This Michigan bucket list item is brought to you by Uncle John’s Cider Mill.
Whether you like traditional cider, hard cider, or wine, you’ll find it at Uncle John’s Cider Mill. In addition to offering samples and selling award-winning ciders, the family-run farm in St. Johns, Michigan, has a wonderful bakery and several fun activities to do during the summer.
Uncle John’s Cider Mill was founded by John and Carolyn Beck in the early 1970s when they purchased the property from his parents. Initially, they were growing and selling fruits and vegetables. Struggling to make ends meet, they devised a new business plan to make doughnuts and apple cider.
With help from family and friends, they grew a successful business and have added more goodies to the selection of baked goods and beverages. Every year, they still try to add something new for valued customers to enjoy. On top of that, Uncle John’s Cider Mill aims to remain family-friendly so that you want to visit with your children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, time and time again.
About the Farm & Cider Mill
The farm at Uncle John’s Cider Mill grows a wide variety of apples on its 2000 acres with 8000 apple trees — McIntosh, Golden Delicious, Gala, Honey Crisp, Cortland, and Northern Spy. You can walk the expansive orchards during the summer months and start dreaming about a follow-up visit in the fall to taste the bounty of the branches.
The cider mill has been converted from a cattle barn into a cider press with a doughnut shop and sitting area. It used to be where the family raised cattle, draft horses, and sheep. Despite the changes, the building retains its charm.
The cider press allows Uncle John’s Cider Mill to make cider the old-fashioned way. In fact, it was one of the founding members of the Michigan Cider Maker’s Guild, which raises the bar on producing quality cider. While you drink a sample of fresh or mulled cider, you can enjoy a homemade doughnut or caramel apple.
Best Summer Things to Do at Uncle John’s Cider Mill
Uncle John’s Cider Mill will be open Thursday through Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm all summer long, making it the perfect destination or detour for your summer weekend adventures in Michigan!
Looking for a way to end the weekend? If you’re coming home from up north or just looking for a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon, be sure to make Uncle John’s Cider Mill a must-visit while traveling through St. Johns on US-127. Serving up live music and delicious local eats from 2-5pm on Sundays during the summer months, a visit to Uncle’s John is the perfect ending to your weekend of Michigan summer bucket list adventures.
In addition to Uncle’s Johns own food and drink offerings (apple cider, cider slushes, donuts, fruit breads and pies, hard ciders, apple brandies, and apple vodkas), local food trucks will frequent the farm on Sunday afternoons, and food from Milligan’s Pub will be available to order on-site.
Grab a snack for the road home or stay and stretch your legs awhile. There will be plenty of outdoor and open-air tent seating available.
Uncle John’s Sunflower Fest will take place the second weekend of August. Cut flowers and sunflowers will be available to take home – just $5 per handful!
Uncle John’s Craft Shows
With close to 100 vendors each, Uncle John’s craft shows are a summertime must-visit event in St. Johns and mid-Michigan! The first craft show of the season will take place on Memorial Day weekend, with a second craft show happening in August. Be sure to “like” Uncle John’s Cider Mill on Facebook for all the details.
Alongside old-fashioned cider, you have the option to sample some Uncle John’s Cider Mill hard ciders and wines. The taproom is open Thursday through Sunday for cider flights, drafts, cans, glasses of wine, and drink specials.
There are several hard cider flavors to choose from — apple, apple cherry, apple pear, and apple blueberry, along with many seasonal favorites. Also, you can get premium ciders — deep roots, melded, and perry.
Among the wine varieties, there are a couple that you don’t see everywhere — like cranberry and fruit house cherry. Plus, Uncle John’s Cider Mill makes apple brandy and vodka. You can also purchase the hard cider cans, wine bottles, and spirits in the bakery and gift shop.
Uncle John’s Cider Mill Bakery & Gift Shop
Speaking of, you can’t go to Uncle John’s Cider Mill without visiting the Pie Barn and Gift Shop. The bakery is known for making specialty fruit breads — apple, cherry nut, peach nut, and blueberry. Additionally, the bakers make apple, blueberry, cherry, caramel apple, and other homemade pies.
You can find a selection of great gifts as well — Michigan-made jerky and summer sausage, cheeses, preserves, maple syrup, and honey. The Gift Shop has a unique selection of candy, toys, souvenirs, jewelry, accessories, wine-related merchandise, and home decor. It opens up in August.
Activities at Uncle John’s Cider Mill
Cider and baked goods are only two reasons to visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill. The farm offers several activities too. Kids will enjoy Uncle John’s Mining Company, which allows them to use the 40-foot sluice to mine for gemstones that they get to keep. You just have to purchase a mining bag in the Pie Barn or Gift Shop.
On Saturday and Sunday, during late September and October, families can relax and have fun in the Cider Yard, which is a newer activity at the farm. The area features bonfires, yard games, and more. For a few hours in the afternoon, there’s live music and food trucks.
Families can relax and have fun in the Cider Yard, which is a newer activity at the farm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the area features bonfires, yard games, and more. For a few hours in the afternoon, there’s live music and food trucks.
Furthermore, there’s a farm trail that circles Uncle John’s Cider Mill. It begins at the pumpkin patch and goes around the huge sunflower field and orchard. The farm trail features twists and turns and small rolling hills. Along the way, you can take pictures among the sunflowers and apple trees.
More to Do in St. Johns Michigan
Before or after your visit to Uncle John’s Cider Mill, be sure to explore some of the other great things to do near St. Johns Michigan.
In St. Johns, you can have the finest golfing experience at The Emerald Golf Course. The 18 holes are positioned throughout rolling landscapes with manicured grass fairways. The clubhouse is the home of Mulligan’s Tavern, which serves homemade pizza, grinders, and more alongside Michigan craft beer.
To continue your outdoor adventures, visit the 272-acre Clinton Lakes County Park in St. Johns Michigan. It has an awesome 1,200-foot beachfront with a swimming area, carry-in boat access for paddleboating and fishing, and more than 5 miles of hiking trails.
Looking for Lodging in Clinton County?
The Nordic Pineapple Bed and Breakfast is located in downtown St. Johns, just a short drive from Uncle John’s Cider Mill and many other great things to do in Clinton County Michigan. There are also campgrounds available at Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg and Maple River Campground in Pewamo.