If you grew up in Michigan, you know it isn’t truly winter until the first snowfall, spring until the tulips blossom and summer until you swim in a Great Lake. Ultimately, fall isn’t truly fall until you go to a cider mill.
Though cider mills are at the top of everybody’s basic fall bucket list, the right cider mill may be able to give you a different experience than you have previously had. Or maybe the uncomfortable hayride seats and warm hand-made donuts contain just the right amount of nostalgia to make you feel at home in the middle of fall semester.
Here is a list of the best cider mills within an hour’s drive of Lansing:
4648 Otto Road, Charlotte, MI 48813
Country Mill is a 120-acre farm where not only can you pick your own apples but also blueberries, peaches and pumpkins as well.
MSU has partnered with Country Mill in the past to help them improve their organic fruits and expand their organic products to customers. Since 2006, the mill has committed one third of its orchards to growing organic apples. They offer a wide variety of organic products, including apples, cider, apple butter, applesauce and vinegar.
They also have a booth at the East Lansing Farmers Market, which occurs every Sunday in October from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Uncle John’s Cider Mill
8614 U.S. 127, St Johns, MI 48879
Uncle John’s Cider Mill is a classic go-to for MSU students. Not only do they have tasty cider and donuts, but Uncle John’s also offers private hayrides and bonfires to MSU student groups and clubs. For older and younger crowds, there are more than enough vintage car shows and giant trampolines to entertain all ages.
Additionally, Uncle John’s has live music almost every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night in October. So, don’t be afraid to bring your friends, significant others, parents, grandparents, children and frankly anybody to Uncle John’s. You’re sure to have a good time.
10411 Clyde Road, Fenton, MI 48430
Spicer Orchards is owned by the Spicer family, who have farmed fruit in southeastern Michigan for five generations. In the 1950s, they opened their first market. Current-day Spicer Orchards includes many apple orchards, a winery, corn maze, bakery, market and playground. Spicer’s usually has food trucks that carry some of the best barbecue and kettle corn.
In addition to all the fantastic food, drinks and activities at Spicer’s, they also offer some pretty great company. Down the hill from the market where you can purchase warm donuts and cold cider, there are barns full of farm animals to view, pet and even ride.
Dexter Cider Mill
3685 Central St., Dexter, MI 48130
The Dexter Cider Mill, opened in 1886, is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in Michigan. It is located on the Huron River and offers plenty of picturesque outdoor space, so you can enjoy your cider and donuts down by the water. More recently, the mill started making hard cider to appeal to those with stronger (and more mature) taste buds.