As the leaves begin to change and temperatures start to cool, we can't help but think about all the fun fall activities ahead — sipping apple cider at a local orchard, taking a trailer ride to a pumpkin patch, and navigating through a corn maze. Need some ideas on where to get started? There are lots of local farms, orchards and outdoor spaces we think are perfect for fall family fun.
1. Allen's Orchard
Location: 5801 N 10th St, Marion, IA 52302
Allen’s Orchard is a family-run orchard in Marion that offers 40 varieties of apples that you can either pick right off the tree yourself on Saturday's and Sunday's or you can get pre-picked apples ready to go in the store. Allen's also has fresh produce, unique gifts, and tasty treats such as donuts, turnovers, cookies, pies, and caramel apples. They also have friendly goats you can pet, a small selection of pumpkins and tractor rides on the weekends. Allen's is currently open 7 days a week, but be sure to check their website for more information.
2. Wilson's Orchard
Location: 4823 Dingleberry Road NE, Iowa City, Iowa 52240
Wilson’s Orchard in Iowa City allows visitors to pick their own apples from more than 120 varieties of apple trees, as well as pumpkins from the pumpkin patch in October. They also offer other seasonal produce, apple treats, fresh baked goods, gifts, and more inside their store. On weekends, take tractor rides for $5/person (apply your trailer ride ticket toward the purchase of apples, either freshly picked or from the cooler). Visit their website for more information.
3. The Big Apple Orchard
Location: 1115 Hwy 30 W, Mount Vernon, Iowa 52314
1. Bass Family Farms
Location: 840 Bass Lane, Mount Vernon, IA 52314
In addition to their chemical-free vegetable farm, Bass Family Farms in Mount Vernon offers agri-tours, hay bale rides, pumpkins, games, and other family-friendly activities, as well as locally-sourced, gourmet food items in their farm store. Visit their website for more information.
2. Bloomsbury Farm
Location: 3260 69th St, Atkins IA 52206
Described as a "little Disneyland in the Heartland," Bloomsbury Farm in Atkins offers a wide variety of activities for young and old, including a pumpkin patch, two large corn mazes, hayrack rides, a jumping pillow, "pumpkin blaster," zip line, petting zoo and lots more! Visit their website for more information about hours, events, and activities.
3. Bart's Farm & Pumpkin Patch
Location: 7307 Alburnett Rd, Marion, IA 52302
4. Kroul Farms
Location: 245 Hwy. 1 South, Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Kroul Farms in Mount Vernon offers pumpkins, a corn maze, family activities, and farm animals. They also sell Indian corn, gourds, squash, straw bales, corn-shucks, and specialty pumpkins for all of your fall decorating needs. Check their website for more information.
1. Wickiup Hill Learning Area
Location: 10260 Morris Hills Rd, Toddville, IA 52341
Wickiup Hill is an educational nature center that offers a variety of exhibits, programs, and classes for all ages, bird and wildlife viewing areas, six miles of trails, an observation deck, wetland boardwalk, prairies, woodlands, savanna habitats, and more. Be sure to visit their children's outdoor nature playscape, Wickiup's Wandering Woods! Visit their website for more information.
2. Pinicon Ridge Park
Location: 4729 Horseshoe Falls Rd, Central City, IA 52214
This 966-acre park along the Wapsipinicon River has long been admired for its scenic natural beauty. The hilly, heavily wooded area is divided by the river and home to many species of wildlife. Camping is available typically through mid-October. The boat ramp, kayak access, multiple hiking trails, and playground make this an ideal recreational area.
3. Palisades-Kepler State Park
Location: 700 Kepler Drive, Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Palisades-Kepler State Park is a beautiful wooded park along the Cedar River in Linn County that offers camping, six miles of wooded hiking trails, a beautiful view along the shoreline, and much more! Visit their website for more information.
4. Indian Creek Nature Center
Location: 5300 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
Indian Creek Nature Center is home to 500 acres of natural prairie, woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife. Wander the extensive trail system, play in the Hazelnut Hideaway outdoor play area, or explore the Amazing Space facility. Visit their website to learn more about upcoming events and other information about the Nature Center.