10 Scenic Cider Mills and Apple Orchards in Metro Detroit
Bring the family for a hay ride, corn maze, and fresh apples at these unique farms.
Agriculture -- think apples, peaches, cherries, and blueberries -- is Michigan’s second-largest industry. That’s why fruit farms, cider mills, and pick-your-own orchards are so popular around Metro Detroit. Southeast Michigan has some of the finest fruits and vegetables, and they will be ready to harvest with the cooler months approaching. Apples are one of the area’s most popular crops. Taking kids to the farm to select their own apples is fun, healthy, and a lesson on how to select fresh food. Parents, babysitters, and nannies will have a great time, too!
Here are 10 family-friendly farms, orchards, and cider mills that specialize in apples and agri-tainment -- a mix of agriculture and entertainment for all ages.
Address: 1990 E. Avon Road, Rochester Hills, MI 48223
Summer Hours: Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Friday - Saturday, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sunday, 1 p.m. - 9 p.m.
This traditional cider mill is like stepping back in time a century ago. Yates has a variety of kids’ activities, from selecting your own produce from its wide variety of apples to pony rides to a petting farm. One of the most unique things to do here is to watch the cider being made right in front of you at its giant mill. There’s also an Apple Tent where you can pick up additional pre-bagged apples and other treats to take home. Check out the fresh doughnuts and cool ice cream, as well!
Address: 6350 37 Mile Road, Romeo, MI 48223
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The Dixie Chicks sung about “Wide Open Spaces,” and you’ll find them at Hy’s Cider Mill. This Romeo-area mainstay is all about fresh air, warm sun, and row after row of apple trees. Going out to pick apples at Hy’s is about enjoying the ride and spending quiet time with family. Leave some room from munching on fresh Honeycrisps, though, to enjoy some fresh cider and doughnuts in its bakery.
Address: 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada, MI 48223
Summer Hours: Open daily, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Blake was one of the first you-pick apple farms in Metro Detroit, and it has the traditions to show for those 70 years of experiences. Its orchards are vast, but each one is labeled with the kind of apples grown there so you can pick out the variety you want. It also has a cider mill and more than 10,000 square feet of greenhouses to produce any agricultural product you’d want, including herbs, vegetables, and, of course, apples.
Address: 7450 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48223
Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Franklin Cider Mill does everything the old-fashioned way. Its cider is made in the same way it has been done for generations. Founded in 1837, the Franklin believes in using its traditional recipes, handed down from family, to make its doughnuts, apple cider, and other treats. You can grab your favorite apples here, as well as pies, breads, jams, honey, and other all-natural meats and cheeses. Consider it your one-stop shop for all things fall.
Address: 65075 Van Dyke Road, Washington Township, MI 48223
Hours: Open daily, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
There’s something for everyone in the family at the “Amazin’ Acres of Family Fun” at Westview. Its ample event space includes a three-acre playground, tire mountain, corn maze, straw mountain, and a obstacle course. Westview practically created the term “agri-tainment.” Once everyone has had their chance to climb, jump, and play, head out to the large apple orchard to pick your Red Delicious, Gala, or Honeycrisp. They even list which apples are best for baking or eating right there out in the field.
Address: 4900 32 Mile Road, Washington Township, MI 48223
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Climb on the hay wagon and take a ride to one of the most beautiful spots in Macomb County. The open fields, apple trees, and big-sky scenery are among the main attractions here. There’s also a corn maze and a straw mountain to climb. Miller’s Big Red has brought families together for decades now, and they have a wide array of apples, baked goods, and doughnuts to try.
Address: 4480 Orion Road, Oakland Township, MI 48223
Hours: Open daily, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fresh doughnuts, warm cider, creamy ice cream -- the Paint Creek Cider Mill has all the tastes of fall. It even has a few extras, such as hot pizza and some barbecue on its recently updated menu. Of course, the star of the show is the apples and the cider, which are part of the fun of visiting this suburban cider mill. It’s located near a popular walking trail, so you can visit, grab some food, and then go for a family walk afterward.
Address: 38035 S. Huron Road, New Boston, MI 48223
Hours: Open daily, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
If you want to get away from it all, then Apple Charlie’s is the best bet. This quiet orchard is filled with simple pleasures, like its small ponds, its bakery with the apple-chopped cinnamon bread, and the you-pick orchard with dwarf trees that make it easier for the little ones to pick. Prepare to feel yourself relax on the hayride out to the orchard, and come hungry to try to apple cider and the apple pies baked fresh.
Address: 63260 Van Dyke Road, Washington Township, MI 48223
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Everyone who lives or has lived in Romeo knows Verellen Orchards as their best-kept secret. The small orchard has doughnuts to die for, all of the favorite apple varieties to pick, and a wonderful produce stand with fruits, vegetables, and herbs to take home. The size is reasonable for smaller children, who will enjoy walking among the apple trees and enjoying the farm views all around you.
Address: 10685 Warren Road, Plymouth, MI 48223
Hours: Starting in September, open daily, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Organic farming is the primary way of growing at the Plymouth Orchards. Its cider mill is known for its original creations, such as the Apple Cider Slushee. It’s fun to watch the fresh doughnuts as they’re being made right in front of you. There’s a children’s animal zoo area, as well, to let kids experience the sights, sounds, and smells of farm life. If you’re looking for a great photo scene, check out the rustic covered wagon to take a selfie of you and the gang.