Lupe Fiasco at EMU Convocation Center


September 25, 2011

Wiard’s Orchard


Washtenaw County’s go-to spot for fun, food and fear

Those interested in the history of local Michigan businesses would be fascinated to learn that Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard has been owned and operated by the same family (the Wiards) for 174 years and counting.  That’s seven generations of Wiards, and, according to Special Events Coordinator Rose Timber, “the eighth generation is now hanging around the orchards and eating the donuts.”  The eighth generation won’t be taking over too soon, though – the oldest is just six years old.

Founded by George Wiard in 1837, Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard moved to its current location in Ypsilanti Township during World War II, when a bomber plant was built near its old location by Willow Run Airport.  In the 1950s, Wiard’s added its farm market and remodeled it in the 1960s into its current Country Store and Bakery featuring old-fashioned baked goods, jams, candles and a plethora of apple-flavored treats.  Wiard’s is a place full of history, and – just as importantly – a place full of fun.

Now in her twenty-sixth year with Wiard’s, Rose Timbers has had time to form her opinions on the products, so when she recommends the caramel apples as her favorite thing to eat, I listen.  “We have the absolute best caramel apples,” she says.  “They’re incredible.  We have a staff of four people who come in and all day long all they do is hand dip the apples.  Then we roll them in nuts, and this year we’re adding chocolate chips.”  Of course, there are also plenty of other delicious treats, including cider and donuts (in flavors like cinnamon, pumpkin and apple).

But there is more to do at Wiard’s than eat – with family-friendly activities such as apple-picking and hayrides, you could spend the whole day there.  And stick around in the evening, because Wiard’s is home to Michigan’s Premier Terror Park, “Night Terrors.” There are six different attractions to scare your pants off, including the Haunted Barn, The Asylum, The Labyrinth, The Mindshaft, Hayrides of the Lost and Alien Clown Encounter.  “The six-event package is the most popular package,” says Timbers. “And with the store open and karaoke at night, people stay here quite late.  We have an event contest called “Best Event of the Evening” which we have every night and we never know who will win.” The three most popular haunts are the Ultimate Haunted Barn, the Mindshaft and the Asylum.”

Weekend evenings in October feature haunted hayrides on a first come first served basis.  Hayrides end at a public bonfire, but groups of 25 or more can schedule in advance for a private hayride and bonfire.

Learn more about Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard at


About the Author

Mary Simkins
Mary has been on the forefront for iSPY on covering shows and writing some great reviews. She's been to just about every show big or small that we've covered and wants more! Send Mary some suggestions or ideas on some upcoming shows she should check out.

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