The Covid pandemic has ruined so many of our plans this year but we were determined to still do some of traditions this Fall, our family’s favorite season. One of top priorities? To go apple picking, of course. Since we have taken social distancing and mask wearing VERY seriously, I did a ton of research when finding a great farm to visit. We settled on Jonamac Orchard in Malta and I am THRILLED that we did. Here’s why we loved Socially Distant Apple Picking at Jonamac Orchard.
First off, let me say that this post is in NO WAY sponsored. I’m just a mom who is taking the global pandemic seriously and trying to find socially-distant family fun. I know where are many others out there like me, so I wanted to share how positive our Jonamac experience was.
Limited Online Reservations
Jonamac Orchard really does a great job limiting the number of guests at their farm by requiring timed online reservations. You can choose from different entrance times (9:00 – 11:00, 11:00-1:00, 1:00-3:00, or 3:00-5:00) and can stay as long as you would like but Jonamac does ask that you limit your family’s visit to 3-4 hours. I recommend purchasing your tickets a week or two in advance since weekend dates are EXTREMELY popular once Fall officially arrives. You can purchase tickets here.
High Health and Safety Standards
In addition to daily screening of staff, there are signs promoting social distancing as well as sanitation stations conveniently located throughout the Jonamac grounds. Face coverings are required in any and all buildings, and the capacity of those buildings (the Cider House and Store & Bakery) is limited to 50 people at one time. You can learn more about their Covid precautions here.
When we visited on a Saturday morning, about 85% of guests were wearing masks, but unfortunately that rate started to decline once more waves of timed tickets were allowed onto the grounds. I recommend visiting during the earliest time slots for the least amount of visitors during the day.
A Plethora of Apples
No matter when you choose to do some socially distant apple picking at Jonamac Orchard, I guarantee that you will be impressed by their wide variety of apples. Be sure to check out their website and Facebook page for updates on which apples are at their peak, as well as tips for storing apples and delicious and creative ways to use them.
Socially Distant Fun
In addition to apple picking, your wrist band provides you with access to lots of socially distant fun, including:
- Daytime Corn Maze
- Barn Yard Play Area
- Jumping Pillow
- Petting Zoo (feed cup is extra)
- Pumpkin House
Extra apple tokens are needed for the Apple Train, Apple Launcher and Cannons, and Pony Rides. We were pleasantly surprised with how well the staff kept capacity low and popular attractions, such as the jumping pillow, and encouraged even little ones to keep safe space from one another.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Not only are weekdays less crowded than weekends, but they are also great for stretching your family’s budget. There is no admission fee for the Barn Yard Play Area or the U-Pick Apple Orchard Mondays – Thursdays (excluding holidays) and you can also take advantage of the “After School Special” from 1-5:30. For $3 for person your family can enjoy the popular Jumping Pillow and Animal Barn Petting Zoo.
Our family is excited to rent out a private campfire site during our next trip to Jonamac Orchard (only available on weekends). Renters are allowed to bring in their own food and set up a safe and clean area to use to relax and connect while enjoying Jonamac Orchard.
We would also love to explore the Cider House a bit more and enjoy a tasting of their apple wines and hard ciders. Our kids were so obsessed with the Barn Yard Play Area that we were only able to grab a quick Jonamac Fizz, but let me tell you—it was DELICIOUS!
For more Fall-themed fun, click here.
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