(Waukesha, WI) – The Friends of Retzer Nature Center’s Apple Harvest Festival is returning for its 35th season on Saturday, September 17. Featuring its popular traditions, Apple Harvest Festival includes the apple market – more than a dozen varieties while supplies last – arts and crafts vendors, a beer garden, and live music. For the entire family, there’s self-guided activities across the entire Retzer Nature Center grounds. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Retzer Nature Center located at S14W28167 Madison Street in Waukesha.
“Apple Harvest Festival features all of the reasons that autumn is one of the best times of the year in Waukesha County,” said Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow. “From our apple market – which features heirloom and special varieties of apples – to treats, activities, music, shopping, and an opportunity to get out in nature, there’s something for everybody.”
Food & Drink
The Delafield Brewhaus Beer Garden will offer ready-to-eat food and assorted beverages and brews, including ‘Retzer Apple Ale.’ The Apple Market will have a variety of apples from Brightonwoods Orchard and Patterson Orchards, as well as half-gallons of cider and caramel apples for purchase. Waukesha County Technical College’s Baking and Pastry Management students will be baking whole apple pies, whole apple crisps, mini apple crisps, apple “hand pies” (new this year!).
Visitors can shop arts and crafts vendors, bid on items at the Friends of Retzer Nature Center’s Silent Auction, and enjoy a variety of self-guided hikes and educational activities for all ages. Scarecrow Lane kicks off for the season with rows of community-made scarecrows to view, while hikers can enjoy the book Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature along the Story Hike trail. Children will love the fun craft activities, participating in the Passport Expedition, and scrambling on the Wood Climbing Exploration Station along the Discovery Trail. Limited tickets will also be available for Horwitz-DeRemer Planetarium shows.
Know Before You Go
$10 per car - cash only. Pay from your vehicle upon entry to RNC grounds. Card payments are accepted at The Apple Market, Planetarium, Delafield Brewhaus, and more. ATM onsite. Sorry, service animals only. Friends of Retzer Nature Center members receive free admission with membership card; to become a Friends member, visit www.FriendsOfRetzer.org.
For more info on the festival, building a scarecrow, or volunteering at the event, call Retzer Nature Center at 262-896-8007 and visit www.WaukeshaCounty.gov/AppleHarvestFestival.
Schedule of Activities
Apple Market and Apple Cider
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Shop apple varieties, caramel apples, and half-gallons of fresh apple cider. While supplies last
Apple pies (whole only), apple “hand pies,” and more! In partnership with WCTC. While supplies last
Arts & Crafts Vendors
Shop vendors selling paintings, pottery, stained glass, woodworking, soaps, photos, textiles, and more!
Waukesha Reads book giveaway
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Get your copy of The Cold Millions by Jess Walters. While supplies last.
Silent Auction by Friends of Retzer Nature Center
Bid on unique items to support Friends of Retzer Nature Center.
Delafield Brewhaus Beer Garden
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Family-friendly food, snacks, and beverages. Beer for ages 21+.
Live Music at the Beer Garden
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Americana music by JC Ayer.
Travel to a variety of stops on the accessible, paved Discovery Trail to learn the wonders of nature. Ages 3-12. About 0.2 mile.
Reading Corner with Friends of Retzer Nature Center
Gather ‘round for a variety of nature stories read out loud on the hour throughout the day on the Discovery Trail!
Scarecrow Lane – Self-guided
Stroll the paved walkway and view the Scarecrows while enjoying the outdoors. Participate in the scavenger hunt for even more fun! All ages. About 0.5 mile mowed grass path, some hills. Scarecrow Lane is open daily through October 31.
Oak Hike – Self-guided
Stroll into the oak woodland and learn about the benefits and beauty of oak trees. Explore oak ecosystems, lichens, animals, and insects that depend on oaks and more! All ages. About 0.8 mile mowed grass path.
Story Hike – Self-guided
Take a hike and enjoy reading Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature by Marcie Flinchum Atkins with the family. Story Hike is open daily until October 31. All ages. About 0.75 mile mowed grass path. In partnership with Bridges Library System. Story Hike is open daily through October 31.
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. • every 30 mins
Planetarium Show: “Beyond the Sun” All ages. $3/person.