Lyman Orchard Summer and Winter Fun
Helianthus or sunflower comes from the Greek helios for sun and anthos for flower. These gentle giants tilt towards the sun during growth then track the sun in the East. They are the quintessential flower of summer admired by many. In my home, they can be found year-round on my kitchen curtains, dish towels and lunch bags.
Lyman Orchards in Middlefield is on my list of top summer spots to visit. It will delight sunflower lovers of all ages. Each July and August the farm hosts a sunflower maze that is approximately 3 acres in size crafted into an innovative design consisting of over 350,000 sunflowers in a variety of colors. This maze just has a way of making you feel happy. Upon entry you are given a choice of themed trivia questions to help guide your way through the maze from beginning to end, or you can stand on your tip toes to find your way through the labyrinth as we often did. It also feels good knowing that a portion of each admission price supports Connecticut Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders.
Once you have had your fill of sunflowers you won’t want to miss a visit to Lyman’s Farm store where you will find fresh local produce and tantalizing hand-crafted desserts. Enjoy an ice cream cone outside or a hot soup and sandwich at the deli inside. Bring home local sweet corn, artisan breads, award winning pies, apple cider donuts and much more. My favorite of course are the sunflower cupcakes. You can also make a day of your visit and pick your own fruit. The orchard produces over 100 varieties of fruit each summer including: blueberries, strawberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, pears, pumpkins and tangy jostaberries. Never heard of a jostaberry? The website is full of delicious recipe ideas.
Throughout the year, Lyman Orchards also offers other family friendly activities such as pristine championship golf courses, a corn maze and pumpkin picking. In the winter months Lyman has a dazzling light display during their American Lantern Festival. The American Lantern Festival is a new winter offering at Lyman Orchards. American Lantern Festivals Inc is internationally known for their fascinating LED light spectacles. Bundle up and walk along a half mile path of colorful illuminations while munching on fresh roasted nuts or sipping on the hot apple cider and hot chocolate available for purchase on site. This event runs through February 16th, 2022.
For those who prefer to be indoors, book an indoor virtual golf simulation session to hone your golfing skills throughout the cold winter season. Connecticut history buffs will also enjoy reading up on the family history that led Lyman Orchards to be formally given recognition as a site along the Connecticut Freedom Trail.
Lyman Orchards have been gracious stewards of this land for over 275 years. It’s one of my favorite local destinations. A visit to this Connecticut gem will not disappoint.