Jonamac Orchard – website
Location: 19412 Shabbona Road, Malta
Hours: August 17-November 23, 2011
Aug 17-Oct 31 – 9:00am – 5:30pm
Nov 1-Nov 23 (Wednesday-Sunday) – 9:00am – 5:00 pm
9:00am-5:00pm while in season (the season is over for 2011; apple picking is generally available early September to mid-October.)
Sept 3-Oct 30 (weather permitting) – Saturday-Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm
(Barnyard is open on weekdays, but more activities are available on the weekend.)
Sept 3-Sept 25 – Friday & Saturday 10:00am-9:30pm, Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm
Oct 1-Oct 30 – Friday-Sunday, 10:00am-6:00pm
Monday, Sept 5 & Monday, Oct 10 – 10:00am-6:00pm
Haunted Corn Maze
Sept 30-Oct 29 – Friday & Saturday 7:00pm-10:30pm
Sunday, Oct 9 – 7:00pm-9:30pm
Admission: There is no general admission, but there are fees for different activities. The barnyard is free on weekdays, but there is a fee on weekends.
Corn Maze – $5/person, children 2 & under free
Barnyard – $6/child & includes 1 apple token
Corn Maze & Barnyard combo – $10/child & includes 1 apple token; $8/adult
Family pass (best value for families of 4 or more; only 2 adults included) – $32/family for Corn Maze and Barnyard and includes 1 apple token per person.
Haunted Maze – $8/child ages 3-12; $10/adult
Apple token – $2/each if purchased separately. Good for one ride on the apple train, one turn at the apple launcher or cannon, or one jumping session on the jumping pillow.
Parking: Free parking in the attached gravel lot.
Bathrooms: There are public bathrooms in the country store with changing tables
Nursing area: There are no designated nursing areas, but there is a large pavilion with picnic tables, there are tables and chairs inside the country store, and there are many places to sit outside in the barnyard area.
Handicapped/stroller accessible: Jonamac is accessible. We brought a wagon and were able to use it throughout the orchards and country store. Much of the area is grass, of course, but the ground is fairly level. The apple orchard itself was a bit bumpy just because of the apples on the ground, but it was definitely manageable. The wagon worked out well in the country store, but it we visited on a weekday afternoon and it would probably be a tight squeeze on a weekend or a busier day.
Amenities: Jonamac offers school tours. There is a country store with gifts, snacks, and apples for sale.
Special events: A calendar of events can be viewed online. Upcoming events include:
Oct 15-16 – October Fest Weekend
Oct 22-23 – Pumpkin Pickin’ Weekend
October 29-30 – Halloween Weekend
– Pick-your-own Apples (currently closed for the season – apples are generally available early September to mid-October) – An apple chart is available online. Apples are still available in the country store.
– Pumpkin Patch – Two pumpkins are $10 (minimum purchase of $10)
– Corn Maze – The maze has 3 miles of pathways and generally takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete.
– Barnyard – The barnyard offers rubber duck races, a grain bin, slides, a hay bale pile, peddle trikes, sand box, a children’s maze with a wooden fort, slides, kiddy barn, and a tractor to climb on. On the weekends, you can also find an inflatable jumping pillow, an apple train, petting zoo, and apple launcher and cannon.
Food: The country store offers cold and warm drinks, apple cider slushees, apple donuts, apple pastries, and homemade fudge. There are also breads, jams and jellies, and apples for sale. There is a pavilion with picnic tables and there are tables inside the country store.
We paid: I paid about $17. A friend and I split a 1/2 peck of apples (which she paid for) and then I bought snacks for all of us (donuts, apple cider, and apple cider slushees). We visited on a weekday so the barnyard was free.
We visited Jonamac on a weekday afternoon with our friends Joslyn, Althea, and Autumn. We started out eating the lunch we brought in the pavilion, then headed into the shop to purchase our apple bag, and went out to the apple orchard. The kids loved picking apples and filled the bag pretty quickly. Once our bag was full (well, nearly overflowing!) we took a break to eat an apple.
Next stop was the barnyard. The kids loved the rubber duck races and spent quite a bit of time there. In fact, we pretty much had to drag them away so they could check out the other fun stuff there and give other kids a turn. They spent a little bit of time playing in the hay bale pile, but the tunnel was a bit small so they were a little unsure about it. They really loved all the slides, particularly the one near the hay bale pile. (The slides are pretty fast; you might want to be sure you’re ready at the bottom to catch them if you have little ones and the bottom of the slide is off the ground.) The kids played on the tractor, the web, and the peddle trikes. We probably spent over an hour in the barnyard and I’m sure the kids would have been happy to hang out there all day.
We did eventually headed back to the country store for a snack. The fudge was very tempting, but we got apple donuts (delicious!), and apple cider. My friend wanted hot apple cider and even though they had it on the menu they didn’t have any (it was a warm day). My friend and her daughters got bottled apple cider and me and the boys got apple cider slushees (what a great idea!). I’m not usually a fan of apple juice or apple cider, but the slushees were delicious.
We had a great time. The weather was beautiful and we brought out wagon to haul the kids and apples. The wagons were really useful and we didn’t have any problems using them, even in the apple orchard. We used the wagons in the store too, but I think if we had been there on a busier day it wouldn’t have worked. There was a school group there while we were, but it wasn’t very crowded at all. The store wasn’t busy, but we did have to wait in line for a bit to order our snacks, and then carry them over to the register and wait in line again to pay for them. That was a bit of a pain because I was juggling donuts, slushees, and trying to pull the wagon. My friend Joslyn had visited Jonamac before on a weekend and said the country store was packed and there was a long wait for the registers. If possible, I’d recommend visiting on a weekday. There are some activities that aren’t available on the weekdays, but it’s cheaper, less crowded and there was still plenty to do.
Have you visited Jonamac Orchards, or any other apple orchard/pumpkin patch? What was your experience like?