Mixon Fruit Farms is more than just a working farm, it is a family attraction. The business began in 1939 with 20 acres of groves and little fruit stand. Today, the complex includes 50 acres of working groves, a 14,000 square foot gift shop with a deli and winery, tropical gardens with a butterfly maze and gazebo, a pavilion, a tour tram, and the Mathew’s Wildlife Refuge. Visitors young and old can enjoy a morning or afternoon spent at this unique Florida attraction in the heart of Bradenton.
The 14,000 square foot gift shop offers fresh fruit, juice, fudge, jelly, nuts, and local Florida wine. At Mixon’s, samples of almost everything is available because they know that their merchandise is so delicious that you will want to purchase them to take home with you! Fresh squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice, orange infused fudge, citrus salsa, orange ice cream, salad dressings, and gourmet jellies are handed out for visitors to try. The wine sampling counter offers to visitors that are 21 years of age and older a broad range of Florida wine, many of which are bold and citrusy. The shop also sells jewelry, purses, candles, and Florida inspired gifts. All purchased items can be shipped to your home.
The café sells the usual sandwiches, salads, soups, and drinks. The best items, however, are their homemade orange swirl ice cream and Cuban sandwiches. Before you leave, make sure to pin where you are visiting from on the map.
Visitors cannot miss the Orange Blossom Tram Tour. The one hour tour takes guests on a ride through the orange grove while the friendly and informative guide talks about the grove’s history and how the different citrus fruit is produced today. The tour goes past the Children’s Maze, the butterfly garden, a gazebo where weddings are often held, and a pond. The last stop of the tour takes everyone to the Mathews Wildlife Rescue. Children and adults can pet a baby alligator, hold a huge python, feed a tortoise or two, and meet animals like a recued deer, opossum, owls, and other animals. The purpose of the Rescue is not only to attract visitors however. Dean and Janet Mixon donated part of their land to rehabilitate injured animals, provide a home for animals who cannot be released, and to educate visitors about the importance of native Florida wildlife.
For those who are interested in learning about what happens behind closed doors, patrons can take a behind the scenes tour of the factory. Guests can watch workers sort, grade, pack, and juice oranges and grapefruit.
Two free, family friendly, annual events are hosted at Mixon Fruit Farms. The Orange Blossom Festival is held one weekend in March with arts and crafts, antique fair, citrus games, kids’ activities, local concerts, and lots of food. The fall Harvest Festival is a week long celebration with concerts, movies, health and business fairs, cook-offs, arts and crafts, and an antique fair. The events are always free and parking is free as well.
Mixon Fruit Farms is a unique, can’t miss destination for the whole family! The gift shop is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 3pm. They are closed on Sundays. It is free of charge. Self guided tours of the packing plant are available every day except Sunday. Special group tours can be arranged with advanced notice. In season tram tours between November and May are available Monday through Saturday at 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. Out of season tram tours between June and October are offered Monday through Saturday at 11 am and 1pm. The tour is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 3 to 10 years old. Children under 3 ride for free.