The Orchard at Altapass is now open five days a week, from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with engaging orchard experiences and free, live music every weekend into October.

All are invited to take a listen to great music and a twirl (if so inclined) on the pavilion's wooden dance floor.

The Orchard prides itself on presenting the best mountain music, whether traditional rhythms or twists of contemporary cadence, and this season's offering are no exceptions. All music is being performed on the temporary pavilion stage from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 12, kick off the weekend with Skiffle Creek, a band that self-describes its music—"Woody Guthrie and Leon Redbone meet the B-52's and John Denver at a Tom Petty Tribute." Continue into Sunday afternoon with the Butterbeans, a trio of musicians and their "toe-tapping porch music."

But don't wait until the afternoon for a trip to the O. There's plenty to do all day. In addition to watching the rare-at-this-time-of-year monarch butterflies transform from caterpillar to winged traveler, play a game or two with a friend. On the back deck, amid the swooping of barn swallows feeding their young, play jenga, cornhole, or a giant version of connect four. You can even sit down for the friendly competition of good ol' checkers. Or walk a trail, take a scavenger hunt with the kids, learn about the bees, the train that started the orchard or just check out the General Store, filled with local handcrafts and products.

Apple treats are a staple on the weekends with Bob's donuts, the fried apple pies of the Farmer's Wife, the Orchard's own hot apple pie, with or without ice cream. And don't forget Linda's homemade fudge in several melt-in-your-mouth flavors.

Located at 1025 Orchard Road near Spruce Pine at mile marker 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Orchard is a not-for-profit working orchard, music, and educational venue. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Family- and pet-friendly. Wheelchair accessible. Buses welcome. For information, please visit www.altapassorchard.org or call 828-765-9531.