For the past five or six years, my family has made it an annual tradition to visit the Lynd Fruit Farm. This has been true even since we moved away from Columbus as we have not been able to find any comparable fruit farms in the Cleveland area. Below is my review of the Lynd Fruit Farm in Pataskala, Ohio which I think is one of the best fall family experiences in Ohio.
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Lynd’s Fruit Farm is truly a one-stop shop for all of your fall needs. The main farm hosts apple picking, pumpkin picking, a large market, and a fall activity area which includes a corn maze, apple cannons, and activities for children. Lynd’s has three separate apple orchards which open up at different times during the season. You can view the schedule posted on their website outlining which apples are available at what times of the year.
Apple picking is open from Wednesdays through Sundays beginning at the end of August and ending in mid-October. Pumpkin picking runs from the end of September until mid-October. You should check the website before visiting for any updates about apple variety and pumpkin availability or check out their Facebook page. This is especially true during inclement weather when the orchards cannot handle heavy traffic or if it is very important to you to get access to a certain apple variety.
Although Lynd’s Fruit Farm is located approximately 30 minutes northeast of Columbus, it is definitely worth the drive. The main fruit farm is 380 acres and the Blue Frog Farm, a second location, is 200 acres. The farm has been in business in some fashion since 1919. They have also expanded their offerings to include raspberry, blackberry, and peach picking at certain times of the year.
I recommend planning to arrive at the fruit farm as soon as they open. We generally arrive right around 10am and the orchards and market are insanely busy. In fact, the large crowds at the market are really the only negative part about a visit to Lynd’s. In line with that, I advise visiting the market first. This isn’t necessarily ideal as I prefer to pick a few pumpkins in the field first and then purchase additional pumpkins at the market based on what I still need. However, I strongly recommend visiting the market first to avoid the massive crowds. You might have a bit more flexibility if you are visiting during the week as I suspect there are significantly smaller crowds.
When we visit, we usually spend two or three hours picking apples and pumpkins and visiting the market. This year, we also visited the corn maze area and tried out the apple cannons. You can certainly spend less time if you come only for one product and skip the market, but you could also spend a lot more time if you complete the corn maze or take a hayride.
Each day, the staff of Lynd’s Fruit Farm place directional signs so that visitors know which direction to go to find the orchards containing the apple varieties available that day. These orchards are generally spread out across the property, so it is best to have an idea of which apple variety you want to pick before you arrive. To help you choose, the Lynd’s website has an apple use chart on their website that outlines which apples are best for baking, eating, storing, etc. to help guide your decision.
Once you follow the signs to the correct orchard, you will follow the gravel path until you come across some greeters. These greeters will ask how many bags you want for your apples. You have the option of a smaller bag (approximately 10lbs) for $20 or a large bag (approximately 20lbs) for $30. (Please note that some apple varieties including the Honeycrisp are $25 for a small bag and $35 for a large bag.) Every vehicle must purchase at least one small bag in order to enter the orchard (although you don’t pay until you are finished picking your apples).
Once you have your bag(s), you continue along the marked path and park as directed by the greeters. Once parked, you can enter the orchard and pick apples from any of the designated trees. Some of the older orchards have tall trees so bringing a tall person with you is an advantage. Other orchards have younger trees and the apples are easier to reach.
Once you have filled your bag(s) and taken your photos, you get back into your vehicle and follow the gravel path out of the orchard. I always find it surprising how quickly we fill our bags. On your way out, you will encounter more staff who will ask you to open your trunk so that they can verify the size and number of bags of apples you have picked. Once they determine your total, you can pay with cash or even credit card. From there, you can exit the orchard and head to one of the other areas of the farm.
Picking a pumpkin from the field is so much fun. It really marks the beginning of fall for me. Lynd’s has several pumpkin fields but usually doesn’t begin pumpkin picking until the very end of September. The process is very similar to picking apples from the orchards. Follow posted signs to the pumpkin field and park as directed.
From there, you can venture into the field to pick your favorites. In the field, all pumpkins are $8 regardless of size, so I recommend choosing larger pumpkins and picking up your small and medium pumpkins at the market (where small pumpkins are generally $2-$4 and medium are generally $4-$8).
I also recommend bringing an old blanket to protect your car trunk as pumpkins picked straight from the field are dirty. We use an old moving blanket. You may also want to bring a utility knife, pruning shears, or heavy duty scissors to cut the pumpkins off of the vine; this can be hard to do with your hands alone. I also recommend wearing closed toe shoes and long pants. The field can be a bit muddy and the vines a bit pokey. You might also find it helpful to bring some gardening gloves or construction gloves for this reason.
Once you have selected your pumpkins and loaded them into your car, you will follow the marked path out of the area and to the staff that will check you out. Like when visiting the apple orchard, they will ask you to open your trunk so that they can verify the number of pumpkins you have purchased.
The Lynd Fruit Farm Market is a large open-air store space where they sell all kinds of produce and packaged food items. In addition, you can find additional selections of gourds and fall décor including mums, cornstalks, hay bales, and pumpkins in seemingly every shape and size possible. Although the market was recently expanded, it is always incredibly busy. So busy, in fact, that some people could easily find it overwhelming and anxiety provoking. This is why I recommend going first thing if you visit on a Saturday or Sunday (or plan to visit on a weekday as the market is open seven days a week during the fall season).
So if you’ve already been to the apple orchards and pumpkin fields, you might wonder if it is worth stopping by the market. I would say it absolutely is! In addition to farm fresh tomatoes and garlic, this year I picked up about eight more pumpkins that were different sizes or varieties than were available in the field (I have a thing for heirloom pumpkins). I also purchased some apple fritters from the outside food vendors and some candied almonds.
But you can find many other items in the market as well. They sell numerous items including jams, popcorn, pies, baked goods, fresh produce, applesauce, ciders, sauces, pickles, honey, and many other items. My sister loves the ‘traffic jam’ which is a jam made of several different types of berries. The apple butter is a personal favorite. The market also offers gifts and branded merchandise and is definitely worth a stop if you can manage the crowds.
The corn maze and courtyard games
The corn maze at Lynd’s Fruit Farm is massive and can take even the most talented navigator over an hour to complete. At the entrance to the corn maze is a myriad of other kid-friendly activities including a barrel train, mini zipline, bounce house, and digging area. Entrance into the corn maze is $11 per person and it is open only Friday through Sunday from 10am until 10pm. A wagon ride or an extra barrel train ride is $3 per person. Snacks are also available for purchase. Lynd’s also offers private parties and group pricing.
This year, we decided to try our aim at the apple cannons which are located just beyond the main courtyard games area. Lynd’s has six pneumatic air-powered apple cannons that you can use to shoot at a variety of targets including a school bus, derby car, and large chimes. You can purchase a small bucket of apples for $10 or a large bucket for $20. Shooting the cannon was fun, but quite loud. The 13-year-old really enjoyed it (but wasn’t particularly accurate).
I hope you found my review of Lynd Fruit Farm helpful! A visit to Lynd’s Fruit Farm is a must-do fall activity if you are in the Columbus area. My family looks forward to our visit every year. The market is located at 9399 Morse Road SW, Pataskala, OH 43062. I recommend putting that address into your GPS and following the signs from there to either the apple orchards, pumpkin fields, or corn maze/courtyard activity area.
Have you been to Lynd’s Fruit Farm? What other information would you share with someone who was planning a visit there?
If you are looking for other fun activities in the Columbus area, check out my post on the top attractions in Columbus. If you are looking for other ideas for weekend adventures in the area, check out my post on visiting Hocking Hills State Park.
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