Wednesday, September 26, 2012

YA YA Farm & Orchard

Where: 6914 Ute Highway
When: 2016 September and October: Sat: 9am-3pm, Sun: 9am-4pm Tues-Fri: 9:30am-4pm

One half of the Longmont 100 team hails from Upstate New York, where cider donuts are a fall tradition. Out here in Colorado, these delicious autumnal treats are harder to come by. But YA YA Farm & Orchard has got ‘em – and they meet our high standards. Of course, there’s plenty more to do out at YA YA, located on an 1896 farm – it’s a wonderful spot for a fall family outing. Apples, obviously, are in abundance: the orchard holds 810 trees with over 120 different varieties, and you can fill a bag with five to seven pounds of apples for the bargain price of $12. If you want to pick your own, call ahead – U-Pick is by reservation only. But if you are willing to let someone else do the work, pre-picked apples are for sale at the YA YA store.

There are also friendly Percheron draft horses who would love to be fed some of those apples, if you’re so inclined, as well as mules, chickens, and turkeys. Throw in a gorgeous view of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, and you’ve got yourself a perfect outdoor adventure. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


When: Select Fridays in the Summer, 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Main Street, between 3rd and 6th Aves.
Always a fun way to say goodbye to the work week during the summer, ArtWalk sees Downtown Longmont turn into a family friendly street party. Art is the focus, obviously, with galleries staying open late, local artists displaying their work and opportunities to create your very own masterpiece. But that’s really just the tip of the iceberg – expect live music, performing arts, feats of acrobatic daring, martial arts demonstrations, food carts and much more. Traffic is diverted around Main Street during the event, which means you can stroll up and down the busiest strip of asphalt in town for a few hours without worrying about being run over. Which is nice. 

Don’t miss the last ArtWalk of the season this Friday, September 21! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sandstone Ranch Visitor Center

Where: 990 State Highway 119
Visitor Center Hours: Tuesdays – May 17-Oct. 25, 2016: 9am-12noon; 2nd and 4th Saturdays – May 14-Oct. 22, 2016: 10am-2pm

It's hard to imagine what Longmont was like all the way back in 1860, but you can catch a glimpse of those bygone days at Sandstone Ranch, one of the earliest homesteading sites in the area. The intensely named Morse Coffin came to Colorado during the Gold Rush in the late 1850s, and instead of heading to the mountains like most of those seized with gold fever, stuck it out on the banks of the St. Vrain. And it seems as though he thrived there, establishing a sandstone quarry that supplied stone to cities all over Colorado and beyond. In the early 1880s, Coffin built the Second Empire-style house that still stands -- it's been added to and modified over the years, but retains a definite pioneer flavor.

There's also an ancient barn and walking trails that wrap around the old quarry. We like Sandstone as a biking destination; you can roll right up to it from the St. Vrain Greenway and relax on the lawn in front of the house. The Visitors Center, featuring information on local history and wildlife, is open seasonally (see dates and times above).