Peach Picking Fun at Branstool Orchards

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This post was written in partnership with Branstool Orchards.

Peaches at the grocery store are hit or miss, am I right? Mostly miss, in my opinion. I’m always afraid to buy them because they usually disappoint. There is nothing like a sweet, juicy peach, but they are just hard to come by at your local grocery store.

Did you know you could pick your own peaches in Central Ohio? I’ll be honest, I did not. I figured peaches had to come on a truck from Georgia, therefore they were picked early with a makeshift calculation for landing on the shelf at peak ripeness. (Can you tell I’m a little bitter about grocery store peaches?)

Little did I know, amazing, juicy, sweet peaches are yours to be had less than an hour down the road from downtown Columbus (Ohio, not Columbus, GA 😉 )! Branstool Orchards is a beautiful spot off Route 62 in Utica, OH where you can pick your own peaches! (And not just peaches! Apples and pears are available, too!)

Picking your own peaches at Branstool Orchards is a relaxing and family-friendly experience. Kids are encouraged to take part, dogs are welcome, and there are picnic tables throughout the orchard where you can stop and have a snack or a picnic! Branstool Orchards wants your family to have a good time when you visit! They want it to be an outing where your whole family is relaxed and enjoying the process, not just the end result!

You can pick up a wagon (for either your kids or your peaches) and stroll through the orchard. I think most kids LOVE this kind of thing! It’s so good for them to make the connection about where their food comes from, and I think they enjoy it more when they know they’ve hand-picked what they’re eating.

I don’t know many kids you have to convince to eat a peach, but mine can be weird about eating a lot of things I personally think are delicious, so you never know. I do know that being able to pick the peaches and eat them out in the orchard made my kids 100% willing to eat them at home – something that is never a given!

You guys, it’s beautiful! It’s relaxing and unpretentious. Are there farms that are pretentious? I don’t know, but that just feels like a good way to describe the orchard!

Peach season is typically July through September. This year things came a little early at the orchard, so they are expecting just 2-3 more weeks of peach availability! Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on what peaches are currently available.

If you don’t have time to pick your own, no worries! Pre-picked peaches are available in the market.

Branstool Orchards handpicks their own peaches at the perfect point of ripeness and then employees hand sort them, picking out “seconds” that don’t meet their quality standards. We got to see this first hand, and you can too, as the workspace is visible from and attached to the market. Don’t worry, the “seconds” don’t go to waste, you can buy them at a reduced price for canning or jam!

Branstool Orchards is partnering with several local businesses: Columbus Brewing Company is using Branstool peaches for a peach beer! If you head down the road to Velvet Ice Cream Factory, you can get a peach sundae made from Branstool peaches!  Urban Spreads uses Branstool peaches in their jam, sold at the market! So many amazing ways to eat (or drink) a peach!

Another great thing about the produce grown at Branstool Orchards is their chemical-free initiatives. Over the past several years they have been reducing their use of chemical pesticides by using mating disruption and companion planting. You can read more about that here. They also polish their apples instead of using the wax you will find on your grocery store apples which is another bonus!

With the exception of just a few items, everything in the farm market is from Ohio. The produce that is not peaches, apples or pears is from local Amish farms, provided for your one-stop convenience, and (just so you know) there are also two options for cobbler topping available for purchase! 😉

If you can’t make it out for peaches, Apples will be available to pick until November! You can see the approximate ripening dates here and make a plan for this fall!

I hope you and your kids can carve out a day for peach picking before the season ends!

Know Before You Go:

Website: Branstool Orchards
Address: 5895 Johnstown-Utica Rd NE, Utica, OH 43080
Phone: 740-892-3989
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 AM-6:00PM, Sunday: 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

  • It is recommended that you allow at least 1 hour for U-Pick.
  • U-Pick peaches are $1.50/lb.
  • There is a $10 minimum for peach-picking.
  • Boxes are provided for picking.


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What Should We Do This Weekend? August 4-6, 2017

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1. Ohio Tax Free Weekend

When: Friday – Sunday, August 4-6, 2017
Time: Friday at 12:00 AM- Sunday at 11:59 PM
Location: stores throughout Ohio

Clothing and school supplies will be sold without sales tax to help you stock up for the school year! Please check the link for all the fine print!

2. Friday Fun Day-Ice Cream Social at Color Me Mine

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 6375 Perimeter Dr., Dublin, OH 43016
Phone: 614-761-1153

This is a drop-off event for kids ages 6 and up where they can paint their own food-safe ice cream bowl! There will be prizes, crafts and ice cream! Price is $30/child or $25 each for multiples. You must register in advance by calling the number above.

3. Commons for Kids at Columbus Commons

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Head down to Columbus Commons for a fun morning that includes free carousel rides, bounce houses, the Imagination Playground, crafts, games and more! This week’s guests include OSU Urban Arts Space, Hashtag Comedy, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Goldfish Swim School, Pretty Princess Parties and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with an animal display starting at 11:00 AM.

4. KidX Club: Dare to Design at Polaris Fashion Place

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy, Columbus, OH 43240

This week’s KidX program is all about fashion! There will be a fashion show at 11:00 AM plus other fun activities for kids. KidX Summer Series will be at the fountain in the outdoor part of the mall. Rain location will be inside at the play area. Bring a book to donate to Columbus Metropolitan Library and you can pick a prize from the treasure chest!

5. Pelotonia

When: Friday-Sunday, August 4-6, 2017
Time: Beginning Friday at 3:00 PM
Location: Beginning in Columbus

This weekend is Pelotonia, a weekend long cycling event that raises money for cancer research. Nearly 8,000 riders from more than 40 states and 10 countries will be participating! Pelotonia’s opening ceremony is Friday, August 4th from 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM at a new location—McFerson Commons and North Bank Park in the Arena District. Rides start Saturday morning August 5th. Check out the ride routes here and come out and cheer them on!

6. Dublin Irish Festival at Coffman Park

When: Friday – Sunday, August 4-6, 2017
Time: Friday: 4:00 PM – Midnight, Saturday: 11:00 AM – Midnight, Sunday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Location: 5600 Post Rd., Dublin, OH 43017

This weekend is the 30th Dublin Irish Festival – the largest 3-day Irish Festival in the world! There will be 7 stages, 65 acts and more than 535 performers! Tickets are on sale online and at the event. Kids 12 and under are free! There will be plenty of kid-friendly activities including the Pot O’ Gold Playland!

7. First Friday Film Series at Ohio History Center

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211
Phone: 800-686-6124

After 5:00 PM, museum admission will be $6/person, $3 for ages 6-12, free for members and kids 5 and under! There will be special First Friday activities and the movie The Brave Little Toaster starting at 7:00 PM! Snacks will be available for purchase. Movie tickets are first come, first served. There will be an additional cost ($5) for parking due to the Ohio State Fair taking place, but parking is free for members.

8. First FARM Friday

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Location: Main St., Coshocton, OH 43812

If you’re in the mood for a road trip this weekend, head to Coshocton for farm animals, food samples, a kids’ pedal pull, farm machinery, and more! Kids can complete a stamp card for a free cup of Whit’s Custard! This event will take place on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.

9. Movie in the Park: Jurassic Park at Highbanks Metro Park

When: Friday, August 4, 2017
Time: 7:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: 9466 US-23, Lewis Center, OH 43035
Phone: 614-508-8111

Come learn about the science of dinosaurs, enjoy activities and then watch Jurassic Park in the park! The movie starts around 8:40 PM. Popcorn is provided. Bring seating and other snacks as desired. It is recommended you bring bug repellent as well!

10. Fit4Mom Columbus North Grand Reopening at Highbanks Metro Park

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Location: 9466 US-23, Lewis Center, OH 43035

FIT4MOM Columbus North is having a FREE Grand Reopening celebration! Registration begins at 9:00 AM, there is a Stroller Strides Family workout at 9:30 AM and a playdate and giveaways from local and national sponsors at 10:40 AM.

11. Westgate Farmers Market at the West Gate Masonic Lodge

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 2925 W Broad St., Columbus, OH 43204

The Westgate Farmers Market happens on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month and includes local vendors, fresh produce, food trucks, kids activities and live music! This week’s food trucks are Explorers Club, Short North Bagel Deli and Cream & Sugar. Free activities include Local Matters Cooking Demos starting every hour at 9:30 AM and music by Scott Brooks!

12. FCCS and Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s FamJam at Columbus Commons

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location:160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

Franklin County Children Services and the City of Columbus are hosting this free, family enrichment festival that will include community resources, vendors, information tables, fun and entertainment! Rain or shine!

13. Back to School Event at Sharon Woods Primary Care

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Dublin Granville Rd., Columbus, OH 43229

The Sharon Woods Back-to-School Event is focused on prevention and safety! There will be stations for arts and crafts, face painting, giveaways, prizes and more! Representatives will be available on site from Columbus Police Department, Columbus Fire Department, Columbus City Schools, Columbus Metropolitan Library, MidOhio Foodbank and CareSource. All ages welcome!

14. Maker Takeover at The Shops At Worthington Place

When: Saturday – Sunday, August 5-13, 2017
Time: Mall Hours
Location: 7227 N. High St., Worthington, OH 43085

Made LOCAL Marketplace is taking over The Shops at Worthington Place in a 9 day Maker Takeover!! All of the storefronts in the mall will be OPEN and filled with locally made items. There will be a kick-off celebration on August 5th which will feature additional makers with tables throughout the mall from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. ALSO Juggle will be providing onsite childcare for FREE while you shop! Sign up here!

15. Find the Joy Magic Show at Hilliard Branch of CML

When: Saturday August 5, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 4772 Cemetery Rd., Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: 614-645-2275

Erica Carlson will perform magic tricks with lots of laughs, audience participation and surprises! Appropriate for ages 2-8.

16. Back-To-School Expo at Easton Town Center

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: 160 Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-416-7000

Columbus Parent & ThisWeek News host a “Back To School Expo” at Easton Town Center this weekend including live entertainment, giveaways and the opportunity to shop during Ohio’s Tax Free Weekend! There will be booths from local representatives, a Sky Zone Family Fun Zone, a Pie Eating Contest, a school supply drive and lots of other goodies!

17. Returning Wildlife at Franklin Park Conservatory

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Location: 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43203
Phone: 614-715-8000

Children’s book author and former assistant to Jack Hanna, Dr. John Becker, will talk about conservation, endangered species and his animal adventures! Free with admission.

18. Pizzuti Collection Family Day

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 632 N. Park St., Columbus, OH 43215

All three floors of the Pizzuti Collection will be open to explore with your family including tours, art inspired activity books and free admission! See our visit to Pizzuti Collection here.

19. MakeBreak at Michaels Stores

When: Saturday, August 5, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: your local Michaels Store

Decorate your back to school stuff with pom-poms, gemstones and more! Items to be decorated are available for purchase and decorations are provided for free!

20. Rock Mill Weekends at Rock Mill Park

When: Saturday & Sunday, August 5 & 6, 2017
Time: 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 1429 Rockmill Pl. NW, Lancaster, OH 43130

The grist mill at Rock Mill Park was recently restored and this weekend you can tour the mill, watch demonstrations of the grinding methods of the mill and see the Rock Mill Covered Bridge. This event is free!

21. Authors at the Loft at The Book Loft of German Village

When: Sunday, August 6, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Location: 631 S. 3rd St., Columbus, OH 43206

This free family event will feature local authors of all genres! They will be on site for a meet and greet, to sign books and answer questions!

Need more? Make sure to check out Summer Nights in Columbus: Something to do Every Night of the Week!

Thanks to The Hive for sponsoring this post!

Photo by Benjamin Derkin

Imagine what’s possible when you surround yourself with a like-minded community. With other parents going through the same struggles you are as you build a living for your family. Imagine a place where both you and your children can get the attention and growth you are craving.

A quiet space for you, attentive care for your children, and a community to hold it all together.

That is The Hive.

Want to sponsor What Should We Do This Weekend? Click here!


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ICYMI: 10 Things to do at Olentangy Indian Caverns

*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

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Columbus Ohio

What Should We Do This Weekend? July 7-9, 2017

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1. Commons for Kids at Columbus Commons

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: 160 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215

This week at Commons for Kids there will be cookie decorating, a free puppet show, a free craft and more! Every week at Commons for Kids there are free carousel rides, bounce houses, Imagination Playground and more! If the temperature is above 80 degrees, there will also be a water slide!

2. KidX Club: Game Time at Polaris Fashion Place

When: When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 1500 Polaris Pkwy., Columbus, OH 43240
Phone: 614-846-1500

KidX series takes place at the fountain outside Polaris Fashion Place! This week’s theme is Game Time! Learn about sports, health and fitness while playing games! Bring a book to donate for the Columbus Metropolitan Library and kids can pick out a treat from the treasure chest!

3. From Book to Film at Gateway Film Center

When: Friday-Thursday, July 7-13, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

GFC has partnered with Columbus Metropolitan Library to bring your family these great films inspired by books! This week’s film is Shrek. Daytime admission is free with your library card!

4. Summer Carnival at Skate Zone 71

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 4900 Evanswood Dr., Columbus, OH 43229
Phone: 614-846-5626

Enjoy a summer carnival including a bounce house, balloon twisting, face painting, games and giveaways!

5. Sprouting Melodies at Hilltop Branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library

When: Friday July 7, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 511 S. Hague Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Phone: 614-645-2275

A music therapist will be at this Summer Reading Club event to help promote early development through songs, play, movement and music! Recommended for kids ages 2-6.

6. First Friday at Ohio History Center

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Location: 800 E. 17th Ave., Columbus OH, 43211
Phone: 800-686-6124

I’m doing a giveaway for this event on my Facebook page! After 5:00 PM you can enter the museum for a reduced price of $6 ($3 for children ages 6-12)! You can explore all of the exhibits until 9:00 with special activities and the movie Mary Poppins will be shown at 7:00 PM! Snacks and beverages are available for purchase. Movie tickets are first come, first served. This event is free for members.

7. Weinland Park Movie Night

When: Friday, July 7, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Location: 1280 Summit St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-297-8442

Watch a free movie in Weinland Park! This week’s movie is Storks! Free movie, free popcorn! Bring a chair or blanket.

8. Family Farm Chores at Stratford Ecological Center

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Location: 3083 Liberty Rd., Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: 740-363-2548

**This program is now full!** This happens on the second Saturday of each month so you can plan ahead for the future! Join Stratford’s farmer for morning chores! You and your family can feed the goats and sheep, collect eggs, feed hogs and more! $15/family. This is a limited event and advanced registration is required. Call to check availability and register! See more about Stratford here.

9. Canoe the Lake at Sharon Woods Metro Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location: 6911 Cleveland Ave., Westerville, OH 43081
Phone: 614-508-8111

Take a canoe out on the lake, all equipment provided! Parents must be in the canoe with their child and children must fit into a life jacket to ride. There will be activities for families too!

10. Saturday Morning Cartoons at Gateway Film Center

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: 1550 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: 614-247-4433

Watch Saturday morning cartoons on the big screen for $5 which includes a bowl of cereal with milk!

11. Summer Jam West at Westgate Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Location: 455 S. Westgate Ave, Columbus, OH 43204

Summer Jam West is a grassroots, free arts and music festival that features live bands, local food trucks, and local arts and craft vendors! There will be many kids activities including police and fire trucks, Artists Wrestling League, sidewalk chalking, free face painting and more in the Children’s Art Zone!

12. PBJ & Jazz at Topiary Park

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location: 96 S. Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 614-294-5200 x 117

Take in a family friendly jazz concert in the park! This weekend features Bright Moments Quintet. Start with a story time inside the Main Library at 11:00 AM, concert is at 12:00 PM and then follow up with a craft from 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Bring a picnic and/or blanket for this free event!

13. Unchained at Westgate BusinessWorks

When: Saturday, July 8, 2017
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: 11 N. Westmoor Ave., Columbus, OH 43204

Gypsy Soul, Clay Street Ceramics and The Moon and Me will be hosting a fun local shopping experience. There will be sidewalk sales and a gift basket giveaway! For $2.50 you can get a hotdog, chips and a drink!

14. Open to the Public at Ohio Wildlife Center

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location: 9000 Dublin Rd., Powell, OH 43065
Phone: 614-734-9453

Ohio Wildlife Center is open to the public on the second Sunday of the month! Learn how to identify birds, investigate the Milkweed and Monarch area, meet some of the wildlife ambassadors and more! $5/person, children 5 and under are free.

15. Little Free Library Storytime with Bexley Library

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Location: 875 Pleasant Ridge, Columbus, OH 43209
Phone: 614-231-2793

The Bexley Public Library hosts a story time at a Little Free Library!

16. Mommy and Me Painting Class with Colorful Columbus

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Location: Goodale Park, 120 West Goodale St., Columbus, OH 43215

This is a mom and child painting event – both paintings combine to create one piece! The theme is foxes! Cost is $35/pair which includes all supplies.

17. Bob Evans Family Day at the Columbus Clippers

When: Sunday, July 9, 2017
Time: 2:05 PM
Location: 330 Huntington Park Ln., Columbus, OH 43215
Ticket Line: 614-462-2757

Family Day admission is $15 and includes 2 adults and up to 4 children for General Admission seating. The kids can run the bases at the end of the game in the 10TV Commit to be Fit Fun Run!

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*Please be aware,  information is gathered from multiple community sources.  Times, dates and locations are subject to change. There may be a fee to participate in a featured activity.  Please call ahead or check links to confirm activities.  Enjoy what you do today!*

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