Harvest some fun in Walworth County!

🎶 I love you…..a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck! 🎶

Some of the fondest family memories are those made when you are romping through the patch to find the plumpest pumpkin to adorn your stoop or racing through the canopy of trees to nab a fresh, crisp apple right off the branch. With so many local orchards and farms to choose from in the Lake Geneva area, fall festivities are right around every corner.

Apple orchards celebrate picking season with cider donuts and hayrides through the orchard at their apple picking festivals. Family farms design corn mazes and display patches full of pumpkins to truly honor the beginning of fall. Explore this list for the best places to find your seasonal apples and pumpkins in Walworth County!

 

Apple Barn Orchard & Winery

W6384 Sugar Creek Road, Elkhorn

During apple season, the Apple Barn allows guests to pick their own apples on weekends only beginning in September. Check their “What’s Picking” page to find out if your favorite variety of apple is ready to pick!

Or join the jubilation on September 29-30 for the 30th annual Apple Fest! Indulge in apple cider donuts, kettlecorn, and tastings of the Apple Barn’s award-winning fruit wines. Peruse the Country Store and Bakery for donuts, cider or other treats and gifts. Craft vendors and a bounce house for the kids make a day filled with family fun and everlasting memories!

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Pumpkin season will be welcomed in October. Grab a little red wagon and pick that perfect pumpkin directly from the patch or from the beautiful selection in front of the Country Store.

The Elegant Farmer

1545 Main Street, Mukwonago
Every weekend is Harvest Fest at The Elegant Farm from September 8 to  October 21, 2018! Enjoy an old fashioned on the farm experience picking your own apples*, vintage train rides by the East Troy Electric Railroad, pony rides, hayrides, and more!   

Elegant Farmer - apple pie in a bagTasty treats are to be had at the Smilin’ Barn with make-your-own caramel apple or leave it to the award-winning Farm Kitchen Bakery, Deli & Market; grab an infamous Apple Pie Bake in a Paper bag for a slice of autumn heavenliness. Check the Elegant Farmer’s homepage every Wednesday in season to see What’s Pickin’ and plan your weekend of blue ribbon fun!
*The orchard is only open on weekends, so plan accordingly if you’re looking for pick your own.

 

Pearce’s Farm Stand

W5740 N. Walworth Road, Walworth

As Pearce’s Farm Stand continues to grow, so does their collection of seasonal produce 

(including apples), canned goods, and fall decor. Beginning in mid-September, Pearce’s Farm Stand offers free wagon rides to the pumpkin patch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am – 4pm. Pick from a large variety of pumpkins and gourds in their patch grown right on their farm. 7 days a week, though, you can visit their stand from the freshest produce, hay bale jumping or tackling their 12-acre corn maze!Pearce'sMaze2018

Pesche’s Greenhouse & Gift Barn

W4080 Wisconsin 50, Lake Geneva

Pesche’s Greenhouse offers a wide variety of plants, gifts, & home decor – including all of your festival fall decorations!  Pick up pumpkins of varying sizes for yard decorations or for carving. While you’re there, check out their selection of fall mums and other fall annuals & perennials.

 

Royal Oak Farm Orchard

15908 Hebron Road, Harvard

The finest apples can be found on Royal Oak’s 120 acres containing 30 varieties of apples. Enter the U-pick apple orchard or pumpkin patch by the new Harvest Barn. Purchase you entertainment tokens good for any train and carousel rides, hay ride or orchard tour. If you’re feeling adventurous conquer their Amaze n’ Apples apple tree maze! Make sure to check their schedules so you don’t miss out on a bit of fun!Copy 2.jpg

But it’s totally ok to simply enjoy their signature apple cider slushies and some cider donuts while shopping for fresh, pre-picked apples, pumpkins as well as treats and treasures in the Apple Barn, Harvest Barn or Country Market.

Mark your calendar for their 3rd Annual Great Apple Ride on October 13, to benefit the Agape House School for Girls in Walworth, WI! Doing good while enjoying good!

 

For more fall fun ideas, check out our events calendar at www.VisitWalworthCounty.com!

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Frolic in Fall Festival Fun!

The soybeans are changing colors and the leaves on the trees are beginning to erupt with color. As we usher in the fall, we revere our harvest season and all the things we get to do in the cooler weather. Because I mean in Wisconsin, just throw on a sweater! Check out all the fall fun that there is to be had in Walworth County.

 

Darien Cornfest

September 7- 9, 8am – 11pm | West Park, Darien, WI

Darien may be small but it celebrates corn in a big way! This three-day extravaganza inaugurates the event with fireworks on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, grab your FREE ear freshly roasted sweet corn from Birds Eye Foods and a beer to enjoy while listening to live music on the Miller Lite stage. Bring the kids to hoot and holler on carnival rides, while you explore the craft fair and support local, creative vendors. Win big at daily bingo games or at the raffle pull on Sunday. Softball, volleyball, and horseshoe tournaments bring friendly competition to the fields; come find your favorite team to root on! Bring your lawn chair on Sunday to watch the Cornfest Parade filled with floats, bands, tractors and horses.

 

East Troy Bluegrass Festival

September 8 & 9, 10am – 6:30pm | East Troy, WI

The sounds of bluegrass music fill East Troy’s historic village square on Saturday and Sunday with a full line-up of bluegrass bands and Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin and Guitar contests. Enjoy great music, lots of great food and East Troy Marketplace vendors for only $10! Kids 15 & under are free!!

 

Main Street Festival

September 15, 11am – 4pm | Whitewater, WI

The historic architecture and natural beauty of Main Street, Whitewater, serves as the perfect backdrop for this annual event celebrating the arts. Galleries, local shops and restaurants open their doors for you to experience the many diverse forms of the arts this community supports. Proceeds from the event go to support the local arts environment in the community. Funds will help support scholarships for local high school and college students, community art programing, as well as creative improvements to the city such as public murals, mosaics and sculptures. Help support the arts by enjoying this wonderful exhibition of creativity!

 

Delavan Scarecrow Fest

September 15 , 9am – 9pm | Downtown Delavan, WI

An annual festival tradition, Scarecrows will be “On Parade” along the historic brick road; each created by a local business or citizen with a theme and name. Come vote for your favorite scarecrow!
This festival spans along the brick road and into multiple parks throughout historic downtown Delavan. Begin at Water Tower Park for the craft fair & flea market, demos by local businesses, food, and music by Cheryl Niemo & the Down Home Boys. Bring the kids to paint pumpkins, or say hello to the animals at the petting zoo at the Aram Public Library.

Inspired to decorate for fall with a scarecrow at your house?? Build a Scarecrow and take it home. We’ll have the supplies to make a scarecrow and helpers. This is great for the whole family!
To compliment the sidewalk sales by Delavan Merchants, the Duck Raffle (3 tickets for $5 or $2/ each) gets you a chance to win $150 or any of the wonderful prizes donated. Other activities include a narrated Walldog Wagon Tour, a pie and cake sale outside of Remember When, and the 3rd Annual Quilt Show throughout merchant store fronts. As a grand finale for the Scarecrow Festival and the season at the Phoenix Park Bandshell, Andrew Sedlak will open for the infamous Pink Freud, harmonized with vibrant laser lights by the Laser Fusion Light Show. This is a sensory wonder that you don’t want to miss!

 

Customer Appreciation Day

September 15-16, 11am – 4pm | Pearce’s Farm Stand, Walworth, WI

Pearce’s Farm Stand wants to thank their customers for helping them grow. Get your free cooked sweet corn (Sunday only), enjoy music, free hayrides to pumpkin patch, and dancing. Tackle their famous jumping bales with slides, tube rollers, and climb in a REAL John Deere Combine. All to be added to the regular offerings of Saturdays and Sundays like pre-picked produce, corn maze, helicopter rides (weather permitting), lookout tower and human hamster wheel!

 

Annual Geneva Lakes Boat Show

September 29 & 30 | The Abbey Marina, Fontana, WI

The Geneva Lakes Boat Show is an annual event held in the Abbey Resort’s harbor, presented by the Blackhawk Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. This show features over 100 classic and vintage boats from all over the country. Check out the pre-events and getaway packages available at The Abbey Resort!

 

Apple Fest

September 29 & 30 | Apple Barn Orchard & Winery, Elkhorn, WI

Celebrate the 30th year of fall fun at Apple Fest, with apple picking and hayrides through the orchard. Indulge in apple cider donuts, kettlecorn, and tastings of the Apple Barn’s award-winning fruit wines. Grab some donuts, cider or other treats to take home as you head of the door of the Country Store and Bakery. Craft vendors and a bounce house for the kids make a day filled with family fun and everlasting memories!

 

Antique Flea Market

September 30, 7am – 4pm | Walworth County Fairgrounds, Elkhorn, WI

A mere $5 is such a value for the treasures that you will walk away with from Wisconsin’s Finest
Antique Flea Market. Rain or Shine, over 500 dealers gather inside and outside to share their wares and great deals on some great finds! Free parking and great food make this a day trip that must be had by all antiquers.

 

Fall Family Festival

October 5-7  | Lake Lawn Resort, Delavan, WI

Gather at the lake to enjoy everything that Lake Lawn Resort has to offer at their Fall Family Festival. This event allows family and friends to enjoy the fall colors along with a weekend packed with fall-themed events; including unlimited mini golf, scarecrow building, pumpkin decorating, donut making, hayrides, Fall Harvest Buffet, movie nights, lots of games and activities for the whole family, and more! Activities will be open to resort guests AND the public.

Overnight packages are available for three nights or two nights, and include overnight accommodations, two 140th Anniversary Celebration Beach Towels per room, Unlimited Mini Golf per person, Fall Harvest Buffet on Sunday, October 7, and one pumpkin per person. What a great reason to plan a fall getaway! 

 

Lake Geneva Oktoberfest

October 6-7, 11am-5pm | Lake Geneva, WI

Plan your weekend to stay at one of Lake Geneva’s lakeside hotels to enjoy the fall colors. Then join the Streets of Lake Geneva for their Annual Oktoberfest Celebration! The beer tent is back this year, featuring delicious German beers from Hofbrau, as well as a few local favorites! The whole family will have a blast with bounce houses, pony rides, German music, FREE pumpkins, craft fair, cider donuts and more! This event is FREE and open to the public. Venture down to Flat Iron Park and start a new fall family tradition.

 

Elkhorn Oktoberfest

October 20, 9am – 5pm | Downtown Elkhorn, WI

Bring the whole family to Elkhorn, as they fill the town square with fall fun at the 13th Annual Elkhorn Oktoberfest in Veterans and Pocket Parks. Walk around the downtown square to see over 100 crafters and vendors showcasing handcrafted items, antiques, produce and plants, home party consultants and more. Head over to the north parking lot of the government center to see some beautiful classic cars during our 9th Annual Oktoberfest Car Show. The kids will have plenty to keep them occupied with games, pumpkin decorating, bounce house, slides and more. Grab a bite to eat from the many delicious food vendors or sample some chili in the Chili Cook-off.

Adults get to have their fun too when you step inside the Wine & Beer Tasting tent. Enjoy all the different live entertainment acts from local groups like Toe to Toe Ballet, the Walworth County Cloggers, Elkhorn Flying Dragons, Dreams Studio of Performing Arts, and music from a live band. So much to see and do, that you’ll need to take the day to experience this fantastic event!

 

Delavan Oktoberfest

October 20, 4pm – 8pm | Community Park, Town of Delavan, WI

From the outside of the pavilion, this seems like a quaint little celebration….until you walk through the door! Celebrate like the Germans do with the tastiest traditional German food like schnitzel and spätzle. Along with wine, beer, and pastries like streusel. No need to worry about the calorie count, because you’ll be up dancing to some festive polka by the Steve Meisner Band. Come and experience Gemütlichkeit in Delavan!

 

Beer & Spirits

October 27, 1pm – 5pm | The Ridge Hotel, Lake Geneva, WI

This is going to be the best Halloween party in town! Enjoy unlimited tastings from 35 Midwest craft breweries and distilleries. Entertainment provided by a DJ and photo booth and so more! Grab your souvenir tasting glass and make the rounds to enjoy all this event has to offer.

Download the printable Fall Festivals 2018 list here.

For more great fall adventures, check out our
events calendar at VisitWalworthCounty.com!

Trick-or-Treat 2016

October is upon us, and that means that it’s time to get creative with costumes for one of the most frighteningly fun times of the year for littles: Trick-or-Treat time! WCVB is your one stop spot for all of the Trick-or-Treat times throughout Walworth County. Find the perfect costumes, scope out the list, grab a candy bucket or two, and get ready to pound the pavement for spooktacular, sugar-filled fun!

All of us at WCVB hope that you have a safe and bone-chillingly fun Halloween! For more Halloween fun, for kids big and little alike, check out the Events Calendar on our website.

The Kid-Friendly Ice Cream Social Cruise with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line

Just about every kid loves ice cream, and the Lake Geneva Cruise Line has a way to make ice cream even better: have it on the Grand Belle while touring Geneva Lake.

Boats are as fascinating to kids as ice cream, especially big boats. There’s no denying the stature of the Grand Belle in Lake Geneva Cruise Line’s fleet and it always impresses its passengers, big and small. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, my niece, Love Bug, and I like to plan special outings together. One afternoon she started rattling off of the things she needs to do in her life (she’s seven, mind you). The list had a great deal to do with transportation. She wanted to fly in an airplane, ride a train, ride the subway, float in a hot air balloon, and go on a big boat. We checked the train off of her list earlier this year, and I thought the Lake Geneva Cruise Line would be the perfect way for her to experience a “big boat”. I wasn’t sure which cruise to take her on, but with the helpful staff at the Cruise Line, it was decided that the Ice Cream Social Cruise would be just right for my Love Bug.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Ice Cream Social, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, WI

When we arrived at the Riviera Docks, downtown Lake Geneva, she was immediately enamored by the fleet of boats. Once I pointed out the boat that we would be going on, her mouth dropped open. She was tickled pink that we were going on a boat that big. We arrived a little early, and the wait was killing her. She kept walking closer and closer to the boats to check them out. I heard the question, “Is it time yet, Auntie?” entirely too many times inside of ten minutes. When it was finally time to start the line to the Grand Belle, she raced down the pier so she would be one of the first in line.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Ice Cream Social, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, WI

Upon stepping onto the Grand Belle, she had to make the decision of where to sit, upstairs or down. She quickly scanned the bottom floor and decided that we needed to go upstairs. Once up top, she couldn’t decide where the best place was to be. She liked the tables inside, because that’s where the ice cream sundaes would be delivered, of course. But the view of the lake from the stern intrigued her, too. In time she settled on sitting at the stern of the boat…but not until after we had our ice cream.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Ice Cream Social, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, WI

Out on the lake, Love Bug thought as much of the mansions as the adults did. When she saw one that really sparked her interest, everyone around was following her arm to shore as she pointed out her “favorite” one (she had quite a few favorites as we toured the lake).

As kids do, Love Bug got a bit antsy and decided we needed to further explore the Grand Belle. Half way through the cruise she decided it was time to go see the bow of the boat. She checked things out, was surprised by the amount of wind at the front of the boat, and then said a quick hello to the captain, who gave her a chance at the helm. That kid couldn’t have beamed brighter.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Ice Cream Social, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, WI

Once the tour wrapped up, she excitedly scooted down the stairs, and out, thanked the staff for the tour, and was ready to have her picture taken by the Grand Belle. I do believe that all those smiles translate into this: a Geneva Lake cruise and an ice cream social is fun no matter how old you are.

To learn more about the cruises the Lake Geneva Cruise Line offers, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Lake Geneva Cruise Line Ice Cream Social, Lake Geneva, Walworth County, WI

Pick of the Patch: Pumpkin Patches 2016

Charlie Brown may have found THE Great Pumpkin, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find your perfect pick of the patch this autumn. The Lake Geneva area is home to multiple farms where you can pick your own pumpkin, or choose your favorite from available pre-picked pumpkins.  Many of the area patches are already open and ready for pumpkin season, with just a couple of the pick-your-own patches opening October 1st.

Pumpkin Patches throughout the Lake Geneva area, Walworth County, WI

Here are a few quick pumpkin patch links:

Apple Barn Orchard & Winery

Pearce’s Farm Stand

Pesche’s Greenhouse & Gift Barn

Royal Oak Farm Orchard (Pick-Your-Own begins October 1st)

The Elegant Farmer (Pick-Your-Own begins October 1st)

For more fall fun in the Lake Geneva area, please go to VisitWalworthCounty.com.

International Helmet Awareness Day with West 20 Saddle Co.

Anyone who loves riding horses knows the importance of riding with a helmet. September 17, 2016 is International Helmet Awareness Day (IHAD). For those of you that are unfamiliar with IHAD, it is a program aimed at educating equestrians about riding helmet safety through a global equestrian retailer network.

Helmet fitting at West 20 Saddle Co. in East Troy, Walworth County, WI. Wisconsin's largest tack shop.

My seven-year-old niece is crazy about horses and takes regular riding lessons with a local trainer. Since she started riding, she has been borrowing a helmet for lessons. After learning about IHAD, I thought it was time for her to get fitted for her own helmet so that she is prepared for riding, even outside of lessons.

The West 20 Ranch and Saddle Company in East Troy offers a generous selection of helmets from various brands, including Charles Owens, IRH, Ovation, and Troxel. Personally, I don’t know a thing about riding helmets, so I left it to the staff at West 20 to provide the knowledge to find my niece the right helmet.

West 20 Saddle Co. in East Troy, Walworth County, WI. Wisconsin's largest tack shop.

West 20’s staff lined up all of the youth helmets for my niece to choose from. We discussed the type of riding she does, and the different options of the helmets. After our brief conversation my niece chose which helmet she liked the best. In addition to loving horses, she also loves the color pink. It wasn’t a tough choice for her; she wanted the pink one! Fortunately, the chosen pink helmet had many great fitting options so it was right for her needs in addition to being her favorite color.

Helmet fitting at West 20 Saddle Co. in East Troy, Walworth County, WI. Wisconsin's largest tack shop.

There are four steps to finding a helmet that fits properly and West 20 walked us through them.

  1. Measure: Measure the circumference of the head one inch above the eyebrows.
  2. Prepare the helmet: Open up the helmet’s fitting system (usually a ratchet on the back of the helmet and a chin strap) to its widest position. When you’re unsure of how it will fit, try the largest setting and go from there.
  3. Position the helmet: If it’s too tight, try another size. If it has the fitting system, adjust it to be snug and make note that the brim is about an inch above the eyebrows and level across.
  4. Check the fit: Shake your head from side to side and up and down. The helmet shouldn’t wobble, but also shouldn’t be so tight that it creates a headache.

Helmet fitting at West 20 Saddle Co. in East Troy, Walworth County, WI. Wisconsin's largest tack shop.

With the help of the knowledgeable and friendly staff at West 20 Saddle Co., my niece not only left with a perfectly fitting helmet that will keep her safe while riding, she also left with a helmet that she thinks is cool so there won’t ever be a problem getting her to wear it.

To learn more about IHAD or to get fitted for a helmet, visit the West 20 Saddle Co. In addition to finding a helmet that fits you correctly for safe riding, you can also save 20% on all stock helmets between now and September 18th in honor of International Helmet Awareness Day.

Find West 20 online, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

West 20 Ranch and Saddle Co.
W4812 State Highway 20
East Troy
(262) 642-4272

Watson’s Wild West Museum

I don’t know about you, but when I spend time with kids I like to find unique stops of entertainment. Mainstream excursions are fun, sure, but they lack character and originality. I have a seven-year-old niece, whom I call my Love Bug, and we like to plan day-long adventures together – just the two of us.  Whenever we plan a “Love Bug and Auntie Day” she usually gets to choose what we do. Her number one choice: Build-A-Bear. While I don’t mind taking her there once in a while, it’s the same experience every time. Nothing changes except the merchandise, and she doesn’t really get any lasting, impactful memories from it.

Having the treat of working with the Walworth County Visitors Bureau, I have the opportunity to learn about all of the amazing, fun things to do in the Lake Geneva area. We had a “Love Bug and Auntie Day” coming up, and I really wanted to go somewhere that would tie in with her current seven-year-old interests and give her a true experience. Right now she’s CRAZY about horses. With the horse theme comes cowboys/cowgirls, cowboy boots, cowboy hats…you get the idea. Come to find out, there’s a little slice of the Wild West right here in Walworth County at Watson’s Wild West Museum in Elkhorn.

Watson's Wild West Museum, Elkhorn, Walworth County, WI.

Love Bug was a bit apprehensive about going to a Wild West museum, most likely because we’d never done anything quite like this before. That said, she probably didn’t know what to expect. Once we pulled into the parking lot at Watson’s, her excitement instantly grew and I couldn’t park the car fast enough for her.

It genuinely looks like you are driving into the Wild West. There is an old mine, covered wagons, a big teepee, wagon wheels, and tons more. Love Bug was enamored by the place, and we hadn’t even gone inside yet!

Once she had her fill of the incredible outdoor display, she said it was time to go inside. The large wood door was of significant stature, so we gave it a good pull together to open it. The “foyer” hall was decorated from floor to ceiling in interesting vintage Wild West artifacts, but as soon as Love Bug saw the old saloon doors, she was ready to go in!

Watson's Wild West Museum, Elkhorn, Walworth County, WI.

We pushed through the saloon doors and there wasn’t anyone in sight. We went through the next door slowly peeking through when we heard a loud, “Howdy Partner!” There before us stood a tall, gentle man that looked as though he literally stepped right out of the American Old West. He had a huge smile on his face, introduced himself as Cowboy Doug, and welcomed us in true western fashion.

Panning for gold at Watson's Wild West Museum, Elkhorn, Walworth County, WI.

Cowboy Doug took us around the room sharing tall tales, offering tidbits of history, and helping us imagine life in the 1800s. There’s much to look at inside the museum, enough to enthrall both young and old. We talked about chores and entertainment of the time, panned for gold, yelled “Ye-Haw!” as we sat in an old western saddle, got roped, and even had a Sarsaparilla slid down the bar to us, just like they did in the old days.

When it was time to head out Love Bug showed off the stash of gold she panned for, grabbed a Sarsaparilla, and walked out looking back over her shoulder with that typical kid look of wanting more. She bounced across the parking area pointing out things she missed when we originally walked in. As I drove out of the museum lot I heard, “Auntie, when can we go there again?” That was all the confirmation I needed to be convinced that Watson’s Wild West museum trumped Build-A-Bear for a “Love Bug and Auntie Day”. I guarantee we’ll return for another visit, and I’m almost certain that the next trip will be as unique as this one was.

To learn more about Watson’s Wild West Museum, visit their website or follow them on Facebook!

Watson’s Wild West Museum
W4865 Potter Road, Elkhorn

Admission:
$5/Adults
$3.50/Child aged 4 – 10