- 8614 North US 127
- St. Johns, MI 48879
- (989) 224-3686
Ah, fall. There are just certain things you have to do every fall. When I lived and worked in Peoria, IL, I did a story every year at an apple orchard about twenty minutes outside of Peoria. On our couple trips north to Traverse City and Mt. Pleasant, I noticed a farm just north of St. Johns. We talked to a few people who have lived here forever and everyone told us stories of how Uncle Johns Cider Mill brought back memories of their childhood. Since it was a gorgeous weekend, we figured what the hell. Let’s go get some apples.
Uncle Johns is huge. We were both shocked by what we found when we arrived at the farm on US 127 north of the City of St. Johns. We were directed back to a huge grass parking lot where we didn’t really know where anything was at and ended up parking pretty far from the attractions.
Since we parked so far away, it was a pretty good walk up to the Cider Mill and shops that make up the yummy parts of Uncle Johns. We didn’t know any better, but the cider is sold at a number of different places on the grounds. We got in line for the cider mill entrance which had a line down the stairs and out the door. For as long as the line was, we only waited ten minutes or so to get to the counter. After getting up the stairs, you enter a large room with tables to eat your newly purchased goodies. There’s a counter at the front of the space to order and off to the left is a window overlooking the cider making machine. We waited patiently to get to the front where we purchased a 1/2 gallon of cider and a 1/2 dozen donuts. My girlfriend was smart and got three different kinds of donuts knowing I probably wouldn’t eat any pumpkin or apple flavored donut.
After the mill, we made our way over to the shop to get some apples and more goodies. J’s co-worker told her about the fudge and an apple cider icee. At the same shop, we also picked up a 1/2 peck of honey crisp apples. J talked me into getting a piece of peanut butter and chocolate fudge. She got a pumpkin pie cheesecake fudge slice. The girl working behind the counter kept trying to get her to buy more with the enticement of deals for buying four pieces. I was across the room and I yelled “No” when I heard the clerk trying. J actually ordered a piece of pumpkin pie fudge, but for some reason the girl wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing and grabbed the pumpkin pie cheesecake fudge. Still, really good. I wasn’t going to eat all of mine, but as soon as I got home and opened it up, I couldn’t stop eating.
The thing J was really excited about was the apple cider icee or slurpee as she was calling. She really made sure to savor every suck of the straw. I took a little sip. It tasted like cold apple cider to me, but she loved it! We’ll probably have to make another trip just to get another one of those.
Our hands were now full and we still needed a pumpkin, so we brought everything to the car and headed out to the U-pick pumpkin patch. Again, it was quite a ways from our car, but the exercise was good for us. It was such a nice day out, why not spend a little extra time walking around? Our walk out to the pumpkins brought us by a little carnival area for the kids with slides and rides. Add that to the rides up near the shops and there’s a lot of things for families to do.
We made it out to the pumpkin patch to get our pumpkin. We weren’t looking for anything big. Just something that would look good sitting on our kitchen table. We walked about halfway up a row before finding the perfect pumpkin. We grabbed it an headed to the scale. Pumpkins were $.30/lb and ours cost just under $3.
Uncle Johns is such a great place to spend a fall afternoon. We got a lot of great food including the coveted honey crisp apples. We probably spent close to $30, but a big chunk of that was the apples. Uncle Johns was a great way for J and to spend a Saturday afternoon. I can’t imagine how much fun we could have with little ones.