Fun ensues during fall family fun weekend at Terhune Orchards

by Jennifer Rosado

Looking for some family-friendly fun to kick off the fall season? Well, look no further! Terhune Orchards is your go-to place to enjoy the smell of apple cider donuts wafting in the air, delicious caramel apples right at your fingertips, and a corn maze to get lost in.

On the first official weekend of autumn, I was able to head over to Princeton, NJ with family to find out what all the hubbub was about regarding the fall festivities they had to offer. Apparently, I chose the perfect weekend because from September 17 to October 30, Terhune Orchards will be holding their Fall Family Fun Weekend with lots of fall activities you won’t want to miss.

Upon entering the farm, the place was bustling with people of all ages eagerly anticipating the activities. At the entrance we were greeted by smiling faces welcoming us in and a woman who worked there letting us know that they had apple picking. However, to our dismay, the apple orchard was located at a different location nearby, 13 Van Kirk Ct. to be exact. The knowledge of this definitely got my little cousins going and that was their topic of conversation the entire time-and we just arrived! As I continued to explore the farm grounds, we came upon a sign decorated with drawings of small pumpkins listing things to do during the festival:

As soon as I mentioned children’s games and pony rides, that was all my little cousins needed to hear. We were immediately off on a mission to go on a ride. After making a left turn at the fork in the small area located by the Food Pavilion, (I’ll get to that later!) we reached the barn animals. That was enough to keep the kids preoccupied for a little while. We saw guinea hens, fed the goats, and visited a small shed that gave educational information about beekeeping.

In that vicinity, there was also a children’s play area with a wooden tractor for kids to pretend to drive, a wooden cow that you could “milk,” and little sheds with a make-pretend grocery store. There was a giant connect four game, and lo and behold, the pony rides. They were an additional fee… but, we managed to redirect the kid’s attention because it was lunchtime and all of our bellies were rumbling at that point.

Deciding to head to the Food Pavilion, there were many options to choose. There were hot dogs, burgers, BBQ chicken, mac and cheese, french fries, various beverages, apple cider donuts, and so much more. We decided to opt for hot dogs and burgers that were deliciously well-made. While we ate, we enjoyed great live music from the bluegrass band, The Raritan Valley Ramblers. The meal revved us up to be able to have more fun on the farm.

We passed by the winery part of the orchard and there was plenty of commotion going on there. I can safely say that Terhune Orchard has fun for everyone. They had tents, tables, and chairs set up for wine tasting and sold flights of wine.

The kids, on the other hand, were ready to paint pumpkins and that was where we headed to next. With each pumpkin costing $5, kids were able to let their creativity roam free with tables full of various colored paints. After they were finished being mini artists, they placed the pumpkins on a pallet on the floor – known as the “drying section.”

While the kids were having fun, I had the opportunity of talk to festival attendee, Mike Walls, about his time at the orchard. “I grew up in Princeton, so Terhune was always a staple since I was a kid,” said the father of three, “I remember coming to all these little festivals since I was their age, having so much fun doing arts and crafts [and] getting all the great food. Apple cider donuts are always a staple!”

After all of that fun, what better way to end our day than with a little treat? We decided to go and get our caramel apples and cinnamon cider donuts. They were very flavorful and so fresh. I can definitely see what the hype was about, because I couldn’t stop eating them.

From beginning to end, our day was filled to the brim with fun. Unfortunately, we got rained out on our way to the apple orchard, but that definitely gives us an excuse to return.

If you have the chance this month, take a visit to Terhune Orchards. General admission is $18 for ages 3 and older and includes access to hay bale maze, corn maze, live music, barnyard, children's games & activities, play houses & play area, scavenger hunt, nature trail, adventure story barn, pedal tractors, painting pumpkins (with purchase of pumpkin), and sunflower pollinator trail.

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