Fruit Picking to Farm Animals – Family Memories Await Down on the Farm!
I grew up in the Grand Rapids suburbs and always loved autumn, as it often gave our family an excuse to go visit a farm. Autumn in Michigan just begs for trips to pumpkin patches and apple orchards; it begs for warm apple cider in one hand and a fresh donut in the other.
There’s something special about visiting a farm. Whether it’s visiting with animals up close or picking your own fruit straight from the source–it’s a reminder of simpler life.
West Michigan is full of family-friendly farm experiences!
Pick it Yourself
We live in blueberry country and I patiently wait for those blueberries to be ready for me to pick! Summer fruits are what get me excited–you can find many places to pick your own strawberries and blueberries around Grand Rapids. In the fall it’s all about picking those crisp apples and giant pumpkins. I don’t think there is anything better than a fresh Michigan apple!
Fruit picking is a fun outing to do with your kids and it’s a great way to save a little money. Eat some now and freeze some for later! My family devoured 40 pounds of frozen blueberries before March was over–we’ll need to freeze more this year.
While it is fun to pick your own produce, sometimes it’s just not worth the hassle with littler ones along. You’re in luck because West Michigan is loaded with Farmer’s Markets! You can get the fresh from the farm produce without having to find time to pick it yourself.
There is a Farmer’s Market for nearly every city in the Grand Rapids area. With many operating on different days, you could find an open market most days of the week.
Grand Rapids’ most iconic Farmer’s Market has to be the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market. While I’ve been here many times, there is always something new to discover. Make a trip yourself to see why so many people think it’s the best!
If you’re really short on time, joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a another option. This provides you with portions of in-season produce for a set fee. Many CSA pick-up sites are at local Farmer’s Markets, so you could get all your produce in one stop!
There are always wonderful things to do down on the farm. Autumn is a particularly special time to visit a West Michigan farm.
Some local favorites are places like Klackle Orchards and Fruit Ridge Hayrides. There are always new corn mazes with fun themes that will leave you befuddled and tired (but sure you earned that cider and donut).
The farm fun doesn’t have to stop when the snow comes. There are a few places you can snag a horse drawn sleigh ride in West Michigan as well!
Baby farm animals can warm up all of our frozen hearts after a long Michigan winter. If you want a taste of life on a farm without living on one–there are several places you can get close to animals around West Michigan. One of our new favorite places to get cozy with a farm friend is at the Wittenbach Wege Center!
And if one day is just not enough for the animal enthusiast in your life, consider an area summer camp that can give your child a chance to spend extensive time hanging out with their favorite furry friends.
Did we find all the exciting farm activities for kids around West Michigan? If not, let us know in the comments!