I feel like summer always goes so fast. We're coming up on fall in the next few weeks, so it's time to plan on visiting this year's Heartland Apple Festival at Beasley's Orchard in Danville. This is a true fall tradition in Hendricks County! I have good memories of visiting with my family as a kid, taking field trips here in school and accompanying my own kids here on field trips!
Beasley's Orchard in Danville will bring the fun back again during its 35th Annual Heartland Apple Festival. If you're a local, you've surely heard about or experienced this fall tradition. If you're a visitor or have never heard about it, you must check out this fantastic two-weekend event held the first two weekends in October every year.
The Heartland Apple Festival has become a tradition for my family. It boasts something for all of us, and it always comes when we are in dire need of some time together, outside, enjoying the simple things.
Other Weekends or Weekday Visit
Because of the pandemic, Beasley’s Orchard has worked closely with the Hendricks County Health Department to create a plan to conduct its operations in a safe manner. As a result, the farm will offer all the activities that I detail below from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday in addition to its weekend hours.
Traditionally, all the farm’s fall activities only opened to the public on weekends. By opening every day, Beasley’s Orchard hopes to minimize large weekend crowds and spread attendance throughout the entire fall season. Weekday admission is discounted in relation to weekend admission, helping to encourage families to take advantage of these weekday opportunities.
If you do need to attend on a weekend, Beasley's now hosts six fall festival weekends beginning this upcoming Sept. 18-19 weekend through the entire month of October. To limit the crowds during the Heartland Apple Festival, they are asking regular attendees to potentially visit on one of the other weekends if possible.
With that being said, here's why you should visit Beasley's this year:
If you've never been apple picking, you're missing out! It's amazing to watch my kids marvel at plucking an apple from a tree, washing it off and taking a big bite.
It really helps them understand where some of our food comes from. They also just love climbing up in a tree and finding the best ones.
We always end up with a haul to take home for snacks or for baking and cooking!
Beasley's corn maze remains one of the highlights of the fall season. This 8-acre maze changes every year and takes most people about an hour to navigate
Rubber boots are recommended, especially if it has rained recently.
Past visitors have requested a shorter version of the corn maze, so last year Beasley's changed their corn maze to offer a shorter version as well as the traditional longer version, and they plan to do that again this year with a new design.
But no matter which option you choose, the cost will be the same.
If you get a chance to fire these bad boys, make sure you take advantage of it. Shooting apples from air-compressed cannons to try to hit a target? Does it get any better than that?
Last year, we bought a bucket full of apples to start but quickly went back for another.
They've even added metal targets to make it even more enjoyable. Whether you're young or old, shooting apples from a cannon is guaranteed fun.
Barn Market & Craft Vendors
Beasley's Orchard boasts a beautiful, well-preserved barn that serves as their market for the whole season, not just the festival. I love walking the market and shopping for the host of local items such as teas, decor, pantry items, gourmet foods and of course, their fresh produce.
Facial coverings are not required this year.
Outside, get some mini pumpkins or Indian corn and stroll the outdoor craft vendor market for a little bit of everything. And it's all good.
Last year, I left with specialty treats, bandannas for the dogs and homemade body butter.
All the Food
Naturally, folks come for the eats. It's an orchard, after all. Our oldest makes his way straight to the counter at the back of the barn to purchase their award-winning cider. For him, it's usually a cider slushie for now and a gallon of cider for later.
Whether you prefer it hot or cold, Beasley's cider is simply the best.
You'll want to leave room for lunch or dinner, too, as the food vendors at the Heartland Apple Festival don't mess around.
Burgers, tenderloins and fried biscuits with apple butter are personal favorites, but there is something for everyone.
Family Activities & Entertainment
I meant it when I said that this festival offers fun for the whole family. Year after year, I send my kids up the hay mountain - a big stack of hay bales...yep, simple pleasures - to pose for a picture.
I love looking back at these from over the years. That mountain sure looks smaller these days. Still, it's fun for all the kiddies to climb and play.
The Barnyard Bonanza family activity area provides fun for all ages. You'll find a giant jumping pillow -- sure to tire out kids, and their parents -- a spider climbing rope web, a corn crib for digging similar to a sandbox, only way cooler and a row of ball games - pitch baseballs, spin a spiral in the football throw or shoot some hoops.
The hayrides to the pumpkin patch have definitely became a tradition my family must do. Once the tractor starts moving every year, their faces reveal what I really hope for -- simple joy. We were all grateful for the hayride back to the barn after finding our pumpkins.
In the background, you'll hear live music and entertainment coming from their center stage. You'll want to venture closer for the puppet and magic shows.
Pricing Information (per person): Usually, there are a la carte options for all the different activities. But this year, Beasleys is only offering combo passes for $12 ($9 during the week). These combo passes include access to: hayrides, the corn maze, Barnyard Bonanza, and 5 shots with apple cannons.
Honestly, the combo pass has always been the best and most valuable option anyway. So be glad the decision was made for you! It's a deal! Kiddos under 3 are free. Parking is $5.
Heartland Apple Festival Details
- When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the first two weekends in October every year (Oct. 2-3 and Oct. 9-10)
- Where: Beasley's Orchard, 2304 E. Main St., Danville.
- What: All the fall fun including hayrides, u-pick pumpkin patch, apple cannons, corn maze, barnyard bonanza family activity area, vendor shopping, amazing apples, good eats, craft vendor shopping and live entertainment.
- Sept. 18-19: Opening Weekend
- Sept. 25-26: Hometown Heroes
- Oct. 16-17: Dog Daze at the Maze
- Oct. 30-31: Halloweekend