orchards, and pick bushel after bushel.

We love the family tradition of a trip to the apple orchard each fall.

We love the cheap, easy, healthy snacks that fill our garage.

We love the cinnamon smells of applesauce that fill the house.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, how many doctors are bored, because we generally average 2-3 per person around here?

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

These apple squares freeze marvelously.

Last fall my 2-year-old daughter would ask for “an apple for the road” daily as we loaded up to drive big brother to kindergarten, approximately ten minutes after she finished breakfast. She usually asked for another mid-morning, and another “for the road” when we picked him up at noon. It’s not uncommon to have an afternoon snack of an apple, and if we go for a walk after dinner, guess what she asked for? (Don’t worry, I don’t actually give her one all those times, but it proves a point. We love our apples.)

If you want to go picking but aren’t sure you can get through your apples quickly enough to really buy in bulk, don’t worry. Preserving apples is simple and extends the bounty of the season throughout the year. Here are 5 ways to keep the apple love going:

Photo Credit - Katie Kimball

Apple flax muffins - grain-free, gluten-free, and delicious for breakfast or lunch!

  1. Dehydrate apple slices with cinnamon. Use a dehydrator or accomplish it in an oven at low temp.
  2. Frozen applesauce
  3. Canned applesauce
  4. Frozen sliced apples (for pie, crisp or cobbler later)
  5. Fruit rolls

Click through for more details on preserving apples all 5 ways or dehydrating apples in a dehydrator.

Visit Michigan’s apple growers to find an orchard near you!

What is your favorite way to eat Michigan apples? Straight from the tree, or in a delicious dish?

Katie KimballKatie Kimball is a mother of three from West Michigan who spends a ton of time in the kitchen making real food with whole ingredients and then blogs about her successes and failures at Kitchen Stewardship. 

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