Every year, our families (well, the moms and kids) look forward to visiting local apple orchards to pick our own apples and take home some treats. We’ve been known to go far out of our way or make sudden U-turns to stop at an orchard selling apple cider donuts.
This past weekend had some iffy weather forecasted, but we wanted to get out and visit a new orchard before the rain came. An easy drive from the Madison area, Katie suggested Ski Hi Fruit Farm in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, they did not have pick-your-own apples due to their trees being too tall – something we wished we would’ve noticed on their website. We would’ve gone regardless, it just made our time there a bit shorter.
The farm still had much to offer – a huge indoor store where they make homemade apple cider, donuts, and pies, along with selling a variety of snacks and locally produced goods. A small petting farm entertained the kids for a while, but they had the most fun running around in the field and exploring a small clearing in the woods. There was even a log cabin on the property that was built in 1863, according to the historic site sign.
After leaving the orchard, we made the 10 minute drive into downtown Baraboo, a small town with bluffs, the Baraboo River, and many historic sites including where the Ringling Brothers began their circus tour in 1884. Knowing that Baraboo has a big square in the downtown area with a variety of restaurants and shops, we figured we could easily spend a day here. There was a Farmers’ Market going on, which is held every Wednesday and Saturday from May to October along the square as well.
We grabbed lunch and watched the Wisconsin Badger football game on the big screens at Gem City Saloon & Eatery. The pizza was good, the service was friendly, and the kids were entertained in the back area with pool tables and bar games.
After lunch, the husbands and little boys walked to Driftless Glen Distillery for drinks so the girls could do some shopping. They said the place was cool and really liked their drink called “Weekend Vibes.” For some reason they didn’t buy anything but were wishing they would’ve bought some of the distillery’s cucumber vodka for home. One of these days, when we make it back there, we’ll grab some and try concocting our own cocktails using their mixology recipes.
While the boys were bellied up to the bar, the girls were happily wandering in and out of the local shops. Bekah & Kate’s is a kids / home / kitchen shop with unique gifts and a nice play area for the girls.
We LOVED a shop called Countryside Refind – featuring a huge variety of farmhouse-style home decor at good prices. In the back of the store was a large painting and craft area that happened to have free pumpkin painting for the kids as part of an event that day, Autumn Bliss 2019. The girls were entertained painting their pumpkins and we could shop. Nevermind the fact that we took a step towards the door after checking out and then remembered we still had kids with us 🙂
We would’ve loved more time to shop the downtown area, but rain was coming in and the little boys were in needs of naps so we headed back home. On the way into town, we passed a couple places that had some great curb appeal – a brewery under construction called Tumbled Rock Brewery and a winery called Balanced Rock, which looked to have a big patio and string lights (the things that make our hearts happy). In addition, there is always the popular favorite Devil’s Lake State Park nearby. We’ll be keeping an eye on the downtown Baraboo events as the holidays get closer, as the store employee at Countryside Refind said the downtown area “is magical” and “looks like a Hallmark movie with Santa and wagon rides”. Sold! Follow along in a couple months when we’ll be back!
Looking for ideas on how to spend a day in the Madison-area? Visit our post on New Glarus, Wisconsin.