Apple picking in Petaluma

Apple picking in Petaluma

It’s Fall! And I’m ignoring the fact, as I do every year, that we’re heading into the hottest part of the Bay Area summer and instead joining in with the rest of the northern hemisphere in celebrating all the cheesy festivities of Autumn. Without a doubt my favourite time of year. (Not to mention the run up to Christmas – yay, ok deep breaths….).

We may not be able to cosy up in woolly things quite yet, but this part of the world offers a brilliant selection of festive farm based activities at this time of year, all perfect for kids. Our regulars have become pumpkin patches, hay rides, vinyard harvests, Halloween parades – all to come 🙂  But first up, we finally made it to Chileno Valley Ranch last weekend for some apple picking.

This place is just stunning.  Surrounded by the golden, burnt out, rolling hills of the Chileno Valley it has a small farm animal petting area and lovely Victorian farm house with manicured gardens as a back drop.  The staff are fantastic, they will give you and your small people a lesson in how to correctly twist and pull the fruit and the apples hang at just the perfect height for toddlers. (A disappointment for Archer who had been most excited about the ladder climbing portion of the day!).  The U-pick sessions run from 9am-2pm every Sunday through September and October and cost just $6 per family.

The temperatures may have been back in the 90’s last Sunday, but the low, golden light that northern California is bathed in at this time of year plus the incredible display of autumn colours we’re treated to (something to do with the creation of more anthocyanin in the leaves in hot, dry climates… right?) makes for a stunning, if toasty, Fall.

Full disclosure: the actual fruit picking portion of the day lasted 35 minutes before we schlepped back into the shade for some freshly squeezed apple juice!  Then the pregnant lady needed feeding so we scooped everyone up into the lovely air conditioned car 🙂 and pootled back to Petaluma town for the most delicious brunch at ‘Luma’.  Great patio, perfect bennies and the staff brought out a huge basket of toys for the kids as soon as we sat down.  10/10!

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