One of my favorite fall traditions is to visit Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Connecticut. Having grown up in Connecticut, I love fall in New England, and visiting the orchards offers a full day of soaking up all the best parts of the harvest season. There is nothing better than spending a beautiful fall day outdoors navigating a corn maze, picking pumpkins and enjoying a piping hot cup of apple cider.
After hearing about their famous corn maze, my family and I decided to head to Lyman Orchards to check it out. It was such a fun time, we’ve gone back every year since. There is always a theme to the maze, which dictates what the maze creates an aerial picture of, and which the maze navigation clues are based on. For example, this year’s theme is American Presidents; the maze is cut to look like the faces of George Washington and Barack Obama, and the navigation clues are given in the form of Presidential trivia. They keep the maze open from September to November, Wednesdays through Fridays from 3pm to 6pm and weekends and holidays from 10am to 6pm. Tickets cost $9 for adults and $5 for children aged 4-12, and part of the proceeds from ticket sales goes directly to the American Cancer Society.
Once we finish the maze, we stop to have a lunch of classic festival foods, including chili dogs, cheeseburgers, ice cream and funnel cakes, before heading out to the orchards to pick our own apples. We usually find our own way over the hill to where the orchards and picking patches are, but there is also a horse-drawn wagon ride that will bring you there, if you’d prefer. With 28 varieties of apples to choose from, you’re bound to find your favorite, or feel free to try a few different kinds. If you go early enough in the season, you may also still be able to pick peaches, or if you go after mid September, pumpkins are ripe to pick as well.
A couple fields over from the picking orchards is Frisbee golf, played by throwing a disk at a target in an open field. It is one of the least busy activities available, and my family has a great time taking over and running around the field, working off our lunches and working up another appetite for the goodies in the Apple Barrel. The Apple Barrel is Lyman Orchard’s market, open daily from 9am to 6pm, year round. They sell farm fresh produce and homemade delights that are absolutely delicious. Known for their award-winning apple pie, you won’t want to leave without trying a slice. And after trying it, you’ll probably find yourself buying a whole pie to take home for later! My personal favorite, though, are the apple cider doughnuts. Small, perfectly cooked doughnut holes with a cinnamon-sugar coating, these treats are amazing, I look forward to them every year!
If you’re in Connecticut this fall, definitely check out Lyman Orchards, I guarantee you’ll find something you’ll love. If you can’t make it to Middlefield for the activities, though, I still suggest going online to the Lyman Orchards website and ordering yourself some freshly picked apples, or a homemade pie. That way, you can have a taste of fall in Connecticut wherever you are.