Eckert’s Pumpkin/Apple Picking
Nestled just a short drive across the Mississippi is Eckert’s, a family-owned orchard that planted its first trees in 1890. Eckert’s is a must-do stop for autumn festivities. Take a break from your Anki decks, put on your favorite sweater and go enjoy apple and pumpkin picking with your classmates. After riding the tractor out to the fields and selecting the perfect pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and/or collecting the juiciest looking apples in the orchards (while also sampling one or two), enjoy treats such as kettle corn, hot apple cider or apple cider donuts. You can also stop by other parts of the farm which include a full-service restaurant with home style food, a grocery store featuring the farm’s produce, a frozen custard stand, a garden store and a children’s play area and petting zoo. Though fall is definitely the highlight, the pick-your-own fruit attraction changes by season, so the farm is really a nice outing all year round!
– Hayley M., M1
Who knew that Grant had a dissector AND a farm named after him?! Just kidding; it seems highly unlikely that Ulysses S. Grant had time to learn the brachial plexus while serving as President of the United States and fighting against the Confederacy in the Civil War. Grant’s Farm is a historic farm located on the former property of Ulysses S. Grant, and is now owned by the Busch family (of Anheuser-Busch). It is home to a huge variety of animals such as buffalo, elephants, camels, kangaroos, donkeys, zebras, goats, peacocks and the iconic Budweiser clydesdales, to name a few. Visitors can check out the animals from a tram tour, feed baby goats bottles of milk (beware … they like to nibble on your clothes!), and admire the beautiful Clydesdales at the stables. After hanging out with the animals, you can head on over to the Biergarten to grab a nice cold complimentary beer and a bite to eat from the Brat Haus. And the best thing about Grant’s Farm is that admission is completely free!
– Liz G., M1
Located in Ballwin, Missouri, about 40 minutes from the Central West End, Castlewood is a gorgeous 1,800-acre park bordering the Meramec River. If you ever need a break from the “concrete jungle” of the Central West End and campus, Castlewood is a great place to escape. There are several hiking trails through the bluffs and along the river that are very great for hikers of all levels of experience. For those of you looking for a good glute and thigh workout, it is a bit of a climb to get to the top of the bluffs — but the breathtaking views are worth the sweat. I would highly recommend going in the fall; you won’t be-leaf how beautiful the foliage is until you see it with your own eyes!
– Liz G., M1