It’s that time of year again…the air is getting crisp, the leaves are starting to change colors, and pumpkin spice is showing up in everything. It’s time to start thinking orchards! When we think orchards, we think donuts, cider, apple pie and fudge!

One of the wonderful things about the Rockford area is that we are surrounded by farmland. That means we have a great selection of local orchards to check out. Make it your goal this fall to check out all five of these local orchards and let us know which one is your favorite!

Edwards Apple Orchard

7061 Centerville Rd, Poplar Grove, IL

Edwards Apple Orchard Poplar Grove IL

Edwards Apple Orchard is the best-known orchard in the area and for good reason! It’s a huge orchard, with over 45 acres of apple trees, that’s been a staple in the community since 1964. Edwards was partially rebuilt after a tornado strike in 2008 and a fire in 2009. The orchard is very popular and is extremely busy most weekends especially on days with nice weather. If you want to beat the crowd, plan a visit for a weekday or a gloomy/drizzling fall day. Many people in our community have wonderful memories of the orchard and the amazing people that work there. If you’ve never been, you must go and make it part of your family’s history. There’s nothing better on a fall day than a hot cup of cider and a fresh Edwards donut!

Open August 23 through November 25, 2019

Hours:

August 24 – October 31: 9 am – 6 pm daily

November 1 – November 25: 9 am – 5 pm daily

Apple, berry, and pumpkin picking hours: 9 am – 5:30 pm daily

Edwards Apple Orchard image from Q985

What To Do There:

  • U-Pick apples, raspberries and pumpkins. See the apple season schedule here.
  • Visit the history barn
  • Go shopping for Edwards apparel, craft items, fresh flowers, and food in their giant barn
  • Take a horse-drawn wagon ride
  • Get a potato at potato tent
  • Listen to live music on weekends

Kids Attractions:

  • Kids play area with wooden train play structure and several play houses
  • Tractors to climb on
  • Petting zoo with goats, chickens, turkeys, and more
  • Pony rides
  • Hay barn

Must Do List:

  • Try a slice of apple pie topped with cheddar cheese
  • Check out the many flavors of homemade fudge. We recommend Cookies and Cream!
  • Get a fresh, hot donut
  • Take a family photo at the Edwards sign

Food Options:

  • 19+ varieties of apples
  • Apple pie
  • Apple donuts
  • Apple cider (hot and cold)
  • Caramel apples
  • Caramel
  • Fudge in 10+ flavors
  • Hot dogs, sandwiches, soup, and chips
  • Jams, jellies, honey, salsas and other canned goods

Cost: $$

Special note: Edwards does not take credit or debit. Bring cash or personal checks. They have an ATM on site.


Edwards Apple Orchard West

8218 Cemetery Rd, Winnebago, IL

Edwards Apple Orchard West image from Edwards website

For our friends on the west side of Rockford, or those who like a less crowded orchard atmosphere, Edwards Apple Orchard West is a great place to visit. The orchard has been in business since 1988 and has over 5,000 apple trees. West has everything you love about Edwards in Poplar Grove, but on a smaller scale. If you’re into the rural farm atmosphere, you will get that vibe here!

Open August 23 through December 1, 2019

Hours:

9 am – 6 pm daily

Edwards apples image from Edwards Apple Orchard West Facebook page

What To Do There:

Kids Attractions:

  • Kids play area with schoolhouse, wooden train and wooden bus play structures
  • Wagon slide
  • Corn cribs
  • Petting zoo with goats, turkeys, and more
  • Weekend pony rides
  • Weekend tractor rides into the orchard

Must Do List:

  • Get a fresh, hot apple cider donut
  • Check out the goat walk

Food Offered:

  • Apple cider donuts
  • 18 varieties of apples
  • Apple cider (hot and cold)
  • Apple cider slushies
  • Caramel apples
  • Jams, jellies, honey, and salsas

Cost: $$


Valley Orchard

811 E. State St. Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Valley Orchard Cherry Valley IL
Valley Orchard image from Valley Orchard Facebook

Valley Orchard is a 35 acre orchard with 5,000 apple trees located in Cherry Valley. If you want to beat the lines at other places, this is the place to go! Valley Orchard not only has the traditional sugar and cinnamon apple donuts, but they also offer a glazed apple donut that is delicious! Throughout the late summer and early fall you can pick a variety of berries, apples, and pumpkins at the orchard. People love the U-Pick options and donut varieties.

Open June through November 2019

Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 6 pm
Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm

Valley Orchard Cherry Valley IL
Valley Orchard donuts image from Valley Orchard Facebook Page

What To Do There:

  • U-Pick apples, blackberries, raspberries. Valley Orchard offers U-Pick options throughout the summer and fall. See the apple season schedule here.
  • Shop the decor and food items in the store

Kids Attractions:

  • Hay bale climb
  • Wagon tours
  • Playhouse
  • Tractors

Must Do List:

  • Try a glazed apple donut
  • Pick some berries or apples

Food Offered:

  • Traditional sugar and cinnamon apple cider donuts
  • Glazed apple cider donut
  • Fresh vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet corn
  • Apple cider
  • Apple pies
  • Fudge
  • Cinnamon bread
  • Caramel apples
  • Jams, jellies, salsas, honey, pumpkins

Cost: $


Curran’s Orchard

6385 Kilburn Avenue, Rockford, IL

Currans Rockford IL
Currans image from Currans Facebook page

Curran’s Orchard is a popular orchard that’s been in business since 1981, located on the west side of Rockford. They are on the smaller side, but good things come in small packages! There are two things that make Curran’s special, they use ⅓ of the typical amount of chemicals on their apples and they have award-winning cider. Some say Curran’s cider is the best in the area! Give it a try and see what you think. For 2019, they’ve added gluten free muffins and apple shaped cookies.

Open August 17 through November 2019

Hours:

9 am – 6 pm

Currans Apples and Cider
Currans Apples and Cider image from Currans Facebook page

What To Do There:

  • U-Pick cherries, raspberries, apples, and pumpkins (depending on when you visit). See the apple season schedule here.
  • Shop for crafts items and food
  • Check out the beehive display

Kids Attractions:

  • Hay wagon rides
  • Farm animal corral where you can feed goats, pigs, chickens, and turkeys
  • Hay stack
  • Straw bale mini maze
  • Climbing bales
  • Apple launcher

Must Do List:

  • Try an apple cider slushie
  • Take a picture on the vintage tractor
  • Let the kids jump in the haystack
  • Say hi to Larry the dog, the official Curran’s Orchard greeter

Food Offered:

  • Apple donuts
  • Cider
  • Apple cider slushies
  • Apple pie
  • Caramel apples
  • Honey, maple syrup, jams, salad dressings

Cost: $$


The Apple Hut

1718 W. Walters Rd, Beloit, WI

Apple Hut Beloit WI
Apple Hut image from Apple Hut Facebook page

The Apple Hut is a family run orchard in Beloit, Wisconsin. It opened in 1979 and currently has an orchard with 1,600 trees on 13 acres of land. This orchard is small, but it has a welcoming feel and excellent baked goods. People rave about the donuts!

Open August 30 through late October 2019

Hours:

Tuesdays – Sundays from 8 am – 5 pm

Apple Hut Beloit WI
Apple Hut treats image from Apple Hut Facebook page

What To Do There:

  • U-Pick apples starting in September
  • Shop in the barn for gifts

Kids Attractions:

  • U-Pick apple section is a small size so it’s perfect for kids

Must Do List:

  • Try a homemade apple turnover
  • Get a fresh, hot cider donut

Food Offered:

  • 17 apple varieties
  • Apple cider donuts
  • Apple turnovers
  • Apple pies
  • Caramel apples
  • Jams, jellies, and honey

Cost: $

Special note: The Apple Hut only takes cash.

Which orchard is your favorite?

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