We began planning a trip to Butler's a few weeks ago, but initially had some trouble securing a reservation. If you plan to go to an orchard while COVID limitations are still in place, make sure you check their website beforehand to see if reservations are required. Butler's is so popular, it is necessary to know when reservation openings will be released so you can grab tickets before they run out. The tickets specify when you are allowed to enter the fields and you will have 90 minutes of picking time.
We were finally able to secure reservations for July 1. As we prepared for the trip, I tried to explain to the girls that this visit would be different from previous visits so they wouldn't be too disappointed. At this time, the wonderful wooden play structures and huge slides (which the girls love) are still off limits. I wanted them to understand that before we arrived.
While in the fields, everyone elementary-age and up must wear a mask. Again, I made sure the girls understood this requirement prior to our arrival. However, the masks were the most difficult part for my kids. While the temperature was quite mild for summer, wearing masks made it seem so much hotter. Because the fruit needs sun, there is not a tremendous amount of shade to be found in the fields. We would encourage the girls to sit under the shade of the cherry trees when they needed a break.
Even with the limitations, our trip to the orchard provided some sense of normalcy to our lives. We usually pick fruit in the summer and here we were getting out of the house, driving to Maryland and picking blueberries and tart cherries. It felt nice to be outside in the fields and the girls even raced around a bit in an open field. They haven't had much opportunity to feel that type of exhaustion in awhile. The best part is we came home with nearly a gallon of wonderfully sweet blueberries.