Take the Kids: Millstone Creek Orchards gears up for busy pumpkin season
Located off Highway 64 just between Siler City and Asheboro, you'll find Millstone Creek Orchards, a direct-to-consumer farm filled with pick-your-own fruit and fun activities for children throughout the year.Posted — Updated
While business this year has looked very different for the orchard, owner and operator Beverly Mooney says she has nothing to complain about. Millstone Creek Orchard is in its 16th year of operation — she took over running the farm for her father when he passed away five years ago.
Since then, Mooney and her team have been working hard to learn the ropes on their own with a great deal of help and support from North Carolina State University Extension and the NC Department of Agriculture. She’s proud to say this year is the first year they’ve grown the crops totally on their own. Despite COVID-19, they’ve remained very busy and their crops have been plentiful.
“Apple season was so much fun – watching families and their kids get outside and enjoy the fruits of our labor was so rewarding for us during these crazy times. This month, we are very excited about pumpkins, hayrides, and sharing the beautiful fall weather at Millstone Creek,” Mooney said.
Don’t let the ‘orchard’ name fool you. While this farm boasts peaches and apples-a-plenty, they’ve got a number of other tasty goodies to harvest throughout the year, including summer blueberries, pumpkins and pecans in the fall. They’ve even planted raspberry bushes this year. Apple season runs throughout September, followed immediately by pumpkin season – which is just getting underway.
During the month of October, Millstone Creek Orchard is open for pumpkin picking and hayrides seven days a week. Ticket sales are offered in advance (no same day ticket sales). But get them quickly – Millstone’s apple picking sessions for September were all sold old in a matter of weeks.
The price of admission includes access to all the pumpkin fields, a hayride (operating at 50% capacity to allow for social distancing), a $3 off coupon for your choice of pumpkin and a 3-ounce apple cider slushie.
There is plenty of area to walk around and picnic, as well as a playground. Plus, they even offer catch-and-release fishing in their pond for just $2 for 2 hours. There’s live music on the weekends and fire pit roasting for grilling hot dogs or making s’mores (materials will be available for purchase, bringing your own isn’t allowed).
If s’mores aren’t your thing – not to worry! The on-site Apple Barn offers a wide variety of tasty, homemade treats such as apple cider, apple cider donuts, ice cream, cakes, breads and pies, apple butter, apple salsa, kettle corn, jams and jellies and much more.
Adults and kids over the age of 11 are required to wear a mask during hayrides, in the Apple Barn and in populated areas where social distancing isn’t possible.
If you don’t make it in October, check back in November, which is pecan picking season. Visit the website for details in late October.
Pumpkin picking hours: Monday through Friday from 10 am to noon; Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm; and Sundays from 1 to 4 pm.
Cost of admission: Weekdays – $11.95/person, kids 2 and under are free. Weekends - $15.95/person, kids 2 and under are free.
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