Belkin Family Lookout Farm
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily - 89 Pleasant St., South Natick, MA
Price: Daily: $9, children under two always free; Weekend: $15, children under 12 $13, $14 for 6-pound bag, $22 for 12-pound bag, $36 for 30-pound bag; one free admission 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday with purchase of fruit bag
One of the oldest working farms in the country, Belkin Family Lookout is the closest to the city. With Asian pears, apples, and pumpkins, there’s plenty to keep you busy. During the week, families can enjoy a hay pyramid, play area, moon bounce, and more. On the weekend try face painting, hanging out with the farm animals, taking a train rides, and more. Stop by the taproom for a hard cider afterwards.
PHOTO BY MASSACHUSESTTS OFFICE OF TOURISM
9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily - 54 Felton St., Peabody, MA
Price: $9 for 1/2-peck bag (approx. 5 pounds), $17 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $30 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)
Stop by Brooksby’s farm store for a plethora of pies, baked goods, fresh cider, doughnuts and fudge. Perfect for a relaxing weekend, this is the perfect orchard for your apple-picking needs. And no New England farm would be complete without its barnyard animals.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays - 98 North Main St., Sherborn, MA
Price: $16 for 1/2-peck bag and up, average price is about $2 per pound
With 200 years of farm production and 60 years with a roadside farm stand, Dowse has been around for a while. Fall at Dowse brings pumpkins, mums, and pick-your-own apples. In the beginning of October, many apple varieties reach their prime at Dowse, so it’s the best time to go.
8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily - 30 Valley Road, Danvers, MA
Price: Mondays-Fridays: $9.99, $8.99 seniors, children under two always free; Saturdays & Sundays: $13.99; $12.99 seniors; $9.95 for 1/2-peck bag (approx. 5 pounds), $17.95 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $29.95 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)
Activities, activities, activities. Apple picking is available all week but on the weekends is when you really want to check it out. Connors farm features a corn maze, hayrides, bouncy houses, pumpkin tetherball, and more. The farm 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.
Boston Hill Farm
Farm stand 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, apple orchard 10 a.m.-5:15 p.m. - 1370 Turnpike St., North Andover, MA
Price: $20 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $38 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds)
September and October are prime time at Boston Hill for the Macintosh, Cortland, and Macoun apples, perfect for munching while picking. Boston Hill’s farm store offers some offbeat eats as well, such as cinnamon doughnuts and sugar pumpkins. When you’ve filled up on Macintoshes, go say hi to the bunnies and sheep.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily - 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, MA
Price: Pick-your-own accepts cash/check only, $18 for 10-pound bag (allows a family of three, or two adults, into the orchard), $28 for 20-pound bag (allows family of five, or three adults, into the orchard)
One of Boston’s premier orchards, Honeypot Hill is known for hayrides, delicious fresh cider and cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and apple pies. The whole family can enjoy the new Big Green Monster Hedge maze. On the weekends, Bosc pears are available for pick-your-own as well.
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 106 W. Acton Road, Stow, MA
Price: $22 for one peck (approx. 10 pounds), $30 for 1/2 bushel (approx. 20 pounds)
This is where to go to pick the perfect pumpkin. You can pick your own for $0.60 per pound, or pick one up from the stand. On the weekends, a $6 pass gets parents and children into hay and tractor play areas for after-picking fun, or take a hayride tours of the orchard for the full experience.
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
Price: $20 for 1-peck bag (approx. 10 pounds), $35 for 1/2-bushel bag (approx. 20 pounds), $40 for 1/2-bushel basket (keep the basket)
If your apple tastes vary, try Smolak – they have the most varitiety of any farm near Boston. In the Antique Apple Orchard, Smolak Farms grows 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 options for all. Afterwards, enjoy hayrides, activities, and animals.
Carver Hill Orchard
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays; 12 p.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday - 101 Brookside Ave., Stow, MA
Price: Call for pricing
With summer squash, eggplant, and beans, Carver Hill Orchard offers year-round picking, but the fall apple and pumpkin selection make it a must see in the fall. Macintosh, Macoun, Honey Crisp and more can be found here.
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