We are unbelievably lucky to live in an area filled with so many places to enjoy the fall season. One place that we’ve been meaning to visit is Royal Oak Farm Orchard in Harvard. Besides the usual fall activities — apple picking, pumpkins, apple cider donuts — Royal Oak Farm Orchard is also known for the world’s only apple maze. It’s been ages since we last visited, so it was time to visit again. We had a great time!
Highlights of Royal Oak Farm Orchard:
- Get lost in the apple maze. The main attraction at the farm (besides the apples) is the apple maze around, the only one of its kind around.
We didn’t have a terribly difficult time navigating through the maze with a map in hand. Going through the apple maze, we were tempted to pick the apples. Lucky for us, we are able to pick 2 apples from designated trees. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find anything worth picking since we were late in the season.
One of the more advanced challenges included figuring out a message. Each “stop” had clues and also fun diversions for the kids. Our personal favorite was looking out from the two-story tower.
- Apple picking. Unfortunately, my phone died and didn’t get a chance to take pictures. Trust me, it was tons of fun. Although it was later in the season, we still had a lot of choices of trees to pick from. After parking our wagon, we went ahead and hopped on a wagon to the orchard. After our visit, Empire apples have become our new favorite apple.
- Food..and more. If you’re hungry, you’re in the right place here. They have delicious apple cider donuts (even minis), apple cider, and caramel apples in their store. They also have a restaurant on-site that serves good ol’ home cooking including a fantastic chicken pot pie. Their store also has cute decor and even clothes!
- Fun kids area. Although the area isn’t so large, we still found enough to keep the kids entertained. The main things that require tokens (or a wristband) are the trackless train (1 token) and the carousel (1 token).
My little one adored seeing the animals. But I think the kids were most excited about the playground. Go figure, right?
- Get cozy. My favorite part of the area was enjoying our apple cider donuts and apple cider in front of the bonfire on these adorable logs. What a fun memory!
It was great that we had a chance to go through the apple maze and finally went apple picking. Next time, we’ll go earlier in the season.
Location: 15908 Hebron Road, Harvard, IL 60033
Hours: Until Oct. 31st, Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM – 5:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM*, Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM*; Nov. 1st – 12th Monday – Sunday 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM*
Cost: $18 adults activity wristband (includes apple picking, apple maze, orchard tour on weekends); $15 kids wristband (includes apple picking, apple maze, trackless train, carousel); 1 token = $3
Food: Yes, you can purchase food there. Must try the donuts. I also heard the chicken pot pie was good. They have a restaurant on site.
Crowded: We visited on Sunday afternoon and it wasn’t busy.
Disclosure: Although complimentary tickets were provided, as always all opinions are my own.