Over the weekend, we took a trip to Hansel’s Apple Orchard to pick some apples with Allie. I don’t know what it is about the fall and autumn traditions, but apple picking is just one of those things I always looked forward to doing when we had kids (along with a million other things still on my to-do list for this year). She was much too young to do any apple picking last year (4 months old) so now that we have a toddler on our hands, I thought it would be the perfect fall activity for our family.
Since we just recently moved back to the area, I wasn’t very knowledgeable on apple orchards in the area. After a quick Google search, I came across Hansel’s Apple Orchard, located in North Yarmouth, Maine. Since it was just a 25-minute drive from where we’re currently living, we decided to give it a shot.
Hansel’s Apple Orchard offers McIntosh, Cortland, and Macoun apple varieties. They have plenty of basket options to choose from when you arrive depending on how many apples you’re hoping to pick. Sizes include half-bushel, peck, half-peck, and quarter-peck. Since we were really just letting Allie have fun and pick her own, we chose a half-bushel basket for her to carry around (which she loved holding!). This is the perfect size for young children.
While Allie loved picking apples and wandering the orchards, I think she loved the fact that it was pet-friendly even more. There were so many dogs at the orchards with their owners and Allie chased after each and every one trying to pet them. If Jack was better with other dogs, we would have taken him along with us.
Another thing we loved about Hansel’s is that it was a bit smaller than other orchards I’ve been to (in a good way!!). There were fewer people and it was much easier to allow Allie to wander on her own without worry (if you have a toddler, you know and understand how beneficial this is!). We’re not leash parents so having a big open space where Allie could wander was amazing!
If you go to Hansel’s later in the season and have little ones in tow, be sure to take advantage of their picking poles to help you reach apples found higher up in the trees. Even going so early in October, we definitely could have used a picking pole since there were so many empty branches within our reach. It became a bit challenging to find some good, ripe apples. But thankfully, since these were for Allie, we hunted for smaller “toddler-sized” apples which were much easier to find. For those who don’t want to pick apples, you always have the option of buying freshly picked apples in a box at the stand.
All in all, our little family had so much fun picking apples. If you live in the Southern Maine area and want a smaller, more low-key orchard then I definitely recommend Hansel’s. But regardless of where you go, apple picking can be a super fun, easy-going family activity for all ages! So if you have an hour to kill one weekend, I highly suggest getting out of the house and going!