As the weather begins to cool off, it gets harder to get the kids outside to find things to do. Thankfully my kid loves to be outside, no matter the temperature. But the past two years we've taken our daughter to local pumpkin patches to pick out gourds to decorate our home and front steps with, and we plan on doing it again this coming weekend if the weather stays nice.

Last year we took our first visit to Sekapp Orchard and had an absolute blast, especially Charlee, and I'm sure it was because we took her on the tractor and got to go pick out a dozen apples straight from the tree!

Apple pies, ciders, and more apple fun is a big part of fall for some households. Some aren't the best for regular eating so folks will use them to make cider or pies or other recipes as well. I know there are several apple orchards across southeast Minnesota, but do they all allow you to come out and pick your own?

Both Sekapp Orchard in Rochester and Apple Ridge Orchard in Mazeppa allow this, however Apple Ridge also features fresh grapes, and pumpkins too. Northwoods Orchard in Oronoco also mentions plenty of fall fun for pumpkins but you're also able to come out and pick-your-own fresh apples (at least another 3 weeks or so) for fun fall recipes too. They currently have pre-picked through the end of October; varieties vary each week.

There's also Blossom Hill Orchard & Farm in Preston. While they don't allow you to roam their orchard's and pick the apples yourself, you do have the option to buy their apples in the gift shop along with pies, jam, ciders and other fantastically delicious food.

If you'd like to see where you can pick your own apples, or any other favorite food items you frequently use in the kitchen, you can visit

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