Schwallier’s Country Basket is The Go-To Farm for West Michigan Families
Known for its extensive (some areas are even free) outdoor play area, Schwallier’s Country Basket has seen tremendous visitor growth over the last decade.
The store has grown from a roadside produce stand in 1989 to a thriving farm market. Each year they try to add new, fun fall activities for families.
Be sure to stop into their market for donuts, cider & other goodies before heading home, and if you’re really hungry, grab a meal at the N.O.B.
Pro Tip: This farm has exploded in popularity over the past few years; arrive early or come on a weekday to beat the crowds.
Table of Contents
Fall Activities at Schwallier’s
Schwallier’s is most famous for:
- Free children’s play area and farm animal barn
- The giant hay bale mountain that you can climb on, over, and through
- The cow train
- And most recently, APPLE CANNONS!
These are some of the Schwallier’s activities kids clamor for year after year.
Of course, there’s a whole lot more fall fun to experience at this Sparta, MI farm.
Smaller buildings serve as an outlet for concessions, apple picking, and attractions.
Kids Will Love The Back 40
Admission to the corn maze also gets you into the ever-improving Back 40!
The Back 40 is a huge area in the back of the orchard that gives you wide open spaces to play and enjoy the outdoors.
Climb the giant John Deere combine, play on the massive straw mountain, rock maze, or bouncy ball course. Shoot the apple cannons.
FEE: Corn Maze + Back 40 admission (2023): $14
(+$5 for a bucket of apples to shoot out of the cannons.)
2023 Corn Maze
Every year, Schwallier’s creates a completely unique West Michigan maze adventure based around a fun, educational theme. To get through the maze, you’ll have to answer questions by finding clues in the corn.
After a brief introduction, you’re sent into the maze with a game sheet. Inside the maze, work with your friends to find answers and beat the puzzle.
Families with littles can pick the shorter, less tricky “kids’ loop” through the main maze.
• 2023 Prices: $14 per person (includes access to the Back 40)
• Opening Day: Sep 9, 2023
• Normal business hours (Sat & Sun in Sept, Oct) plus October Friday afternoons.
• Theme: Down on the Farm
• Good for families looking for an easy, smaller kids corn maze to do as part of a fall farm outing.
Donuts, Cider & More at Their Market
(Did you know? – You can even order your donuts & cider online and have them waiting for you when you arrive!)
Schwallier’s Farm Market (inside the big red barn) sells fresh-made honey by the jar or by the comb, as well as products made from beeswax. You’ll also find lots of fresh apples and other tasty treats in their store.
Free Play Area With Straw Mountain and Mega Slide
There are two play areas at Schwallier’s. The main one by the market is free. The Back 40 requires admission.
Here in the main area, kids can climb a huge straw mountain or race to the finish in a water-pump duck race.
A giant black tube slide is a big draw inside the play barn.
The corn “sandbox” is another fun play place.
Seating and picnic areas are conveniently located near the main play area.
On weekends, kids can also ride on the cow barrel train. $3 per seat.
Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
Head to Schwallier’s Country Basket to find the perfect pumpkins for your jack-o-lanterns and home decorations.
Pick your own out of the patch or choose one that’s already picked.
They also have fall decorations, mums, Indian Corn, and straw bales available to purchase.
U-Pick Apples Come in over 15 Varieties
Schwallier’s Country Basket grows over 15 varieties of apples in their apple orchard including Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Empire and Cortland.
For the most up-to-date u-pick information, please check their Facebook page or call before you plan to pick.
Little Kids Will Also Love the Petting Farm
Visit with goats, chickens, bunnies, and more.
Sometimes they have kittens to cuddle.
The baby animals are friendly and love to play.
KDL Storytimes are at Schwalliers
Head to Schwalliers on Tuesdays this fall for storytimes from beloved KDL librarians.
Scenic Wagon Rides
On weekends the large tractor-wagon gives rides around the orchard.
Get Delicious Fare from the N.O.B. and Lazy Day Coffee Camper
Open weekends only, the N.O.B. (New Old Barn) is Schwallier’s lunch and dining spot for hungry visitors from 11 AM – 5 PM. Their local chef serves up handcrafted burgers, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, and tomato-basil soup. We also heard that they maybe be offering wood-fired pizza soon!
These meals are made from fresh, local ingredients in a beautiful 100-year-old barn that was recently saved from demolition.
Need a boost? Head to the Lazy Dazy Coffee Camper to the farm on Saturdays and Sundays. Fancy coffee pairs wonderfully with those homemade donuts.
Details on Visiting Schwallier’s
Schwallier’s is located at 1185 9 Mile Rd, Sparta, MI 49345.
They’re open seasonally from August – October. Operating Hours are: Monday-Friday 7 AM -6 PM and Saturday & Sunday 9 AM – 6 PM (After Labor Day – October 31)
2023 Corn Maze + Back 40 admission: $14 (+$5 for a bucket of apples to shoot out of the cannons)
You can get their latest info from the Schwallier’s Facebook page.