Top 10 Reasons to Bring Your Kids to Apple Hill in Placerville, CA

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Apple Hill region is the best family getaway. Kids of all ages have a great time at Apple Hill! From petting farms, to riding trains and ponies, to picking your own pumpkins and apples, there is no end of fun. Apple Hill is right next to Placerville, CA, just a short drive from Eden Vale Inn. It’s an area of over 50 ranches and farms, all run by families who love their work and truly care about their visitors. They offer kids play areas, baking classes, face painting, nature trails, and great activities and tours!

Since there is so much fun to choose from in Apple Hill, we have created this guide to help your family design your best visit. Pick and choose from these Top Ten Reasons to Bring Your Kids (or Grandkids!) to Apple Hill. (The numbers refer to the Apple Hill Growers Association map that is available at Eden Vale Inn at no charge. Or, you can view it here.)

Petting Farms! What can be more adorable than your little ones petting little farm animals – make sure to bring your camera! Visit Apple Ridge Farms #20, Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14, and Kids Inc. #5.

Rides! It’s a thrill, especially for a child, to ride a horse, pony, and train. Abel’s Acres #38 has lots of kids activities including lead-line horse and pony rides. Bluestone Meadow #56 has a tractor train, you have to see this one! Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14 offers pony rides and High Hill Ranch #1 offers both pony and hay rides. If you are in the mood for a full engine-pulled train for all ages, head to El Dorado Orchards or Hillside Tree Farm.

U-pick! Kids love to pick their fruit and holiday pumpkins themselves. For pumpkin patches, head to Apple Ridge Farms #20, Cardanini’s Pumpkin Patch #42, Kids Inc. #5, Mill View Ranch #23, and O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch #18. Mill View Ranch #23 has a huge decorated pumpkin patch with a live, goofy, scarecrow that the kids love.

For berries and apples as well as pumpkins, visit Harris Tree Farm #84, Pine O’Mine #41 and Sun Mountain Farm #28. If you and your kids love apples, apples, apples, there are over 30 varieties waiting for you to pick’em at Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14.

Prepare to be aMAZEd! Harvest is a great time for mazes – a safe way for your kids to use their noggin’s to get from Point A to Point B. Abel’s Acres #38 has a new fenced maze. Apple Ridge Farms #20 has a hay bale maze. Cardanini’s Pumpkin Patch #42 has one corn maze, and Kids Inc. #5 has 2 fun corn mazes!

Nature trails! Let your kids enjoy the fresh air and rolling hills of those welcoming farms that offer special trips on their lands. Some places require advance appointments, which we can set up for you. Farms with nature trails open all the time include Apple Ridge Farms #20, Harris Tree Farm #84 Kids Inc. #5, and O’Halloran’s Apple Trail Ranch #18. Grandpa’s Cellar #17 has a nature trail that is decorated as a Haunted Trail in the last week of October!

Outdoor Play! If you have young kids, they can have a wonderful play time at Abel’s Acres #38. Their Kid’s Corral for ages 5 and under is very safe and very fun! Other kids play areas are at Fudge Factory Farm #40, Larson Apple Barn & Bakeshop #9, and Pine O’Mine #41. Rainbow Orchards #10 has a hay bale hop, and half the time the adults join the kids! For a big play environment, head over to Kids Town at Mill View Ranch #23. It’s an old-west style miniature town with has 18 buildings and playgrounds where the kids can play for hours.

Get Creative – Cooking and Crafts. Kids get such a sense of pride making an apple turnover at Apple Pantry Farm, an apple pie at Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14, a tamale or hand pie at Grandpa’s Cellar #17, and a “Candy Creature” at the Fudge Factory Farm #40. Apple Hill gets their inner artist going – kids can make an apple wreath at Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14, a ceramic bowl at Grandpa’s Cellar #17, and decorate mini-pumpkins at Kids Inc. #5.

Fun activities. Orchard Bingo and more at Grandpa’s Cellar #17. Face painting at Able’s Acres and Denver Dan’s. Bluestone Meadow #56 has a puppet theatre, and a pumpkin trebuchet. What the heck is a trebuchet? It’s also called a “pumpkin chucker,” so you see why the kids get a kick out of it!

Catch a fish! Anglers know that fishing is a great way to bond with children. And you can do it right in Apple Hill! High Hill Ranch #1 stocks a fishing pond. Rent a pole and buy bait from them, or bring your own. No fishing license needed.

The Back Story. Let a farmer teach your children where our food comes from. Farmers and ranchers in Apple Hill are part of the “farm to fork” food model that is increasingly popular in Sacramento, California, and across the world. Learn at the Apple Hill Museum how the original local farmers created their association that brings enjoyment to so many, at the Larsen Apple Barn & Bakeshop #9. At Denver Dan’s Apple Patch #14 and Grandpa’s Cellar #17, your kids (and you!) can have fun learning about food growing and harvesting. See the tools and learn how they are used. The educational tours require an appointment, which we are happy to make for our guests.

Contact us for more information, and to help you set up your perfect family visit to Eden Vale Inn and Apple Hill. If you can come mid-week, you get special room rates and extra kids activities available!

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