Saturday, October 15, 2011

Verhage Cider Mill and Doughnuts

Another tradition my family Shares every fall, going to Verhage cider mill. The fresh made cider is some of the best I've ever had and the homemade warm doughnuts are delicious! Our favorite is the cherry doughnuts.

VerHage Fruit Farm and Cider Mill is home to the longest Zip Line in South West Michigan, the Zip Line is over 50 feet tall and 850 feet long! You and your family can zip individually from the highest point on the farm all the way back to the parking lot! As people witness the daring thrill seekers from the parking lot it quickly gains popularity throughout the day and it doesn't take long before you have to wait in a very long line to get your zip on on Saturday or Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.,

Family apple picking is a true tradition in Michigan. Families can come and pick apples 7-days a week from 10a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Visit the country store to pick up a bag for you and your family to begin your apple picking experience! U-Pick season is usually open from 3rd weekend in September to the 3rd Week in October.

Ticket Booth
Zip Line Ticket $5.00
Pony Ride Ticket $5.00
Hay Ride Ticket $3.00
Andy the Apple Train $2.00
Jumpin Pumpkin $2.00
Lost Mine $2.00

Hay Rides
Enjoy a 25 minute ride through Apple Orchards and winding forest trail. This wagon ride gives a whole new meaning to color tour and they run every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday begining at 10:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

Pony Rides & Pumpkin Jumpin'
Pony rides are every Saturday and Sunday from
9:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.
Pumpkin Jumpin' is a great big ballooned up air jump for toddlers of a certain height and weight to let loose and have some great big jumpin' fun! Only two kids are permitted in the pumpkin for everyone's safety, but the big pumpkin Jump is great pumpkin fun for all the little ones.

Andy the Apple Train
Kids of a certain height and weight can board Andy the Apple Train for a fun filled ride Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Andy the Apple Train has the full run of the the farm's drive and your kids board and ride in full sight of you. Some parents even walk beside Andy for kids that are still a little scared to ride all by themselves.

The Lost Mine
The Lost Mine is a fun attraction for the kids to enjoy on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Your kids can dig for gold and jewels.

Grandpa Vern's Animal Barn
FREE to everyone, these animals are well taken care of and are on display for you to enjoy.

Halloween World
located in Kelly's Country Store, It is for DISPLAY ONLY! The little miniature world is fully animated and a must see for everyone.

Orchard Rock
Orchard Rock is where many returning guests enjoy taking their annual group pictures! It's a great photo opportunity for the whole family!

Address: 8619 W M L Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49065.
Phone: 269-375-0153.
Directions: In Kalamazoo, go W on Stadium Dr. to 6th St. (turn right). Go to the end of 6th and turn left on "ML", go over railroad tracks, 1/2 mile on left to 8619 West "ML" Ave.
Open: for approximately 8 weeks, September 5-Nov. 5, 10 am to 6 pm.

Rides & Activities run only on WEEKENDS!
Check out Video of Zip Line on Facebook!

They have: u-pick apples, already picked apples, homemade cider (non-pasteurized) you can watch them operate the press, homemade donuts (12 varieties) you can watch them make the doughnuts and buy them still warm!, homemade caramel apples (5 varieties),
Country Store - homemade jams, hayrides, pumpkin jump, animal barn, school tours and picnic area.

Gene, Gene The Pumpkin Man!

I grew up singing a song about Gene the Pumpkin Man, as did many kids from southwest Michigan, on my family's yearly pilgrimage to the farm of folklore and I'm grateful to be able to share and pass this beloved tradition from my childhood on to my young son and family;
"Gene, Gene the Pumpkin Man,
Has the best pumpkins in the land.
They're all spread out far as you can see,
And I get to pick one just for me!"

It's fall in Michigan...and that means pumpkins! And no one has more pumpkins than Gene the Pumpkin Man! If you haven't visited this location, you need to. It's a unique, experience and one of the funnest fall attractions in Southwest Michigan. Gene the Pumpkin Man is known for his overzealous devotion to all that is orange, including his Cadillac car, many of the contents in his home, and his orange barn with the giant “Gene the Pumpkin Man” sign, which is visible from M-43, the highway the farm borders.
The farm is open to the public mid-September through November and visitors can pick their own pumpkins. Thousands of customers visit the farm buying about 200 tons of pumpkins a year to celebrate fall and to carve jack-o-lanterns to celebrate Halloween on October 31.

Gene the pumpkin man is a Kalamazoo institution! Gene Rhodes is one of the nicest, most kind, interesting, personable, and generous characters you'll meet in your lifetime.
He loves meeting the people who come to his farm and he'll spend as much time talking and getting to know you and your family as you are willing to spend.

As far as prices go, This year we got five pumpkins a dozen gourds a container of honey all for twenty-five dollars! That's what we paid for two medium pumpkins at Bengstons last year in Chicago...

Great farm, great man, great experiences...

Gene and his farm are also the subject of a children's book; available from Amazon.

Located about five and a half miles west of US131 Kalamazoo, MI on M43 (Main Street)

Open 10 am – 8 pm from mid-September through November 1.

Phone: (269) 668-2952
Address: 22637 M 43 Highway
West Kalamazoo, MI 49009

For more info, check out these links;

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