Bushels of Fun! 13 Orchards Where You Can Pick Apples

a girl sits eating an apple in an apple orchard during u pick season iStock
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You know fall is on the horizon when the leaves start to change and the kids head back to school. But the surest sign your favorite season is closer than you think is kids asking to go apple picking. And although it’s not quite time to pull out your cozy sweaters and scarves just yet, it is time to plan your family’s annual outing to a nearby orchard. There’s no doubt some of the best memories are made going apple picking near Boston and playing on the farms. Bring home fall’s sweetest bounty to fill your kiddo’s lunchboxes or bake fall treats to share. Whatever reason you need a bushel or a peck, here’s where to find the best apple orchards around Boston.

Apple picking season means corn mazes, cider donuts, and farm animals are in your future

Honeypot Hill Orchard

Check out this historic orchard in Stow, Massachusetts where you can pick 25 different varieties of apples daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. You can also pick your own blueberries (through early September), peaches, and plums (both go into September). Once you and the kids have filled your bushel, take a hayride, explore one of three different mazes (hint: tots will love the little hedge maze), and wave the the mini ponies, goats, chickens, and pigs that call the farm home. However you choose to spend the day on this farm, be sure to check out the farm store filled with fresh jams, pies, and drinks to warm you up before heading home.

50 Boon Rd.
Stow, MA
Online: honeypothill.com

Dowse Orchards

Fresh-pressed apple cider is the name of the game at this spot that’s been farming for over 200 years. And when you come to pick your own, apples aren’t the only thing you’ll have access to. In addition to the August apples (think: Astrachan, Early Mac, Gravenstein, Jersey, and Puritan to name a few), you can also pick sweet corn and mums. Then in September expect more apples, plus pumpkins. Our suggestion? Stock up on maple syrup and preserves while you are there, and don’t forget to return for Christmas trees in December.

98 N. Main St.
Sherborn, MA
Online: dowseorchards.com

Related: Hit the Road! 9 Day Trip Destinations for Long Weekends

Brooksby Farm

The summer apple and peach picking season is underway at Brooksby. Families can check the Facebook page to get the latest picking updates, then load up the kids and head to the orchard to fill your buckets with those crisp apples you’ve been craving all summer. Families can also pick blueberries and green beans when they’re there and swing by the farm store for even more fresh goodies, plus cider and donuts. 

54 Felton St.
Peabody, MA
Online: brooksbyfarm.org

Connors Farm

Mark your calendars for September 6, the start of u-pick apple season at Connors Farm, just north of the city. It’s the same day the Barnyard Friends corn maze opens so you won’t want to miss it. The themed play areas will also be open so plan to spend some time on this farm. Psst… if you’ve got older kids, pick apples in the late afternoon then stay for the flashlight corn maze that runs weekends starting September 30. 

30 Valley Road (Rt. 35)
Danvers, MA
Online: connorsfarm.com

Related: Find Fall Adventures at These Boston-Area Corn Mazes

Russell Orchards

Who doesn’t love fruit picking, seeing farm animals, and enjoying baked goods? You can find all of these things and more at Russell Orchards. Apple picking begins on September 3, but they still have blackberries and blueberries for a little longer. And of course they have lot of delicious fruits, veggies, and treats available for purchase in the farm store.

143 Argilla Rd.
Ipswich, MA
Online: russellorchards.com

 

Cider Hill Farm

Load up on all the fresh fruits of the season, not just apples, when you pick your own at this farm about an hour north of the city. You can get tickets in advance to pick or plan to walk in with the kids whenever the mood strikes (the farm is open for u-pick daily from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.). Once you’ve filled your basket with ripe red apples, plan to play in the giant sandbox, ride trikes, swing, or even take in a family program while you’re there (hint: the Wednesdays Farms Tots program is the cutest). Plus, between the farm store and the food truck (there on the weekends) you can get your fill of mini donuts and cider that lets you know fall is really here.

45 Fern Ave.
Amsbury, MA
Online: ciderhill.com

Related: Carve Out Fun at Boston’s Best Pumpkin Patches

Boston Hill Farm

Pick your own apples at this farm that’s open every day, from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. No plan needed. Grab a red wagon before you head out in case one of the giant gourds is calling your name. Then get your fill of McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Ginger Gold, Paula Red, and Red Delicious apples that are great for baking and snacking. Dogs are allowed on this farm, but they must be on a leash and can’t join you in the Farm Stand.

1370 Turnpike St.
North Andover, MA
Online: bostonhillfarm.com

 

Carver Hill Farm

You’ll have a blast at this family-run orchard. From July through November, check out all of their delicious, fresh-picked fruits and vegetables available for purchase at their farm store. And after a long day of apple picking, swing by the snack window for some ice cream, apple crisp, or donuts. Just over an hour outside of Boston, this is the perfect day trip you’re looking for.

101 Brookside Ave.
Stow, MA
Online: carverhillorchard.com

Tougas Family Farm

This farm is full of all of the late summer and fall favorites your family loves. Come to pick apples (they’ve got over 30 different varieties), peaches, blackberries, and sunflowers that are in season right now. Everyone in your farm crew will love taking a wagon ride out of the orchard and climbing on the farm-themed playground before heading home. The barnyard animals are another big win for kids. And the apple cider donuts will certainly hit the spot on the ride back to the city. Reservations aren’t required to pick, but it’s a good idea to check the Today’s Picking Conditions page before you make the trek. 

234 Ball St.
Northborough, MA
Online: tougasfamilyfarm.com

 

Hyland Orchard

If a visit with farm animals and a chance to sample flights of hard cider sound like the perfect pairings for your u-pick weekend, Hyland Orchard in Sturbridge is where you want to be. More than 1,500 trees are on the property and you can find all kinds of delish varieties between them, like Mac, Mutsu, Gala, Granny Smith, and Braeburn. Use them to bake or stick them in your kiddo’s lunch—you can’t go wrong with these apples.

199 Arnold Rd. (use 3 Lake Rd. for GPS)
Fiskdale, MA
Online: hylandorchard.com

Smolak Farms

Smolak Farms in North Andover offers something fun for everyone—blending a 300-year-old New England Farm complete with orchards, berry fields, and family activities. Meet the barnyard animals when you visit for apple picking. The farm stand is well known for its top-of-the-line baked goods as well as sandwiches, soups, salads, and other items made with fresh produce from the gardens. The ice cream shop serves up scoops and cakes or pies for your next birthday celebration. Check the Facebook page for the latest updates. 

15 S. Bradford St.
North Andover, MA
Online: smolakfarms.com

 

Shelburne Farm

Pick-your-own fruit season has officially started and the farm is open for the season. You can get fresh apples and peaches off the trees and warm apple cider doughnuts to take home (if they last that long). Kids will love the llamas, goats, miniature donkeys, chicks, and bunnies on the farm as well as the tractor playground. 

106 W. Acton Rd.
Stow, MA
Online: shelburnefarm.com

 

Westward Orchards

This smaller farm offers a quaint apple picking scene without all of the rides and hoopla. They offer pick-your-own blueberries in the summer and u-pick apples and pumpkins in the fall. The apple picking season lasts from September 10 through October 16.

178 Mass Ave.
Harvard, MA
Online: westwardorchards.com

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