An apple a day keeps the doctor away, giving you ample time to rifle through his office for hidden lollipops. Savor the sweet flavors of nature's candy with today's Groupon: for $8, you get five pounds of apple picking, plus hayrack, playground, and corn-maze admission for two kids and two adults at Ditmars Orchard in Council Bluffs, Iowa (a $16 value). Today's deal is not valid toward Honeycrisp apples.
Ditmars Orchard treats families to a taste of the country, inviting old and young to come together and bond over their communal love of fresh air, exercise, and old-fashioned banana bad-mouthing. Pickers pluck fresh apples right from their branchy homes in Ditmars’ apple orchard, busting with neatly planted rows of McIntosh, Empire, Red Delicious, and other juicy varieties. Available on weekends and on weekdays by appointment, hayrack rides bounce kids and adults across a tour of the orchard grounds, comprising nearly 4,000 apple, peach, plum, cherry, and apricot trees, and an outdoor corn maze allows kids to guide their adult charges along winding paths of leafy stalks to discover Kevin Costner's dad trapped inside. Kids duck and dodge around giant tractor tires planted in the playground, as adults watch from nearby picnic tables, enjoying homemade donuts or slabs of pie from the homey orchard kitchen (not included in the value of the Groupon).
Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard
The shifting seasons bring beauty and bounty to Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard, from the baby buds and bursting petals of spring to the branches heavy with peaches, apricots, cherries, and apples during summer and autumn. In 1994, the Ditmars family laid 300 trees into the ground as a family project, but slowly expanded their hobby into a full-time orchard, now cultivating almost 4,000 trees.
In the summer, fat juicy strawberries nestle in rows ready to be picked, and in fall, fields overflow with acres of bulbous orange pumpkins ready to become jack-o’-lanterns or a horseman’s fancy new hat. Amid fiery foliage and crisp autumn air, families adventure through the onsite corn maze and attend fun fall festivals that feature face painting and hayrides. Kids can clamber over tractor tires and whoosh down slides in the orchard’s large playground. Guests reenergize at the country kitchen, where lunch selections include fried apple pie, hot dogs, fresh apple cider donuts and other goodies, as well as native Iowa wines available by the bottle or glass.