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Cherry Picking at Barrett Orchards in Yakima: A Summer U-Pick Adventure

Toddler girl happy with her bag of Rainier cherries from her cherry u-pick experience in Yakima Washington at Barrett Farms

Nestled in the heart of Washington’s picturesque Yakima Valley, Barrett Orchards stands as a testament to the rich agricultural heritage that has flourished in this region for six generations. More than just a fruit stand, this beloved family farm invites visitors to immerse themselves in the joy of summer with its vibrant U-pick cherry experience in Yakima! This kid friendly summer activity is perfect for families looking to create lasting memories.

Table of Contents

Getting there from Seattle

Embarking on a journey from Seattle to Barrett Orchards in Yakima by car, which takes just over two hours, provides a splendid opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Washington State. This scenic drive allows you to witness the diverse landscapes and stunning panoramas that epitomize the Pacific Northwest.

Start on I-90 East: Begin your journey on Interstate 90 Eastbound, heading towards Snoqualmie Pass. This stretch offers beautiful views of the Cascade Mountains, so you might want to plan a quick stop to enjoy the scenery.

Continue on I-82 East: After crossing Snoqualmie Pass, you’ll merge onto I-82 East at Exit 110 near Ellensburg. This route takes you through the Kittitas Valley, with its rolling hills and wind farms.

Exit for Yakima: Follow I-82 East until you reach Yakima. You’ll want to take the exit that best suits your navigation to Barrett Orchards, typically towards the western part of Yakima to access the farm directly.

Final Stretch: Once off the highway, use your GPS to navigate the local roads to Barrett Orchards. The address can be entered into your navigation system to guide you through Yakima’s scenic routes directly to the farm.

For a quick pit stop, you’ll find a convenient McDonald’s at the base of the hill leading to Barrett Orchards. This makes for an ideal stop for a quick lunch or snack, either before you dive into cherry picking or as a way to refuel after your adventures. 

A Cornucopia of Freshness

At Barrett Orchards, the bounty of the season is always within reach. The farm’s red barn, a landmark of Yakima’s rural landscape, offers more than just the freshest fruits. Here, visitors can explore a delightful array of locally made products, from Winegar’s creamy ice cream to handcrafted candles, artisan foods, and cheeses. The shop also features unique items for home and garden, as well as gifts celebrating local sports teams. It’s a treasure trove for anyone looking to savor the flavors of Yakima Valley or find that perfect gift.

Cherries, Cherries, and More Cherries

Cherry season at Barrett Orchards is an eagerly anticipated event. Cherry season at Barrett Orchards transforms the farm into a playground of discovery for families, especially those with young children. The farm’s tradition of growing cherries in the fertile, volcanic soil of the Yakima Valley means each visit is not just about picking cherries; it’s an immersive experience that delights all the senses.

As you and your family wander through the orchards, you’ll be greeted by rows of cherry trees heavy with fruit. Children are often mesmerized by the vibrant contrast between the sweet, deep red Bing cherries and the sun-kissed Rainier cherries, each variety offering its unique flavor profile. This hands-on activity not only introduces kids to the wonders of nature but also educates them on where their food comes from, fostering a deeper appreciation for farming and agriculture.

Tips for a Family-Friendly Visit

Check their website for picking season and updates. 

Parking Fee: There’s a small fee for parking on the farm ($5 in 2023), so remember to bring cash.

Busy Times: Weekends can get crowded, leading to long waits, especially when paying for your pickings. Consider visiting on a weekday or arriving early to beat the crowds.

Bring Your Own Bag: To avoid extra charges and support environmental sustainability, bring your own bag for collecting cherries.

Dress Appropriately: Ensure everyone is dressed for the occasion with closed-toe shoes and hats to protect against the sun.

Stay Hydrated: Bring plenty of water to keep the family hydrated throughout the day.

Snack Time: Pack a picnic with snacks, perhaps including some of Barrett Orchards’ own fruits or artisan foods from the red barn. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Ice Cream Treat: Before you pack up to head home, treat the kids to Winegar’s locally made ice cream located in Barrett Orchard’s barn shop. It’s the perfect sweet reward after a day of fun and cherry picking. 

Must-Have Items for Your U-Pick Adventure

Embarking on a U-pick adventure at Barrett Orchards is an exciting way to spend a day outdoors with family, but being prepared will make the experience even more enjoyable. Here’s a quick checklist of essential items to bring along:

Wet Wipes: Perfect for quickly cleaning sticky, cherry-stained hands and faces, ensuring everyone stays comfortable and mess-free.

Sun Hats: Protect yourself and your little ones from the sun’s rays with wide-brimmed hats, essential for those sunny Yakima Valley days.

Sunscreen: Apply and reapply sunscreen to shield your skin during your outdoor adventure, avoiding sunburns and ensuring a carefree day.

Portable Potty: Especially useful for families with young children, a portable potty can save the day, keeping the focus on fun rather than the search for restrooms.

Water Bottles: Stay hydrated by bringing along water bottles for each family member. Keeping water on hand is crucial to ensuring everyone stays hydrated under the sun.

With these essentials packed, your family is all set for a delightful day of cherry picking, ensuring comfort, convenience, and protection throughout your U-pick adventure.

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