10 Places to Pick Apples This Season

Apple picking! This is one of my favorite fall activities and my kids have grown to love it as well. A day outside, usually sweater weather, bookended with cider and / or apple cider donuts. The Apple Aftermath goes on for days with apples for snacks and in lunches, not to mention pies. This year I’m doing a round-up of 10 local orchards where you can pick to your heart’s content. Before you go, be sure to double-check what’s available to pick and try to avoid going late in the season as most of the fruit has been picked by then (mid-to-late October). Let us know where you end up going!

Belkin Family Lookout Farm

10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
89 Pleasant St., South Natick, MA 508-653-0653

Belkin Family Lookout is one of my family’s favorites. They grow several types of apples, Asian pears, peaches, and pumpkins (be sure to check their website to see what’s available). Features include a train ride through the orchards, a playground, animal petting area, and more. Occasionally they offer face painting and horseback rides (check their schedule). And if you’re over 21, you’re welcome to visit their taproom.

Boston Hill Farm

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
1370 Turnpike St, North Andover, MA 978-681-8556

Boston Hill Farm features pick-your-own apples along with an abundance of produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods (including some gluten free) at the farm stand. The whole family can enjoy cider doughnuts, live music, ice cream, and a petting farm complete with chickens, geese, bunnies, goats, sheep, and calves. Check the site for details.

Brooksby Farm

9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily
54 Felton St., Peabody, MA, 978-531-7456

Brooksby’s features apple-picking, a pumpkin yard and several fall-themed activities. They also have a farm store serving farm-fresh local produce along with fresh pies and baked goods. Beyond the apples and abundant treats, their barnyard animals are a crowd pleaser.

Carver Hill Orchard

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays
12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
101 Brookside Ave., Stow,  MA 978-897-6117

A family run orchard that aims to please families with a quintessential apple-picking experience. With summer squash, eggplant, and beans, Carver Hill offers year-round picking, but comes to the height of its pick-your-own season with the fall apple and pumpkin selection. Their country store offers produce, cider doughnuts and ice cream and you can grab a hot dog and / or apple crisp (!) at their concession window.

Connors Farm

8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
30 Valley Road, Danvers, MA, 978-777-1245

Connors Farm is fantastic for apple picking, but where they truly shine on weekends with their many family activities. You’ll find an enormous corn maze, hayrides, bouncy houses, pumpkin tetherball, and more. In previous years in October, Connors has also taken on Halloween, transforming into a haunted farm with a flashlight maze, and Haunted Corn Fields and Zombie Safari Paintball on Friday and Saturday nights.

Honey Pot Hill

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
138 Sudbury Road, Stow,  MA, 978-562-5666

A favorite with many families, you can pick your own apples, pears or blueberries (while they last) in the fall. Their features include hayrides, fresh cider and cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and apple pies. Recently they added a new Big Green Monster Hedge maze, growing bigger by the year! And on the way out be sure to visit the farmstand with produce and goodies to go.

Parlee Farms

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
138 Sudbury Road, Stow,  MA, 978-562-5666

At Parlee, pick your own apples, other seasonal fruit and flowers. Their dwarf apple trees produce large, delicious apples. Varieties include MacIntosh, Gala, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Cortland, Jonagold, and Golden Delicious among others. On weekends and fall holidays, a hay ride is included as part of your purchase of an apple bag. At Parlee’s farm stand, you can watch apple cider donuts being made. Round it out with the animal barn, a tractor training course and a hay play area.

Russell Orchards

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
143 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, MA, 978-356-5366

One of the nice things about this orchard is that you can easily take a detour to Ipswich and enjoy a walk on the beach (if the weather allows). Along with a bakery and farm store, Russell has pick-your-own apples with several varieties throughout the fall (note: cash only). On weekends you’ll find hay rides and on Saturdays you can watch cider pressing. Kids will enjoy the farm animals in the barnyard and – depending on the time you go, adults might be able to enjoy the wine tasting room!

Shelburne Farm

9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
106 W. Acton Road, Stow,  MA 978-897-9287

Make a day of it at Shelburne Farm with pick-your-own apples and peaches (while they last – always check the website for what to expect). Enjoy a snack of cider doughnuts in between hay rides, a tractor playground, and a new John Deere Combine playground. Check out the Farm Kitchen for lunch and perhaps plan to see one of their live music events.

Smolak Farms

9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays
8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays
315 South Bradford St., North Andover, MA 978-682-6332

Smolak Farms boasts the most varieties of apples of any farm near Boston. In the Antique Apple Orchard, they grow 20 types of apples, preserving some varieties that are no longer grown commercially, including the Pink Pearl and Sheepnose. The farm has four other orchards, with plenty of unique options for visitors. Main features include hayrides, kids activities, animals, and a beautifully stocked farm stand that sells both turkeys and ice cream!

Happy Picking (and Eating)!

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Author: Holly

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