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Family & Pets

Top Spots To Pick Summer Fruit In The St. Louis Area

July 18, 2014 6:00 AM

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Fresh Fruit
There’s no better way to connect with your food than to go into the field and pick your own ripe, fresh fruit. The farms that sit within an hour’s drive of St. Louis on either side offer everything from simple fruit orchards to a full-blown farm-themed amusement park with pig races. Strawberries, blueberries, apples, peaches and pumpkins are the most popular choices, but if you’d rather pick tomatoes or decorative gourds, you’ll find those, too.

Eckert’s Country Store and Farm
951 S. Green Mount Road
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 233-0513
www.eckerts.com

Eckert’s is by far the largest and most family-friendly farm to visit in the St. Louis area, and its Illinois location makes it the closest farm for downtown, South City and South County neighborhoods. Along with pick-your-own strawberries, world-famous peaches, apples, pumpkins and a variety of other fruits and berries that span three seasons, the farms are loaded with other amenities. The Belleville farm features a massive country store, custard stand and play area, and frequently hosts weekend festivals complete with live music, pony rides, hayrides and more. Eckert’s Millstadt location is a produce-picking amusement park with games, shows, crafts and animals to entertain the whole family — even pig races and a pumpkin cannon. Both locations offer prepackaged educational field trips for groups.

Lakeview Farms
8265 Mexico Road
St. Peters, MO 63376
(636) 978-8830
www.lakeview-farms.com

Lakeview Farms invites guests to pick strawberries and raspberries during the summer months. The farm also grows decorative gourds. Some activities for children are available, including a treasure hunt and panning for gold in the creek. Lakeview is proud to use sustainable farming practices that try to minimize the farm’s impact on the local environment. The St. Peters location is convenient for West County and St. Charles residents.

Thierbach Orchards
85 Town Branch Road
Marthasville, MO 63357
(636) 433-2299
www.thierbachorchards.com

Way out west in Missouri’s picturesque Wine Country, you’ll find Thierbach Orchards. Thierbach grows strawberries, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, peaches and apples. Mazes are crafted from honeysuckle vines and carved into cornfields to challenge older children’s directional skills. This year, inflatable bounce houses have been added to entertain young children. The market offers produce, jams, salsas and other farm-fresh treats.

Related: Best Summer Day Camps For Kids In The St. Louis Area

Centennial Farms
199 Jackson St.
Augusta, MO 63332
(636) 228-4338
www.centennialfarms.biz

If you drive to historic Augusta, MO, you can pick your own tomatoes, melons, apples and more at Centennial Farms. Centennial is a simple farm, with a small country store offering apple butter and preserves. Field trips are available during apple and pumpkin season, and include a hayride into the field to pick fruit along with learning about bees and fruit storage. Centennial Farms has been owned by the same family for six generations, since 1854.

Wind Ridge Farm
3511 Highway F
New Melle, MO 63365
(636) 828-5900
www.windridgefarm.net

Out west, in the Lake St. Louis Area, you’ll find blueberry, peach and blackberry picking at Wind Ridge Farm. Wind Ridge keeps it simple, without the amusements and shopping offered by some of the other farms, but it does offer wagon rides to the peach orchard. If you’re looking for a simple day in the country to pick produce, without a lot of games and children’s activities, this is the farm for you.

Related: Top Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In St. Louis

Lauren Haas was the founder and publisher of The St. Louis Area Family Gazette magazine, and editor-in-chief of Marketplace Magazine. Now, Lauren is a full-time freelance writer who travels the world, using St. Louis as her base. Contact her at Lauren@LaurenHaas.com

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