I love the change of seasons, because each one promises such diverse activities for our family. Fall, for us, marks the beginning of the holiday festivities to come. We’ve been having fun brainstorming on our Halloween costumes for this year. Bridgette thinks I should be a fairy, while Brianne thinks I should be a butterfly. I, on the other hand, have big plans to DIY my costume this year….that is, if I can find the time to do so between designing their holiday cards, hand-making Christmas gifts, and planning our upcoming trips!
The girls have a theme that they learn about in kindergarten every week. Two weeks ago, it was all about apples and Johnny Appleseed. I thought it’d be fun to add onto the classroom lessons by actually taking them to an apple farm! So off we went over Columbus Day weekend, driving almost 3 hours up to Placerville, to the famous Apple Hill orchards.
Apple Hill is a collective of over 50 orchards, big and small, that harvests (mainly) apples and a variety of other fruits such as pears, persimmons, and blackberries. Located at the Sierra foothills east of Placerville, October is its true apple harvesting month, drawing big crowds from all over to enjoy not only the 8,000 ton of apples that are harvested there every year, but also the adjoining pumpkin patches, craft fairs, and an abundance of other family-oriented activities.
With only 2 days there, I had to strategically plan ahead on our Apple Hill route. We left our house around 8am on Sunday morning, and arrived 3 hours later at High Hill Ranch, which runs one of the biggest operations at Apple Hill. We ended up spending nearly 4 hours there, for there was so much to see and do! We gave the girls a budget of $20 each for the day, and the first thing they chose to spend their money on was, ofcourse, face painting and apple milkshakes.
There is a giant pond at High Hill, where kids can conveniently rent equipment to fish. The girls had never been fishing before, so they were anxious to try. Neither Mimi nor I really knew anything about fishing either. The four of us spent some time figuring out how to use the rod, and we never quite mastered it, but at least we got the right part of the rod in the water somehow. 🙂
It was a gorgeous day out, and we spent a part of the afternoon climbing trees, playing duck duck goose, and enjoying the beautiful Northern California sunshine!
There were lots of art and craft booths offering creative, handmade items, and some DIY opportunities for kids. The girls loved making their own candles, and choosing the scent for them!
There was a small Fudge Factory next to High Hill Ranch, and the girls got to indulge in fudge samples and caramel apples! It was also fun for them to see the many different types of apples grown on the ranch, in line with what they were learning in kindergarten. Bridgette has declared her favorite apple to be the “Red Delicious” apples while Brianne is loyal to “Granny Smith” apples. 🙂