Apple picking is one of our favorite family adventures, and happily, Darien is located quite conveniently for quick trips to local orchards and other hotbeds of apple-centric activities. Here are some of our favorites:
1) Beardsley’s Cider Mill is about 45 minutes away in Shelton, but it’s a simplified operation–just apples and a market (with amazing cider doughnuts–get them fresh and hot!). Generally, they are only open on Saturdays and Sundays, but will be open on Monday, Columbus Day.
2) Silverman’s Farm is your one stop shop for all your autumnal needs: apple picking, hayride, pumpkin patch–plus a petting farm, occasional music, and a farm market with all manner of pie. It’s quick, convenient, and extremely family friendly, but it can also get very crowded. We recommend going early. Open 7 days a week.
3) Ellsworth Hill Farm in Sharon is farther still up in Litchfield County (about an hour and a half), but the drive is worth it for the views alone. In addition to the apple picking, they have a pumpkin patch and a corn maze. Stop off for lunch in Kent–either at one of the fabulous cafes in town or plan to picnic at the banks of Kent Falls–and make a day of it.
4) Lyman’s Orchards in Middlefield, CT is a bit like Silverman’s: a one stop shop that offers apple picking, a corn maze, and a fully stocked Apple Barrel market and cafe (where it’s easy to pick up sandwiches and eat on site). It’s about an hour’s drive and is only about 15 minutes from Kid City, one of our favorite children’s museums specializing in the under-8 set.