Daily Farm Updates Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Policies + FAQ

Center Grove Orchard is a family-friendly location for all! We do, however, have a few rules we ask you follow to ensure you have a farmtastic time!

Farm Policies

COVID-19

See what we're doing to keep our guests and team members safe.

Watch Your Children

We are a working farm, with a working train and tractors and lots of farm animals. Please monitor and protect your children during your visit, for their safety and yours.

No Smoking, Please

We are tobacco free. Please refrain from smoking, using other tobacco products or vaping while visiting Center Grove Orchard.

No Alcoholic Beverages During the Farmyard Season

Please help us maintain a family-friendly environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Grounds & Facilities

Where is your accessible parking?

Our accessible parking for those with government-issued placards or license plates is at the front of the main parking area. Follow the signs into the parking area and you’ll find the spots at the front.

When we are very busy and have staff present to direct parking, simply stop at the first parking attendant and let them know your needs. You will be re-routed to accessible parking.

How far do I have to walk between activities?

The Orchards, Pumpkin Patch and activities are spread over 25 acres. There will be some walking involved to get to and from the activities. Our Hayride (which is handicap-accessible) transports passengers to and from certain activities. Wear comfy shoes! Feel free to bring your own wagon or stroller for kids.

Do you have restroom facilities?

Yes! We offer the Potty Barn in the Farmyard. There are also restrooms in the Country Store.

Can my dog come along?

Please don’t bring your dog or your pets. While we love dogs, it’s safest for everyone (dogs, too) that way. Of course, trained service animals are always welcome!

How long should we plan for to enjoy the Orchard and all the Farmyard activities?

Exploring Center Grove Orchard and all our activities can easily take all day, but if you are coming with children, plan for at least 2-3 hours to enjoy what that the Orchard has to offer!

Are professional photographers welcome to take photos at the Orchard?

Apples

How does it work when I pick my own apples? Where do I get a bag? Which apples can I pick?
Which apples are good for pie, crisp, caramel apples, etc.?
What are your apple prices?

Please see our U-pick and pre-picked sizes and pricing here.

Why do the Honeycrisp apples cost more?

They are our premier apple. They are harder to grow, are more labor-intensive than our other varieties and are also in higher demand.

How many pounds are in a bushel or a peck?

1/4 peck = 3 lbs. | 1/2 peck = 6 lbs. | 1 peck = 12 lbs. | 1/2 bushel = 24 lbs. | 1 bushel = 48 lbs.

Is your apple cider pasteurized?

Yes.

Are your apples organic?

Our apples are not organic. If we had a choice, we would not spray our trees. It’s simply not an option with so many insects and different diseases pressuring our crop. We spray as little as possible to get by, enough to have good quality fruit. We spray to make sure you don’t find a worm in your apple.

What are your most popular apples?

Honeycrisp and Jonathan

How long do apples last once purchased?

Apples need moisture to stay fresh. We recommend you keep your apples in a crisper drawer in your fridge. To keep them moist, place a small cup of water in the drawer with them. In doing so, your apples will stay fresh for 4–6 weeks.

What do you do with your seconds?

Our seconds—apples with bruises or blemishes—are sold at a discount in our store.

Admission & Payment

Can I get a refund on daily admission tickets?

Online ticket purchases for October and November 2020 dates are made in active agreement with this prior to submitting any order:

I understand and agree that this purchase is non-refundable nor transferable to another date. I have checked the weather forecast for this ticket date.

If you have unique circumstances in exception to this agreement, you are invited to email us at [email protected]. We reserve the right to honor or decline any request.

Do you close/can I get a refund if it rains?

We open and stay open even in rainy weather. Some of our attractions or areas may close for safety reasons (slippery Jumping Pillows, for example). Our farm as a whole stays open and refunds, credits or date transfers are not available due to inclement weather. Please check the weather forecast before purchasing your ticket or planning your visit.

Is admission charged for babies and toddlers?

Pass/admission is required for those age 3 and older at the time of visit. If purchasing Season Pass or daily admission online prior to visiting, please plan accordingly.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. We also accept purchase orders for tour groups. Gift certificates are available for purchase in our Country Store or by phone. They may be used in our Country Store and at Admission Bins. Currently, they may not be used online or at food locations. We are happy to mail certificates purchased by phone to either the buyer or the recipient.

How much is admission and what’s included?
Can I shop the store without paying admission?

Yes.

Can I pick my own apples without paying admission?

No. Admission is required for age 3 and older in addition to paying for the apples you pick.

What is the difference between going to the Orchard on a weekday vs. weekend?

A few things are not operating or available during the week, such as selected food venues.

Do you sell gift certificates?

Yes! Gift certificates are available for purchase in our Country Store or by phone. They may be used in our Country Store and at Admission Bins. Currently, they may not be used online or at food locations. We are happy to mail certificates purchased by phone to either the buyer or the recipient.

Do you have an ATM available?

No, but all purchases (except apples for the Apple Slingshot) can be paid for with credit/debit cards.

Sunflower Meadow

Is the Sunflower Meadow included in Farmyard admission?

Yes! Regular admission to the Farmyard includes access to view and take photos in the Sunflower Meadow during blooming. Sunflowers may be picked at an additional cost.

Is professional photography allowed in the Sunflower Meadow?

Yes. Regular admission to the Farmyard includes access to view and take photos in the Sunflower Meadow during blooming. If you wish to take professional photos or work with a professional photographer or with professional equipment, please review our photography policy here →

Can I bring my dog for photos?

Please don’t bring your dog or your pets. While we love dogs, it’s safest for everyone (dogs, too) that way. Of course, trained service animals are always welcome!

Miscellaneous

What are you doing in light of COVID-19?
Do you have a Lost and Found?

Items found by staff or turned in by visitors are kept at the Season Pass Admission Bin during Farmyard season and moved to the Country Store for the holiday season. Please check there for your item. You may also leave your name, contact info, and item description so that, in case it’s found later, we can contact you. Lost and found items are kept through the end of the year. After December 31, unclaimed items are donated to shelters and other service agencies.

Is Center Grove Orchard family-owned and -operated?

Yes, it is (with the help of an amazing staff)! Learn more here.

Can my group’s food be supplied by an outside catering service?

Yes! Please see requirements on our Group Reservations page.

Does Center Grove Orchard make donations to fundraisers?
What are the baking instructions for the frozen pie/crisp/dumpling available at the Bakery, or for cookie dough purchased in a fundraiser?

Always place your frozen item on a baking sheet before placing in the oven to catch any spillover! Times are approximate, so be sure to keep a watchful eye as ovens may vary.

Farmhouse Apple Pie – Bake at 400° for 40 minutes, then decrease temperature to 350° for 50–60 minutes or until golden brown.

Country Apple Pie – Bake at 400° for 40 minutes, then decrease temperature to 350° for 50–60 minutes or until golden brown.

Deanna’s Dumplings – Preheat oven to 400°. Bake for 50–60 minutes or until golden brown, basting the last 10–15 minutes.

Apple Crisp – Bake at 350° for 90 minutes

Cookie Dough – Preheat oven to to 350°. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Is your fudge homemade?

Yes, we make our fudge from scratch!

Have a question for us that you can't find the answer to?

Let us know by contacting us →

Follow Along

For a glimpse into the every day life at Center Grove Orchard, follow us on Instagram @CenterGroveOrchard


Happy December !
Meet our very own Elf on the Farm!
Follow along with the CGO Elf up until Christmas as she explores the farm with all we have to see and do. We hope she can stay on Santa's nice list!
When you purchase a ticket for Brunch with Santa, you can meet our elf in person along with Santa & Rudolph. They all  will be excited to see you!
🎄
🎅🏻
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#CGOelf #centergroveorchard #familyfun #elfonthefarm #agritourism #holidayfun #brunchwithsanta #elf #cgochristmas #visitiowa #thisisCGO #christmasonthefarm
You’ve been asking and here’s your answer!

Santa Claus is coming to town! 🎅🏼

Join us for Brunch with Santa each weekend until Christmas.  Tickets must be purchased online and include brunch 🍴, crafts and activities 🎨, a CGO Express train ride (weather permitting) 🚂, and of course...SANTA! 🎅🏼

Being safe is a gift we can all give each other this year, so Santa (masked) will be in the chair while children (masked) share their wishes with him from the straw bales behind the picket fence. Elves will help monitor the timing so that each child/family gets their best-that-2020-can-offer photo op 📷 with Santa. 

Tickets are limited for each time slot. 
🎅🏻
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#santa #centergroveorchard #santaclauseiscomingtotown 
#cgo #CGOchristmas #thisisCGO #visitiowa #christmasonthefarm #farmlife
It was the laughter, the smiles, seeing your family hand in hand, the joy that was spread this season that fills us with so much gratitude. 
We at CGO are so grateful for our staff who came up with creative and adapting ideas then put more than 💯 effort into it. 
And you! Thank you! For your support, feedback and ideas so we can better provide the space for running, jumping, picking, laughing, playing and of course, eating! 
We hope the joy sustains you and your loved ones and you too feel the gratitude with memories that last a lifetime!
Happy Thanksgiving!
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🦃 
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#grateful #thanksgiving #handinhand #thankful #centergroveorchard #thisisCGO #farmlife #localfarmers #iowalife #appleorchard #iowafarm #familybusiness #agritourism #pumpkinpatch