A Guide to Apple Picking

Fall has arrived with all its beauty. The sky is clear blue. The air is cool and crisp. The trees are awash in orange and red and yellow. It's time to get out of the house and enjoy the season! Apple orchards are a great destination in the fall so I have prepared a handy dandy guide to apple picking just for you. I know...I shouldn't have...but I love you that much. So pay attention and you will likely have a grand ol' time, just as I did this past weekend! Step 1: Wake up on the day of your outing and check the forecast for the day.

Step 2: Ignore the fact that the temperature is 42 and dress your entire family in shorts.

Step 3: Insist that everyone bring a light summer jacket because fall days can be chilly.

Step 4: Check out the website of the local apple orchard to make sure that they have apples.

Step 5: Pay no attention to any fine print regarding the dates of apple picking.

Step 6: Ignore information regarding the age range for the orchard's children's programming.

Step 7: Load everyone into the car and drive to the country.

Step 8: When you arrive at the orchard, don't stop. Decide to have lunch in an adorable town nearby.

Step 9: Once you reach the town, park as far away from the restaurant as you can, especially if you have brought along a grandparent who recently had hip replacement surgery.

Step 10: Do not, under any circumstances, make your children wear their coats as you trek to the restaurant.

Step 11: Make sure that the restaurant has delicious food and incredibly slow service. Bonus fun tip - make sure to pick a place that will serve every adult at the table before serving the starving restless children!

Step 12: Load everyone back into the car and drive to the orchard and make sure everyone wears their coats because bare legs get cold when it is 42 and there is a surprisingly strong wind coming out of the north.

Step 13: While waiting to pick apples, pay $1 for your children to wander through a "maze" that has only one path and only comes up to their shoulders. Kids love things to be super easy!

Step 14: When you discover that apple picking has ended for the season, let your children pet the crazy goat with 30 to 40 toddlers. Older children love that!

Step 15: To build character, buy the children caramel apples and make them eat them while standing up outside in the cold. Nothing goes with a caramel apple like goose bumps!

Step 16: Raise morale by promising to stop at "the fun place we saw on our way to this place".

Step 17: Pay a painful sum for hay rides and a corn maze that take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Bonus fun tip - that grandparent you brought with you? He or she will love a hayride on a flatbed truck. Who says walking with a cane can't be fun on a rickety set of stairs and surface covered in mounds of hay?!

Step 18: Sit back and enjoy as your children fight over who gets to put their face in the pumpkin cut out first!

Step 19: End the trip on a high note - take your children to the porta potties!

Step 20: On your way home, stop at the liquor store. Children love it when their parents tack on errands to a day of fun. Ignore their "squeals of joy" because you deserve a bottle of wine for planning such a memorable day.

There you have it, folks. Print out this guide and take it with you on your next outing! I guarantee a good time for all!