Royal Oak Farm – website
Location: 15908 Hebron Road, Harvard
Hours: Closed Sundays. All dates and hours dependent upon crops, weather conditions, and sunset.
August 10-October 31:
- U-Pick – Monday-Saturday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
- Apple Barn, Country Store, Bakery, & Entertainment Area – Monday-Saturday 9:30 am-5:30 pm
- Country Kitchen Restaurant – Monday-Friday 10:00 am-4:00 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-5:00 pm
- U-Pick – Monday-Saturday 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
- Apple Barn, Country Store, Bakery, & Entertainment Area – Monday-Saturday 10:00 am-4:00 pm
- Country Kitchen Restaurant – Monday-Saturday 11:00 am-2:00 pm
Parking: FREE for 2012 season.
Bathrooms: There are port-a-potties and bathrooms. Changing tables are available in the bathrooms.
Nursing: There is no designated nursing area.
Handicapped/stroller accessibility: Royal Oak is fairly accessible; I didn’t see any stairs. The store and petting zoo were a bit crowded and might be difficult to maneuver in.
Other amenities: Birthday parties, weddings, school tours, orchard tours, pavilion rentals, and fund raisers can be arranged. (Fund raisers not available for the 2012 season.) Hayrides can be reserved. Royal Oak Farm Apple Gift Packs can be purchased online.
- Country Kitchen Restaurant – offers soup, salad, sandwiches, chicken pot pie, desserts. Saturday brunch is available in September and October from 9:30-11:00 am for $10.99/adult and $6.99/child.
- Bakery and Market – offers fruit, donuts, apple cider, pies, cheese, caramel apples, and more.
- U-Pick – Raspberries, blackberries, pumpkins, and over 20 varieties of apples are available for U-Pick. See the picking schedule for available times. Because of limited crops, each person is limited to 1/4 peck of apples for the 2012 season.
- Haystack Mountain – Free haystack mountain for kids to play on.
- Play area – The play area is free and includes wooden trains, tractors, houses, and an ark.
- Petting Zoo – Visit with calves, lambs, goats, rabbits, various chickens, ducks, roosters, geese, and peacocks. Feed machines cost 25 cents.
- Carousel – Ride on one of fourteen horses or a chariot bench. $2.50 per person.
- Royal Oak Express – Parents and children can ride on the 19th century replica train. $2.50 per person.
We paid: About $15 for apple picking. Dexter is still 2 so he was free and it was $7.50 each for me and Cooper and we got two 1/4 peck bags to fill. (A 1/4 peck is about 3-4 pounds.) We also spent about $20 in the store buying a dozen apple cider donuts, apple cider, a bottled water, and some Havarti cheese.
Apple picking is a favorite activity for us every fall, but because of our busy schedule and the unfortunate state of apple crops this year I wasn’t sure if we’d make it this year. Fortunately, I noticed a post on the Royal Oak Farm Facebook page saying they’d have apples available for picking on Columbus Day so the boys and I decided to take a trip there. It was windy, but otherwise the weather was gorgeous.
We started out at the apple orchard. Because of the limited crops each person is limited to 1/4 peck, but that seemed like a good amount for us. Dexter is young enough that he was free, so we paid for me and Cooper and got two 1/4 peck bags. We hopped on the hayride to the outer edge of the orchards and spent the next hour or so picking Ozark Gold, Sun Crisp, and Liberty apples.
After our bags were full we put our apples in the car and the kids spent some time in the play area climbing on the ark, pretending to ride on trains and tractors, and playing in the play houses.
I considered buying entertainment tokens for the train or carousel but the boys seemed perfectly satisfied to play in the play ground. The petting zoo was nearby, but it seemed pretty crowded so we passed on that too.
When the boys were ready for a break we visited the Country Store for a snack of cider and donuts. The boys loved the donuts and we bought a dozen so we could bring some home for later (they didn’t last long!).