When the wind begins to blow and the leaves fall from their branches, our kids know the time for our annual apple orchard visit is at hand. For ten years we have journeyed north to Wisconsin, to a place called Apple Holler. It is not a small operation by any stretch of the imagination. In addition to offering pick your own fruit, they entice visitors with hay rides, games, a corn maze, a restaurant and store, and many other whimsical farm creations. It is a true retail operation. If you don’t live near one of the countless orchards of the Midwest, don’t worry, you can see if they’re picking apples somewhere near you by visiting PickYourOwn.org. This site offers the locations of “pick your own” farms all over the country and is a great resource any time of year.
This post has three parts: Tips for Visiting an Apple Orchard, A Visit to Apple Holler, and What to Do With All Those Apples Once You Have Them. A lot of information, but hopefully it will inspire you to take your kids on your own family apple adventure.
This week I learned many new things about transitioning websites and making a YouTube video. Here is my first YouTube video (youtube.com/user/kidsareatrip) about our family’s visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo just north of downtown Chicago.
Vlogging is obviously something new to me, but I hope you enjoy my first attempt!
Do you vlog? What are some of your favorite tips?
Every year our family tries to take a trip abroad, and when it came to choosing this year’s destination, it came down to two things: 1) When we can travel? and 2) Where can we go on frequent flyer miles? Choosing the time was easy. Baseball season lasts through the end of July, so we would have to travel in August. However, it always seems that 90% of the world is on vacation in August, which is a problem for us because we don’t like to go where there are crowds. We also don’t like to travel anywhere hot and humid (because we can have that at home), so southern Europe was off the table. Frequent flyer miles are always tricky, so once we found our destination, I could start playing around with those.
I began researching our options seven months prior to our departure and found we would have to choose somewhere in Northern Europe, middle to late August. I realized there is a direct flight from Chicago to Helsinki (always book a direct flight with kids when possible), and since we had never visited that region of Europe, it was decided. The plan was to fly to Helsinki, visit St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Stockholm. However, as politics changed between the U.S. and Russia, we decided now was not the best time to travel to St. Petersburg. Changes were made and the new itinerary was set. We would visit: Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Bergen, Norway Fjord Country, Oslo and Tallinn. It was extremely ambitious for us as we have always stayed in one country for a two week period in the past, worried that it might be too much for our kids to always be on the go.
Eventually I will be writing destination and attraction reviews for the cities we visited, but with the start of school, the most I can do at this time is a brief overview. A “best of” list if you will. So here it goes… [Read more...]