As the cooler autumn air welcomes us into October, it’s time to embrace one of New England’s most beloved fall traditions: apple picking! Lots of crisp, bright apples from a wide variety of crops just ready for the taking.
Wondering where to get the best of the season’s apples? Check out our list of local favorites and pick your favorite! From large farms with rides and entertainment to smaller locations where you’re sure to avoid a crowd, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Get your favorite apple recipes ready and hit those orchards!
Autumn Hills Orchards, Groton, 495 Chicopee Row, Groton, MA. 978-448-8388
Located 45 miles NW of Boston, this family farm offers pick-your-own apples and raspberries, as they last. You’ll find fresh fruit and homemade cider in the barn for purchase.
Belkin Lookout Farm, South Natick, 89 South Pleasant St., South Natick, MA. 508-651-1539
One of the larger working family farms, Lookout offers its guests a train to ride to from each of its orchards. In addition to a wide variety of apples, you’ll find plums, peaches and asian pears to enjoy. There are lots of activities for children, like a large farm maze and bounce houses. On the weekends there’s a BBQ snack bar and pony rides!
Berlin Orchards, Berlin, Rt. 62 and Lower Sawyer Hill Road, Berlin, MA. 978-838-2400
At Berlin Orchards, catch a hay wagon ride to travel between crops. In addition to pick-your-own varietals, you’ll find pre-packaged apples, jellies and cider in the farm store. On weekends, visit with the farm animals or participate in face and pumpkin painting.
Big Apple Farm, Wrentham, 207 Arnold Rd., Wrentham, MA. 508-384-3055
The Big Apple is just what it sounds like — one of the bigger working apple farms in the state. This farm offers visitors a view from the apple grater as it sorts varietals, as a toy train whizzes by in the store. This 200 acre farm boasts hayrides, a pumpkin house, bakery and ice cream stand.
C.N. Smith Farm Inc., East Bridgewater, 325 South Street, E. Bridgewater, MA. 508-378-2270
A smaller pick-your-own farm that also offers fresh, locally grown produce in their farm stand. Highlights include the farm’s resident animals and delicious cider donuts.
Davis Farmland, Sterling, 145 Redstone Hill, Sterling, MA. 978-422-6666
This year-round family adventure center offers seasonal U-pick apples and pumpkins. You can spend the day at the Discovery Farm, complete with kids village and playground. Enjoy the mega maze and outdoor laser tag facility.
Honey Pot Hill Orchards, Stow, 138 Sudbury Road, Stow, MA. 978-562-5666
Honey Pot offers up to 12 varieties of apples available over the season. In addition to farm animals, you’ll find hedge mazes, hayrides and a large farm store.
Lanni Orchards, Lunenburg, 294 Chase Road, Lunenburg, MA. 978-582-6246
Pick your own apples and pears by the pound, not bag, at this Lunenburg orchard. The third weekend in September, they offer a weekend-long apple festival full of family-fun activities.
Parlee Farms, Tyngsboro, 95 Farwell Road, Tyngsboro, MA. 978-649-3854
Choose from more than 20 apple varieties throughout the season. Parlee offers a pumpkin patch, tractor rides and a hay play area. Annie’s animal barns greet visitors as well.
Russell Orchards, Ipswich, 143 Argilla Road, Ipswich, MA. 978-356-5366
In addition to apple picking, you’ll find a wine shop offering weekend tastings. Â Russell orchards features fruit wine and hard cider as well as several varieties of U-pick apples.
Smolak Farms, North Andover, 315 South Bradford Street, North Andover, MA. 978-682-6332
This popular farm offers a large pumpkin patch in addition to several varieties of U-pick apples and pre-packed choices in their farm store. Their on-site bakery makes fresh goodies including cider donuts and ice cream. Â Hayrides are offered and a corn maze delights their guests each season.
Tougas Family Farm, Northborough, 234 Ball St., Northborough, MA. 508-393-6406
This traditional family farm supplements their apple and pumpkin picking with a barnyard, playground and farm kitchen where you can purchase a multitude of locally made goodies.