One of the things we as a family have wanted to do this year was find a place we could go pick apples. We did just that, we decided that on a Saturday we would pick one of the (somewhat) local farms to go apple picking and it was not quite what I was expecting, but it was a fun experience nonetheless!
There are many farms in the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area and the one we decided on was Willow View Farms out in Abbotsford. Why did we pick this one? No real reason but they are fairly active on social media channels, especially Facebook. They recently experience a large fire on the farm (I heard about it on my drive into work one day) and what I found interesting was how the community came together and helped get them into a state where they could still have people come to the farm and enjoy the apple picking experience!
Getting to the Farm
We first started out Saturday adventure off in Mission for a picnic, so I had Waze direct us to getting to Willow View Farms from Fraser River Heritage Park. The route was interesting but it didn’t take us long to get there from Mission. Perhaps 15 minutes at most? I then realized that Willow View Farms was only a few roads over from the Abbotsford International Airport, which means it is really easy to get to from the Trans-Canada Highway or any nearby community.
Of course you can just check out their page on how to get there but I’ll include a map for easy reference too.
When we arrived at the farm we parked and got the kids out. At this point both kidlets were excited!
When you first arrive make sure you pick up a wagon. You will not only need it to carry tired kids, but it is great to have to carry the bags of apples you can pick! Also pick up a map of the farms. Willow View Farms on a daily basis will highlight which rows of trees which have the best apples to pick that day and for us it were the Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh variety of apples.
As you can see the trees are quite short. I would only assume they keep them short so the fruit grows lower to the ground. I was expecting large and tall trees with ladders to be used to pick the fruit. I guess due to liability issues there are no ladders, but then with trees at this level you do not need any ladders! This was great, the kids could easily pick apples from many of the trees. What a cool experience!
Willow View Farms even had pear trees that you can pick from! The little guy and I picked a few of them for my work lunches. They were a bit higher up in the tree so I had to lift up ‘A’ to allow him to pick the better ones.
We spent a good couple of hours picking apples (and some pears). The sun bearing down on us was a bit much but we weren’t expecting it to be a blue bird day either as the forecast mentioned overcast skies. If you do go on a blue bird day, bring hats and plenty of water to drink!
After we were done picking apples and paid for them, I put them back in our vehicle while the kidlets played at the various playground equipment they have on the property.
When I got back to them we took them into the barn to check out some of the animals they have on the farm; goats, turkeys, chickens, pigs etc.
Walking around the property you wouldn’t have noticed they had a fire recently. There is construction happening but everything was running smooth and the kids had a lot of fun.
If you are looking for something different to do with the kids this season before the pumpkin patches are opened, take them to an apple tree farm! Lots of fun to have for both the kids and the parents!