As much as I LOVE being on-the-go, there are few places more magical than fall in New England. Truly, watching the leaves change little by little each day is like magic – and I consider myself incredibly grateful to call New England home.
The weekend before Halloween, Charles & I took a “Zillow road trip” – during which we drive around cute towns, checking them out to see if they could be a potential “home,” timing how long it takes to get from neighborhoods to the train station (since accessing NYC easily is key) and pulling up “for sale” homes on our Zillow app. (My how times have changed since my parents searched for their first home!) This weekend’s exploration included Ridgefield, so on the way back down to Stamford we stopped at Blue Jay Orchards, located in Bethel, CT.
Blue Jay Orchards offers pick-your-own pumpkins and apples, a delicious bakery & store that sells wonderful pies, to-die-for apple cider doughnuts, jams, jellies & more and has plenty of fun sights for both adults and kiddos.
Charles and I are totally not the “hold hands while romantically strolling through an apple orchard” kind of couple, so apple picking together was not even on our radar. But we did spend some time at the orchard, admiring the changing leaves and stocking up on way more sweets than we should have.
Among the cool sights at Blue Jay Orchards is a barn that’s filled with old apple pressing and apple cider-making equipment. A video discussing the equipment and procedures plays on loop – it’s fun to watch while admiring the scenery and thinking about how far technology has come!
They also have a VERY neat Observation Bee Hive where guests can get super up-close-and-personal with the bees. An informational series of boards are displayed next to the Hive, providing factoids and fun tidbits about bees. Did you know bees need nectar from 1 million flowers to produce one pound of honey? Now you do!
We didn’t visit their pumpkin patch this year – although we did last year and enjoyed picking our own pumpkin – but the orchard’s store does offer a great selection of pumpkins for those who would rather just grab & go. I really loved how unique each pumpkin was.
After meandering for a bit, we went inside the store for some good, homemade grub. Apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, apple cider doughnut holes, apple pies, apple butter… you name it, Blue Jay Orchards had it. We picked up all of the previously mentioned items, plus apple butter barbecue sauce and peanut brittle (because why not?)
After a fun stop at Blue Jay Orchards, back to Stamford we went with full shopping bags AND full bellies, thanks to breaking into the apple cider doughnut holes during the car ride home. (Word of advice, the classic apple cider doughnuts are better. The holes were delish but the cake to sugar ratio was bizarre. If you didn’t grow up eating the classic version I’m sure you’d love the holes, but I guess it’s a “don’t mess with a classic” scenario for me.)
If you live in the area, I hope you’ll visit Blue Jay Orchards next fall! Located at 125 Plumtrees Road in Bethel, it’s a really fun spot for a weekend day-trip – great people, beautiful sights and delicious eats!