At Schweizer Orchards in St. Joseph has a number of interactive activities for visitors during the holiday season.
Starting right after Thanksgiving, they can take a hayride into the fields during weekends to choose and cut down their own Christmas trees. There are white and Scotch pines, as well as pre-cut trees to purchase.
Also open to the public is a market with an assortment of country kitchen treats and gifts, such as homemade jams, kitchen appliances and utensils, cookbooks and other items. Beverages and refreshments are also for sale while customers wait for their trees to be wrapped and loaded onto vehicles.
Wholesale production and packaging of fruits and vegetables from the orchard begins during the summer, and packaging the wide variety of apples grown on site lasts until the Christmas tree season begins.
In early December, the focus shifts to the trees, along with making homemade wreaths and other natural decorations, including grave mounds. Customers can choose from multiple sizes of wreaths and have them custom decorated in the store, or take home plain ones to decorate themselves.
Orchard hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Recipes and a harvest schedule can also be found on the Schweizer Orchards website.