Activities & Education

Activities & Education2018-08-10T09:43:43+00:00

There’s Nothing Textbook About These Activities

Immersive learning in nature is incredibly impactful for children. It turns self-discoveries into lessons applied back in the classroom and throughout in life. Research continues to reiterate the importance of hands-on learning in nature for children, especially during their developmental years. Outdoor learning provides an outlet for stress and mood management and lays the foundation for STEM education and appropriate risk-taking.

Ready to plan your next class field trip or group outing?
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U-Pick

Richard and Laurine Kimmel’s belief in sharing what the land produces lives on, especially in the orchard. School groups and families are able to explore the fields at leisure, picking seasonal fruits straight from its source. Best of all, you get to purchase and take home the hand-picked fruits of our collective labor.

Turn this one-of-a-kind experience into periodic class field trips or make it a seasonal family tradition. From July–October, you’ll always find something fresh in the fields of Kimmel Orchard.

Each Season Offers a New Hands-On Adventure

Free roam 40 acres of fields to find these seasonal fruits. Educational markers guide you along the trails helping your family or students identify and learn about what’s in bloom.

We’ll supply your tribe with picking bags and containers and help weigh your fruit for purchase—we’ll even pit your cherries before you go. When you arrive, just look for the red-roofed barn just north of the main buildings.

Upcoming Fruit:

Due to extreme temperatures this winter, we will not have a peach crop. DID YOU KNOW that peaches usually only yield a crop 3-4 out of every 6 years? We have been very lucky in our history and will look forward to many great peach years to come!

We are looking forward to Pears & Apples in August!
Fruit Availability Harvest
Strawberries U-Pick & Pre-Picked Late-May–Early-June
Cherries U-Pick & Pre-Picked Late-June–Early-July
Peaches U-Pick & Pre-Picked Mid-July–August
Blackberries Pre-Picked Only Late-July–Mid-August
Asian Pears U-Pick Only Early September
Apples U-Pick & Pre-Picked Late-August–October
Pumpkins U-Pick & Pre-Picked October

Learn more about U-Pick apple varieties.

A friendly reminder: U-Pick is intended to be a fun and educational experience for the entire family, so please be respectful and only pick what is in season. We work hard to ensure our crops are at the highest level of quality and ask that everyone respects the land and its surroundings.

Hours

Friday–Saturday: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Admission

Adults (13 & older): $5
Kids (4­–12): $3
Kids (3 & under): Free
Seniors (62 & older): $3
Military (active or retired): $3
Produce pricing is dependent on season and yield, much like your local grocer or farmers market.

Please note, U-pick activities are seasonally dependent and admissions cut off one hour prior to closing to ensure folks receive enough time enjoy the experience.

Hayrack Rides

Take in the fresh, country air on a hayrack ride at Kimmel Orchard. Seated on a cozy hay bale, a traditional farm tractor pulls guests along on a tour that’s like a step back in time.

Included in with your U-Pick or event/festival admission, hayrack rides are available Saturdays and Sundays September–October. Guided hayrack tours for families and school groups are available upon request.

Event Schedule & Booking

Schedule your next school field trip, event or group hayrack ride at Kimmel Orchard.

Upcoming Events

  1. Picnic & Play

    May 17 @ 10:00 a.m.August 30 @ 5:00 p.m.
  2. Wine & Vine

    August 10 @ 7:00 p.m.10:00 p.m.
  3. Growing Fruit Trees in Nebraska!

    August 25 @ 9:00 a.m.2:00 p.m.
  4. Fall Music Line-Up

    September 1 @ 8:00 a.m.October 21 @ 5:00 p.m.

Pollinator Playground

From bumble and honey bees to various bugs and butterflies, pollinators are an invaluable part of our earth’s ecosystem. This nature-based playground includes two areas—one for children aged 2–5 and a second for children aged 5–12. A plethora of learning opportunities are built into this one-of-a-kind playground, including:

  • Learning pathways to foster immersive learning.
  • A windmill slide and child-sized Kimmel Fruit stand to encourage imaginative play.
  • Happy Orchard characters and similar lessons to reinforce pollinator lessons.
  • An interactive Biba app named Buzz’s Apple Hunt (Android / Apple) for kids to interact with the equipment.

Add a little curriculum to your playground adventure by downloading the Happy Orchard app via your iPhone or iPad App Store for free. Happy Orchard is an innovative series of educational products all designed to help youth and adults better understand the important role of pollinators in food production.

Nature Trail

The natural environment is full of adventurous discoveries. Kimmel Orchard’s Tree Dome is constructed to provide visitors with experience-based educational opportunities that feel more like exploration than traditional learning. The trail offers and includes:

  • Self-guided trail systems with informative signage and activities for children.
  • Organized tours for student groups guided by a Tree Dome expert.
  • Native plants highlighting Nebraska’s lush and unique flora and fauna.
  • Animal track displays with corresponding animal descriptions.
  • Bird houses and water fowl nests to promote wildlife observation from a young age.
  • Pond access allowing children to take water samples up to our research facility to exam microorganisms firsthand.

Not far from the Tree Dome, you’ll find a 170-year-old Eastern Cottonwood tree perfect to rest and relax under—perhaps with some cherry cider and apple donuts.

Internships

Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard offers summer internships to students looking for working experience in the fields of horticulture, orchard management, natural resources, agritourism, marketing and business development. The 96-acre orchard is devoted to the production of apples, tart cherries, peaches, strawberries, pumpkins, asparagus and more.

These internships couple hands on work experience with in-house training programs to make this a true working/learning experience. We also provide field trips that explore area and regional alternative, sustainable agriculture enterprises that embody alternative agriculture entrepreneurship.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email a cover letter describing your interest in this internship opportunity along with your resume to info@kimmelorchard.org.

Observation and Discovery Tours

We are excited to offer a program that is truly a one stop shop for tour groups. Introducing the Observation and Discovery Tours!

This 4 in 1 tour allows you to discover some of the best attractions Nebraska City has to offer. You’ll take a hayrack at Kimmel Orchard, explore the trails at the Lewis and Clark Visitor’s Center, check out the international talent at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts and walk through history at the Kregel Windmill Museum. 4 amazing learning opportunities to Observe and Discover right here in Nebraska City!

Check out the Facebook Page for more details, or give us a call to schedule your tour today!

Partner Programs

Kimmel Orchard and Vineyard partnered with the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to create the Kimmel Education and Research Center, an on-site facility focusing on community vitality initiatives and youth science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Learn more about the program and collaborative opportunities available to you here or give us a call at 402.873.5293. We’d love to help you take advantage of these collaborative resources.