DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is our first autumn in Maine and we would like to have a family apple picking expedition. We have twin toddlers. Are there some places to go that aren’t too overwhelming? — Dee, no town

ANSWER: There are so many places and they offer many different types of experiences. Two of our family favorites have always been Willow Pond Farm at 395 Middle Road in Sabattus (https://www.willowpf.com/orchard/, 375-6662) and Rocky Ridge at 38 Rocky Ridge Lane in Bowdoin (https://rockyridgeorchard.com/, 666-5786). These are smaller orchards with a wonderful low-key vibe. You can bring a picnic, make a day of it, and bring home pumpkins along with your apples and other goodies.

Willow Pond sells produce, cider, jam and other goodies. There are also farm animals to mingle with. Rocky Ridge sells sandwiches, baked goods and doughnuts, cider, ice cream and more. There are wagons for hauling your bags of apples and your toddlers, too.

Boothby’s Orchard & Winery (http://www.boothbysorchard.com/, 754-3500) at 366 Boothby Road in Livermore is another laid-back place. There’s a farm stand, as well as wine-tasting if you want to return sans kids for a date.

Berry Fruit Farm (https://www.berryfruitfarm.com/, 897-4767) at 361 Crash Road is another u-pick option in Livermore. There is a delightful farm store there with many delicacies including pickles and other preserved offerings.

Even though Wallingford’s Orchard (https://wallingfordsorchard.com/, 784-7958) at 1240 Perkins Ridge Road in Auburn is very popular and can get quite busy, I don’t want you to miss it. This is a bigger adventure for a day when you’re feeling energetic and your toddlers are well-rested. It’s fabulous and there is so much to do, see and sample. There’s an incredible selection of produce and bakery treats, as well as an animal petting area, a play area and a corn maze.

Ricker Hill Orchards (https://www.rickerhill.com/, 225-5552) is another people-pleasing place. Located at 295 Buckfield Road in Turner, there’s also a farm store, corn maze (among other things), and a truly unique offering: disc golf. Not that your toddlers will be into that, but other readers will like to know about that and the hard cider. For future reference, you can also hold a birthday party there.

A trip to any, or all, of these spots should be high on your list of autumn activities. Each orchard has something unique to offer.

Readers, I’d love to hear about your favorite u-pick orchard!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I want to recommend a few other online sites for learning computer skills after reading the Sept. 13 Sun Spots. I am 79 years old and have used AARP’s website to learn so many things. I have really enjoyed it. — Maria, no town

ANSWER: This site (https://local.aarp.org/virtual-community-center/) is wonderful and has a lot to offer besides computer classes. There are cooking classes, exercise classes, book discussions and more.

Another site is https://seniorplanet.org/. This is another site connected to AARP that is rich with information and diverse topics including technology help and discussion groups. I hope all my readers over 55 will check it out. There is something for everyone here, making it so easy to continue your quest in being a life-long learner.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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