Fall is finally here and being a true Michangander that I am, when the clouds start getting darker and the chill sets in the air, I get excited for family fall fun.
My son’s first field trip as a kindergartner was a trip to the Westview Orchards & Cider Mill on Van Dyke in Washington Township. Eager to get started on fall fun outdoors, I volunteered to chaperone.
Because my son goes to private school, we do not have bussing for field trips so the classroom teachers choose parent volunteers to drive the kids to their field trip destinations. Having just two children of my own and wishing I had more, I was excited to chaperone three little boys on the trip.
Westview Orchards has a lot to offer kids of all ages and our little kindergartners had a great time! Our first adventure involved taking a hay ride on a trailor pulled by an enormous tractor through the muddy trails on the Westview property. It was a big hit for the kids, especially the boys who seem to naturally like mud, stinky tractors and being outside (I’m hearing Tim Allen’s “Har Har” in the background).
Once our driver reached a good spot, we were able to hop off in the middle of the apple orchard and pick five apples per person. I was amazed at how bountiful the supply was. The kids loved running from tree to tree picking their favorites. After the apple orchard, we were taken through the pumpkin patches, which entailed another bountiful selection.
After the hay ride, the kids ate their lunches outside. It was quite hard keeping them interested in their food since there was more fun to be had. I had to do a lot of negotiating to get them to eat, but gave in after all three were begging to go have more fun. Call me a sucker for puppy dog eyes!
After lunch, we visited the petting zoo. That area kept the kids interested for about 20 minutes. We visited each animal and had fun discussions about the animal’s behaviors and their eagerness to lick the kid’s faces. We even fed the animals by hand. Next, the kids thoroughly enjoyed running free and playing on the playscapes in the playground area (If you have or have had a kindergartner, you know how important this area is!). They even enjoyed climbing the tower of hay bundles and posing for pictures once they reached the top.
After so much fun, the teachers realized time had flown by and the doughnuts and cider set aside for the kids had to be taken back to school for an afternoon snack. I don’t think the kids minded since they were able to enjoy the snack back at school, giving them more free time in the afternoon. Ha! I think the teachers were outsmarted by their pupils!
Because we were on a school trip and time was a factor, our activities were limited but we all sure did have fun. If you’ve never been to Westview, I highly recommend it. You can pick your own apples and pumpkins on the property, feed the animals and watch the making of cider in the mill. Doughnuts and cider are always fresh and tasty and hot dogs, kettle corn and baked goods are available to purchase too! Not only do they have a playground for the kids but they also have a large tunnel slide, in ground trampolines and pony rides.
I plan on going back with my family soon. It’s a Fall favorite of ours and we usually go 2-3 times per year. It’s a must see place in Michigan this Fall. If you get a chance to go, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.