This piece is part of a series of articles submitted to The Local Tourist through a cooperation with a 400-level travel writing class at Purdue University.
By Ana Arias
One fall afternoon, my friends and I were looking for something to do when we decided it would be fun to go apple picking; none of us had ever experienced it.
When we came across the Wea Creek Orchard in Lafayette, Indiana, we learned there was a fall fest going on that day and decided to give it a try with no expectations in mind.
We initially wanted to go apple picking, but we soon learned that this place offered so much more.
It was a hectic day at Wea Creek because of the fall festival, but the crew still managed to be welcoming and organized.
The orchard is an 8th generation family run business that started with apples, but has now expanded to a pumpkin patch as well. The place is very special because the family who runs it lives on site and they all work together on the orchard.
The family’s matriarch, Mary Jo Thompson Kirkham, still works and cares for the orchard.
When we got there, it was past noon and the sun was shining over the vibrant apple trees. The apple forest looked beautiful, but the warm light and the sweet smells inside a wood barn were what caught my attention immediately.
As you arrive, the first thing you notice is the smaller barn where you go to get your paper bags to put the apples you pick. There is a warm and cozy feeling that accompanies the vendors market that you can find inside the barn.
In the market you can find applesauce, jelly, their delicious honey, and of course apples, among other products. This is also the barn where you go after you are done picking to weight your product and pay at the cashier for it.
After getting your paper bags, you are directed to the apple rows, with each row having a different type of apple. There are plenty of long rows to pick apples from, and the trees have plenty of them! It is also a great spot if you want to take a cute photo surrounded by the apples and trees.
Picking the apples was easy and enjoyable.
A lit bit farther in the back of the apple rows, you can find a wide open pumpkin patch. Unlike the apple orchard, this section is much more spacious and open because it does not have any trees.
When we got to the pumpkin patch it was a little bit late, and there still were plenty of options, but a lot of them had already been picked. There was every size and color of pumpkin available, from small to big and round or oval.
We found it very convenient and entertaining that there is a tractor that takes you to and from the pumpkin patch. After getting our pumpkins, we took the tractor ride back to the main area of Wea Creek Orchard.
My friends and I took our pumpkins and laughed all the way back to the barn since we never thought we would be on a tractor. The ride from the pumpkin patch to the main area is not long, and is actually very fun as you get to ride the tractor with other people visiting the orchard.
In the main area you can find a long gazebo, where they often offer various activities depending on the day. That day they had painting for kids and a floral arrangement course.
Since we were there for the fall fest, there was a lot of traffic and special things like a bouncy castle, food trucks and stations, and activities for kids, like pumpkin decorating.
Behind the wooden, stable-like gazebo there is the bigger, light-colored wood barn that is decorated with string lights, a chandelier and various white tables. This barn is often used for various events like weddings.
One of their many events is the Sunflower Festival. This festival includes a sunflower garden and lets you plant your own sunflower, among other activities.
During their season, the orchard also offers various competitions like the apple pie competition or the chili cook off. They also offer delicious homemade doughnuts on Saturday mornings to start off your orchard experience with a full stomach.
Wea Creek Orchard definitely turned a very mundane and even kind of sad day for me into a memorable first-time experience filled with laughter with my friends. We went in there with no expectations, but left saying we would definitely be back next year.
Visiting Wea Creek Orchard
Mark your calendars and prepare in advance for your experience as Wea Creek Orchard only opens seasonally, usually from July to November. You can find them located at 5618 S 200 E, Lafayette, Indiana.
You may also contact them by calling (765) 807-6142 or visiting their website.