I really try to limit the length of the time I put the kids in the car unless I know it's going to pay off. I made an error of driving to an orchard today after getting the kids psyched about picking apples only to find that the orchard only does "Pick Your Own" Fri-Sun. Dumbfounded, I loaded the kids back in the car and did a quick search to see what else was nearby.
I was relieved to see the Lyman Orchards was only 20 minutes down the road. I went there the first time last year and was extremely pleased, so we put the windows down and let the cool fall air clear our heads while we wound our way to a much larger orchard, where "Pick Your Own" comes with scenic vistas and endless acres of apples for the children to explore. And when I mean endless, I mean I would turn around and see Little Bear making a run for it down the row of trees as far as the eye can see. It's absolutely beautiful and if you catch it right, you'll get a steady breeze that carries the clean air through your soul.
Of course, Lyman is more a destination than simply an orchard. They proudly announce they're one of the oldest orchards in America, being founded in 1741. They host numerous family-friendly events and have an entire country-store the size of a small grocery store filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, home cooked meals, and treats galore. There is a deli too, so you can grab a bite while you spend the day here. Outside the "Apple Barrel", is a seating area overlooking a small pond with fountain, it's very pleasant.
Just as the kids were tiring, I fired 'em up with some fresh apple cider and we walked out with a homemade apple pie which we'll be warming soon and a half-dozen apple cider donuts. I don't really care how far this orchard is from you...it's worth the drive. We've done it twice and I can't wait to go back.
Tip: Wadsworth Falls isn't far away...so if you want, you can make it all part of the day!