Destinations & Day Trips

Why Fall is the Best Season to Check Out Lyman Orchards in Connecticut

Lyman Orchards Corn Maze
Written by Timothy Stobierski

Lyman Orchards in Middlefield has been a Connecticut institution for 275 years. With more than 1,100 acres of farmland, an 18-hole golf course, and some of the most succulent fruit around, it’s easy to see why families from all over New England flock to the site year-round.

And though they may be known to some for their summer berries, there’s plenty to do in the Fall to warrant a trip when the mercury starts to drop.

Pick-Your-Own Apples and Pears

Lyman Pick Your Own Apples

Pick-Your-Own Apples at Lyman Orchards

No matter the fruit, there’s just something about picking it yourself that makes it taste better (especially if you sneak a bite, or five, before heading to the checkout). Though the berry and peach seasons are over, there are still two sweet reasons to head to farm: Apples and pears.

Apple season at Lyman Orchards runs from mid-August to late October. With 12 varieties of apples to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs, whether you’re looking to bake them, sauce them, or eat them straight off of the branch.

Pear season is a little shorter, running from late August to late September, but if you hurry you may be able to find a few still on the branch. If you miss the pick-your-own season, don’t fret—you can pick up a variety of fruit at the Apple Barrel Market.

Just make sure you call the Pick-Your-Own Hotline (860-349-6015) before leaving to check for crop conditions and closures due to inclement weather.

Pumpkin Picking and Painting

Pumpkin Patch at Lyman Orchards

The pumpkin patch at Lyman Orchards

Nothing says Fall like heading to the pumpkin patch and searching for the perfect pumpkin to sit on your front porch for Halloween. And whether you

carve them into spooky jack-o’-lanterns, harvest them for their delicious seeds, or bake them into homemade pies, they’re available at Lyman Orchards from late September through late October.

If you’re looking for a fun fall family outing that also supports a great cause, head to the Orchards on October 14th for the annual Paint the Pumpkin Pink event, where you and your kids can paint, glitter, and jewel your pumpkin to benefit the Middlesex Comprehensive Breast Center. Medium-sized pumpkins are $10, large pumpkins are $20, and 50% of the revenue goes directly to the Center to aid the treatment and prevention of breast cancer.

Get Lost in the Corn Maze

Paint the pumpkin pink lyman orchards

Paint the Pumpkin Pink at Lyman Orchards

Fun for kids and adults alike, this year’s corn maze celebrates Charles Lindbergh and his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean as its centerpiece (though you may need to be in a helicopter to see it).

The corn maze this year is situated in four acres of corn and has approximately two winding miles of pathways, making it the perfect way to spend 30 or so minutes. Historical facts about Lindbergh, his famous solo flight, and more will be sprinkled throughout. “Corn Cops” will help guide you out if you find yourself truly lost.

One dollar from every admission goes to support the American Cancer Society, and kids under 4 get in for free. The maze runs from September 2nd to November 5th.

Sunshine Kids Road Race

If you’re looking to burn off some of that Halloween candy, head to the Orchards on November 11 for the Sunshine Kids Road Race, which supports the Sunshine Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides emotional support for children with cancer.

The 3.6-mile race takes you through the winding hills of the orchard filled with beautiful pear, apple, and peach trees. Immediately following the race there will be an Awards ceremony at the Apple Barrel Market. If you bring your kids, they can participate in the quarter-mile Kids’ Run, making it a great family outing for everyone.

The registration fee is $20 per person, $70 for a team of four, and $5 per person for the Kids’ Run.

About the author

Timothy Stobierski

Tim Stobierski is a Connecticut native and a freelance writer and editor who has worked with a number of publishers including Taunton, Abrams, and Yale University Press. He has written for Grow Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Hartford Courant, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other publications. His first book of poetry, Chronicles of a Bee Whisperer was published in 2012 by River Otter Press.

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