Apple Hill is a wonderful annual tradition for many Sacramento families, and fall is the most popular time for a visit. From apple picking to trick-or-treating, events at Apple Hill keep families coming back year after year.
Apple Hill is located just outside of El Dorado County, and is less than an hour’s drive from the heart of Sacramento. Sacramento families come to the series of farms located in and around the small town of Camino, California to pick out jack-o-lanterns, chop down a Christmas tree and enjoy the infamous apple donuts and cider. The ambiance is unforgettable, and so are the special moments you’ll enjoy with your loved ones.
September Events at Apple Hill
Labor Day weekend at Apple Hill is when things really get hopping. It’s the opening of most major ranches, and the crowds begin flocking to the farms and vineyards that make up the general vicinity. If you are looking for things to do at Apple Hill in the fall, Labor Day onward is jam packed with both fun and relaxation.
The season kicks off with the 35th anniversary celebration of Grandpa’s Cellar. Each visitor will receive a complimentary glass of Barsotti apple juice along with a baked treat. This destination will also have an hourly drawing for free prizes. The celebration is happening September 1-3.
On September 9, Grandpa’s Cellar lives up to its name with a Grandparents’ Day celebration. All grandparents receive free apple juice and baked goods, as well as the opportunity to enter various contests with prizes.
Rainbow Orchards is notorious for having the best (and they claim original) apple donuts on the hill. In September they are also known for hosting one of the best kids events with their annual Teddy Bears’ Picnic. Children enjoy live entertainment, games and a petting zoo. BBQ cuisine is available for purchase, as are game tickets. Children may also bring their favorite teddy bear or make one onsite to participate in the afternoon parade.
On September 19, join Rainbow Orchards for their Evening in the Orchard which features a harvest dinner in the barn with local produce and wine. Tickets are $40 per person, and benefit a local organization.
Another family-friendly destination is Kids Inc, and on Sept 22-23 they hold a cooking school, scarecrow making contest, pie eating contest and even old-fashioned egg races. Everything is free to enjoy.
On September 23, many of the area ranches including Kids Inc will celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day. Plenty of activities abound.
October Events at Apple Hill
As Halloween approaches, more fun is found on the hill with a variety of themed events for kids and adults.
Grandpa’s Cellar hosts a haunted nature trail from October 26 through 31, weather permitting. Scary enough to be fun, but tame enough for young children, the trail is free of charge.
Kids aged 12 and under receive a free treat bag when they visit on October 27 and 28.
Girl Scouts are in luck when they visit Harris Tree Farm on October 7. All troops are invited to participate in a scarecrow contest. Troop leaders should call (530) 644-2193 for a scarecrow application and further information.
November Events at Apple Hill
Early November is the time for special events like the annual Apple Hill Harvest Run and Veterans’ Day. The Apple Hill Harvest Run happens on November 4 and benefits a local school. The run includes a ½ mile kids’ run, 3.5 mile walk, 3.5 mile run and 8.5 mile run. Register early for special rates and a complimentary t-shirt.
On November 4, Rainbow Orchards provides a warm apple cider donut free of charge to anyone wearing a 2012 Harvest Run t-shirt.
The same holds true for active and retired military on Veterans Day (November 12).
A 10% discount is given to all active and retired military on November 12.
Live music and free a-la-mode ice cream for veterans with the purchase of any dessert is available when you visit on November 12.
Finally, November 23 is opening day for the majority of Apple Hill Christmas Tree Farms.
Free Things to Do at Apple Hill
Fall is the perfect season to enjoy free events and tastings at Apple Hill. Since this is the time of year when business booms, many of the farms and vineyards are feeling generous and extend special discounts and free offers to autumn visitors.
Grandpa’s Cellar is offering free apple juice and baked treats on September 1-3. Free prize drawing every hour.
Apple Pantry Farm is offering a free kids’ baking day on September 22. Everyone aged 16 and under is eligible to participate in learning how to roll out pie dough and make an apple turnover.
September 29 brings restored Model A’s to Apple Pantry Farm, featuring those manufactured between 1928 and 1931. These are on display free of charge.
Finally, visit the farm for their holiday pie preview on November 10. Free samples of all holiday pies will be available between 11am and 1pm.
Kids Inc features their annual Kids’ Days on September 22 and 23, which include a mini cooking school, scarecrow contest and more.
Wofford Acres Vineyards kicks off their barrel samples on October 6. The event is free, but a $5.00 donation toward breast cancer research is requested.
These are just a few of the great free or affordable events happening at Apple Hill in Fall 2012. For more information, call the farm of your choice. A free directory and map is available at any Apple Hill location.