Apple-picking season is nearing its end but you’ve still got till October 31st to visit Connors Farm in Danvers. Below you’ll find my review of this unique farm only 30 miles north of Newton. For other farm suggestions, check out our post from September.
How It Works
Visitors enter through the busy farm store then head back and to the left to purchase admission wristbands for $14 each. (You can also buy wristbands at the registers but given the long lines, why would you?) Apple bags cost extra and are priced according to size. The farm accepts cash, credit and debit cards.
Be forewarned about the music playing at high volume near the entrance. This briefly concerned me as I happen to be sensitive to loud noises. Fortunately, the music quickly receded into the background, and I did not notice it for the remainder of our visit.
The Free Activities
Most activities are included in the admission price and are organized in a semi-circle around a fenced-off pond. My girls immediately spied an electric bull ride upon entering and headed there first. The operator was careful not to move the bull too fast and the kids really enjoyed the ride. Next up were a spider-web shaped rope system and a number of saddle-shaped swings hanging from trees both of which my girls loved.
Other activities my kiddos enjoyed included:
- Fort Connors Tree Fort. A sprawling wooden structure with ramps, bridges and slides
- Kids-Only Zip Lines. Three low-slung zip lines for those guests who weigh 100 lbs or less
- Rat Rollers. A set of large kid-powered tubes that roll back and forth along a track
- Pedal Cars. Kids pedal their “cars” around a small track nestled in a corn field
- Hay Ride. A tractor pulls a (hay-less) covered bed around the farm
- Corn Cob Beach. Instead of sand, this “beach” is composed of dried corn kernels
- Corn Maze. A very impressive corn maze that has made the news in the past
We skipped a few other activities that were more appropriate for the younger set. These included an open-air bouncing area, two different “train” rides, and a large fenced tot play area with trikes, large toy trucks and a huge sand pit.
Got a little truck-lover in the family? He or she will enjoy climbing into some of the antique trucks dotting the property.
The Extras $
The only extra we paid for — besides ice cream and water — was for some nerf-related fun. My kids thoroughly enjoyed the 10 minutes they spent in a fenced area shooting soft nerf balls at each other. If you want, you can also pay to partake in apple cannons (shoot apples at targets) and paint ball (shoot paint balls at targets).
While we didn’t try any food besides the ice cream, I really appreciated the placement and variety of food stands scattered throughout (e.g., BBQ, pizza, and ice cream). It makes placating “hangry” young kids a little easier.
My kiddos enjoyed feeding and petting the farm animals. Spending time with the mini-donkeys, goats and chickens is free of course but if you want to feed them (we always do!), you will need quarters.
The Apple Picking
Our only disappointment was with the apple orchard. It did not seem to have great signage. We have no idea what kind of apples we picked. They looked ripe but we found they are way too tart for our tastes. As a consolation, we did pick up some delish hot apple cider donuts from the farm store, which also sells pies, cider, and produce.
It was our first time visiting this farm but it won’t be our last. Definitely a great way to spend a Fall morning. The girls are already asking to go back next year.
Tips to Maximize Your Visit
Go in the morning to beat the crowds.
Allot at least 3 hours if you plan to enjoy the farm’s many activities.
Save your apple picking for the end. The orchard is on the way out anyway.
Bring a few quarters to feed the farm animals
If it’s warm, consider carrying in some water for your group. And, of course, layers and hats are always a good idea.
Haunted Happenings at the Farm
Hysteria at Connors Farm costs $25-45/person and is open from dusk till 11pm on open Friday and Saturday nights in October and on Halloween night (10/31).
The Haunted Farm is HYSTERIA’s feature attraction. This 30+ minute walking trail takes you on a trek through a horror filled forest, along the banks of a real swamp, and around a REAL (historic to the farm) 17th Century Burial Ground. Visitors can also enjoy less scary offerings such as bonfires, music, and food and the flashlight maze.
Warning: Be aware that this is not your typical haunted farm. It’s more like disturbing scenes from a teen slasher/horror film. Indeed, the farm warns that “attractions may contain depictions of graphic violence, extreme gore, strong language, sexual situations and other mature content that may not be suitable for children under 17.”
See below for the least offensive stills I could find.