One of our favorite fall things to do includes heading to Apple Hill with kids. Apple Hill is located in Placerville, California, and is home to over 50 local family farms. From apple ranches and wineries to flower gardens and even a day spa, there is something in Apple Hill for everyone in the family.
With so many options for adventure, how do you know which ones you should head to? We’re sharing the ultimate guide to Apple Hill with kids – because let’s be real, it’s not always an easy task, so we’re here to make the traveling easier.
Most farms are open 5-7 days a week, however, due to their popularity – you’ll find that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the most active in terms of activities.
We recommend Fridays, as it will definitely be quieter than the weekend. If you head down during the other weekdays, even better – but note that some farms may have different hours.
Best Times To Visit
When it comes to times – be the first there and leave before it gets dark! The roads to Apple Hill are winding and often not well-lit.
Be some of the first there, but give yourself enough time to head back before it gets dark. If it’s your first time, you’ll realize as your driving that leaving while it’s still light out is best!
Know Before You Go
Before you leave, there are a few things you should take into consideration. First, check the weather! Although it’s usually pretty warm up at the farms, any nearby fires will make your experience a little smokey – which is not ideal for allergies!
Print out the Apple Hill map or download the app. It will make your visit less stressful – trust us! Oh and don’t forget to pack some of these essentials.
What to Pack
Whether you’re headed to Apple Hill with kids for the day or you’re enjoying a weekend getaway, there are some essential items you should be packing. Plus, our friends over at Apple Hill even gave us some recommendations to include:
Stroller | There is some walking involved and trust us – those little ones will not want to walk. Plus, a stroller will is perfect for carrying all of the goodies you’ll be taking home.
Water | Stay hydrated! So simple, yet often overlooked. Plus, you’ll save $$.
Pack a Picnic | If you’d rather spend money on crafts, activities, and some goodies to take home, pack a picnic that’s easy to eat.
Activities for the car ride l Kids get bored and you don’t want to hear “are we there yet” 30 times; pack an activity book, a Halloween movie, or just a few small toys to keep them busy.
Camera | Whether you have a high-end camera or your phone, take some photos and remember the memories.
Sunscreen | Depending on what time of your you visit you might want to bring along sunscreen with you if you plan on being there all day
Cooler | If you are stocking up on goodies, it is a great idea to bring a cooler with you to store your food purchases.
*EXCLUSIVE TIPS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT APPLE HILL ON WHAT TO PACK*
High Protein Snacks | Battle the sugar rush before and after the donuts, caramel apples, and other sweets! Perfect to give your little ones on the car ride there and back.
Extra Pair of Kids Clothes | Remember, you’re visiting a bunch of farms and at the end of the day, red dirt is bound to get around. Don’t track the dirt in your car and instead swap out the kids clothes.
Be sure to check out our Bonus Tips at the bottom of this post.
Best Kid-Friendly Farms
Looking for the best kid-friendly farms? We’ve got you covered. The farms listed below are from all seasons, just in case you decide to go during spring or summer as well.
Plus, we’ve labeled them by number so you can find them on your map. Those marked with an ** are the Nevada Moms personal favorites.
Activities: Although not a part of the Apple Hill Growers, Boa Vista is one of our favorite spots. Fresh Produce, Delicious Baked Goods, Crisp Apple Ciders, Flavorful Wines. It is like a market!
Bonus Apple Hill With Kids Tips
Head to Apple Hill early
It’s inevitable, you’re going to hit traffic and there are going to be a TON of people. Just be prepared for the crowds and that way you won’t be surprised when you get up there! You can still have a blast even if it is busy.
We recommend trying to be one of the first visitors to your top choice farm and in order to do this you have to get an early start. Parking can also get crazy, so beware.
Download the Official Apple Hill App
If you’re not into the whole paper map thing, or maybe you want to do both, download the Official Apple Hill app. The app showcases all of the farms, what they offer, and their hours of business.
The app is a great way to map out your day ahead of time. But note – sometimes you can lose service here and there, so definitely get a hang of the app before you go on your adventure.
Consider the Shuttle
If you have a lot of kid supplies to pack around self-parking is most likely for you. But, if your kids are older then consider taking the shuttle. During the peak season, El Dorado County provides a free shuttle bus to 12 of the local farms. The shuttle bus map shows which Farms they are currently providing service to.
The shuttle bus runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm and runs approximately every 15-20 minutes. They also are limited on space for riders so if you are considering using the shuttle bus, another reason you’ll want to get an early start.
If you can on your way back stay in South Lake Tahoe! It’s perfect after a day of activities and fun. Grab some dinner from the village before snuggling up in the hotel for the night.
We know outings with kids can be a little crazy, I mean why else would we need a blog to prepare for it? But once you’ve taken all of these tips into consideration all that’s left to do is make the trip.
We are hoping that this guide takes the stress out of planning so you can enjoy Apple Hill with kids and friends. Don’t forget to take pictures and enjoy these moments. And go ahead and eat that apple donut, you deserve it!
Have you been to Apple Hill?
Headed to Apple Hill with kids? What was your experience? We love your pictures, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram!
Leanna Carson is an expecting mama via IVF and a serial entrepreneur.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, she loves sharing all things family-friendly as well as local spots most don’t even know about! She co-founded Nevada Moms in 2018 and it has become the #1 Family Guide to Nevada experiences, activities, happenings, and more.
Connect with her on social media or IRL @mrsleannacarson on Instagram.
Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.
She serves on the hospital board for Northern Nevada Health Systems and is passionate about her community.
Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, traveling, working out, coffee, and dessert!