5 Picks for Fall Family Fun
It’s here! The mornings are chilly and the nights are crisp. The daylight looks a little more gold and darkness comes too early. You’ve even probably thought about swapping in your flannel sheets and you may have flipped the furnace to ‘heat’.
Alas! It’s FALL! It’s time to soak up the last of the snow-less days and enjoy the beautiful outdoors before we are spending waaaay too much time indoors.
I consider Fall the no-excuse time to enjoy donuts and cider in copious amounts. Don’t take it for granted! When we lived in Iowa, “donuts and cider” was not a thing.. It consisted of buying grocery store donuts and imported cider… It was just not the same as what we have here in Northern MI. We are SO lucky!
Alright, in alphabetical order, here are our go to full-fledged-Fall-everything spots in this area. I could ramble on and on about the memories we have at each of these places, but I’ll spare you and encourage you and your loves to get out and make your own! Check the websites below for all the details. Hours, events and scheduling can vary.
1) Boyne City Harvest Festival : Right down the road from us! This event is tomorrow! The Chamber in collaboration with the Main Street Program as well as the farmer’s market all merge to transform the downtown area into a Fall-filled strolling market. All your favorite farmer’s market vendors, plus a ton more, add in hay rides and kid activities as well as live music! It’s a free event, too! Many downtown merchants are participating in a scarecrow contest and have very creatively decorated their store fronts. As a small town, Boyne does it big!
2) Charlevoix Apple Fest : Ok, yes! As locals we do love this event! Even though Charlevoix has less than desirable parking and traffic flow, it is worth the drive/headache. All the local farms converge to main street with apples and apple-flavored products galore! There’s a huge craft show, farmer’s market, petting zoo, lots of food options, and it all happens right on gorgeous Round Lake. Insider tip: The freshly made before your eyes donuts at the Friske stand are OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. You’ll be glad you waited in line.. I promise!
3) Friske’s Farm Market : We reaaaally love venturing over to Friske’s (especially when there are lots of kids to entertain!). The playground, sand box, goats, and open grass to run is a little person’s dream! It’s also equally enjoyable by adults who want to sit and enjoy lunch from their delicious cafe! The offerings at the cafe cover everyone’s palate - and nothing to feel guilty about because many of the offerings are both delicious and nutritious (and all home made!). They’ve also got loads of fresh fruit and year-round U-Pick options. You also won’t be able to JUST walk by the beautiful showcase of bakery items (yes, donuts, too!), so plan to indulge a little! As a monster cookie lover, theirs are over the top gooey yumminess!
4) King Orchards (the M-88 market) : Fun story - A few years ago one of our patient’s was raving to Ryan about “the best cider” around. Ryan came home to tell me about it and after a few blind Google searches (because Ryan couldn’t remember the name…) … “King’s!” “That’s it!” We ventured out that weekend and haven’t turned back yet. As we walked in, the warming lamp shined on freshly fried donuts and it was all over. Their cider is unpasteurized, so to us it’s a decadence after growing up with fond memories of making freshly pressed cider in my aunt and uncle’s garage. They’ve got U-Pick fruit and pre-picked in their market. They also have TONS of pumpkins, gourds and squash.. TONS! So it’s a great spot to go pick out that perfect pumpkin (and snap that obligatory family pic!). We took our friends from WI last year and after the kids downed a 1/2 gallon of cider and a dozen donuts, we made them hike to the pumpkin patch.. Highly recommended. Good times! ;) It’s a true hidden gem!
5) Pond Hill Farm : THE family fun destination in Emmet County. Period. With fields covered in fresh veggies (available at local farmer’s markets and their own on site market), as well as a gorgeous hillside vineyard, this is a stop for all ages. They brew their own beer on site and have homemade wines as well! Imagine pushing your kids on a swing with a beer in your hand… Yep. That happens here. It’s a dream come true! ;) They have an amazing play area, goats to feed, as well as hiking trails and LOADS of pumpkins! The cafe has delicious food (options for all eaters!) and a great kids menu! I can promise immediately sleeping kids on the drive home from this destination!