If you're looking for an easy going, fun and memorable day trip with the family, then I highly suggest visiting Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, CT. Just 40 minutes from any far point of Connecticut and endless beautiful views of nature. Lyman Orchards was established in 1741 and is the twelfth oldest family owned business in the United States. One of the most scenic areas in the state, Lyman Orchards feature a variety of apples, peaches, pears, berries, pumpkins, and two of the finest public golf courses in Connecticut. And let's not forget about the Corn Maze! There's so much to tell you all about with my wonderful visit to this farm.
Last Thursday, not only did Connecticut have beautiful weather for mid-October, but I also had the great pleasure of enjoying that nice day with a personal tour of Lyman Orchards by marketing director, Tim Burt. I did not expect to see such a large farm with so many different activities, that you could make a whole day trip out of with the family. Tim was a great host and I could see he had a lot of passion for working with the family of Lyman Orchards. Lyman Orchards is a place that you will want to visit and make memories with your family year after year, creating a tradition for each generation. There's so much history on this farm and it is quite interesting. When you visit, you can even see the original "Bath House" from the mid 1800's and learn how it all began.
The first stop on our tour was to the Apple Orchards. Rows and rows of apples before us. Tim and I walked around and picked a couple of red delicious apples for ourselves and took a little walk across the way up the pear orchards, where you have stunning views of the fall foliage and miles of orchards surrounding you. Unlike many of the orchards in Connecticut, Lyman's was lucky enough to not get hit nearly as bad as other farms this year, so their apple picking season is still in full swing. So if you weren't able to go apple picking at other farms this year, you still have another week to enjoy the experience. Lyman's Orchards early in the season have 20 varieties of apples for you to choose from, but there's a few varieties left to pick to make your homemade pie. And on this particular day, the sun was shining on our faces, the leaves were bold colors of red, orange and yellow and it was serene and peaceful to be surrounded by nature. A big difference from the fast pace I'm used to here in Fairfield County.
This time of year, not only is it apple picking season, but there's also Lyman's pumpkin patch. You'll find long rows of orange and white pumpkins still waiting to be picked for Halloween, all grown on the farm. So if you still need a pumpkin, you have a week and a half left, plenty of time. It's not too late to come out and find your perfect pumpkin. Make a day of pumpkin and apple picking and then make your way over to Lyman's famous Corn Maze!
It's always a good time to visit, but October is particularly special because of their Yankee's vs. Red Sox Corn Maze, open until November 4th. Lyman's Orchards Corn Maze is unlike any other you've ever experienced. This Corn Maze is centered between the two Major League Baseball rivalries Yankee's Stadium and Fenway Park. Come get lost in two miles of twisting pathways and towering cornstalks. Here are some pictures for you to get an idea of what it looks like from an aerial view. If you don't believe me, you'll have to come down and visit for yourself. This Corn Maze is gigantic and will take you about 40-45 minutes to go through; that's if you don't keep making wrong turns. There's even baseball trivia as you walk along. Your kids will LOVE it! Just as Tim and I were walking towards the Maze, a class of about 150 kids had just finished making their way through the Maze, walking out with big smiles on their faces and stickers that read, "I survived Lyman's Corn Maze." This is a great place for school field trips! And every visit to the Maze helps support the American Cancer Society! Horse drawn wagon rides and pony rides are also available weekends in the fall, and you can schedule family-oriented special events year round that are educational and fun for all. You can also get lost in Lyman's beautiful Sunflower Maze; it's definitely a sight to see in the summer time, as well as from June through October, pick your own fresh fruit in the orchards.
After getting lost in the Corn Maze and working up an appetite, enjoy a delicious snack in the market, the Apple Barrel, or relax with a picnic on the deck. The enticing aroma of fresh baked products fills the market all day long. Every day, all day long, fresh pies, apple cider donuts, muffins, cookies, breads, pastries, and more desserts are made in the Farm Kitchen Bakery. In addition to Lyman's Eco-Certified homegrown fruits and signature bakery products, they feature fresh Connecticut grown vegetables in season, fresh-pressed apple cider, and specialty foods from Connecticut and New England. To look at each week's specials, go to - http://lymanorchards.com/applebarrel/. I was able to try Lyman's homemade apple cider and apple pie and it was the best apple cider and apple pie I have ever had. Nothing but apples makes up their apple cider and it is perfect! Lyman's apple pies are so popular that you can find them in 9 states as well as many Big Y stores. Their most popular pie is the "High Top Apple," made with 2 pounds of apples! Yumm. According to Connecticut Magazine, Lyman's Apple Pie is the "pie you think of, when you think of apple pie!" The pies are handcrafted, the old fashioned way, one at a time, from generations-old family recipes. The pie fillings are made fresh, and taste just like homemade!
Just when you think you've heard everything about this amazing Orchard, you can come and enjoy a round of golf on two different beautiful courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, ("The Jone's Course") and by world - renowned player, Gary Player, ("The Player Course"). Both courses are ranked among CT's Top Ten Public Golf Courses, The Best of the Northeast and recently recognized by the nationally acclaimed Zagat Survey and Zagat.com as among of the best courses to play in the United States. Don't feel like playing 18 long holes of golf - taking 4 hours of your day? Lyman's Orchards made a smaller course that to practice on that will take you about 40-45 minutes to play instead. Perfect for getting your kids on the course to practice or great just to get some friends together and play. They have a beautiful putting greens along with golf lessons with the latest computerized technology to show you exactly what to do to improve your swing. There's even lessons for kids starting at age 3. Start them young and it will become a bonding experience for years to come. You'll also feel good knowing that all of the golf grounds are certified by the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. For more information on the golf courses, go to - http://www.lymangolf.com/index.php.
I had such a wonderful experience visiting Lyman Orchards and I will be sure to come back with my family to spend the day here year after year. I want to experience each season at the farm, considering they do such an amazing job at having something different each month. Be sure to call or visit their website - http://lymanorchards.com/for different events happening each month.
Coming up for the month of November - Saturday, November 10, 2012; 11am - 4pm - If you're cooking holiday dinner for your family, don't miss this event! When it comes to the holidays, it's all about the food, and sharing that special time with close friends and family. Our newest event brings the flavor of the farm to your holiday table. Throughout the day, enjoy cooking demos, free samples, and complimentary recipes provided by our Apple Barrel chefs.
Coming in the month of December- Sunday, December 9th and December 16th, 2012 - Family Holiday Brunch with Santa at the Lyman Homestead. Lyman's fun Holiday Brunch provides families with a special and traditional visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the festively decorated Lyman Homestead. Even if you're not staying for Brunch, we invite you to come visit Santa and see the historic Homestead during the holiday season.
Also in December - Holiday Cookie & Gingerbread Workshop for the Kids! In this hands-on session, children will decorate an assortment of festive holiday cookies as well as constructing and decorating a Gingerbread House. All materials are provided, including bakers' aprons and hats. For more information, please go to - http://lymanorchards.com/events/winter.shtml.
Lyman Orchard hillsides, signature golf courses, special events, and exceptional food service capabilities make this farm the perfect venue for corporate outings and group visits. For generations of Connecticut families, Lyman Orchards has been a favorite destination for great food and country fun. From apples to pies, and from tee to green, a visit to Lyman Orchards is always worth the trip. To stay updated on events and specials happening at Lyman Orchards, please "LIKE" them on Facebook here - FB - Lyman Orchards. Thank you Tim for your time and I had a wonderful time learning about this amazing farm so close to everyone in Connecticut. I will be back to enjoy all you have to offer with my family and start our own tradition at Lyman's Orchards.
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