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Things to Do: Check out some mid-Michigan cider mills this fall season

Apples at Phillips Orchards and Cider Mill
Posted at 9:41 AM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 10:11:32-04

ST. JOHNS, Mich. — Fall is in full swing! There are plenty of things you can do right here in mid-Michigan to get your fall on, like checking out cider mills. From apple picking to finding your way through a corn maze, there are two spots in the area you should check out.

Phillips Orchards and Cider Mill
It's one of those spots where you'll never find it unless you know where you're going.

"Some people have told me we might still be the best kept secret in the in the Lansing area as far as an orchard goes," said co-president Brian Phillips.

Out in St. Johns tucked away three miles from their store is Phillips Orchards and Cider Mill. The family farm has been in business for 170 years.

"I'm the sixth generation here on the farm," Phillips said. "It's a 170 acre farm, and we grow 30 acres of apples and an acre of peaches and some plums and some pears and some pumpkins and a few other miscellaneous things."

It's not your typical orchard or cider mill but one that's more low key.

"Different feels, different vibe, much more laid back," Phillips said.

You can pick apples, pumpkins, enjoy cider and donuts, try some hard cider and browse the gatehouse market at their store off of U.S. 127.

"That's our primary retail location. They're open year round, and then, we open a retail store here we open up the orchard during the fall harvest, so people can come and pick apples and pumpkins and kind of get the out in on the farm experience," Phillips said.

The farm is open Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Oct. 23.

There is a flat $6 fee for pumpkins and apple prices varies depending on what you want to pick.

For more details, click here.

The Country Mill Farms
Elsewhere, The Country Mill Farm located in Charlotte offers family fun on the farm for people of all ages.

From apple picking to pumpkins, it has it all.

"You can pick your own honey crisps right off the tree," said Steve Tennes. "We have thousands of pumpkins that we're just now opening up our pumpkin patch."

There's activities for everyone to do. Like a large corn maze, a sunflower patch, two tractor wagon rides and a slide at their huge play area.

"You can pick apples and pumpkins and all the fresh stuff anytime Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can come out noon to 5 p.m. and do all the activities," Tennes said.

Plus a free wagon ride noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

"A cider is $6.99 a gallon. That's the same price as last year," he said. "Doughnuts only $7.99, and they're fresh right out of the machine."

Apples are $15 for about 20 pounds of apples, and pumpkins are only 35 cents a pound.

"Whether you get them fresh out of the patch, you get the ones that we've already picked for you. Tons of fun stuff to do out here to Country Mill," Tennes said.

For more details, click here.

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