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Guide to Shihata Orchard

It’s time to put your land-legs back on! After a day out on the water, it can be nice to see what activities the mainland has to offer! Visiting an Apple Orchard is the perfect outdoorsy activity that encapsulates everything that is great about Wisconsin–community, nature, and fun.

Shihata is the perfect place for aspiring fruit pickers. The local farmers can teach you everything you’d want to know about the 13 different types of apples here. You and your family can learn the difference between a JonaGold and a Honeycrisp, and understand more about the fruit than whether it’s red or green. This can be one of the “fruits” of your Wisconsin vacation.

Apple Picking at Shihata Orchard

Apple picking season in Shihata Orchard starts in late August and ends in early November. While you will find more variety as the season progresses, there are still a few apples you can grab.

Those who need guidance can take a wagon tour through the orchard. Here you’ll learn about the history of the orchard, what it takes to make the farm profitable, and what kinds of apples are in season. Questions aren’t just allowed, they are encouraged! If you have specific accommodations that need to be made, you can create a custom tour by calling into Shihata.

This is a list of the approximate times apples are in season:

Early Season
  • Paula Red
  • Zestar
  • Royal Gala
Mid Season
  • McIntosh
  • HoneyCrisp
  • Cortland
  • Fuji
  • Jonathan
  • Regent
  • JonaGold
  • Empire
  • Golden Supreme

A Classic Wisconsin Pumpkin Patch

Apples aren’t the only thing you’ll find on the farm. Apple picking season happens to also be pumpkin season. At Shihata, you can pick your own pumpkin. In fact, hundreds of the orange squash are waiting to be selected for your Halloween and fall decor! Wisconsin pumpkin patches bring folks together. It’s one of the best things to do in Prairie du Chien as a family this fall.

Before your kids rush off to find their newest fall friend, there are a few things you can do now to prepare for your pumpkin patch trip.

Bring clothes that suit the weather

Depending on whether you go apple picking in summer or fall, you’ll probably want to adjust your clothing accordingly. Avoid wearing shoes that are loose fitting like flip-flops.

Make sure your kids are walking

You don’t want your kid to stray too far from you, and if they are running they could hurt an innocent pumpkin–or worse–themselves.

Bring snacks and water

If you are planning to be at the pumpkin patch for a while, you should always have snacks on hand. Water is important for a hot day.

Join the Fall Festival

Probably the most exciting event near Prairie du Chien is the Orchard Festival from September to October. Run through the enormous corn maze. Dine on American fall desserts like fresh apple pie and hot cider.

Hitch a free ride on the tractor through the orchard. You can even have your kids paint the pumpkins they plucked! The Orchard Festival is the best mainland event for a day of family fun.

Bakery Barn

If you’ve been impressed with the orchard, there’s no better way to express that than taking a trip to the Bakery Barn. You can buy a bushel of apples, a bottle of apple cider, a large pumpkin, and even locally-grown wine here. If you love home-grown foods, this is your chance to show it.

At the end of your trip, you’ll remember your houseboat experience and what fun you had on the river. But don’t take the memories you could be making on the orchard for granted. They’ll make it worth docking your houseboat.