U-Pick Farms

Help kids make the farm-to-table connection by visiting one of the many U-pick farms in Northwest Michigan to pick your own fruits and veggies!

We compiled a list of U-pick farms and, as we visit them, we’ll provide feedback on how the experience was from a kid’s and parent’s perspective. If you have an experience to share with us about one of these farms, let us know! Because fruits and veggies are so seasonal and the picking conditions vary day-to-day, check with the farm before you go to confirm the picking hours and crops.

  • Apples: August – October
  • Blueberries: July – August
  • Cherries: Mid June – July
  • Pears: August – October
  • Nectarines: July – August
  • Peaches: July –  August
  • Plums: July – September
  • Raspberries: July – September
  • Strawberries: June – July
  • Grapes: August – September

Antrim County

Cole Farm, 241 East Eddy School Road, Mancelona MI 49659

Phone: 231-584-2277

Crops: cucumbers, flowers, tomatoes

Coleman Farms, 13295 Coleman Road, Kewadin, MI 49648

Phone: 231-313-2930

Crops:

Farmer White’s, 11373 US-31, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Phone: 231-632-1500 or 231-264-5313

Crops: sweet & tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, plums, apples, pumpkins, gourds

Friske Orchards, 10743 North US 31, Ellsworth, MI 49729

Crops: strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples

Phone:

Good Nature Farms, 1246 US Hwy 31 S, Kewadin, MI 49648

Crops: tart and sweet cherries, apples, peaches, apricots

Phone: 231-264-5300 or 231-735-1191

Guntzvillers Berry Farm, 11122 US 31 South, Elk Rapids, MI 49629

Crops: blackberries, raspberries (red, yellow, black), strawberries

Phone: 231-264-9575 or 231-264-5109

Editors note: Up North Kids stopped by for the 2017 strawberry picking season. Berries were great, very kid-friendly and easy to get to. There was an outhouse (we didn’t need it – yay!) and a small veggie stand where you can purchase pre-picked berries and other seasonal fruits and veggies as well as jams and jellies. They only take cash or checks. 

Kalchik Farms, 8659 Bellaire Highway, Bellaire, MI 48615

Crops: strawberries

Phone: 231-590-7803

Kastanu Farm, 4781 Powell Road, Kewadin, MI 49648

Crops: chestnuts

Phone: 231-264-6055

King Orchards, 4620 North M-88, Central Lake, MI

Crops: sweet & tart cherries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, apples

Phone: 877-937-5464

Royal Farms, 10455 North US 31, Ellsworth/Atwood, MI 49729

Crops: apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pumpkins

Phone: 231-599-3222

Traverse Bay Farms, 7053 M-88 South, Bellaire, MI 49615

Crops: raspberries (red, black)

Phone: 877-746-7477

Benzie County

Baatz Blueberry Farm, 3900 Blueberry Lane, Honor, MI 49640

Crops: blueberries

Phone: 231-325-3046

North Star Organics, 1139 Forrester Road, Frankfort, MI 49635

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-352-4865

Putney’s You Pick Berry, 7603 Love Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

Crops: raspberries (red, black, yellow, purple), blackberries, Saskatoon berries, rhubarb, currants (red & black), gooseberries, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-882-9853 or 231-882-5691

Eden Hill U-Pick, 1001 Eden Hill, Beulah, MI 49617

Crops: asparagus, blackberries, grapes, spices/herbs, raspberries (red, yellow, black), Saskatoon berries, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-871-0920 or 231-633-9728

 

Grand Traverse County

Buchan’s Blueberry Hill, 1472 Nelson Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: apples, blueberries, peaches

Phone: 231-223-4846

Edmondson Orchards, 2514 Nelson Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: cherries (sweet & tart), peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, apples, pumpkins, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-223-7130

Hoxsie’s Orchard Hill Farm Market, 6620 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, pumpkins, squash

Phone: 231-267-9087

The Iris Farm, 5385 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: irises

Phone: 231-947-9040

Jacob’s Corn Maze, 7100 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: apples, pears, peaches, peppers, pumpkins, raspberries, saskatoon berries, winter squash, tomatoes

Phone: 231-632-6293

McManus Southview Orchards, 313 Garfield Road, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-946-5867

Orchard Hill Farms, 6578 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, pumpkins

Phone: 231-267-9087

Rennie Orchards, 11221 Munroe Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, apricots, cherries, pumpkins

Phone: 231-264-8387

Santucci Farms, 11789 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: cherries

Phone: 517-974-7233

The Saskatoon Berry Patch, 9520 Bates Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-938-1776 or 231-342-5311

Saskatoon, Michigan, 7924 Sayler Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-360-0311

Shangri-la Too, 12602 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: apples, cherries, raspberries

Phone: 231-499-0106

Wilson Orchards, 575 Wilson Orchards, Traverse City, MI

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-946-3607

 

Kalkaska County

Brokedown Palace Farms, 3073 Kettle Lake Road, Kalkaska, MI 49646

Crops: organic apples, beans, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, flowers, melons, onions, berries, peppers, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes.

Phone: 231-384-1665

 

Leelanau County

Alpers Berry Farm, 1785 N Setterbo Rd Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Crops: raspberries

Phone: 231-271-6656

Cedar Sol Hydro Farm, 9452 South Cedar Road, Cedar, MI 49621

Crops: cucumbers, onions, peppers, summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes

Phone: 231-883-8080

Cross Farms Saskatoons, 11966 East Sugar Bush Road, Northport, MI 49670

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-386-5406 or 231-432-0083

Gallaghers Farm Market, 7237 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: cherries, pumpkins, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-947-1689

Good Neighbor Farms of Leelanau County, 9885 Engles Road, Northport, MI 49670

Crops: apples

Phone: 231-271-5679

Westover Market, 401 West Burdickville Road, Maple City, MI 49664

Crops: blueberries, raspberries (red, black), gooseberries, pumpkins

Phone: 231-228-5514

Read More

Family Beaches in Leelanau County

Leelanau County

Empire Beach

Address: Take M-22 to Empire, then right on Niagara Street. Follow signs to the public beach.

Bathroom:

Playground: yes

Lifeguard: no

Picnic area:

Hours:

Fee: none

Read More

Family Beaches in Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County: Traverse City, Acme, Williamsburg, Old Mission Peninsula, Long Lake, Silver Lake, Kingsley)

The greater Grand Traverse area is known for its beaches, but not all beaches are meant for kids. We’ve taken a look at all the beaches across the region and picked out the ones where we think your kids (and you) will have the most fun. We considered bathroom access, picnic tables, playgrounds and a few other important features when compiling our list.

Know of one we missed or have a great picture to share of your kids having fun at their favorite Northern MI beach? Let us know!

Bryant Park

Bryant-Park-Playground_6202fe1e-f0ae-5102-09721bad21ca4132

Address: Garfield Avenue/Peninsula Drive

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes

Hours:

Fee: none

 

Volleyball Beach

vollyball-12-3

Address: Hall Street and Grandview Parkway

Bathrooms: no

Playground: no

Picnic Area: no

Hours:

Fee: none

Notes: this beach is best for older kids who don’t need a playground or bathroom access at a moment’s notice. It’s close to downtown TC, across from a outdoor sports rental store and right in the heart of West Bay. Parking is very limited but this beach is on the TART trail.

Clinch Park & William G. Milliken Park Waterscape (Splash Pad)

ClinchPark-6-_62083bf8-f0ae-5102-097226ff1546d73f splash pad

Address: Cass Street and the Grandview Parkway

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Hours: splash pad is open generally Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting. 11am-6pm daily

Fee: none

Other: Splash Pad is adjacent to the beach, concessions, rentals (stand up paddle boards, beach chairs, etc.), lifeguard during daytime peak swim times. This beach is really close to downtown Traverse City, adjacent to the marina and on the east side of the Open Space.

East Bay Park Beach/Milliken Park

EastBayPark-4-_620c34aa-f0ae-5102-097259ee7bd7c090

Address: corner of East Front Street and East Bay Boulevard

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Hours:

Fee: None

 

Traverse City State Park Beach

tc state park play tc state park

Address: 1132 US 31 N, Traverse City, MI 49686

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Hours:

Fee: state park pass

Notes: This beach is very close to the parking area. A single bath house centrally located along the beach is accessible, but is a bit of a walk from the far end of the beach.

Brownson Park Splash Pad

Address: 205 S. Brownson Ave., Kingsley, MI 49649

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Hours:

Fee: none

Greilickville Harbor Park

greilickville harbor park play greilickville harbor park

Address: 13132 S West Bay Shore Dr, Greilickville

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Lifeguard: no

Hours:

Fee: none

Notes:

Bayside Park-Acme Township

Address: US31 North, just south of the US31/M-72 intersection

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes (a few picnic tables)

Lifeguard: no

Hours:

Fee: none

Notes: parking is limited. This park is undergoing renovations in 2017 to improve the playground and functional areas.

Haserot Beach Park    

Haserot Beach

Address: Old Mission Peninsula

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Lifeguard: no

Picnic Area: yes

Hours:

Fee: none

Notes: also offers boat launch, handicapped toilet, designated swimming area, on-site and close-by parking, basketball court.

Read More

Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away!

Summer in Northern Michigan brings us such great opportunities to get to the beach and go fruit and veggie picking at our favorite farms. Gloomy, rainy days are going to come, though. Here are some fun ways to keep your kids busy if they’re stuck inside! Fair warning: a trip to your favorite “dollar store” may be in order before the rain arrives.

Crazy colander hats! Great for focus and toddler hand-eye coordination, the supplies for these crazy colander hats can be used over and over. My nearly-three-year-olds were super focused on getting the pipe cleaners through the holes. To my surprise, instead of making crazy hats they turned them into spiders! They were occupied for about ½ hour with this activity and then carried them around for another ½ hour. Probably best for toddlers & pre-schoolers.

Balloon ping pong! Super easy and the kids were actually excited to clean up all the toys on the floor before the fun could begin! Of course you’ll need to be cautious of the balloon residue as some of the balloons will pop – we even turned on the ceiling fan full blast to keep the balloon ping pong party lively! A larger space (i.e. the basement) is prudent for this activity since the kids are chasing balloons around without a care in the world, particularly oblivious to tables with corners. We played in a very small living room area without injury so use the space you have! Should be fun for all ages!

Blue Angel Flying School! Challenge your pre-teens to a Top Gun flying challenge. First they have to design and build a flight-worthy airplane and then they have to prove it’ll fly… straight. Keep track of the winners of each round on the target board and use it over and over again.

‘Laser field’ obstacle course! A roll of streamers (crepe paper) and a little masking tape and your older kids will be transformed into 007.

Giant tic-tac-toe! Some masking tape for the game board and paper plates for the game pieces and voila! A game perfect for a rainy day at home or if you’re stuck in a hotel room!

Dinosaur Egg Discovery! Who wouldn’t be curious to see what’s inside the mystery egg? This one takes some preparation before the rainy day – make a bunch and store them for future fun. It’s a basic salt dough recipe with a few additions you’re likely to have at home. Hide just about anything in the egg to keep them curious.

Read More

Backyard Olympics for your Up North Kids

The summer Olympics in Rio are around the corner, August 5 – 21. Celebrate with your kiddos a little closer to home with these fun and simple activities.

DIY Olympic Torch! Before any games can begin, the torch must be lit! Create your own torch for a relay using simple stuff you might already have at home. Use the torch to symbolically light your evening bonfire!

Olympic Arts & Crafts! A fun craft for the youngest to the oldest kids. Use paper, visit your nearest thrift store for a framed canvas you want to paint over or make Olympic uniforms on t-shirts!

Noodle Hurdles! What CAN’T pool noodles be used for?! Make adjustable hurdles for toddlers to teens in your back yard or at the park.

Hoola Hoop Hurdles!  An alternate to the Noodle Hurdles, these would be fun to try at a beach party!

Straw Javelin Throw! A perfect indoor activity using only straws and bowls, the straw javelin throw will pit moms against kids for the gold medal.

Olympic Rings Javelin Throw! Pool noodles are launched into Olympic rings in this fun javelin competition.

Read More