Updated for 2017
The kids are back in school and the mornings are getting crisp! If you’re looking to celebrate fall with apple fun, we’re here to help! The bad news is there really aren’t any public spots to go apple picking in the South Sound (or even very close….), but there are several South Sound area apple events full of old fashioned fun. We’ve also linked to other options farther afield (Get it)? Read on for the whole round up! Note that this post is specific to apple events; I have another round up of harvest festivals that will be updated soon!
I decided to put this in the apple post since they’re offering cider squeezing! This one is hosted by Green Play Cooperative school on Saturday, September 30th and is open to the public. Other activities include eco face-painting, s’mores around the fire pit, free organic soups, free harvest muffins and baked goods, caramel apples, forest play and nature-crafting, strolling musicians, farm animals for snuggling, storytelling in the meadow, and more! a 15.00 donation per family is suggested.
Meeker Mansion hosts their annual Cider Squeeze on Saturday, October 14, 10:00am-4:00pm. Squeeze apples for some fresh cider, pick out a carving pumpkin, visit a favorite vendor, or munch on apple treats from the snack shack.
No public events this year, but they are doing something for CSA share members, and you can ask about tours for educational groups. They do have organic produce available for purchase year round!
Steilacoom Historical Museum Association hosts their annual Apple Squeeze on Sunday, October 1. Make fresh squeezed cider and purchase apple treats. Last year’s event included apple trees for sale and an apple expert on hand to answer questions, along with children’s activities, pony rides, and more. If you’re new to the area, this is a lovely town, with an old-fashioned charm.
Lattin’s hosts a month long Apple Festival, beginning the last weekend of September and running through the last weekend of October. Plenty of apples on hand for sampling, and last year they had very low prices if you want to buy some to take home for munching. The kids will enjoy visiting the farm, checking out the Goat Walk, animal train, face paint, games, pony rides, petting farm, and of course, bobbing for apples! Plenty of treats to try including bbq, apple crisp, caramel apples, apple pie, hot and cold cider, berry cider, cider donuts, apple cake and our famous Apple Fritters. We have a more detailed review of this spot coming soon.
If you want to actually Pick apples, the Curran Orchard in University Place is where to go. Their annual event has past (it’s at the end of August), but you can look into adopting a tree for next year now, or just mark the date on your calendar! The public is welcome to visit the orchard, and you can also schedule tours (would be a fun idea if you have a group of preschoolers or homeschoolers).If you’re bummed you missed the picking and squeezing event, make sure you subscribe to our weekly emails!
The Pierce County Gleaning Project sends volunteers to pick crops that would otherwise go to waste. They are donated to area food banks, and volunteers usually get to keep some as well! I don’t know a whole lot of details about this program, but I sure think it’s cool. You can check it out and register as a gleaner. Do note that spots often go fast! If you have your own crops going to waste, you can also get in touch with them!
Beyond the South Sound
If you want to have the kiddos pick apples right off the tree, you’re going to have to find a generous neighbor (try finding your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook), or take a road trip. The closest options are found north, in Skagit County. To really multiply your options, you can head east over the mountains. Lauren of NWTripFinder has some fun spots in both areas. Btw, if you’re here via NWTripFinder, welcome! Our specialty is South Sound adventures, and we’d love to have you come back again!
There will also be lots of farm festivals and pumpkin patch fun in the weeks to come. Look for our updated guides to those soon. If you can’t wait, check out this fun post: