All good things must come to an end, and the summer season is no exception. You may be feeling the blues whilst bidding adieu to your bikini for the time being, but there are many summer to fall transitional festivities to enjoy that soften the blow of the changing seasons. A popular favorite aspect of fall? It’s now apple cider and doughnut season!
There are few things that make me happier than taking a trip to the cider mill on a day when there’s a chill in the air and crispy, crunchy leaves beneath my boots. I can’t be the only one who finds such joy in going to the cider mill, because most of the ones in Metro Detroit opened their doors over Labor Day weekend.
Cider mills aren’t just a place to go grab some freshly pressed apple cider and pillowy, powdered sugar doughnuts, either. While that’s probably the best part, there are several other activities to enjoy at some of southeast Michigan’s cider mills. Let’s take a gander!
Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill, 714 Baseline Rd., Northville, is the oldest continually operating business in the city of Northville, and opened for the season at the end of August. At Parmenter’s, you’ll find plenty of fresh cider and doughnuts, as well as caramel apples, pumpkin butter, maple syrup and more. You know those cinnamon roasted almonds you thought you could only get at football games and festivals? They’ve got ‘em here.
What is also unique about Parmenter’s is that the Northville Winery is located just across the parking lot. The winery originated in the Parmenter’s building over 30 years ago before moving mere steps away. Today, the Northville Winery produces wine, hard cider and beer with grapes and apples sourced from the west side of Michigan.
The Northville Winery tasting room is open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Parmenter’s Cider Mill is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill, 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada, is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., during which time you can pick up some freshly pressed apple cider and baked goods. If you’ve got a rumbly tummy while you’re there, you can snack on more than just doughnuts: Blake’s Orchard Café is open every weekend through the end of October and serves lunch items like Italian Sausages, Chicken Croissants and Veggie Subs.
For those of you readers who fall into the 21 and up crowd, you’re going to want to check out Blake’s Hard Cider. Each variation is made with apples picked from trees on the farm, then brewed at the cider house. The trio of hard ciders includes Catawampus, Beard Bender and Flannel Mouth, all of which you need to try out for yourself.
Lunch, hard cider, doughnuts and pie all in one place? I’m sold.
Dexter Cider Mill, 3685 Central St., Dexter, is Michigan’s oldest continually operating cider mill and uses a 100 year old oak rack press to make its cider, created with a blend of locally grown apples. The fresh cider pairs wonderfully with some apple nut bread, hand rolled gingersnaps and, of course, doughnuts.
If you enjoy wine, head to the Dexter Cider Mill on Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. to participate in a wine tasting. During these weekend hours, the cider mill hosts a wine tasting event featuring the Sandhill Crane Vineyards of Jackson.
The Dexter Cider Mill is open now through mid-November from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
Westview Orchards, 65075 Van Dyke, Washington Twp., features several activities on both weekdays and weekends. Kids can enjoy an indoor petting barn and several games any day of the week, and once the weekend rolls around, you can keep your family members from getting cranky by visiting the Bakery at K’s Kitchen and The Grill on the Hill. One can’t live on cider and doughnuts alone, ya know? However, dessert is essential, and you’ll find fruit donuts, deep-dish pies and apple, banana nut and pumpkin breads at the bakery.
Grill on the Hill features lunch items like burgers, hot dogs, Italian sausages, soup, chili, pizza, pulled pork and more. You won’t have any problem finding a day’s worth of fun at Westview! The farmers market is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Yates Cider Mill, 1990 E. Avon Rd., Rochester Hills, has been featured on the Food Network, giving it a pretty impressive claim to fame. The cider and doughnuts are plentiful, as well as various baked items and jams. Signature pies include varieties like Caramel Apple, Double Crust Peach, Dutch Crust Cranberry Apple and Pumpkin.
As if donuts and pie weren’t enough, the Fudge Shoppe is open through the end of November and features fudge, salt water taffy and caramel corn produced by The Frankenmuth Fudge Shoppe. Also, Yates is another local cider mill with grilled items available for purchase, including Dearborn brand hotdogs and knackwurst.
Yates is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd., Rochester, is open year round and is more like a full-on fun center than a simple cider mill. In addition to excellent doughnuts and apple cider, the full dining menu includes Creek Classic pizza (with mixed cheese, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, green peppers and onion), Paint Creek Porker Sandwich (slow roasted pulled pork tossed in a homemade cider sauce and served on French bread) and Roasted Veggie Wrap (a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with seasonal herb roasted vegetables topped with provolone, Italian dressing and romaine lettuce).
Get this—the aforementioned sandwiches and wraps are served with a side of doughnuts. You can substitute coleslaw, baked beans or fries as a side dish, but you’re not a crazy person, are you? Don’t forget a Cider Mill Doughnut Sundae for dessert: a cinnamon doughnut topped with butter pecan ice cream, caramel sauce and whipped cream.
Paint Creek Cider Mill is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day.
The fall season in Metro Detroit is much too short, which just means you must soak up every moment of this beautiful season that you possibly can. Get started by visiting a cider mill in the D!